Salem winery welcoming eclipse guests - KPTV - FOX 12

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Salem winery welcoming eclipse guests

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Eclipse watchers from across the country and around the world are starting to arrive at Eola Hills Legacy Estate Vineyard west of Salem.

Visitors starting checking in for the weekend around 1:00 p.m. Friday, putting pins in a map marking where they're traveling from for the eclipse.

The staff at the vineyard said people are visiting from 17 countries and all over the United States.

Plans have been underway for more than a year for a big celebration drawing hundreds of people to watch the solar eclipse.

"We had a countdown on our computer, on our website, and it started at like 346 days or something and then when I turned on my computer today it said two days and I was like ugh,” special events coordinator Stephanie Bobb said.

That knot in Bobb’s stomach was a mix of excitement and nerves finally seeing all of those plans come to fruition.

During the eclipse weekend, 300 people will be camping at the vineyard. There will be nightly concerts expected to draw between 600 and 900 people with food, wine and beer, movies, stargazing, and of course the actual eclipse Monday morning.

Staff estimate that 1,200 people will be gathered with their eyes on the sky, the largest crowd ever at the vineyard.

"We're opening our doors at 5 a.m., but I've heard people are leaving Portland as early as 2 a.m. and they're just going to come sleep in their cars," Bobb explained.

John Lomnicki came to the vineyard with his daughter and grandkids from Minnesota and the eclipse a once-in-a-lifetime event.

"A lot of people never experience this in their whole lives, do they?” he said. “Seriously! So this is going to be fun."

Events at the vineyard this weekend are sold out, and more people are showing up every hour. The winery also a special bottle of wine with a label made just for the eclipse.

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