The day has finally come, and soon the skies above Johnson County will go dark for the total solar eclipse.

Johnson County, like much of central and southern Indiana, is along the path of totality for the eclipse, including Johnson County. A partial eclipse will take place from 1:50 to 4:23 p.m. Monday, with totality being from approximately 3:05:52 to 3:09:54 p.m. in the Franklin area.

This type of solar eclipse is the only one where people can momentarily remove their eclipse glasses for a brief time when the moon is completely blocking the sun.

Daily Journal reporters are spread out throughout the county covering events. Follow along to this pages as live updates come in for the once-in-a-lifetime experience.

6:43 p.m. Monday

Live coverage has concluded. Check out our coverage of the day here and the public safety perspective here.

3:15 p.m., Amphitheatre, Franklin

Like many people the Daily Journal spoke with today, the Johnson family from Chicago weren’t planning to come to Franklin today, but they’re glad they did. With cloud cover predicted in Indianapolis, they changed course to Franklin, Courtney Johnson said.

“Then we found Franklin, and the nice part is — it is in Johnson County. Our last name is Johnson, so I thought ‘this is meant to be,’” Lance Johnson said.

The family of five clapped and cheered as the temperature dropped and the sky darkened over the Amphitheater. Lance and Courtney Johnson had taken their oldest daughter Madelyn to see the 2017 solar eclipse in Missouri but she was too young to remember it well.

Now with son Cameron and daughter Alexandra, they saw the sun disappear and reappear before their eyes.

“We don’t get to see it (often). We have to wait a really long time to see something so amazing,” Alexandra Johnson said.

They were among the hundreds in Franklin and millions across North America to witness the solar phenomenon offering a glimpse of the sun and the moon that few have seen before today.

“You get to see see a part of the sun that you never get to see – the sun’s atmosphere. It makes the moon look like a ball on fire – that’s what I think is so cool,” said Lance Johnson.

The Audiffreds, also of Chicago, clapped, cheered and took photos as the moon blocked out the sun. Oscar Audiffred said it was a moving experience and the crowd seemed to come together for the 4 minutes and 2 seconds of totality.

“It was amazing. We had always heard about the eclipse and we missed the last big one. And seeing it live for the first time was just amazing – an awesome experience,” Oscar Audiffred said. “When it happens – the totality – you feel something that you can’t explain. It brings tears to your eyes.”

Though they didn’t plan to come here today, they found Franklin charming.

“We loved being here it was a great experience seeing it here,” Anna Audiffred said. “My husband thought we would get a better view here than in Chicago. It was great, everyone has been so warm and friendly. We think we are coming back again.”

–Leeann Doerflein

3:10 p.m., Amphitheatre, Franklin

Imke and Ralph Dressler pose with a photo taken on their telescope during the eclipse in Franklin. They came from Tennessee to see the eclipse in Franklin. Jayden Kennett | Daily Journal

Imke and Ralph Dressler came from Tennessee to see the eclipse. They weren’t planning on watching the eclipse in Franklin, but they were driving through and decided to stay. They brought a telescope, equipped with filters that can take photos and send them directly to a Bluetooth device for an extra special viewing experience.

The eclipse was breathtaking, almost indescribable, Imke said. Being able to view the eclipse with so many others was a spiritual experience, she said.

— Jayden Kennett

3:05 p.m., Main Cross Street, Edinburgh

“That is so cool!” rang out through the streets of downtown Edinburgh, as everyone watching the total solar eclipse vocalized their wonder in unison.

Darkness settled over the town, as the temperature dropped and wind picked up. Street lights went on, and stars and planets were visible in the sky. Someone in the town set off fireworks, and waves of cheers kept going up.

For four minutes, Edinburgh residents and the visitors they welcomed stared upward in wonder. Then, the light back on.

“It was pretty neat,” said Chaz Chiafos, a Monticello resident who had come to Edinburgh to create a special eclipse-themed chainsaw sculpture. He had been doing chainsaw sculpture for the past four years as owner of Indiana Carvings.

Throughout the morning, he turned a log into an artistic blend of the sun and moon. Visitors to the town’s Eclipse Festival had stopped to watch him at work and ask him questions.

By early afternoon, his finished sculpture was ready – with plenty of time to see the eclipse. He and others were captured by the spectacle, and voiced their approval.

Brian and Angie Pine had come to downtown Edinburgh with their two daughters, Evelyn, 7, and Olivia, 5. Afterward, they described the eclipse as “pretty cool.”

They weren’t sure if their kids quite understood, but they’re glad they got to witness it.

“They might have been a little too young to totally comprehend it,” Brian Pine said.

Angie Pine added, “They were just excited to be part of it.”

–Ryan Trares

3 p.m., Amphitheatre, Franklin

The Hayden family has been planning a trip out of the 2024 eclipse for nearly four years. They’ve made the once in a lifetime events a tradition for their family. This will be their third eclipse viewing together, Amber Hayden said. In 2017 they visited Rigby, Idaho and in 2023 for an annular eclipse they visited Ely, Nevada.

There’s a particular energy that comes with the eclipse — spiritually, emotionally and socially, Hayden said.

(L to R) Josh Hayden, Amber Hayden, Britton Hayden, Zella Hayden and Rebecca Hayden. The Hayden family has viewed three eclipses together since 2017. Jayden Kennett | Daily Journal

“There’s also some beautiful phenomenon that just come — the earth compares to the moon, the earth compared to the starts. I mean we’re gonna be able to see like five different planets when the totality happens,” Hayden said. “So all of that combined just makes it this very unique experience. And to be able to enjoy it with tons of people that, they may be here for a different reason, but this is special.”

Of course, the eclipse wouldn’t be as special without her family making it all the more sweet, Hayden said.

The Hayden family also brought science experiments with them to make it all the more special. A corkboard, although simple in design, if held up to the light during the eclipse, the shadow will be crescent shape. A disco ball hanging on a flower planter pole also reflected crescent shapes when the eclipse began. They also experimented with bubbles to see the interesting shadows that they would make during the eclipse.

“I love teaching my children the science of it and how the planet interacts with the moon and interacts with the sun, but I also love how it all interacts with our own energies and our spirits. It’s just all encompassing,” Hayden said.

–Jayden Kennett 

1:39 p.m., Johnson County Courthouse, Franklin

Jim Bin from Atlanta, Georgia was one of many eclipse enthusiasts who set up their cameras with solar filters on the Johnson County Courthouse lawn. He chose Franklin because the weather here looked like it could provide perfect viewing for the eclipse.

“Franklin is in the center (of totality) and the weather here is much better,” Bin said.

Livia Wang and other eclipse enthusiasts set up their cameras to shoot the total solar eclipse on the Johnson County Courthouse lawn on Tuesday. Leeann Doerflein | Daily Journal

Livia Wang, of Chicago, came with a group of friends who has been planning to come to see the eclipse for about a year. Its the second eclipse the group has seen together after they visited Carbondale, Illinois in 2017.

They planned to see the eclipse somewhere in Central Indiana and chose Franklin because of the weather. Wang said she checked multiple apps and did a lot of homework to ensure the view was as good as they could get.

“It’s very nice little town. I didn’t expect to see something like this in the middle of Indiana,” Wang said. “There’s a lot of nice boutiques.”

–Leeann Doerflein

2:52 p.m., Franklin

It’s now less than 10 minutes until totality occurs in Johnson County.

Totality will be from approximately 3:05:52 to 3:09:54 p.m. It is only during totality when people are able to momentarily remove their eclipse glasses for a brief time when the moon is completely blocking the sun without risking injury, experts say.

1:30 p.m., Johnson County Emergency Operations Center, Franklin 

Things are calm across Johnson County as the eclipse begins in North America. 

Higher traffic is reported in Franklin and parking lots are filling up at city parks. At a briefing at around 1 p.m., one of the main talking points was increased traffic on Interstate 65 as people come south from near Chicago and north from near Louisville. 

The increased traffic is a concern, said Duane Burgess, Johnson County sheriff. Some of the rest stops along I-65 are also full, and officials are watching to see where they end up, he said.  

As for Johnson County, things have been going smoothly for the most part. The only major issue to come up was the power outage on Franklin’s west side, which also knocked out a stoplight at Jefferson Street and Drake Road. The stoplight is once again working.  

Officials are monitoring everything they can, traffic-wise, to make sure they are prepared, Burgess said. 

Burgess also took a moment to once again encourage people to be patient with traffic today. With an influx of people in the county, it’s going to take a little bit to get traffic cleared up and people on their way once it’s over, he said. 

“Just be patient,” Burgess said.

— Noah Crenshaw

Emergency and public safety officials from across Johnson County work inside the emergency operations center Monday at the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office in Franklin. Noah Crenshaw | Daily Journal

12:50 p.m., Downtown Franklin

One family from Mississippi and Louisiana didn’t know they’d end up in Franklin for the eclipse until this morning. Last night, they arrived in Kentucky unsure of where they were going to enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime event.

“We didn’t exactly know which way to go depending on the weather,” Mark Brock said. “We just wanted to be on the line, and we just shot for here.”

Brock, from Mississippi and her sister-in-law Janet Kinsman, from Georgia, are enjoying the eclipse day at Amphitheater at Youngs Creek Park with their husbands and children. Brock and Kinsman spent the morning walking around Franklin enjoying the shops, they said.

“It’s just a cute little town,” Kinsman said.

This will be Rebecca Estep’s, 11, first eclipse, she said. She’s hoping to see the diamond ring effect, which occurs just as the last bit of exposed Sun is extinguished before totality. Her mom, Kelly Estep, is excited to share the experience with her daughter now that she is old enough.

Frank Shumacker lived in Franklin four years ago before moving to Central Florida. Now he’s back in Franklin with Ann Marks and their dog Jack to enjoy the eclipse. It worked out perfectly because Shumacker had a couple of jobs lined up in Franklin around the same time the eclipse was happening. He works as a computer network specialist.

Franklin reminds Marks of her hometown in Pennsylvania, she said

— Jayden Kennett

12:30 p.m., Eclipse Market, Franklin

For Franklin resident Sherri Spall, the total eclipse marked the opportunity for a new venture — selling eclipse clothing.

Spall’s booth at the Eclipse Market features a variety of shirts, but one of the most popular was “Total Eclipse Hysteria.” A play on Hoosier Hysteria, the shirt features a basketball as a moon traveling over the state. It also has a “Totality Bracket” on the back with Indiana cities listed in a March Madness-style bracket.

The eclipse market booth marks the first time Spall has ever done anything like this, she said. She decided to venture into making shirts because she was unable to find a design she liked for herself.

“I just designed my own,” Spall said. “And then it went pretty well with friends and family, so I’m like, ‘We’re doing this,’ so I ordered a bunch and made a booth.”

Spall sold half of her stock on Sunday, and it’s been “flying off the shelves” on Monday before the eclipse. She sold long-sleeved shirts and hoodies on Sunday, and they were gone before things had even started, she said.

Everyone who has come to the booth has been super nice, she said. She’s seen visitors from as far as Utah, along with Missouri and Wisconsin, she said.

— Noah Crenshaw

12:22 p.m., Youngs Creek Park, Franklin

Here’s a look at some scenes at Youngs Creek Park on Monday morning.

12 p.m., Franklin

Duke Energy is reporting a power outage on Franklin’s westside, between Westview Drive and Jefferson Street, according to the Johnson County Joint Incident Management Team.

The stoplight at Drake Road and Jefferson Street is also not functioning, officials say.

About 673 Duke Energy customers are affected by the outage. The cause is believed to be due to an object coming into contact with power lines, the utility said.

Power is currently estimated to be restored by 2:30 p.m., according to Duke Energy.

11:50 a.m., Youngs Creek Park, Franklin 

Traffic has not been a problem so far in Franklin, said Kirby Cochran, police chief. 

Crowds have been steadily coming in and growing. Cochran and other officers have talked to a lot of visitors, mostly from out of town, this weekend, including people from Tennessee, Wisconsin, North Carolina and even a couple from Germany, he said.  

“Everybody speaks really highly of the city and the ability to get in and out. So, we’re excited about it,” Cochran said. 

There’s plenty of parking in downtown Franklin too, “contrary to what might be said on social media,” he said. 

“There’s plenty of parking. There’s plenty of food. There’s plenty of activities, plenty of places to sit,” Cochran said. “Welcome everybody. Come downtown, have fun.” 

— Noah Crenshaw 

Franklin Police Department Officers pose for a photo Monday at Youngs Creek Park. Noah Crenshaw | Daily Journal

11:46 a.m. Monday 

The inscription on each engagement ring bore a simple message: “Once in a lifetime.” 

Chris and Jessica Robertson knew they wanted their kids to experience the total solar eclipse that shrouded a swath of the country in darkness in 2017. They drove from their home in Atlanta, Georgia, about 1 ½ hours northeast to see the celestial show. 

Seeing a solar eclipse was special enough. But Chris Robertson had something else in mind, as well. 

“I planned on proposing right after the eclipse,” he said.  

The couple and their kids watched totality before Chris Robertson popped the question. Jessica Robertson said yes. 

Considering their connection to the eclipse, they started planning to watch the 2024 event soon after.  

“It’s been seven years in the making for us,” Chris Robertson said. “We’re kind of amateur eclipse chasers now.” 

Since the 2017 event, Chris and Jessica Robertson have added to their family – Veda is 4 years old now. They’ve all come to central Indiana to take part this year, as has Chris Robertson’s adult son, Corey, who flew in from Salt Lake City, Utah. 

They’re staying in Indianapolis for the weekend, where they spent their first day in town exploring downtown. On Sunday, the family decided to come to Franklin to enjoy the eclipse festival the city hosted.  

“It’s been great. We’ve never been here. My wife has a little bit of family here, so it’s kind of been a two-birds, one-stone kind of trip,” Chris Robertson said. “We’ve gotten to see some family we hadn’t seen for a while, and we’ll get to see the eclipse.” 

For totality, the Robertsons decided to view with family – fitting, considering their relationship to the 2017 eclipse.  

When Chris Robertson proposed to Jessica, he used the words “Once in a lifetime,” not only to describe their relationship, but to commemorate the eclipse that accompanied their engagement. That’s why they chose to have the phase inscribed in their rings.  

While walking through Franklin on Sunday, Jessica Robertson found a souvenir to match it. 

“She found a t-shirt that says, ‘Twice in a lifetime,’ which has the date for the 2017 eclipse and the date for today,” Chris Robertson said. “It started as just a cool thing to see and to show our kids, now it’s kind of turned into a personal magical experience for us.” 

— Ryan Trares 

11:45 a.m., Benjamin’s Coffeehouse & Bake Shop, Franklin  

Business was picking up for some downtown businesses around 10 a.m. Monday morning after a slow start to the weekend. Andrea Edgar, owner of Benjamin’s Coffeehouse &  Bakeshop hopes business will pick up as the day goes on.  

Benjamin’s is operating on a limited menu with select coffees and sandwiches available for the day. They also have special eclipse sugar cookies available in celebration of the eclipse.  

Benjamin’s is also tracking visitors to see who has traveled the farthest with a posterboard. Visitors can write where they traveled from on the brown poster inside the restaurant.  

— Jayden Kennett 

11:40 a.m., Downtown Franklin  

Tourists from across North America have been stopping by Festival Country Indiana this weekend. 

At their downtown Franklin visitors center, they served people from 24 states and Mexico on Sunday alone, said Ken Kosky, executive director. 

On a normal day during the weekend, the visitors center serves 30 people. They’ve been serving 600 a day, Kosky said.  

As of 9:15 a.m., they had already served 40 people, he said. By 10:30, the number was 195. 

“I think today will probably be thousands of people,” he said. “So the first few days were successful. I think today … will be even more successful.” 

Kosky also addressed concerns about a perceived smaller amount of traffic in Franklin than people expected. This could be because residents were staying home and seeing how things played out, and the visitors filled residents’ places instead, he said.  

It was always expected to have more people come on Monday, Kosky said. 

Hotel rooms are booked, plus if the people who are camping or staying with relatives nearby are added in, there are numerous more people, he said. 

“We can’t accommodate millions of overnight visitors,” Kosky said. “We can have a few thousand, and that’s what we’re getting.” 

Because of crowd concerns, Festival Country enlisted every church, school or attraction that was interested in having a party to do so and gave them free eclipse glasses. They succeeded in their mission to spread people throughout the area, he said.  

“I think that’s been a big success,” Kosky said.  

As for later today, Kosky is most looking forward to clear skies, everyone having a good time and seeing businesses benefits from the customers. He hopes the customers will come back to Franklin post-eclipse too, he said. 

— Noah Crenshaw