Eclipse brings joy, happiness to viewers at Historic Columbia Speedway

Eclipse brings joy, happiness to viewers at Historic Columbia Speedway

CAYCE, SC (WIS) - Wild. Amazing. Incredible.

Those are just a few words used by people to witnessed the solar eclipse at Historic Columbia Speedway on Monday at the Soda City Eclipse Viewing Festival.

When gates opened at 8 a.m., hundreds of people made their way into the speedway to claim their spots. It's estimated that the speedway can hold at least 10,000 people.

As of Monday morning, the event was not sold out.

Several attendees lined up as early as 5 a.m. and said they were excited to be a part of history.

"I remember the last one, It was a partial eclipse. I have never experience a full one. I got out here early because I figured it would be a crowd out here," said David Gonzalez of Batesburg-Leesville.

There were bands, a TV screen streaming WIS' special coverage of the eclipse, food and games.

Calvin Harvell, from Waldwick, New Jersey said he spent three days working to get to Columbia.

"So far, so good. It's a great town but we haven't seen that much of it," said Harvell. "This one looked interesting because of the big screen TV and whatnot. Anything with historic on it, we want to check it out. So we wanted to check out the historic speedway."

As the eclipse began to take place, many in attendance began to cry while other screamed with joy as it took center stage.

"Amazing. Totally amazing," one man said after the eclipse ended. "I'm glad we were here for it."

The speedway was once the site of NASCAR races. The last race was in 1971.

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