The “once-in-a-lifetime eclipse event” in Knox County attracted more than an estimated 50,000 people and was a “huge success,” according to Jamie Neal, President of the Knox County Chamber of Commerce. Despite cloudy and rainy skies for the first part of the extended weekend event, the forecast of clear skies on Monday, April 8 diverted additional visitors to Vincennes, as the Knox County region experienced one of the longest periods of full totality.

The overall positive economic impact for the entire state of Indiana was estimated to exceed $148.5 million in an independent study from Rockport Analytics. Commissioned by the Indiana Destination Development Corporation (IDDC), the Rockport study estimated that more than 3.5 million visitors came to Indiana for the eclipse weekend

“It was an awesome event, both from the experience of totality and from the economic impact for regional tourism,” said Neal. “We had standing room only in restaurants and large crowds.” A report from Placer.AI estimated that the city of Vincennes experienced upwards of 25,000 people taking part in the three-day event.

Out-of-state visitors included people from Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Texas, and Wisconsin. “There were vehicles with license plates from several states, and I’m certain we had strong representation from all over the Midwest and other areas,” Neal said.

The heightened and unusual local impact of the event was evident by the number of visiting corporate jets and high-performance aircraft to the Mid-American Air Center (also known as the Lawrenceville-Vincennes International Airport), according to Chris Pfaff, CEO of Knox County Indiana Economic Development. “Obviously we had some upscale visitors coming to town,” he said.

“It was an excellent opportunity to showcase our revitalized downtown in Vincennes and give visitors an idea of the high quality of life in the county,” he added.

The event is likely to have a long-term impact. “Economic development research shows that a visit to an area is a top means to market the region and attract both new talent and business,” explained Pfaff. “The marketing attributes of ‘The Dark Side of the Wabash’ theme and website, coupled with online resources to pinpoint events and attractions, elevated the total experience, lifting up our overall brand of as a great place where people can live, work, and play.”

“Everything worked in our favor for Vincennes and Knox County to have a great experience,” said Neal.

The Vincennes event attracted considerable media coverage both locally and regionally, including both pre- and post-event top story coverage on Inside Indiana Business.


Photo by Christopher Schneberger – used by permission