Block party turns out crowds, visitors from abroad

wooden signage board
The wooden board outside of Studio 315 where visitors shared where they travelled from to see the eclipse. Photo by: Lauren Royce

OSWEGO, N.Y. — The block party held Sunday on West 1st Street drew in hundreds of people locally and from across the country. There were many different activities for kids and adults from bounce houses and Star Wars characters to party punch and other beverages from The Red Sun Fire Roasting Co. 

Rose Favata is the owner of the 315 Studio, a local craft store on West 1st Street. She placed a wooden board outside the store for visitors to write where they were traveling from and intends to make it into a special memento.

“Somebody’s on there from Japan, there’s some crazy far places,” Favata said. “We’ll make it into a sign or something to display.”

Wooden eclipse ornaments were displayed at the front of the store for $15. Favata made them herself in-house with a wood laser. Favata said business had been steady but not overwhelming as the party grew in size after opening at 4 p.m. 

As for eclipse day, Favata said while she is excited for the big day, she plans to watch from home. “I am, but I’m staying home, I’m hiding from the crowds,” Favata said.

Favata said she noticed a lot of out-of-towners in the stores and not many locals.

“They’re probably hiding at home, much like Harborfest,” Favata said.

When she made a Walmart trip to get snacks for her daughters to sell that morning, shelves were barren.

“I was like well, people definitely have been here because the shelves are wiped clean like when the college kids come back, there’s no water, no certain things here or there,” Favata said.

One visitor was a woman named Theresa Husak, from Wheat Ridge, Colorado, a suburb of Denver. She drove four days to get to Oswego, but not because of the eclipse specifically. 

“So I’m a travel nurse, I just accepted an assignment here for a couple months, it just happened to be now,” Husak said. She will be working with Oswego Health during her stay.

Husak said she had read about the total solar eclipse last year but forgot about it, so she took her assignment without knowing about the eclipse. “It just happened to be here while I’m in town,” Husak said.

Husak said she had seen a different type of eclipse before.

 “I actually was in Hawaii for the total lunar eclipse back in the ‘90s somewhere, I guess I make a habit of this,” Husak said, adding that this would be her first time seeing a total solar eclipse.

Husak heard about the block party from staff at the Beacon Hotel where she is staying.

“That’s how I found out about this, my landlord I guess you would call her, she told me there was a block party I should go check it out, so here I am,” Husak said. She got her stay at the Beacon booked less than a week prior. 

“When I drove across the country, I was in Erie, Pennsylvania and I stayed at a hotel, and they had a sign there saying they were all booked out,” Husak said. “I said, ‘what’s going on here?’ they were raising their prices to $999 a night, minimum two-night stay, to be in the pathway of the eclipse. And they were booked out.”