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Hendricks County expects thousands for ‘Race to the Eclipse’

Hendricks County venues prepare for Eclipse Day

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (WISH) — Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park in Brownsburg is anchoring the eclipse festivities in Hendricks County on April 8.

Organizers call the free viewing event “Race to the Eclipse.” It will include live music, food trucks, and other activities by the Brownsburg Parks Department.

Of course, what’s a race track without fast cars? Once the eclipse hits totality, two front-engine dragsters will race in the darkness.

Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park General Manager Kasey Coler says he welcomes the community for the unique event.

“[We will] incorporate drag racing for the first time ever — maybe the only time ever for an eclipse event.” Coler said. “It’s neat to be part of the solar eclipse. You come through central Indiana, it seems like everywhere you turn there’s something taking place that day.”

The park will also open up its campgrounds to visitors for $25. Before the main event, a 5K will welcome runners, going through the famous dragstrip.

Brownsburg Community Relations Manager Shelby Abner says that for many area residents, the eclipse could be their first time going to the track.

“This is right in our backyard, so it makes sense for us to find those partnerships with IRP,” Abner said. “I grew up at the dragstrip, so I’m excited for people to experience this.”

Other free viewing options around Hendricks County include a special military celebration at the Shops at Perry Crossing, and a viewing at the Brownsburg Public Library.

Meanwhile, places like Murphy Aquatic Park, Beasley’s Orchard, and the newly opened Hendricks Live will host ticketed events.

Josh Duke, senior manager of content and communications at Visit Hendricks County, says hotel rooms are going quick.

“We’re hoping for thousands of people being here,” Duke said. “I’d love to see the grandstands full to get to celebrate with so many people.”

The tourism group has a full list of viewing parties and events around the area available on its website.

The first 5,000 people in attendance at IRP will receive commemorative solar eclipse glasses to safely view the eclipse.

All of the action on eclipse day, April 8, starts at 1 p.m.