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Great American Eclipse watch party draws about 5,000 people to the Fraze

About 5,000 people gather at Fraze Pavilion to watch the Great American Eclipse (WKEF/WRGT)

KETTERING, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - The solar eclipse across America had people in the Miami Valley looking to the skies Monday afternoon.

People lines up around the block at Fraze Pavilion in Kettering to get a pair of free eclipse viewing glasses, at a watch party put on by FOX 45.

Eclipse viewers like John Deuer couldn't keep their excitement in.

"Believe it or not I remember the solar eclipse of 1969!" Deuer told FOX 45's Kelly May, "It's making me crazy baby! I'm having a weird seventies flashback!"

Deuer was one of an estimated 5,000 people to attend the watch party Monday.

"This is great, this is wonderful, I haven’t seen anything like this since spring break of '74 in Daytona!" Deuer joked.

"I got goosebumps, I was like woohoo!" said Jane Burbick, who got a pair of the free glasses and came from Madison, WI to see Dayton's 88.8% solar eclipse coverage.

"It was just crazy, I couldn't believe how many people were here," said Mark Newman, who was one of the last people to get one of the 1800 pairs of free viewing glasses.

"My daughter got me a piece of welding glass from a welders place," Newman continued, "If I didn't get the glasses I was gunna look through that."

Viewers who didn't get glasses in time for the eclipse were using creative viewing methods, like welder's masks and pinhole viewers made with all sorts of different household materials.

"To see how it gradually progressed throughout the day was a unique experience," said one viewer Mikail Miller, "You can see the sun and the black hole that is the moon covering up the light."

The crowd at the even cheered when the eclipse reached its maximum point of coverage around 2:28 pm, as the temperature dropped slightly and the daylight dimmed.

"There it is! Woo!" Deuer exclaimed.

It's enough excitement to last until the next great American eclipse, when Deuer said he's up for another viewing party.

FOX 45 teamed up with Fraze Pavilion and iHeartRadio to be able to put on the event.

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