Busier But No Giant Crowds At Panama Rocks, Clymer

In Clymer, school buses traveled the road through town in the early afternoon as school let out early in preparation of the eclipse.

Even though the bigger crowds gathering in the cities to watch Monday’s eclipse were nowhere to be seen in the town of Clymer and the village of Panama, places still reported busier than normal days and weekends.

In the town of Clymer, while there were no big crowds, Clymer Central School let students out at noon and Jon Woods with Clymer Hardware and Home Center also reported a busy weekend.

“There’s been a lot of people I’ve never seen before,” Woods said. “Even Saturday was busier than normal. It’s been busy all weekend.”

At Panama Rocks, Jonathan Weston said that being a weather dependent business, even with cloudy and a tiny bit colder days throughout the weekend before the eclipse, the weekend was about as busy as a normal summer day for them.

“There’s not a big crowd, but we’re happy,” Weston said. “It’s like an extra weekend that we would have in the summer. People are coming from all over the country. Normally we are not open for another month, so this is great for us.”

A group of people working on their camp at the campsite provided by Panama Rocks. Guests were welcome to camp overnight at the Rocks to be prepared for Monday's eclipse.

Weston added that Panama Rocks also had plenty of eclipse glasses for their guests, some of whom camped out at the rocks Sunday night. Overall the Rocks had hundreds of guests both camping and visiting for the eclipse, which Weston said he was very happy about.

Some of these guests included Dave Pilieri and Mike Grottini from New Jersey who came to Chautauqua County for the event.

“We came down to see the eclipse,” Pilieri said. “I don’t know why, but there was this foreboding thought in my mind that I wouldn’t get another chance. I’m 62 so it was either drive down or wait another 20 years to see another one.”

Dave Pilieri and Mike Grottini from New Jersey take a walk through Panama Rocks. The pair came up to watch the eclipse at the Rocks.

A current view of the eclipse in Panama, taken through eclipse glasses with the first bite of the sun just visible. P-J photo by Sara Holthouse