We are now just a few days away from the total solar eclipse that is sure to be a lasting memory and a once-in-a-lifetime event for millions.

Some parts of the Mahoning Valley are lucky enough to be in an area where totality will darken the sky for several minutes Monday afternoon.

So where are the best places to get the best view and are you prepared to safely watch this event?

The Mahoning Valley, let alone the State of Ohio hasn’t seen a total solar eclipse since 1806 and excitement continues to grow as we prepare for the highly anticipated event this upcoming Monday, April 8. 

If you’re in the path of totality, you’ll be able to experience as much as four minutes of complete darkness.

Trumbull County will be the best spot to experience totality if you don’t want to head northwest toward the lakeshore. Places like the Grand Resort in Warren and the Eastwood Mall are some of the top watch party spots in the Valle, but planning is key.  

“Come early and plan for the departure as well," said Samantha Ensminger, Marketing Coordinator at the Trumbull County Tourism Bureau. "Don’t plan on getting here at 3 p.m. for the 3:15 p.m. viewing and make it on time and then get out an hour later,” Ensminger said.

Naturalists tell our 21 News team that more remote locations like Mosquito Lake might be your best view. 

“One of the things you’ve got to worry about is light pollution,” Jason Lee, Naturalist at Mosquito Lake State Park said. “A lot of people want the clean crisp view of it and we don't have a lot of light pollution down here when it comes to that so you won't have to worry about any lights kicking on.” 

All eyes will be on the sky Monday, hopefully with a pair of eclipse-certified glasses on each individual. Ophthalmologists in the Valley told 21 News wearing eclipse glasses is critical, especially if you’re not in the path of totality.  

"You want to do it safely so you don't end up with a permanent outcome of a blind spot in your vision," said Julianne Matthews, an Ophthalmologist in Boardman. "Once you develop this blind spot, there's no cure. And so prevention is the key to making sure we're experiencing this safely."

Health experts said you want to make sure you're using certified solar eclipse glasses or lenses. Also, don’t think about looking through a telescope or your phone without proper protection. 

And make sure you take time to watch this total solar eclipse! We won’t see a similar coast-to-coast event until 2045.

As far as another total solar eclipse, we’ll have to wait until 2099.

If you can't make it outside, 21 News has your coverage on Monday, April 8th. From 2:30 to 3:30, we'll have team coverage from watch parties around the Valley and within the path of totality.

For more special coverage from our 21 News team, visit the eclipse tab.