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Wapak First on the Moon Committee Logo 6

First on the Moon, Inc. enhances public understanding of and appreciation for Wapakoneta, Ohio's, unique identity as the home of Neil A. Armstrong, first person to walk on the moon.

 First on the Moon, Inc. develops and implements public arts and humanities programming, thematic events, and legacy initiatives that garner a high degree of collaboration among stakeholders and reach the widest demographic possible. 

If you would like to support

First on the Moon, Inc.,

in its efforts to honor the

Neil Armstrong legacy

in Wapakoneta, please click on the link below. 

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View the April 8, 2024 Solar Eclipse in the Hometown of the
 First Man to Step onto the Surface of the Moon!

On Monday, April 8, 2024, Wapakoneta, Ohio, the hometown of Neil Armstrong, will be bathed in the shadow of a celestial wonder—the eagerly anticipated total solar eclipse. This rare cosmic event, where the moon will entirely obscure the sun, promises a breathtaking spectacle that transcends the earthly realm. For Wapakoneta, this eclipse holds a profound significance, aligning with the legacy of Armstrong, the first human to tread the lunar surface. The event provides an opportunity for the community to collectively gaze at the cosmic canvas, mirroring the same sky that ignited Armstrong's passion for space exploration. As the moon veils the sun, casting an otherworldly darkness and revealing the sun's corona, this celestial ballet becomes a poignant moment for Wapakoneta residents and visitors alike, fostering unity and connecting them to the vastness of the universe. The April 8, 2024 solar eclipse is not just a rare astronomical occurrence; it's a chance for the community to celebrate its role in space exploration history, all while marveling at the profound beauty that extends far beyond the boundaries of our planet.

Visitors are invited to ARRIVE EARLY and STAY LATE as the community will be celebrating this phenomenal celestial event for the entire weekend leading up to the actual eclipse.  For more detailed information on the events activities planned please check out websites for the  Armstrong Air & Space Museum and the Wapakoneta Chamber of Commerce. 

 

First on the Moon invites you to visit downtown Wapakoneta and enjoy the Giant Helmet Sculpture and the other space themed public art. FOTM and 2024 Eclipse merchandise is available for purchase at a number of shops in the downtown area as well as at the Riverside Art Center and the Armstrong Air & Space Museum.  

The Moon Menu Returns!

Back by popular demand, the Moon Menu has returned with various restaurants and eateries offering delicious space themed foods and beverages.  

 

The original Moon Menu Trail dates back to the summer of 2019 and the 50th anniversary celebration of the first moon landing.  It was one of many fun initiatives created by the 50th Anniversary Celebration Committee. Enjoyed by visitors and locals alike, there have been requests to bring it back.  Below is the first edition of the menu. More items and venues will be added.

Check out the First on the Moon Facebook Page 

for new, tasty additions!

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FOTM Wins T-Mobile Grant for Space Themed,
All Abilities Play Equipment 

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First on the Moon inc. was awarded a T-Mobile Hometown Grant for $50,000 to purchase a Rocket Ship themed, all abilities play ground set for Harmon Park in Wapakoneta.  With 6,000 grant entries, T-Mobile awarded 25 grants across the nation. The FOTM grant was the only project funded in Ohio. 

There was a great celebration as T-Mobile representatives visited Harmon Park to present the check. It is hoped the play equipment will be installed by the fall. This will be the first all abilities equipment in the Wapakoneta Park System.

The Helmet
Wapakoneta's Legacy ParkPlatz home to the newest
First on the Moon commissioned s
culpture 

First on the Moon Mementos
Shop Local!
Check out all the new
First on the Moon merchandise. 

You can also click here to check out  a
variety of merchandise available online. 
 

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Along with the Helmet the art installation includes the handprints of all four frogmen who retrieved the Apollo 11 astronauts from the ocean when they returned to Earth, a granite tile with a replica of the first step imprint  and a granite monument showing the moonscape and the quote "We came in peace for all mankind."

Designed by Lepo Works of Lima, Ohio, the aluminum and stainless steel, seven foot tall Helmet is a fun, interactive nod to the Apollo 11 Mission to the Moon.

 

Did you know the only photographs of Neil Armstrong on the Moon are the ones reflected in Buzz Aldrin's visor? 

Artists David and Robert Lepo said that was the inspiration for the sculpture which was unveiled in a ceremony on July 1, 2022.

 

  

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Artists David and Robert Lepo speak at the sculpture unveiling with First on the Moon President Rachel Barber

Unsung Heroes of the Apollo 11 Mission Honored in Wapakoneta

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The four frogmen who pulled astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins from their Apollo 11 capsule in 1969 had a whimsical painting dedicated to them in the First in the Moon inc. Utility box art program.   Clancy Hatteberg, Mike Mallory, John Wolfrom and Wes Chesser  posed with the artwork, which is located on Bellefontaine Avenue at the intersection of Wood, Pearl and Mechanic streets,  when they visited Wapakoneta during the 2021 Summer Moon Festival. 

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Road Trip Worthy: 

Giant Roadside Mural First on the Moon

"Tribute to Apollo 11" in West Central Ohio

It’s meant to surprise, delight and spark conversation and the new Giant Roadside Mural: Tribute to Apollo 11, in west central Ohio, certainly does all that and MORE! 

Each year famous roadside muralist, artist John Cerney chooses a topic or theme and donates one of his works of art to a community or organization. Last year’s 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing got him thinking about that feat and the man who took those first steps onto the moon.  Cerney of Salinas, California, contacted the Wapakoneta Chamber of Commerce early in 2020 and offered to donate one of his murals if the right location could be found.  The local group, First on the Moon, took on the project and the rest, as they say, is history.

Cerney painted the various components in his studio in California and then traveled cross-country to deliver and construct it on site.  The mural is located about three miles east of Wapakoneta on US 33.  It is viewable from the westbound lane.  Creney’s giant works of art can be found in 28 states and Canada, this is Ohio’s first Cerney mural and it is a great excuse for a fun road trip.

After checking out the giant roadside mural, you will want to continue into Wapakoneta and visit the Armstrong Air & Space Museum.   While there, be sure to take a selfie with the two bronze statues of Neil Armstrong. One depicts him as a youth dreaming of  someday becoming a pilot and the other as an adult in flight gear, having accomplished that long held dream.

 Complete your road trip with a visit to historic downtown

Wapakoneta.  It is filed with wonderful, unique shops

and great places to grab a snack or a meal. There is a

third bronze statue of Neil Armstrong, downtown. This one

depicts him waving to the crowds as he did during a

huge Homecoming Parade following his trip to the moon.  

For more information on these and other fun things

to see and do in west central Ohio check out SeeMore.org  

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Metal Utility Boxes Become Works of Art!

First on the Moon, inc. has been busy working on projects that not only beautify the community but also enhance the link between Wapakoneta and its heritage as the home town of Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon.

Working with Riverside Art Center and Wapakoneta City Council to bring public art to the historic downtown area, two street side utility boxes are now showcasing the artwork of Ayla Webb & Jennifer Sowders. These boxes are located at the intersection of Auglaize and Hamilton Streets. 

Sowders and Webb won their divisions in the “50 years of

Space” art contest that took place at Riverside Art Center in 

2019 during the 50th anniversary celebration of the

Apollo11 mission to the moon.

A third utility box, located on Willipie Street

near Auglaize Street, is now sporting a

vibrant tie-dye rendition of the First on the

Moon logo on its street side. The backside of

eye-catching design features five fun facts

about Neil Armstrong and Wapakoneta.

A special thank you to IC Signs for their design

and workmanship on these challenging projects.

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Celebrating Leap Day with

One Giant Leap into the Record Books

 

On February 29, 2020 more than 300 “Astronauts” gathered in Wapakoneta for the One Giant Leap Day Celebration.  First on the Moon, Inc. put out the call for people to come to Wapakoneta, costumed as astronauts, to help set a new Guinness Book World Record for the “Most People Dressed like an Astronaut in One Location”.

There were strict criteria for the attempt and the effort had to be recorded and reported including sworn testimony from local judges. The current record to beat was 257, more than 300 showed up in Wapakoneta on that frigid February day. They came from all over Ohio and eastern Indiana.  We believe that our attempt was successful and a new record was set.  The application is still in the hands of the World Record Book team and we are awaiting their determination on our apparent victory.

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Wapakoneta

A great place to visit, not an easy name to pronounce!  

     Give it a try: WAH puh kuh NEH tuh

    Still having a tough time, you are not alone.

Check out the video below.

First on the Moon
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