Hoping to attract more people to uptown Hillsboro, the Festival of the Bells Committee is adding two new attractions this year, including one with cash prizes.
That one is a tug-of-war contest pitting coed teams of six people each (three males and three females) against each other. The winning team will split $100 and the second place team will split $50. There is no entry fee.
Mike Bradford, FOB Committee president, said the tug-of-war is being added to replace a human tractor pull event that didn’t attract many participants.
“We always try to have a brainstorm session after the entertainment is lined up,” Bradford said. “We look for things that will entertain people, bring them uptown to enjoy the festival, and doesn’t cost them anything.”
Bradford said the once popular hospital bed races are also scheduled to make a return to the festival lineup.
He said the exact date of the tug-of-war hasn’t been determined, but that it will likely be held on North High Street in front of the Colony Theater.
The other new attraction is a “Where in the World is C.S. Bell” event. Bradford said the committee would like anyone who has come across a C.S. Bell bell in their travels to contact them. The committee will display a map with all the locations CS bells have been found on a map at this year’s festival. Bradford said the map will likely be located near the main stage.
Anyone with information on bells made by the C.S. Bell Company can contact any festival member by using contact information on the festival web page. That site is www.festivalofthebells.com, or you can send an email to fobcrafters @gmail.com.
The Festival of the Bells is celebrating its 30th year in 2014. It will be held July 3-5 in uptown Hillsboro.
The festival’s main attraction over the last several years has become the free, star-studded country music lineups the committee brings to town each summer. This year’s cast includes three country music performers who have had number one hits.
On Friday, July 4, Frankie Ballard will kick the night off at 7:30 p.m., followed by Eric Paslay at 9 p.m.
On Saturday, July 5, Zach Paxson will serve as the opening act at 7:30 p.m., followed by Parmalee at 9 p.m.
And on Thursday, a traditional Christian music evening, the HCC Trio will open for Dove Award nominee Francesca Battistelli.
Jeff Gilliland may be reached at 937-393-3456 ext. 209 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.