FOB names 2023 acts


The entertainment schedule for Hillsboro’s 2023 Festival of the Bells has been announced as preparations for the three-day festival are still underway.

As usual, this year’s celebration will include a parade, rides, food, crafts and three nights of headlining musical acts. The performers this year will be country musicians Bryce Leatherwood and Thomas Mac, and Christian act Micah Tyler. Tyler will kick off the main shows Thursday, July 6 with Mac performing Friday, July 7 and Leatherwood rounding out the headlining performances Saturday, July 8.

“Bryce was the 2022 winner of ‘The Voice’”, said new Festival of the Bells Committee President Tom Zile. “He was Blake Shelton’s pick and won ‘The Voice’, and I just got a message this week that his last six concerts have been sellouts, so he’s an up-and-coming star.”

Tyler is a Christian pop musician who has released Billboard-charting albums.

“Thomas Mac is a Tik-Tok sensation who has over four million followers on Tik-Tok, and he’s a rising country star,” said Zile. Mac was offered his first record deal at the age of 20 and performed for the first time on The Grand Ole Opry stage that same year.

The festival will return to the city’s green space off of West Main Street this year. “Last year was the first year down at the new site, so we took some bumps and bruises last year, and of course the weather wasn’t real conducive to the festival with all the rain, but we learned some things so hopefully we can grow from that,” said Zile.

Zile took over the duties of the festival’s committee president from Rick Williams in December of 2022. Williams has been involved with the festival for nearly 35 years, serving as either president or co-president of the committee for 25 years. Williams said he will still be available to provide guidance to the current festival committee if they need advice.

Williams said corporate sponsorship is the key to securing top-notch entertainment for the festival. “It takes corporate sponsors that love Hillsboro and support Hillsboro, and I think once the city is able to get their stage put in down there, it’s going to be a nice place to have it,” he said.

Zile said the festival committee is still seeking corporate sponsors for the event. “We always need corporate sponsors, and Rick can tell you that the quality of our talent depends on how much money we get from corporate sponsors, so the bigger the sponsorship, the bigger the talent,” said Zile.

In addition to the festival’s musical entertainment, a car show is planned for the Saturday of the festival, and the three-on-three basketball tournament will be held again this year.

As the full schedule of events for this year’s festival is finalized, information can be found at

Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.

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