Festival of Bells June 30 to July 2


The 32nd annual Festival of the Bells will be held June 30 through July 2 in uptown Hillsboro, festival committee president Mike Bradford announced Wednesday.

There had been talk that the festival could be moved from its usual uptown location.

“There’s been some discussion about that, but we haven’t decided anything yet, so it will be uptown this year,” Bradford said.

Since July 4 falls on Monday this year and the festival is traditionally held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the festival committee was undecided after last year’s festival if it would be held the weekend before or the weekend after the Fourth of July this year. Bradford said that if the festival can’t include the July 4 date, the committee likes to hold it before the holiday.

Bradford said the committee is working on some new ideas for the festival, but is not ready to announce them yet.

“We want to do some things to give people some more options during the concerts and we want to give people more things to see and do during the day,” Bradford said.

The music format will remain the same with a Christian concert on Thursday evening then big country acts on Friday and Saturday evenings, along with warmup acts for all three shows.

Last year the festival committee tweaked its entertainment schedule slightly, using a rock band as the warmup act on Friday.

“It went pretty well, we got a lot of good comments, and people seemed to enjoy it,” Bradford said of last year’s rock show. “We may look at doing something like that again this year.”

Rick Williams, the festival committee’s entertainment chairman who recruits the acts that perform each year, usually announces who they will be in late January or early February.

Bradford said 2016 will be the first year the festival committee has had a city of Hillsboro respresentative on it.

“We’re very proud to have Justin (Harsha) on there and we hope that opens up the lines of communication and makes the festival better for everyone,” Bradford said.

The committee members and officers for the 2016 festival are: Bradford, president; Mary Fent, vice president and crafters; Beverly Carroll, co-treasurer; Connie Williams, co-treasurer and VIP tent; Debbie Wallingford, secretary and information booth; Rick Williams, entertainment; Tara Pendell, food vendors; Sara Carroll, website and food vendors; Abby Hilterbrand, crafters and VIP tent; Nylah Rothwell, 5K race and events; Charlie Wallingford, information booth; Norman Fent, set up; Ronnie Whitenack, set up; and Harsha, set up and city representative.

For more information visit the Festival of Bells on Facebook or its website at www.festivalofthebells.com.

Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.

Bradford says committee planning more activities

By Jeff Gilliland

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