Updated to clarify that event is for employees and invited guests.
Some of the top elected officials in Ohio will be appearing Saturday, July 25 at a 175th-anniversary celebration for the Candle-lite Company in Leesburg.
Expected to be on hand are U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, U.S. Rep. Brad Wenstrup, Ohio Speaker of the House Cliff Rosenberger and state Sen. Bob Peterson, according to invitations to the event.
The event is for employees and invited guests, with the “Historical Celebration” scheduled from 11:15 a.m. until noon, followed by a Candle-lite Family Festival featuring Skyline Chili, live music featuring BlueStone Ivory, a Candle-lite Historic tent, candle-making activities and other entertainment. The festival will conclude at 3 p.m.
Lauren Hoffman, a spokesperson for the event, said Thursday that the company is flattered that so many prominent elected officials are participating.
“We’re honored that so many politicians are coming to Leesburg, especially on a Saturday,” she said. She said Boehner’s presence demonstrates the importance of Candle-lite not just on the local level but across all of Ohio.
She said the celebration is a tribute to the company’s employees and to the Leesburg community.
Highland County Commissioner Tom Horst said Thursday that the commissioners will be there, along with other top elected officials from here and from neighboring counties.
According to a statement from Portman recognizing the occasion, Candle-lite Company was founded in 1840 by Thomas Emery, who traveled door-to-door selling candles in Cincinnati. His venture continued to grow and eventually his son, Thomas Jr, joined the business.
Candle- lite’s products were manufactured in various locations in the Cincinnati area before manufacturing was moved to its current location in Leesburg in 1952.
Candle-lite’s 600 employees qualify it as Highland County’s largest manufacturer. In a 2012 Times-Gazette profile, officials said that Candle-lite stresses the quality and value of the candles it makes, and has become the leader in such products sold at food and dry goods stores, claiming 26 to 27 percent of that market.
Candle-lite is located at 250 Eastern Ave. in Leesburg.
Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or on Twitter @abernathygary.