Parking areas were full up and down both sides of U.S. Route 62 and a change of venue didn’t seem to lessen the crowd when the 34th annual Festival of the Bells presented its first night of county music entertainment Friday.
“This is going to be big. I don’t have any idea on crowd numbers yet, but it’s been tremendous,” Rick Williams, president of the festival committee, said just before the headline act took the stage. “The weather is great tonight and we’re looking forward to tomorrow’s show. Hopefully everyone will come out.”
The festival is being held for the first year at Southern State Community on Hillsboro’s northern edge after being staged most previous years in the center of town.
Local artist Patrick Roush opened Friday for headliner Dylan Scott, who has had a No. 1 hit with “My Girl.”
On Saturday, Cincinnati rock group Bad Habit will take the stage at 6 p.m. and Adam Doleac, who has been featured on Pandora’s 2018 Country Artists to Watch list, will take the stage at 9 p.m.
Saturday will be the festival’s biggest day. Activities start at 7 a.m. with registration for a 5K run/walk that starts at 8 a.m. at the college entrance, and events continue until the festival closes for the year at 10:30 p.m.
Following is a look at the rest of Saturday’s schedule:
9 a.m. – Pet Parade registration, Wiffle Ball Tournament registration, Cornhole Tournament registration
10 a.m. – Cornhole Tournament, Whiffle Ball Tournament, Pet Parade, food and craft booths open, car show registration
10:15 a.m. – Kids Dash registration
10:30 a.m. – Kids Dash
11 a.m. – Baby Parade, midway opens
Noon – Children’s games
12:30 p.m. – Scavenger Hunt registration
1 p.m. – Scavenger Hunt
2 p.m. – Children’s games
3 p.m. – Car Show awards
4 p.m. – Inspire Gymnastics
5 p.m. – Kiddie Tractor Pull registration
5:30 p.m. – Kiddie Tractor Pull
6 p.m. – Bad Habit takes stage
8:30 p.m. – Festival of the Bells Auction
9 p.m. – Adam Doleac takes the stage
10:30 p.m. – Festival closes
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or firstname.lastname@example.org.