SIDNEY — The final plans for the Air Force Band of Flight Rock Band’s Concert have been made. Shelby County Bicentennial Concert Sub-committee Chair Nancy Steinke confirmed that weather permitting, the evening will begin with cake and ice cream about 5:30 p.m., continue with remarks from the county commissioners at 6:45 p.m., and conclude with the concert.
“We are excited that the forecast looks good, the commissioners will be commemorating the first meeting of the Shelby County Commissioners in 1819, and the Air Force Band of Flight Rock Band will be playing songs we’ve all grown up with,” Steinke said. “Although the county commissioners will be meeting in regular session earlier in the day the concert will be their official observance of that first meeting.”
Although the concert will take place on the grounds of the Shelby County Courthouse, the actual first meeting of the county commissioners took place in Hardin. Hand-written records from that first meeting reflect that then Commissioners William Berry, Robert McClure and John Wilson met, discussed several invoices, and then adjourned, likely to a nearby tavern since a tavern bill was among those paid that day.
Current Shelby County Commissioners including President Julie Ehemann, Tony Bornhorst and Bob Guillozet will each speak briefly prior to the concert. They will pay tribute to the first members of the Shelby County Commission, and the commissioners who followed who served Shelby County
“We are looking forward to commemorating that first meeting,” Ehemann said. “Those first commissioners laid the foundation of one of Ohio’s greatest counties. Shelby County is both an industrial and agricultural powerhouse. We have Commissioners Berry, McClure and Wilson to thank for their work in setting the stage for what was to come.”
“Shelby County has more manufacturing jobs per capita than any other county in Ohio. In fact, two of the Dayton Region’s three top employers – Honda and Emerson – are located in Shelby County. We need to celebrate that vibrancy,” said Guillozet, who co-chairs the Shelby County Bicentennial Committee.
“Although modern agriculture hardly resembles the subsistence agriculture practiced by Shelby County’s first white settlers, agriculture has played an important role in Shelby County’s history since the beginning,” Bornhorst said. “Agriculture remains the backbone of Shelby County. We rank 8th among Ohio’s 88 counties in agricultural production.”
In addition to free cake and ice cream, the packets of postal cards will be available for sale. The cards have the official Bicentennial stamp and were hand cancelled on Shelby County’s official birthday (April 1, 2019). The packets contain a picture post card from each of Shelby County’s municipalities that currently has a US Post Office, including Anna, Botkins, Kettlersville, Fort Loramie, Jackson Center, Port Jefferson, Russia and Sidney. These packets are $20 each.
Unstamped and uncancelled bundles of postal cards from each of the municipalities will be available for $3. The individual postal cards from each of the municipalities including Lockington, a village that does not currently have a post office, will also be available for sale. They individual post cards are 25 cents each.
A very limited number of Shelby County Bicentennial silver coins will also be available. Those coins are $40 each, with fewer than a dozen remaining. It is not expected that the coins will be reordered.
Also available will be tickets for the bicentennial raffle and 50/50 drawing. Businesses and individuals have donated over 100 prizes for the raffle. Cash awards lead the list, but raffle participants may also take home merchandise in the categories of “Do It Yourself,” “Food, Food, and More Food,” “Health, Beauty and Fashion,” “Around the House” and “Sports and Leisure.”
Finally, Shelby 1819 Limited beer will be available on the Courthouse grounds. The beer is reported to be the best selling of all beers currently brewed by Nick Moeller of Moeller Brew Barn in Maria Stein.
“There have been so many who have assisted with the concert,” Shelby County Bicentennial Committee Chair Mike Barhorst said. “Fair Haven Shelby County Home is providing the birthday cake, the Shelby County Dairy Boosters will provide vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream, and volunteers from 4-H clubs and the YMCA will be serving the ice cream and cake.”
“The Air Force musicians will be borrowing the Sidney Civic Band’s stage. Rick Reiss will be assisting with the setup,” Barhorst said, “and Nancy (Steinke) has worked incredibly hard to make certain that this event even happened. There are countless others – we are just so blessed to live in a community where everyone pitches in and helps!”
The US Air Force Band of Flight presents more than 350 performances annually, providing quality musical entertainment for official military functions and ceremonies as well as civic events and public concerts. The 7-member Band of Flight Rock Band is under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Shawn E. Coil and the direction of Command Master Sergeant J.R. Erb. The band is stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, a part of the 88th Air Base Wing under the command of Colonel Bradley W. McDonald.
The concert will begin at 7 p.m., and will last until 8:30 p.m. Those in attendance will need to bring lawn chairs or blankets if they wish to sit on the lawn.