SIDNEY — The idea for a new, annual music and arts festival in Sidney was presented to Sidney City Council Monday evening.
Sidney Alive Executive Director Amy Breinich and Ian Hinz, executive director of The Historic Sidney Theatre, presented the proposed Sidney Music and Arts Festival to be held the last weekend in June each year beginning in 2020.
Breinich told council Sidney has had many other great festivals in the past, such as Applefest or the Mayfest Classic, but has had an issue with “staying power.” She noted Sidney hasn’t quite found the right niche but the city, and Shelby County, deserves to have a strong, popular festival that will go on for generations.
As part of the bicentennial celebrations, Breinich said Sidney Alive and The Historic Sidney Theatre have chosen to team up to share resources to celebrate the community in a new way next year on Friday, June 26, and Saturday, June 27. The plan is to combine Sidney’s annual BBQfest and Raise the Roof’s Backstage Block Parties to create one new and larger weekend-long event.
Hinz said by combining BBQfest and the Backstage Block Parties, they hope it will raise the profile for a larger, more successful event.
The proposed festival will include a street fair, a juried art show, a youth community project, a free community Sidney Civic Band concert on the courtsquare, a west-end performance stage, a marketplace, food trucks, family activities including a kid zone and a possible car show. There will also be a ticketed show to be held inside the The Historic Sidney Theatre. The festival will be held downtown on the streets surrounding the Shelby County Courthouse and extend a block further west on West Poplar Street and to the north on North Ohio Avenue.
The two organizations plan to both work to raise funds and services for the event estimated to cost a minimum of $40,000.
If the summer festival is well received, Breinich said they may develop a fall version of the weekend.
Council members Steve Wagner and Ed Hamaker praised Breinich and Hinz for teaming up and for the presentation. Mayor Mike Barhorst also thanked the two organizations’ directors, but he and City Manager Mark Cundiff expressed some concern about them moving too quickly and the timing of the festival. Cundiff also noted other large, neighboring community festivals started off small. Barhorst said he just wants to make sure the plan works because they will be asking for a lot of money to make the event happen.
Some further discussion ensued about the logistics. Breinich told council there has been a lot of discussion with others about the festival, but the council presentation was the first public discussion on the topic. Cundiff encouraged Breinich and Hinz to meet with city staff as soon as possible to begin making plans. Barhorst also encouraged them to reach out and accept help from as many community organizations as possible to make things happen.
Other than the approval of the petition for the creation of the energy special improvement district special assessments and the right of way vacation agreement resolutions, council also adopted two other resolutions, and they are:
• To confirm the appointment of Nathan Burns to the Shelby County Regional Planning Commission. Burns will fill the vacancy left after Frank Ratermann resigned at the end of 2018. Burns will serve through the end of Ratermann’s term which is Dec. 31, 2020. This is Burns’s first city appointment.
• To show support for the Ohio Municipal League’s (OML) position on House Bill 49 and 5 on centralized tax collection. The resolution also shows the city of Sidney’s support of the OML in filing an amicus brief in the Ohio Supreme Court on the issue of whether the home rule grants municipalities a general power of municipal taxation. And also when the state law engulfs this power of taxation, that state law is unconstitutional, and if a state administered, centralized system for reporting and collection municipal net profits taxes paid by a tax on municipalities violates the home rule amendment of the Ohio Constitution.
During the city manager comments, Cundiff reminded all that city offices will be closed on Monday, Sept. 2, in observation of Labor Day. He also reminded all that trash pick up will be delayed by a day for the entire next week.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.