In December 1865, plats of land northwest of Bellefontaine previously mapped by Champaign County Surveyor Aaron L. Hunt were incorporated into a village named after the surveyor.
One-hundred-and-fifty years later, Huntsville will celebrate the anniversary of its incorporation with a full schedule of events in the village planned for Saturday, July 11.
Highlighting the activities will be the Air Force Band of Flight, based at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Fairborn. The airmen and airwomen of the USAF Band of Flight will make the drive north to Huntsville and perform from noon to 2 p.m.
Other entertainment will be offered throughout the day as the Forth Bound Band takes over the stage at 2 p.m., followed by a performance of the Holly Powers Dance Studio Children at 3 p.m. Orion Presley will strut his stuff with his unique tribute to the King of Rock and Roll starting at 3:30 p.m., leading for the Faucet Band, which hits the boards at 4.
Local recording artist Kelsie Ross rounds out the day’s entertainment starting at 5 p.m. and will be joined onstage at 6 p.m. by the Home Grown Grass Band, a local outfit that specializes in bluegrass music.
The stage will face west on the basketball court on Wishart Street behind the firehouse. Wishart St. will be open from Napoleon St. to Fourth St. and closed to traffic north of Fourth St. during the event.
Dale Madison and Larry Armstrong, “Them Two Jokers” of the Saturday morning show on local low-power FM radio stations WRPO 93.5 and WOHP 101.3, will broadcast their show live in the morning and act as emcees for the event throughout the day, which also marks the first anniversary of the installation of WOHP’s 100-foot FM tower in Huntsville.
Armstrong and Gray Fox Broadcasting (which operates WRPO and WOHP) organized the day’s activities. Armstrong said the response from the community has been “terrific”, as in addition to filling up the allotted slots for vendors, local businesses have kicked in a bucket load of raffle items, including a computer from E-Green Computers, a fishing package from Lakeside Pro Bass; family bow lessons from Indian Lake Outfitters, a ‘ladies’ day certificate from Me & Company, Unseen Elegance and Beauty & Barber, and a certificate for a child at Education Station, among other items.
One boy and one girl will also be riding home in style on new bicycles (nicknamed “Trouble” and “Chaos”) donated by M&D Repairs. The bikes are reserved for kids 12-and-under and the winners must be present when the winning ticket is drawn at 5 p.m.
Vendors who have committed to the event vary from jewelry and fashion accessory designers to sellers of tack for horses. The West Liberty First Church of God will offering sewing demonstrations, a bake sale, and a quilt raffle. Vendors will open at 9 a.m. and kids’ games and activities (bounce house, cane toss, face painting, games) start at 10 a.m.
The Huntsville Fire Department and EMS will be cooking up hot dogs and burgers starting at noon, and will switch over to $7 chicken dinners at 4 p.m.
Below is the schedule of events in Huntsville for July 11, 2015:
9:00-11:00 Lookback Show with “Them Two Jokers” (broadcast live on WOHP)
11:00-12:00 Larry Roose Show (broadcast live on WOHP)
12:00-1:00 Air Force Band of Flight
1:00 Proclamation from Commissioner Dustin Wickersham commemorating the sesquicentennial of Huntsville’s founding
1:15-2:00 Air Force Band of Flight
2:00-3:00 Forth Bound Band
3:00-3:30 Holly Powers Dance Studio Children
3:30-4:00 Elvis Impersonator Orion Presley
4:00-5:00 Faucet Band
5:00 Bike Drawing
5:00-6:00 Kelsie Ross
6:00-7:00 Kelsie Ross and Home Grown Grass
7:00 Drawing for raffle items and 50/50 drawing
Tom Stephens is a regular contributor to this newspaper.