The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, May. 24, 2022

‘Celebrate America’ in Fountain Park

This Friday night in Fountain Park, the Lima Pops Orchestra will take the stage to lead us in an early Fourth of July Celebration of America.  The concert will be filled with patriotic tunes, marches, American film scores, American pop tunes, and much more.  Vocalist Kirsten Osbun-Manley from Ohio Northern University will add some vocal flavor to the program.

Maestro Crafton Beck will return to direct the orchestra in what he calls one of his favorite outdoor concert venues: Fountain Park in Van Wert.

If you get to the park early enough, you might be able to get a complimentary U.S. flag to wave during the concert. There will be plenty of patriotic tunes to instill patriotism in the hearts of concertgoers. Linda Hartman has taken it upon herself to collect donations from elected officials in Van Wert, as well as others of interest, to purchase U.S. flags. She and some helpers will be at the park to distribute them to adults who may return them afterward or purchase them for a dollar. Smaller flags will be given to children to help instill patriotism in the younger generation. Thank you, Linda, and all your helpers and donors!

New Hope Recovery will be serving some delicious food from the Rotary concession stand by 5:30 p.m. By the way, in mentioning the Rotary concession stand and restroom facility, we should mention a person who passed this week who was a huge part of building it: Wayne Compton, Rotarian, building constructor, and business owner, and all round great Van Wert citizen. If it wasn’t for Wayne Compton, I’m not sure we would have this building in Fountain Park. In his mid-80s, Wayne helped lead a volunteer crew with assistance from Alexander & Bebout in the construction of the Rotary concession and restroom building. Wayne was a giving man who accomplished many great things, including surviving the Battle of the Bulge in WW II.  Thanks Wayne, you’ll be missed!

Now back to Friday night. Following the concert with the Lima Symphony Pops Orchestra, the fun will continue!  We will be making a quick transition to an outdoor movie theater.  I figure the concert will end around 9 p.m. At that time, a huge inflatable movie screen will appear and get hooked into the concert sound system and, by 9:30 p.m., we should be ready to sit back, lay on a blanket or the grass, and enjoy E.T.: the Extra Terrestrial. This American family science fiction film, directed by Stephen Spielberg and written by Melissa Mathison, is a perfect family film to enjoy outside.

Main Street Van Wert will be in the park selling popcorn and drinks for you to enjoy as you settle in for the evening once the sun goes down to enjoy the movie.  Many people have been asking for another movie in the park, so we deiced to schedule it with our July 4 celebration leading into Holiday at Home.

Mentioning Holiday at Home, plan on sticking around for the parade on Monday, beginning at 11 a.m., and then enjoy time at the Van Wert Historical Museum for more fun and food. Van Wert Rotary Club will be serving food at the museum following the parade.

I know many of you are gearing up to buy your Grand Series tickets at the Niswonger. Just as a reminder, you can start purchasing those today (Wednesday, June 29).  If you are planning to pick your concerts from the buffet line, the Select Series sales begin July 7. So get your catalogs out or check online at NPACVW.ORG and make your selections now so you are ready for the big sale dates. It’s “Ten Years of Wow” we are celebrating at the Niswonger this year. I hope you can join us.

Thank you all for your continued support of our Fountain Park concerts and those indoors at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center. We’ll keep the fun coming, thanks to the generosity of The Van Wert County Foundation and people like you!

FINÉ (many people ask me why I say this at the end of my columns each week. FINÉ is a musical term that means “the end.” Now you know).

FINÉ (again).

POSTED: 06/28/16 at 10:40 pm. FILED UNDER: News