Three Hillsboro banks are combining forces this year to serve as the sponsors of the main stage during the 2017 Festival of the Bells.
Representatives from Merchants National Bank, NCB and First State Bank gathered Tuesday after agreeing to take over the sponsorship when a former stage sponsor withdrew. Festival entertainment chairman Rick Williams expressed his appreciation to the banks for “all three coming together to support the community.”
This year’s festival is set for July 6-8 in Hillsboro, featuring headliners Danny Gokey, William Michael Morgan and Brett Young. Gokey will perform Thursday, Morgan on Friday and Young on Saturday. Festival officials are also seeking local performers to serve as opening acts.
The three-day celebration also features popular activities such as a Preacher Pie Eating Contest, the Steve Faris Magic Show, a car show, pet parade, baby parade, 5K run/walk, a variety of children’s games and rides, and the traditional opening parade, along with much more. For a complete schedule, along with information about auditioning for the opening acts, visit www.festivalofthebells.com.
When it comes to its main entertainers, the festival has a reputation of booking stars just as they hit the big time. In an interview last month, Williams said the festival committee paid $11,000 to get Brad Paisley to Hillsboro a few years ago and now he demands $750,000 per show. He said the committee paid $6,000 to get Taylor Swift to the festival and she now makes $1.5 million a show.
Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or by email at [email protected]