(Posted May 11, 2022)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Have a band that’s looking to get out of the garage, basement, or backyard and into earshot of a broader audience?
The Mount Sterling Chamber of Commerce is adding a second stage to this year’s Summer Jam festival and wants to fill it with local talent.
“The bands will play strictly on a volunteer basis, but it’s a way for them to get themselves out and seen in the area,” said Chamber member Tom Corbin, who is organizing the lineup.
A few bands have already committed to filling time slots during the festival, which runs June 16-17 from 5 to 10 p.m. and June 18 from 12 to 10 p.m. in downtown Mount Sterling. Groups playing bluegrass, country-rock, and 1970s music are on the roster. Corbin said any genre of music and any age of musicians are welcome. Participating bands can play cover tunes, originals, or a combination of both.
Time slots are available all three days of the festival. Anyone interested in performing is asked to call Corbin at (614) 530-3132.
The stage will be located in front of the Mount Sterling Masonic Lodge on North London Street. When bands aren’t playing, a deejay will spin tunes. Country line dancing also is planned. Corbin is looking for instructors willing to donate their time to lead line dance lessons on the stage during the festival.
As for why the Chamber is adding the second stage, Corbin said, “We wanted to add another venue so that we have music going on the entire festival. It’s part of expanding the event in general.”
The other stage will be located on South London Street and will feature live entertainment, as well, as booked by festival organizers and supporters.
Corbin noted that another new addition to the festival is a Touch-a-Truck display that will be located behind the Masonic Lodge stage. Children will get an up-close look at vehicles and equipment used by first responders and others.
July 4th parade
In addition to promoting Summer Jam, Corbin is spreading the word about participation opportunities for other events on Mount Sterling’s 2022 calendar.
The Chamber’s Independence Day parade will take place on July 4. Lineup starts at 9 a.m. at the Mount Sterling Community Center, 164 E. Main St., and steps off at 10. The route will be similar to last year’s, heading up Main Street, cutting over to Columbus Street to London Street, then to the Dairy Freeze before heading back to the center.
Corbin encourages groups and individuals who want to participate in the parade to contact him so that he can organize the lineup. Youth groups, baseball teams, antique cars, floats–anyone and just about anything is welcome, he said. The Madison-Plains Local Schools marching band and the American Legion Post 417 honor guard have already committed to participating.
The Chamber will honor the late Darrell Cooper as the parade grand marshal. For years, Cooper participated in many area parades, playing a calliope organ atop a float. He passed away this past year. The calliope will be the second entry in this year’s parade lineup, behind the fire department.
Once again, the Masonic Lodge will host its popular haunted house. This year’s dates are Oct. 28 (6-10 p.m.), Oct. 29 (4-10 p.m.) and Oct. 30 (2-4 p.m.)
New this year is a haunted car show. The public is invited to decorate their cars in a Halloween theme and enter the show.
Another new opportunity for the public to participate is a costume contest for children and adults, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce immediately following the closing of the Haunted House on Oct. 30.
Christmas in the Village parade
A second opportunity to get in on parade action comes with the Chamber’s annual Christmas in the Village set for 4-8 p.m. Dec. 3.
The parade takes place at 6 p.m. and requires entrants to include lighting in their decorations. This year’s theme is Christmas vacation. Lineup starts at 5 p.m. at the Mount Sterling Community Center. The turnout for last year’s parade was impressive.
“We had people lining the streets, five and six deep, to watch the parade,” Corbin said. “We had several floats last year, and we anticipate more this year.”
The Westfall and Madison-Plains marching bands are already signed up to participate in the parade. Corbin said it’s not too early to call him to get on the list.