By Sean Rice
Nearly 10 years after Celina's music in the park concert series ended, a group of citizens are bringing weekly entertainment back to the city's lakefront.
Celina City Councilman Chris Mohler announced at a Wednesday community betterment committee meeting that nine free Sunday evening concerts are booked throughout the summer.
Donations from area businesses and associations helped get the event off the ground. It appears the only cost to the city will be installing a 40-foot wide tent along Lake Shore Drive. Bryan said the Lake Festival Committee agreed to provide $1,000 toward the tent, because it also will be used during the annual festival.
Bryan said Wednesday he did not have the exact price from Celina Tent for the tubular steel tent, which will be a permanent structure. He expects it to cost about $2,500.
Mohler said Celina Rotary Club helped book the bands with WCSM radio sponsoring the series. St. Henry Tile is donating concrete for a 40-by-40-foot concrete slab, and Rockford Construction Services (RCS) is providing the forms and labor to build the slab. RCS is set to begin pouring the slab this morning. Also, approximately $1,800 still remains in a Mercer County Civic Foundation account that can be used to support the donation-driven program.
"I think it's a really good thing to bring this back, I was hoping to see it again," said Celina Safety-Service Director Mike Sovinski, who was active on the music in the park committee 10 years ago.
The first band to take the stage will be the West Ohio Big Band, at 6:30 June 6, conducted by Boyd Loughrige, former Celina High School music instructor. In the weeks that follow, performamces include: Mossburg Strings, The Ohio Valley British Brass Band, Kerry Patric Clark, Lima Marimba Ensemble, Flamingo Boulevard and the Ragtime Riverboat Rats.
Information is currently being sent out in Celina Utilities notices and a special brochure with donation information is being prepared.
Some Celina City Council members have been pushing a plan to construct a permanent concert pavilion on the open grass area along Lake Shore Drive. Celina Mayor Sharon LaRue said this plan will "feel out" the best place for a permanent pavilion, and see if enough residents will use it.