Band shell to host Allred, Main Street officials

Mindy Carls

?The historic band shell in Central Park, Orion, will be the site of two big events next week. Illinois Main Street directors from all over the state will visit the band shell on Thursday, June 25.

While tourning northwest Illinois, the group will be in Central Park from 2 to 3:15 p.m. The public is invited to be there, too.

Kevin Roberts, Main Street Orion president, and Jim Cooper, village president, will present a short program about the band shell and the west water tower. 

Main Street Orion collected the information and made the presentations necessary to have both facilities listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 2003, Main Street Orion spearheaded the drive to repair the 90-year-old band shell. 

The newly renovated band shell was rededicated on July 24, a night when 1,500 people came to hear Bill Allred’s Classic Jazz Band perform in the first Jazz in the Park concert.

That was the same night that the Orion Community Band made its debut.

The band shell also hosted Orion’s 150th anniversary celebration during the 2003 Orion Fall Festival.

Distinguished visitors to the band shell have included Pat Quinn, who was lieutenant governor when he came in November 2003 and now is governor, and Dennis Hastert, who was Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives in August 2003.

Quinn visited the park to present Illinois Main Street’s first-ever Premier Project Award in person.

Hastert was in town to help celebrate the sesquicentennial.

The Main Street representatives are coming the day after the seventh annual Jazz in the Park. 

Former Orion resident Bill Allred is returning to the village for the concert on Wednesday, June 24. 

Bill Allred’s Classic Jazz Band will appear for the seventh time at Jazz in the Park, performing from 7 to 10 p.m. at the band shell in Central Park. 

During intermissions, the Orion Community Band will entertain the audience.

Beginning at 6 p.m., barbecue, brats, hot dogs, chips, drinks, strawberry shortcake and ice cream will be for sale. BankORION?will have its popcorn machine going.

Those attending the concert should bring their own lawn chairs. The concert will be held rain or shine. A rain location will be announced later.

Main Street Orion is hosting the event, which has as sponsors Kirk, Huggins & Esterdahl Funeral Home, Orion Mart, BankOrion and Modern Woodmen of America.

Advance tickets will be sold from Monday, June 8, through Monday, June 22, at the Main Street Orion office, Orion Village Hall, all BankORION?locations and Northwest Music in Davenport. For more information, phone Main Street Orion at (309) 526-8299.