The days are getting longer; at least daylight is. We are beginning to get reacquainted with the sun. So, it must be time to start thinking about summer. During the month of March, our office at The Van Wert County Foundation will be accepting names of non-profit organizations interested in being considered to serve food for Fountain Park Summer Music Series concerts. Call 419-238-1743, stop by 138 E. Main St., or email me at to enter your organization in the lottery. We need the name of your organization, a contact person with phone and email address.

The only restrictions are that you must be a non-profit organization, be located in Van Wert or Paulding County, and must not have served food the previous summer. If your organization was selected and did serve food last year, you must take one year off and then can re-enter the following year.

The 2018 Fountain Park Summer Music Series is just about finished and we will be making the announcement in the next couple weeks. This will be the 17th annual Fountain Park Summer Music Series sponsored by The Van Wert County Foundation in cooperation with the Van Wert City Parks & Recreation.

With the new year came a couple changes. Kevin Longstreth has taken over as the head of the City Parks & Recreation department. Sue Heppeard retired at the beginning of this year after many years of faithful service. I thank Sue for her many years of cooperation and look forward to working with Kevin in his new capacity.

Another addition is the redesigned landscape slope to the park. We are hopeful this makes the view of the stage better for everyone. The middle of the park used to have a mound halfway back that inhibited view of the stage if you sat on the north end of the park. That mound was removed and now a gradual slope has been taken all the way back to the gazebo.

It won’t be long before the newly seeded grass starts to turn green in the park and we will all begin thinking of spring and summer…. and concerts in Fountain Park.

This weekend is a big one for the Niswonger Performing Arts Center as Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella moves into Van Wert for two big shows this Saturday; one at 2 p.m. and the other at 7:30 p.m. This show comes in four 53 foot trailer trucks. With the enormity of the show, they will start moving in and setting up Friday night. There are a few tickets remaining for each show, although a few more remain for the evening show than the afternoon matinee.

My wife and I had the pleasure of seeing this show on Broadway a couple years ago and I really enjoyed it. It has some amazing scenery, staging, acting and of course the magic of Rogers & Hammerstein music.

On a local level, we wish the bands and choirs the best of luck as they prepare for District Music Contest the following week. I know they are working hard to perfect their music to perform for OMEA judges. Students learn so much from this experience! These performances are actually open to the public, so come and support your local high school band or choir. The contest for our district will be held March 9 and 10 in Van Wert at the Niswonger PAC.

There is always music in the air in Van Wert. Stop and enjoy it while you can. FINE