Coming Together
For July 7th, 8th & 9th  2022




February 2022!!

          Following a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Festival of the Bells is scheduled to return to Hillsboro this July, according to an announcement by the Festival of the Bells committee and City of Hillsboro Wednesday morning.

Festival committee president Rick Williams and vice president Bev Carroll joined Hillsboro Mayor Justin Harsha, Safety and Service Director Brianne Abbott, Auditor (and Festival committee member) Alex Butler and Public Works Superintendent Shawn Adkins for a joint press conference Feb. 16 at the city building.

The 2022 event is set to return July 7-9 at a planned new green space on West Main Street in Hillsboro at the former site of Highland Enterprise/Union Stockyards. The last two Festival of the Bells events were held at Southern State Community College’s central campus, in 2018 and 2019, after being held in uptown Hillsboro for many years.

“It’s not going to be in the center of town this year,” Harsha said. “It’ll be down at the new green space on West Main Street, and we’re doing a lot of preparations to get the site ready.

“There's a lot of circumstances why that decision was made, but that's our future area for events, so it’s the perfect spot to have the festival. We're happy to bring the festival back this year and looking forward to a good one.”

Williams added that “it’s nice to be back in the uptown area.”

One of the reasons for the move to the planned green space, instead of holding the festival on Main and High streets in the center of town, is due to expected detours from infrastructure projects, according to Adkins. That includes a previously announced storm sewer project on South West Street and a water main project on North West Street.

“We have a couple of infrastructure projects planned this year that’s going to affect the routing for the detour,” Adkins said.

Williams said the committee is “on board” with the new site. Abbott and Harsha added that they are hoping the new green space will also lend itself to suitable new locations for some of the usual festival activities, including an indoor space for craft booths/vendors.

“We have discussed if the basketball tournament is going to be able to utilize Railroad Street Park, and then also the 5k event can utilize the railroad bed walking paths,” Abbott said. “That's all in the general vicinity right there with the new green space.”

Harsha said that the city will work with the committee to finalize the layout and determine any necessary road closures in the area.

“We've been working with the city, and it’s has been great, with great cooperation with everybody,” Williams said. “We’re getting geared up.”

The Festival of the Bells committee also announced the entertainment lineup for this year, which includes Caylee Hammack on Thursday, July 7; Elvie Shane on Friday, July 8; and Jordan Feliz on Saturday, July 9. Hammack and Feliz had been previously scheduled to appear at the 2020 and 2021 festivals, both of which were later canceled due to COVID concerns.

Caylee Hammack is an Academy of Country Music Award winner and an ACM and Country Music Association Award nominee.

“She’s done some music with Reba and Luke Bryan,” Williams said.

According to her biography on the Capitol Records Nashville website (, “Hammack is all about the truth, the complete, whole unvarnished truth,” as seen through her debut album, “If It Wasn’t For You,” released in 2020.

“Hammack co-wrote and co-produced every track on the 13-song collection,” according to her Capital Records biography. “Hammack has been noted as an “Artist To Watch” by outlets including The Bobby Bones Show, Rolling Stone and HITS Magazine for her ‘mix of clever lyrics and haunting melodies’ (Music Row). With her breakout Top 30 single “Family Tree” marking the most-added single at country radio by a female artist in over three years, Hammack has ‘created a kind of country music that’s larger — and brighter — than real life’ (HITS Magazine).”

Hammack was also one of several guest vocalists on Miranda Lambert’s cover of “Fooled Around and Fell in Love,” for which they won the ACM Award for Musical Event of the Year. Her other recordings include “Just Friends” and “Forged in the Fire.” She has released a version of her song “Small Town Hypocrite” featuring Chris Stapleton, along with “Redhead,” featuring Reba McEntire.

She has appeared on tour with Lambert, McEntire, Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne, Eric Church and Trisha Yearwood.

On Friday night, following a concert by local band Blue Steel, country music singer Elvie Shane will take the stage.

“Elvie Shane is just coming off a number-one hit, ‘My Boy,’ in December,” Williams said. “He’s a little bit of a mover and shaker.”

Shane, who is from Caneyville, Ky., released his debut album “Backslider” in October, which included the aforementioned “My Boy” — described on his website as a “the lump-in-your-throat anthem to step-fatherhood.”

“Co-written with Russell Sutton, Lee Starr and Nick Columbia, it was born from tenderness and truth about the bond Shane shares with his stepson,” according to “Like his own dad predicted, that connection wasn’t part of Shane’s plan, but it delivered him right where he needed to be. And the song has done the same.”

According to his biography, “Backslider” includes 15 songs all co-written by Shane with a combination of “the crunchy hooks of classic rock, the everyday poetry and nostalgia of country music and the emotional electricity of gospel and R&B.” His latest single, “County Roads,” was just released in early February.

Christian pop artist Jordan Feliz will perform as the headlining act on Saturday night, after opening act Redemption Flood, a Christian contemporary and worship band from Columbus. The annual Christian night show is sponsored by the Hillsboro Ministerial Association and local churches and businesses.

According to Centricity Records (, Feliz has been nominated for five Dove Awards (including winning New Artist of the Year) in 2016. His latest album, “Say It,” is “a healthy blend of pop, Gospel and soul and offers some of Feliz’s most transparent lyrics to date,” his record label says.

“While his eyes are set on things above, Feliz is also focused on the present moment and eager to proclaim the message God has given him,” his biography says. “Rest assured, Feliz is practicing what he preaches. He’s telling it like it is and giving God all the credit along the way.”

Felix has released three other albums on the Centricity label “Beloved,” “The River” and “Future.” His songs include No. 1 hit “The River” as well as numerous Top 10 hits, such as “Faith,” “Beloved,” “Witness” and “Never Too Far Gone.”

He is currently one of the featured artists on Matthew West’s Brand New Tour, along with Cain, Anne Wilson and Hannah Kerr.

“He is one of the top artists,” Carroll said. “His concerts sell out, and he has lots of top hits. His concerts are not always easy to even get into, so we feel quite blessed to have him coming. He’ll put on a great show.”

Plans for other festival activities — including the parade, car show, basketball and cornhole tournaments, 5k race and more — are still in the works and will be announced in the coming months, according to the committee. The Festival of the Bells website ( and Facebook ( will include additional updates.

Along with Williams, Carroll and Butler, the Festival of the Bells committee also includes Tom Zile, Connie Williams, Diana Setty, Tara Pendell, Jodi Murarescu, Taylor Eversole, Jordyn Evans, Tiffany McCoy, Paul Worley and John Willis. Williams said that anyone interested in joining the committee or sponsoring the 2022 Festival of the Bells can reach put to any committee member, with contact information available on the festival website.

“We’re looking for sponsors,” Williams said. “We’ll be contacting our old sponsors, of course, and hopefully everybody will be involved.”

Anyone interested in setting up a vendor booth or information booth can also contact the appropriate committee member.

“We’re glad to be back,” Butler said. “It's the committee's intention to come back with a strong festival, a good festival. We regret that circumstances have prevented it the past couple years, but we are glad to be back and ready to get to work and provide once again one of the staples of the Hillsboro community.”