Archbold, OH

Sesquicentennial Celebration May Include Entertainment District

An entertainment district with music in local venues and a garden tractor pull were several items discussed at the Thursday, Feb. 18, meeting of the Archbold Sesquicentennial Committee.

Members of the committee said Max Nofziger, a former flower salesman and Austin, Texas politician, musician, and Archbold native, is working on putting together an “Austin to- Archbold” jam session and concert.

It will feature professional musicians from Austin playing with local musicians.

Jim Wyse, a member of the Sesquicentennial Steering Committee, said Nofziger is talking about putting together an “entertainment district” in Archbold, where music fans could possibly walk from business to business enjoying performances of different bands and musicians.

Nanette Buehrer, also a steering committee member, said another possibility for the entertainment district would be actors from the Archbold play performing scenes from the show, which will be presented during the Sesquicentennial celebration, July 13-17.

Wyse said Nofziger is looking for funding to pay for transportation, lodging, and meals for the musicians.

The committee may be one sponsor, he said.

Amy Krueger, director of the Archbold Area Chamber of Commerce, said AACC might be able to help with sponsorship money, as well.

In other music-related news, Krueger said the Chamber is still planning to put on some type of “party atmosphere” just prior to the fireworks display, Saturday, July 16.

There will be no alcohol, just family fun, with music, either by a disc jockey or a band, she said.

Garden Tractors

Krueger said she was contacted by a representative of the Maumee Valley Pullers, a group who conducts tractor pull style events with garden tractors, or what are commonly known as lawn tractors.

She said the group has an event scheduled for Saturday, July 16, at Short’s Auto Care on St. Rt. 2 north of Archbold.

The representative wondered if the event could be “one more thing going on in town,” she said.


Steve VanSickle, a member of the steering committee and Archbold Community Theatre, said funds have been raised through sponsorships to cover the cost of writing the play about Archbold history.

The play is being written by Brenda Pursel Schluenes, an Archbold native, who currently lives in North Carolina.

“We have been sworn to secrecy by Brenda. Only the theater people know the details because she wants it to be a surprise,” VanSickle said.

“Although, I think I can says it’s turning out to be a lot more music than we had anticipated. I think most people will like the music. I think it will be fun.”

He noted that the cast of characters had grown from the original four to six actors to three to four children, eight singers, and an old-fashioned small town marching band of eight or so.

Wyse said the show was originally to run 60 minutes. The current script is approaching two hours.

VanSickle said ACT needs to raise more funding for the production, “because it’s getting a little bigger than imagined.

“Hopefully, it will be worth it, and it will draw well,” he said.

Sauder Village

Tracie Evans, curator of collections at Sauder Village, said work is progressing on the Sauder Village display of Archbold artifacts and memorabilia.

The village is still taking items for possible display. When enough items are gathered, any excess will be offered to other historic displays in the village of Archbold.

She said Sheri Friesner, at Sauder Village, will take calls from those who might have artifacts they would be willing to loan for display.

Cecily Rohrs said Pam Graf Short, formerly of Archbold, will lead the community worship service, Wednesday night, July 13, at Founder’s Hall.

“Things are falling into place well,” Rohrs said.

Diane Tinsman, Black Swamp Arts Council, said painting is coming along well for the BSAC barn quilts.

Barn quilts are quilt patterns painted on sheets of wood, then mounted on barns throughout the area.

Also, she said, 25 paintings by local writer, architect, and artist C.C. Britsch will be on display at The Blue restaurant.

Included will be photographs of his architecture and information about him.


Krueger told committee members the group had received $750 from the Jan. 19 McBoom! night fundraiser at McDonald’s.

The restaurant owner, Jim Rivello, said profits from the event were not as high as expected.

Committee members discussed ways to increase attendance at the events, including offering things like doughnuts or other treats for businesses or departments within businesses that had the best turnout.

The group also discussed the proposed walking tour of the village.

Information of the tour would be compiled into a booklet, along with information for the barn quilts driving tour. The booklets would then be sold as a keepsake.

Archbold High School students will help design the booklets, which must be to the printer by mid-May so they can be produced and ready by June.

Janet Wyse said she spoke with Kristin Shields about having the middle school– the former high school building– open for tours during the Sesquicentennial.

She also discussed having Archbold students begin writing biographies on some of the village leaders.

The committee has in its possession biographies written by students in the 1940s. Some of the original authors are still around and could be interviewed, as well.

Dale Kern, Archbold Rotary, said the club is planning the parade for Saturday, July 16.

One idea is to have students who have received Rotary Club scholarships wear their college shirts and pass out candy while walking along the route.

This would help promote the Rotary scholarship program.

Following the parade, Krueger said there is a proposal that stores and businesses in the village have open houses after the parade, or both after the parade and on Friday afternoon, July 15, as well.

People in the businesses could talk about the history of that particular business and its building.

Buehrer told the committee the Sesquicentennial website,, is now online, as is the Sesquicentennial page on the Facebook social media website.

The next meeting is Thursday, March 31, 7 pm, at Wyse Commons.

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