Old Settlers Days Begin This Weekend


After last year’s pandemic mandated hiatus, the  Old Settlers Days celebrations will return to Hillsboro this weekend, Saturday, July 31, and Sunday, Aug. 1. This will be the 136th year for the much loved festival and this year’s theme is sure to inspire, “A World of Pure Imagination.”

The Old Settlers Fun Run and Walk will begin bright and early on Saturday morning. Registration is set for 7 a.m. Runners will take off at 8 a.m., from 114 East Wood Street in Hillsboro. The profits from the  Old Settlers race benefit the Montgomery County Cancer Association. Questions may be directed to organizer Randy Rieke at ranr63@aol.com

Several local children will compete for the 2021 Junior Miss, Little Miss and Little Mister Old Settlers titles at 6 p.m. on Saturday night,  at the Old Settlers Stage. This year’s Junior Miss candidates include Kaelyn Benning, Gracelynn Crayne, Bailey Davis, Jenna Durbin, Emily Irvine, Madelyn Robinson, Angel Spensberger, Emersyn Trader and Piper Walk. Little Miss candidates are Karsyn Jones, Hadley Kennedy, Myrah Noyes, Briella Osborn and Marlee Wrachford. Little Mister candidates include Tripp Blevins, Huntley Durbin and Izenn Gore. Vote for Most photogenic at CNB Bank and Trust in Hillsboro.

All are welcome at the Community Church Service  on Sunday, Aug. 1, at Beckemeyer Elementary School. Pastor John Jaffrey will preach and other clergy from the Greater Hillsboro Ministerial Fellowship will participate in the service, beginning at 8 a.m. The 2021 Honor Society members will be recognized at the community service. This year’s inductees are William Baran, John (Jack) Evans, Billie Greene, Nila Hall, Michael Ryan, David Wrachford, Frank and Margaret Jorn, and John and Debbie Lewey. There will be no community breakfast this year. Seating is provided but attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs. In the case of inclement weather, the service will be moved to the Beckemeyer Elementary School gymnasium.

Locals are encouraged to bring their exhibits to be judged during the Old Settlers County Fair. Entries may be submitted from 9 to 11 a.m., at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Hillsboro. The exhibit includes baby photos and “Just for Kids” categories. The exhibits will open to the public from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., kids may get their faces painted during this time, from noon to 2 p.m.  

Car enthusiasts won’t want to miss the 38th Show and Shine Car Show and street party, from noon to 4 p.m.  Registration will take place from 9 a.m. to noon at Lincoln Plaza. Dash plaques will be given to the first 75 entries and the first 100 entries will receive goodie bags. First, second and third place trophies will be awarded in each class, as well as, Best of Show, Old Settlers Association Choice and Kids Choice at 4 p.m.  The open car show will also feature a 50/50 drawing, door prizes, food and music.

Hillsboro FFA (Future Farmers of America) will host a pedal tractor pull at 1 p.m., on the East side of the Courthouse Square. Registration will take place at 12:30 p.m. Children ages 12 and under are encouraged to participate.  Ribbons will be awarded for first, second and third place and each participant will receive four ride tickets.  

Pet lovers may be interested in entering their four legged friends in the All Breeds Dog Show. The show will begin at 2 p.m. in the parking lot behind TCCU on Wood Street. Registration will be held at 1:30 p.m. at the lot.  Categories include prettiest, ugliest, biggest, smallest, smallest dog under one year old, best costume, best dog trick, cutest puppy and best of show.

Registration for pony tail and pig tail contest from 1:30 to 2 p.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, with ribbons to be awarded at 2 p.m. Hair will be measured from the top of the hair band to the tip. No french braids are allowed for the braid contest, and hair will be measured from the top hair band to the bottom hair band. Contestants may enter multiple categories but will only be allowed to earn a ribbon in one.

Sertoma Club’s much anticipated turtle races will take place at 3:30 p.m., at the courthouse. The friendly competition is open to children age 15 and under. Turtles may not be more than eight inches in size.  

The historic Harkey House will be open to visitors from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday. The Historical Society of Montgomery County will also have historical displays set up throughout the downtown area in recognition of the county’s Bicentennial birthday.   

The opening weekend’s festivities will culminate with a live performance from the Big Shake Daddies from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the Old Settlers Stage. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chair and enjoy the free concert. The Big Shake Daddies play a variety of music including horn-drive rock, soul, rhythm and blues, swing Motown, Blues Brothers and rock-n-roll oldies. Band members include, Hillsboro area’s own Brenda  Oberle, Steve McCann, Gary Morris, Buzz Ulrich, Dwain McAfee, Max Slazinik, Larry Black, Dustin Suits and John Lanzerotte.

Old Settlers celebrations will resume on Wednesday, Aug. 4. Discounted ride tickets will remain available for purchase through Sunday, Aug. 1, at CNB Bank and Trust, Bank of Hillsboro, Mary Brown Insurance Office, The Journal-News and at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.

A list of Wednesday’s and Thursday’s Old Settlers events will be published in the next edition of The Journal-News.


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