Bells scheduled to ring in Ohio’s 2003 bicentennial celebration across state

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COLUMBUS – The Ohio Bicentennial Commission has released its 2003 schedule of Bicentennial Bell casting events.

The bell casting tour starts in Ohio’s first capitol, Chillicothe, Ross County, during the Statehood Day celebration Feb. 28-March 1, 2003.

The world’s only foundry on wheels will then criss-cross the state for the next seven months, casting bells and ensuring that each county in Ohio will have a meaningful local bicentennial celebration.

The Franklin County bell casting will conclude the project and the bicentennial celebration Oct. 24-25 at the Statehouse Bicentennial Bell Celebration in Columbus.

A personalized Bicentennial bell, which measures 2 feet high and weighs 250 pounds, will be cast on-site in each of Ohio’s 88 counties and presented to the county by the state and the commission as a commemoration of the state’s 200th birthday in 2003.

Old and new together. The Ohio Bicentennial Bell project brings together old-world traditions with modern technology.

Itinerant bell castings ceased to exist after the early 1700s. Today, bells are cast in a foundry, and require 60-90 days for production.

To make the Bicentennial Bell Project possible, the Verdin Company of Cincinnati has combined old-world processes with modern technology to create a bell in two days on a mobile foundry.

The first day at each event will see the bronze ingots added to the mobile furnace. Over a period of several hours, the furnace is heated to more than 2,000 degrees, at which time the molten bronze is poured into the mold.

After cooling overnight, the mold is broken, and then cleaned and polished on stage in full public view.

At the end of the two-day event, the bell is dedicated, presented to the county and rung for the first time. The public is then invited to ring the bell.

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Bell ceremonies across the state

The complete 2003 bicentennial bell production schedule is as follows:

Feb. 28-March 1

Ross County Bicentennial Celebration, Chillicothe.

April 18-19

Ashland County Earth Day Celebration, Ashland.

April 25-26

Gallia County Picnic in the Park, Gallipolis.

May 2-3

Warren County Bell Festival, Lebanon.

May 17-18

Delaware County Arts Festival, Delaware.

May 24-25      

Cuyahoga County Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

May 31-June 1

Summit County City Faire In Akron.

June 6-7

Miami County Strawberry Festival, Troy.

June 14-15

Defiance County Bell Festival, Defiance.

June 21-22

Jefferson County Bicentennial Festival, Steubenville.

June 24-25

Trumbull County Mahoning Valley Scrappers at Cafaro Field, Niles.

June 30 and July 1

Marion County Fair, Marion.

July 4-5

Butler County Fourth of July Celebration, Liberty Township.

July 7-8

Lawrence County Fair, Proctorville.

July 10 -11

Guernsey County Ohio Hills Folk Festival, Quaker City.

July 12 -13

Perry County Pottery Festival, Crooksville.

July 15-16

Muskingum County A Taste of Zanesville, Zanesville.

July 18-19

Crawford County Fair, Bucyrus.

July 23-24

Union County Fair, Marysville.

July 26-27

Mercer County Lake Festival, Celina.

July 30-31

Columbiana County Fair, Lisbon.

Aug. 2-3

Champaign County Fair, Urbana.

Aug. 5-6

Scioto County Fair, Lucasville.

Aug. 9-10

Montgomery County Riverscape Music Festival, Dayton.

Aug. 12-13

Henry County Fair, Napoleon.

Aug. 15-16

Wood County Pemberville Free Fair.

Aug. 19-20

Lorain County Fair, Wellington.

Aug. 22-23

Portage County Fair, Randolph.

Aug. 27-28

Mahoning County Fair, Canfield.

Aug. 30-31

Fulton County Fair, Wauseon.

Sept. 2-3

Hardin County Fair, Kenton.

Sept. 6-7

Williams County Fair, Montpelier.

Sept. 9-10

Wayne County Fair, Wooster.

Sept. 13-14

Logan County Heritage Days, Bellefontaine.

Sept. 20-21

Paulding County Flat Rock Festival, Paulding.

Sept. 27-28

Noble County Soakum Festival, Caldwell.

Oct. 4-5

Holmes County Antique Festival, Millersburg.

Oct. 11-12

Ottawa County Apple Festival, Oak Harbor.

Oct. 15-16

Hamilton County Tall Stacks In Cincinnati.

Oct. 18-19

Coshocton County Apple Butter Stirring Festival, Coshocton.

Oct. 24-25

Franklin County, Statehouse Bicentennial Celebration, Columbus.

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