Laser light show to highlight Mt. Sterling celebration
For The Madison Press
Mt. Sterling, it’s been said, is a town struggling with its identity.
Last year the village lost its school and recently, its police department disbanded. But one church in Mt. Sterling is working to help reestablish some of the town’s identity.
Sterling Grace, which meets at the Mt. Sterling Community Center, is hoping that a different way to celebrate the nation’s birthday will be something the village can hang its hat on. The church will present a laser light show again this year as part of the community center’s
“Let Freedom Ring” celebration, set for June 30.
“We love this town. It’s our town and we really want to be able to help the community celebrate Independence Day in a great way,” said Mac Cordell, pastor at the church.
Each year the community center’s festivities are held on the Saturday before the Fourth of July. Organizers hope having it on a consistent day will help residents plan for the event each year.
Last year, church members were lamenting the fact that so many village residents leave and celebrate in other communities. It was understandable because Mt. Sterling did not have a fireworks show and hadn’t had one for years.
“Several members came to me and asked what we could do to help make the celebration better,” Cordell said. “The obvious answer was a grand finale.”
But the logistics of a fireworks show were difficult and space in the village was limited. In late May, Cordell remembered a laser light show that made a huge impact in Marysville. A couple quick calls and Cordell was in contact with Rick Kopernak and Laser Image Productions
from Indiana. Kopernak told the pastor he probably couldn’t help because he had just one open date and it needed to be in a specific area to accommodate his other show.
He said he could do the show the Saturday before July Fourth, and it had to be a location close to Columbus.
“We were just shocked at how well the details worked themselves out,” Cordell said. “This had to be a God-thing, helping us to help our community. But that’s when the real work began.”
Members of the church rushed to get word out about the laser light show — hanging banners and posters, distributing flyers, contacting the media.
“We had tempered our expectations because it was last minute and because so many people don’t celebrate locally,” said Cordell.
On the day of the show, Cordell and many others in the village were shocked. Crowd estimates ranged between 1,500 and 2,000 people.
This year, organizers are hoping for an even bigger turn out.
“We really don’t know what to expect,” said Cordell. “We know last
year, even with the great turnout, we had people that came up to us
the next week and said they couldn’t believe they missed it.”
Cordell hopes they don’t miss it this year and neither do event organizers.
Mt. Sterling’s Independence Day celebration, traditionally a three-day affair, with little concentrated attendance, has been moved to one day. Organizers didn’t want even the day to drag on. The early morning parade has been moved to 4 p.m.
“We knew people were coming to the parade in the morning and going to the Community center, then leaving and not coming back,” said Chris Beiser, with Sterling Grace and who recently began participating in the organizing committee. “We have a great Community Center, we have a
great celebration. We wanted to get them here and then get them to stay for the laser light show.”
This year’s schedule of events includes a noon opening ceremony and tribute to veterans, with “Rock-n-Roll Trivia” lead by the Timmons brothers from 1-2:30 p.m. at the Community Center.
The Little Miss & Mr. Firecracker Contest will begin 2:30 p.m. with registration closing about 2:15 p.m. and winners announced at 3:30 p.m.
The Village’s annual Independence Day parade will begin at 4 p.m.
Line-up begins at 3 p.m.
Following the parade, the Community Center will host illusionist Terry Schurch from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and a car show from 6-9 p.m. with winners announced at 8:30 p.m.
There will be music and dancing with DJ, K. B. Towler, beginning at 7 p.m. and the laser light show about 9:45 p.m.