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Free Bicentennial Concert on Saturday, September 27th at Riverside Park

Rushville’s FREE Live by the Levee Bicentennial Concert series continues! With four successful concerts already having been completed, Riverside Park Amphitheater is excited to welcome the London Street Band to its stage. Head to Riverside Park (302 S. Riverside/120 W. Water Street Rushville, IN 46173) on Saturday, September 27th for a night of music and entertainment.

“Rushville’s free concert series is one of our pride and joys,” comments Joe Rathz, Heart of Rushville President. “What was once just a dream has become a source of entertainment for tens of thousands of people. Music truly is the heart of our community.”

The concert will be opened at 7 PM on Saturday, August 27th, by Tyler Hornback. The headliner, London Street Band (and Rushville’s own Jay Davis), will take stage at 8 PM.  Food and other vendors will be present for the duration of the performance. Alcohol will be sold for $4 under the Beer Garden pavilion on the south side of Riverside Park. Free parking is available in the Amphitheater parking lot and the lots at the Shampoo Bowl, City Hall, and Advance Auto Parts.

Bidding on the VIP/Super Fan Couch goes until Thursday, August 25th via Riverside Park’s Facebook page at 6:00 p.m. The lucky bidder and their five friends will be front and center enjoying 2 large 2 topping pizza’s (Courtesy of Pizza King) or a sub sandwich platter (Courtesy of Quickpix/Downtown Shell). They will also get to choose a drink package (Courtesy of the Amphitheater) which consists of their choice between a pop package (soda of choice) or a beer package, consisting of 6 tickets for beer or wine from the beer garden (Must show ID)

The Live by the Levee Concert series is free to the public through the gracious funding of numerous corporate and individual donors.  For more information on how to sponsors and/or get involved with the free Live by the Levee Concert series, head to www.rushvilleamphitheater.com. The final concert of the Bicentennial Concert Series will take place on September 17th featuring Tyler Booth, Molly Hatchet, and Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry.

Historic Downtown Window Art Restored

Through the generous support of a Duke Energy grant, the City of Rushville paid for the painting and restoration of the historic downtown window art pieces along Main Street.

The paintings were originally done in 1972 for Rush County’s Sesquicentennial. At the time, there were other paintings, however, these nine windows are all that remain.

“For Rush County’s Bicentennial, we knew that we had to bring these historic art pieces back to their former glory,” comments Rushville Mayor Mike Pavey. “Their restoration signifies a new commitment to Rush County and our storied past.”

Each painting was meant to represent the businesses that were below it. The five ladies stood proudly over a women’s clothing store called Minears which opened in 1971. The man and women just North of the ladies are seen holding shoes with shoe storage behind them. They stood above Neff’s Shoe store, a store that had been there since 1933 and stayed open for several years. Lastly, the next man and woman pair stood over Cooper’s Jewelry.

The original five painted ladies were done by Carrie O’Hara Page Morrison. Her signature is on each of the five. It has always been said that the others were painted by Mel Gray, but no identification or proof can allow us to say that definitively. It is because of artist Lance Woskobojnik that these historic, beautiful, and unique Rushville art pieces were given new life.

This historic painting restoration was one small part in Rush County’s Bicentennial celebration and Rushville’s downtown beautification. It is because of the support of Duke Energy, the work of artist Lance Woskobojnik, and the support of the community that this project was possible. Happy 200 years Rushville!

Rush County Bicentennial Celebrations Continue

In the past week, the Princess Theater has seen over 250 people enter its doors as Rush County continues to celebrate its Bicentennial Year. Read below for a recap of this past week’s events and what to look forward to in the future.

Throwback Thursday: On Thursday, August 11th, Joe Rathz, Heart of Rushville President, beat out Julie Newhouse and John McCane in the most recent episode of Rush County Trivia. The next Throwback Thursday event is the showing of the 2019 WIPB Now Entering Rushville Film (Thursday, August 18th @ 7 PM).

Celebration Saturday: On Saturday, August 13th, Howl2Go, sponsored by the St. Patrick’s Day Committee, filled the Princess Theater with music and energy. In the three hours they were on stage, attendees sang along as Howl2Go presented songs requested by the audience. The next Celebration Saturday event is THIS SATURDAY, August 20th at 7 PM. Dulahan, a Celtic-American Band, will take center stage. This event is free; however, tickets are required. Tickets are available for pickup from Carla Sharp at the City Center, 330 N. Main Street.

Throwback Thursday and Celebration Saturday events are a series of continued celebration surrounding Rush County’s Bicentennial. Mark your calendars for September 17th, the culminating Bicentennial celebration.

Bicentennial Book Available for Pre-order

The City of Rushville, Rushville Public Library, and the Rush County Historical Society are excited to announce that Bicentennial books will be available for pre-order beginning August 2nd.

“The creation and printing of the Bicentennial books has been a project long in the making,” comments Rushville Public Library Executive Director, Nicole Kirchoff. “From the City of Rushville Interns to the Historical Society, a handful of people have poured hours into ensuring this book encapsulates the past 200 years of Rush County history.”

With the project beginning in early 2021, Reflections of Rush County is a 128-page book that contains the history of Rush County from inception to present. Broken down into five sections (Rush County Historical Events, People and More, Then and Now, Rush County Timeline, Scenes from Rush County), the book contains both well-known and obscure Rush County history. From Knowles Shaw to the Kennedy Covered Bridge to Toots the Cow, the Bicentennial book is a complete history of Rush County.

“This Bicentennial book will be a timeless memento to the history and heritage of Rush County and the past 200 years,” notes Lexey Yager, 2021 City of Rushville Intern and contributor to the book.

The Rushville Public Library will be leading the pre-order and sale of the Bicentennial Book. The cost of the book is $40 plus tax payable to the Rushville Public Library. To pre-order a book, come into the Library at 130 W. Third Street to place your order. If you would like to pre-order the book online, visit the Rush County Bicentennial website and download, fill out, and send in the pre-order form with the payment. Books will be available for preorder from August 2nd to August 23rd. Pre-ordered books can be picked up at the Library beginning August 29th. All proceeds from the book will benefit the Library and Rush County Historical Society.Reflections of Rush County was written and made possible by Kevin Harr; Tracy Winters, publisher; Brian Sheehan, Special Projects Director; Lexey Yager, Nicholas Neuman, Nick Lawler, and Riley Sheehan, City of Rushville Interns.

Please direct all questions concerning the Bicentennial book to Nicole Kirchoff, Rushville Public Library Executive Director, at (765) 932 – 3496.

City of Rushville and Ivy Tech Launch New Achieve your Degree Program

Through a partnership with Ivy Tech Community College, the City of Rushville is launching a new Achieve your Degree Program for interested City employees. On Tuesday, July 19th over 25 City employees attended a presentation by Mayor Mike Pavey, City of Rushville; Mary Roller, Ivy Tech; and Leslie Shaul, Rush County ECDC, concerning the program.

“Rushville is the first city in Indiana to partner with Ivy Tech for this new program,” comments Rushville Mayor Mike Pavey. “From education to beautification, we are proud to be leading the way in rural Indiana.”

At no expense to the person, any City employee may take one Ivy Tech class per semester completely paid for by the City of Rushville. Classes can either be in their area of expertise or an elective area that they would like to explore. City employees have the opportunity to login to a specially designed Ivy Tech portal for this opportunity. Following the complete of the class with a C average or above, the employee turns their tuition expense into the City for payment.

The Achieve your Degree program is the first of its kind for municipal government and a joint effort by the City of Rushville and Ivy Tech to promote professional development and continued learning education.

New Pickleball Courts in North Memorial Veterans Park

The Rushville Parks Department completed a new addition to North Veterans Memorial Park: a pickleball court. In the past, this space was underutilized and rarely visited by park attendees. Wanting to rectify this issue, the Parks Department vacillated between the addition of a new basketball court or a pickleball court. Seeing the national rise in interest in pickleball, the Parks Department committed to bringing a new activity to the Rushville Parks system. Through a joint effort from the Parks Department, the Street Department, and Eugene Stanley, the pickleball court quickly came together.

To celebrate the grand opening of the pickleball courts, the City of Rushville and Rush County Bicentennial Committee held the Inaugural Bicentennial Summer Series Pickleball Tournament. With 14 teams registered, participants spent their Saturday morning in a double-elimination style tournament. RCHS graduates Sam Smith and Marlin Hershberger competed against Dennis Cane and Shane Watson in the final round. Cane and Watson walked away with the championship title, Bicentennial T-shirts, and a $200 cash prize. This event was sponsored by the Rush County Bicentennial Committee.

Mayor Donates Medal Lion Art to RCHS Athletic Department

On Wednesday, July 27th, Mayor Mike Pavey donated a metal lion art fixture to the Rushville Consolidated High School athletic department. This donation serves as a “leave behind” for Rush County’s Bicentennial celebration and a way to recognize the class of 2022, the Bicentennial class.

The mascot logo was presented to Rush County Schools Superintendent Jim Jameson, RCHS Principal Rob Hadley, and Athletic Director Melissa Marlow. Included in the presentation were the graduated seniors of the 2021-22 Rushville Lions Football Team: Adam Sizemore, Jonah Shuppert, Layne Beard, Nick Pavey, John Alexander, Devin Richardson, and Nash Paddack.

“I thought that having the graduated football team help with the presentation was a perfect example of the message we are hoping to leave with future students,” says Pavey. “The entire community and I take great pride in the students that graduate from our local school system. This donation is a small, but visible token of that pride.”

The mascot logo will be placed outside of the main entrance to RCHS Memorial Gym. It will be a focal point and photo opportunity for visitors of the school. A plaque underneath the metal lion will read “In honor of the Bicentennial Class of 2022, ‘Victory isn’t defined by wins or losses. It is defined by effort. If you can truthfully say ‘I did the best I could, I gave everything I had,’ then you’re a winner.’ Always find the positive and always set your sights far beyond tomorrow. Presented by Mayor Mike Pavey.” Funds for the project came from revenue raised by the Mayor through his annual 5K fundraising efforts. The mascot logo was designed by Shelle Designs, built by Samantha Chandley of Samani Design and Fabrication and Chris Earman of Starweld, and powder coated by Pike’s Sand Blasting, all local Rush County businesses.

City of Rushville and Rush County Announce READI Grant Use

In December of 2021, Governor Eric Holcomb and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) approved plans to award $500 million to support regional development plans across 17 regions through the transformational Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI). Rushville, Shelbyville, Greensburg, and Batesville, along with Rush, Shelby, and Decatur counties, cooperated through Accelerate Rural Indiana (ARI) Region to apply for this grant funding.

The ARI Region of Rush, Shelby, Decatur, and Batesville were awarded $20 million. With projects aimed at increasing quality of life, infrastructure, housing, and workforce development, monies were evenly distributed between those in the region.

John McCane, executive director of Rush County ECDC, comments that “The ARI Region very well may be the only genuine rural region in this competition, so being awarded $20M is a huge deal. The state will quickly get a lesson in how this READI investment in the rural ARI Region will become a catalyst for future investment and dynamic growth in East Central Indiana.”

Rushville and Rush County will leverage its $5,485,714 grant dollars through two large projects focused upon quality of life, job creation, and public infrastructure.

Diamond Pet Foods: Providing public infrastructure for the integration of Diamond Pet Foods to the Rush County community

($223,183,214 total project budget; $1,485,714 READI allocation)

In the single largest investment in Rush County’s history, Diamond Pet Foods will invest more than $220 million to construct a 700,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution facility in Rushville and create more than 170 jobs by 2024.  Nearly $1.5 million of Rush County’s READI grant money will be allocated to the development and expansion of infrastructure to support the new company. This will include the addition of a new elevated water tank in the Commerce Park, as well as water and wastewater expansion projects. While aimed specifically to benefit Diamond Pet Foods, these improvements will benefit future business and industries that choose to grow in Rush County. Groundbreaking on the facility is expected by late 2022. Rush County ECDC is the leading organization on this project.

Community Center: Centralizing and providing resources to Rush County families, students, and parents

($23,600,000 total project budget; $4,000,000 READI allocation)

At the end of 2020, the Rush County Community Foundation (RCCF) was awarded a $5 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. toward the creation of a community center. The City of Rushville will be dedicating $4 million dollars of the READI grant funding towards the redevelopment of the former Walmart into this new community center. The REC (Recreation, Education and Collaboration) Center will be the product of an innovative approach to a decades long dream for our community, with something for everyone. The vison for the REC Center is to become an all-in-one resource for many of our community’s needs. It will house a fitness center, basketball court, walking/running track, indoor pool, and daycare center. It will also be the new, expanded home of the Rushville Public Library.  There will be offices for other social service agencies, including the Rush County Community Assistance food pantry, WIC, ICAP, Rush County Senior Citizens Center and Indiana Children’s Bureau. The groundbreaking is to be expected by late 2022 or early 2023. The Rush County ECDC is the leading organization on this project.

The allocation of these READI funds will allow for two revolutionary projects that will improve infrastructure, quality of life, and create jobs within the Rush County community.