Country singer Adam Doleac sings at the 2018 Festival of the Bells. (HCP Photo/Caitlin Forsha)
Country singer Adam Doleac sings at the 2018 Festival of the Bells. (HCP Photo/Caitlin Forsha)
Rising country music star Adam Doleac entertained audiences on a beautiful Saturday night in Hillsboro, capping off another successful Festival of the Bells in its inaugural year at Southern State Community College’s central campus.

The evening’s concert series began with opening act Bad Habit, who performed a set of classic rock covers for nearly two hours. The band sang a variety of familiar hits from bands such as Cheap Trick and AC/DC.

After Bad Habit’s concert, Festival of the Bells committee president Rick Williams welcomed comments from Southern State Community College president Dr. Kevin Boys and the following representatives from three local banks who sponsored the concert stage: Mike Pell from First State Bank, Jim Evans from Merchants National Bank and Heather Cummings from NCB.

“On behalf of the festival committee and community, we want to thank all three banks for sponsoring the stage, the lights, the sound and so forth,” Williams said.

Pell said that First State Bank was “happy to be a part of such a great event.”

Evans encouraged the crowd to consider choosing a community bank. “We participate in the communities we serve, and we give back to them,” he said.

Cummings added that the Festival is “such a great thing for our community” and said that NCB was glad to contribute.

Williams said that after the city of Hillsboro announced that the Festival of the Bells would not be continuing in uptown Hillsboro, he attended a meeting with Dr. Boys who “sort of winked at me.”

“I thought ‘Oh boy, this is going to be good,’” Williams said. “We met and we talked, and we had quite a few meetings.

“They opened up this community college to us, and what a great, great place it is. This wouldn’t have happened if he had not stepped forward.”

Boys encouraged the crowd to direct their thanks to the Festival of the Bells committee because “my part is easy.” He said SSCC hosted the festival because it is “your community college – it is yours to enjoy, it is yours to have this festival.”

“Don’t take your state community college for granted,” Boys told the audience. “If you have a youngster that lives in your home, send them this direction. If you’ve got a high schooler that’s thinking about where to go to college, have them come in the front door and check us out. Adults – you’re not off the hook. It’s never too late to go to college.”

Williams then conducted an auction of festival memorabilia, assisted by his son and fellow auctioneer Brad Williams, festival committee vice president Justin Harsha and committee treasurer Bev Carroll. Several items were auctioned, including a bell, a city of Hillsboro sign, three baskets and a guitar, all of which were autographed by performers from Thursday, Friday and Saturday’s concerts.

After Williams named and thanked all of the festival’s sponsors, the annual concert series concluded with Doleac’s show. Doleac opened with his hit “Bigger Than Us,” with the show also including “Whiskey’s Fine” and his most recent single, the emotional “Mom and Daddy’s Money.”