About 40 people gathered at Genoa Town Hall last weekend to enjoy the music of the Genoa American Legion Band and enjoy free ice cream courtesy of the village.
“This was our first time doing something like this. We didn’t know what to expect,” Mayor Mark Williams said as he handed out coupons for free ice cream cones at the nearby Genoa Big Dipper.
Ice cream shop owner Martin Clement had planned to close for the season Saturday, but agreed to stay open for the village event. He had a season ender to remember though.
“He got hit hard,” Williams said, noting staff had been winding down inventory. “There was a tournament over at the park, someone had some big event going on at the shelter house and we had the social. It was all happening at once.”
In the background, band members poised at the steps of the town hall played a host of melodies from polkas to patriotic tunes for those gathered on the lawn a little more than an hour before the autumnal equinox heralded in fall and officially said goodbye to summer.
Sunny skies prevailed but a light breeze amid mild 60-degree temperatures reminded many that winter was just around the corner. Most in attendance wore jackets. A few people sitting in lawn chairs nestled under cozy throw blankets.
“At least it’s not raining or snowing,” band conductor Fred Davis of Genoa mused, “And it’s warm when the sun comes out.”
He shared the conductor’s stage for a moment with band member Robert Krichbaum, who served as band director for the Air National Guard for several decades. Prior to that, he was a band director in the Genoa school system.
The hour-long performance is one of the last of the season for the Genoa band brought to town this time around by the Genoa Chamber of Commerce and the Merchants Association. The final show takes place in October when band members lend their talents to the Honor Flight services at Toledo Express Airport.
Village officials put the event together as a “thank you” to the community, Administrator Kevin Gladden said.
The social capped off a busy weekend in the western Ottawa County village. Friday night, nearly 2.8 inches of rain fell as a storm front moved across the area. But the rains subsided and the sun came out just as Genoa’s downtown closed off the village’s main drag for the annual street fair.
“The streets were packed. It was a good day,” Gladden said. Close to 120 car owners rumbled into town for the late afternoon car show.
Mickey Bockbrader of Elmore and her husband stood near the Firefighter’s Memorial to enjoy the Sunday afternoon musical performance.
“It was a good show. I just wish it had been better attended. I don’t know if they did much advertising,” she added. Bockbrader heard about the show at a local beauty shop a few days prior.
Mayor Williams added the village is considering hosting a few similar socials in summer 2014. If so, they’ll spread the word a little better, he said.