Beach Boys to kick off Belleville's bicentennial celebration

News-DemocratDecember 10, 2013 

— The city of Belleville's 200th anniversary weekend celebration in September will include musicians from Belleville and afar, including the Beach Boys.

The Beach Boys -- formed in 1961 in California and known for hits such as "California Girl," "Kokomo," and "Good Vibrations" -- will be the headliner on Sept. 19 during the Bicentennial Weekend Celebration.

Mike Love, from the original lineup, will be accompanied by Bruce Johnston, Christian Love, Randell Kirsch, Tim Bonhomme, John Cowsill and Scott Totten.

Bicentennial events will be year-round, including a gala and parade. One of the main attractions is the Weekend Celebration, which will be held Sept. 19-21 in downtown Belleville in conjunction with Oktoberfest.

The Confederate Railroad, a country music band, will perform Sept. 20. In addition, the Roots and Boots Tour featuring Sammy Kershaw, Darryl Worley and Aaron Tippin will perform.

The Belleville 200 Committee has not announced the Sept. 21 headliner and other musical acts, including some bands from the metro-east.

"Most of the entertainment at the Weekend Celebration will have a Belleville connection -- someone local, someone who attended a Belleville school," said Teresa Hessel, a volunteer organizing the Weekend Celebration. "We're pretty excited to make this weekend about our community."

The committee courted rock bands Foreigner and REO Speedwagon, but the cost to hire those bands was too steep, said Debbie Belleville, Belleville Parks and Recreation director. She declined to release the cost for any of the musical acts.

The keyboard player from REO Speedwagon, Neal Doughty, graduated from Belleville Township High School.

Musicians will play on three stages located on East Main Street, West Main Street and a main stage in front of the St. Clair County Building.

The stage and surrounding area on West Main Street will cater to youths, with rides, games and a petting zoo.

The concerts during the Weekend Celebration will be free.

The Belleville 200 Committee continues to raise money through sponsorships and the sale of commemorative merchandise, including a limited edition silver coin.

Merchandise is sold online and at two stores in Belleville.

The Belleville 200th Memorabilia Store, at 227 E. Main St., is open from noon to 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Standard Rule, at 5600 W. Main St., is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.

"Any money we bring in will help because, let me tell you, this entertainment is not cheap," Belleville said.

Belleville 200 is a subcommittee of the nonprofit Belleville Cultural Enrichment Organization.

For more information on bicentennial events, visit

Contact reporter Jacqueline Lee at or 618-239-2655. Follow her on Twitter at

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