Anyone who lives in a small town or city is familiar with how they can receive a nickname. It can be a promotional effort by a local tourism commission, or they can come by association with some accident or natural disaster.
Perhaps the most common way to adopt a regional epithet is by claiming your most famous native son or daughter, and deriving a nickname there. We’ve all driven into communities and see the big “Birthplace of X or Y” sign proudly adorning the roadside at the city limits, and Wapakoneta, OH is no exception. There, they have derived their sobriquet of Moon City from their status as the hometown of astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon. Not many places can say that one of their own has been to a celestial body and back!
Wapakoneta is also the home of Brad and Lori Lambert, who perform together in the bluegrass band New Outlook, and own and operate Park Street Music & Mercantile, a full-service guitar shop and music store catering to acoustic musicians in the region. They offer lessons alongs with instruments, accessories, and repairs, plus an attached concert venue and country store. There they host bluegrass concerts, both for the locals and the many bus tours of space enthusiasts who come to visit the nearby Armstrong Air & Space Museum and Neil’s childhood home.
Lori also works in event sales and management with Wapakoneta’s Best Western hotel, and has gotten to know many of the bus company tour directors. They love to send their groups to the Music Center to enjoy Ohio bluegrass after a visit to the museum. Lori is also working with them to provide bluegrass entertainment during 2019 during the 50th Anniversary of the moon landing, when Wapakoneta expects a surge in tourist visits. New Outlook will be giving them a healthy dose of bluegrass with their lunar landing memorabilia. They already have 25 such events scheduled for next year.
Brad and Lori also hosts shows for Ohio music lovers in their Moon City Music and Event Center after the festival season ends. Their first is tomorrow with Harbourtown coming in from Michigan. Many of these are dinner shows, where patrons can come to eat and listen to music, or just buy a ticket for the concert.
Other upcoming events include:
- 10/27 – New Outlook
- 11/9 – Edgar Loudermilk Band featuring Jeff Autry
- 11/16 – Branded Bluegrass
- 12/8 – Night of Aubrey Holt Songs with Tony Holt, Brad & Lori Lambert and Tom Feller
They keep the admission fees low ($10-$12), and also offer regular bluegrass jams at the Center for $5. Full details be found on the Moon City Music Center web site.