This page will not always contain our general synopsis of the history of Orion. Instead we will sometimes feature a particular segment of history in Orion in order to keep the page fresh and interesting.
Excerpt from A History of Western Township, Henry County, Illinois including A History of Orion, Illinois:
In the spring of 1968, it became apparent that the band shell in the village park, after 55 years of service, was in dire need of repairs to make it safe for public use. After escaping a vote to demolish the structure, contributions were solicited house-to-house and donations totaled $1,380.60 for a repair fund. Carl V. Palmgren contracted to do the repair work and Arnold Chilin to repair the wiring. The total cost was $1,256.82.
Nearing its 90th birthday celebration the band shell once again became the center of much needed attention. Spearheaded by the relatively new Main Street Orion (MSO) organization, the band shell's condition was brought to the attention of the village board. MSO had successfully worked to get the band shell listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
After an engineering inspection the board agreed to budget funds to save the structure. The majority of funds came from tax dollars, but MSO held a fundraiser by 'selling' each of the band shell's 256 light bulbs. Residents and school groups donated $8,500 to the project. Rehabilitation of the band shell was extensive and cost approximately $60,000.
A grand birthday celebration was held in July 2003 for the band shell's 90th birthday. The Orion Community Band and Bill Allred's Classic Jazz Band performed to a crowd of around 1,500 under perfect weather conditions.