KENTLAND — There was dancing in the streets throughout Kentland May 20 as the Happy Bus made its way into town.
The bus made 10 stops around Kentland blasting fan-favorite music that quickly got residents dancing. Each stop closed out with some fireworks and a salute to America.
“This was the brainchild of Craig and Kim Arnold and put together by the Kentland Task Force with the support of many others as a way to get town residents excited,” said Mike Davis. “I was really pleased with the turnout and the feedback. We got incredible support from the town, the fire department, and the police. We also had a lot of volunteer help from college and high school youth. What I loved the most was watching middle school kids to social security age residents all get involved in the production. That truly is a sign of a community coming together.”
Davis described the Happy Bus as a uniquely Kentland event as it was a collaboration of a lot of people from town.
“This was a first step in trying to bring a community together, and there is more to come in the next two weeks,” added Davis. “We wanted to do this about three weeks ago, but we had to push it back to follow the state’s guidelines.”
On June 17, the task force will be unveiling its economic development plans and steps at the community center from 6 to 8 p.m.
The following Saturday (June 20), the task force is putting together a town picnic along the square in downtown Kentland from 1 to 4 p.m.
“This has all been a leap of faith,” added Davis. “When Kentland was announced as part of an Opportunity Zone, the town reached out to me to help with it. The Opportunity Zone is a wonderful tax benefit, but what we really needed was an economic development plan to move forward. That is why the task force was formed, and why we partnered with Vast Creative for strategic planning. We hope the residents can also get excited about the steps to this plan that will be unveiled on June 20.”