EATON — The Preble County Historical Society and Downtown Eaton, Inc. (DEI) joined forces to bring food, motorcycles and live music to the downtown business district on Saturday, June 19.
The Historical Society’s annual Bridges, Bikes, and Blues event has been a tradition since 2013, according to director Lisa White, though it hit a bit of a snag in recent years.
“It went on for five years and then stopped – COVID got in the way,” DEI president Scott Davidson said.
Bridges, Bikes & Blues exists to raise awareness of Preble County, promote the Historical Society and promote downtown Eaton, according to Davidson.
The three-part event began with a pancake breakfast at the Preble County Historical Center, followed by a tour in which approximately 45 motorcycles visited Preble County’s eight historic covered bridges.
“And at the conclusion, we want them to end up down here and spend the afternoon at a block party,” Davidson said.
That party includes food, retail vendors, live music from local blues band Blue Lou and the Mafia, a showcase for local artists at the Preble County Art Association, and a beer garden provided by Bushrod Brew Works, according to Davidson, who took over as president of DEI in Feb. 2021.
Preble County has more historic covered bridges than anywhere else in Ohio, according to White, which is what makes them such a boon to tourism.
“The bridges are a great feature of the county that we want to see preserved and promoted,” Davidson said.
White expressed gratitude to the Preble County Sheriff’s Office, meanwhile, saying that their officers were very helpful in preparing for Saturday’s event.
“They’ve been so amazing,” White said. “We really are lucky out here. They’re good people.”
White and Davidson both expressed enthusiasm about how the event unfolded.
“Both DEI and the Historical Society have had a changeover of leadership recently, so we had to learn a lot from scratch,” Davidson said of his and White’s collaboration on the event. “Both of us are new at this, so we’re pretty proud right now. It’s been a great, great day.”
Reach Anthony Baker at 937-683-4057 or on Facebook @mproperenglish