Unsung Heroes of the Apollo 11 Mission Honored in Wapakoneta
The four frogmen who pulled astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins from their Apollo 11 capsule in 1969 had a whimsical painting dedicated to them in the First in the Moon inc. Utility box art program. Clancy Hatteberg, Mike Mallory, John Wolfrom and Wes Chesser posed with the artwork, which is located on Bellefontaine Avenue at the intersection of Wood, Pearl and Mechanic streets, when they visited Wapakoneta during the 2021 Summer Moon Festival.
First on the Moon, Inc. enhances public understanding of and appreciation for Wapakoneta, Ohio's, unique identity as the home of Neil A. Armstrong, first person to walk on the moon.
First on the Moon, Inc. develops and implements public arts and humanities programming, thematic events, and legacy initiatives that garner a high degree of collaboration among stakeholders and reach the widest demographic possible.
If you would like to support
First on the Moon, Inc.,
in its efforts to honor the
Neil Armstrong legacy
in Wapakoneta, please click on the link below.
Road Trip Worthy:
Giant Roadside Mural First on the Moon
"Tribute to Apollo 11" in West Central Ohio
It’s meant to surprise, delight and spark conversation and the new Giant Roadside Mural: Tribute to Apollo 11, in west central Ohio, certainly does all that and MORE!
Each year famous roadside muralist, artist John Cerney chooses a topic or theme and donates one of his works of art to a community or organization. Last year’s 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing got him thinking about that feat and the man who took those first steps onto the moon. Cerney of Salinas, California, contacted the Wapakoneta Chamber of Commerce early in 2020 and offered to donate one of his murals if the right location could be found. The local group, First on the Moon, took on the project and the rest, as they say, is history.
Cerney painted the various components in his studio in California and then traveled cross-country to deliver and construct it on site. The mural is located about three miles east of Wapakoneta on US 33. It is viewable from the westbound lane. Creney’s giant works of art can be found in 28 states and Canada, this is Ohio’s first Cerney mural and it is a great excuse for a fun road trip.
After checking out the giant roadside mural, you will want to continue into Wapakoneta and visit the Armstrong Air & Space Museum. Fall and winter hours are Wednesday through Sunday 10am to 4pm. They abide by strict cleaning protocols and offer a safe museum experience. While there, be sure to take a selfie with the two bronze statues of Neil Armstrong. One depicts him as a youth dreaming of someday becoming a pilot and the other as an adult in flight gear, having accomplished that long held dream.
Complete your road trip with a visit to historic downtown Wapakoneta. It is filed with wonderful, unique shops and great places to grab a snack or a meal. If your sweet tooth needs a fix, stop by Winan’s Chocolate + Coffee for their decadent candies or Cloud 9 Café for their scrumptious homemade fudge. There is a third bronze statue of Neil Armstrong, downtown. This one depicts him waving to the crowds as he did during a huge Homecoming Parade following his trip to the moon.
For more information on these and other fun things to see and do in west central Ohio check out SeeMore.org
First on the Moon Mementos
Check out all the new
First on the Moon merchandise.
You can also click here to check out a
variety of merchandise available online.
Metal Utility Boxes Become Works of Art!
First on the Moon, inc. has been busy working on projects that not only beautify the community but also enhance the link between Wapakoneta and its heritage as the home town of Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon.
Working with Riverside Art Center and Wapakoneta City Council to bring public art to the historic downtown area, two street side utility boxes are now showcasing the artwork of Ayla Webb & Jennifer Sowders. These boxes are located at the intersection of Auglaize and Hamilton Streets.
Sowders and Webb won their divisions in the “50 years of
Space” art contest that took place at Riverside Art Center in
2019 during the 50th anniversary celebration of the
Apollo11 mission to the moon.
A third utility box, located on Willipie Street
near Auglaize Street, is now sporting a
vibrant tie-dye rendition of the First on the
Moon logo on its street side. The backside of
eye-catching design features five fun facts
about Neil Armstrong and Wapakoneta.
A special thank you to IC Signs for their design
and workmanship on these challenging projects.
Celebrating Leap Day with
One Giant Leap into the Record Books
On February 29, 2020 more than 300 “Astronauts” gathered in Wapakoneta for the One Giant Leap Day Celebration. First on the Moon, Inc. put out the call for people to come to Wapakoneta, costumed as astronauts, to help set a new Guinness Book World Record for the “Most People Dressed like an Astronaut in One Location”.
There were strict criteria for the attempt and the effort had to be recorded and reported including sworn testimony from local judges. The current record to beat was 257, more than 300 showed up in Wapakoneta on that frigid February day. They came from all over Ohio and eastern Indiana. We believe that our attempt was successful and a new record was set. The application is still in the hands of the World Record Book team and we are awaiting their determination on our apparent victory.
A great place to visit, not an easy name to pronounce!
Give it a try: WAH puh kuh NEH tuh
Still having a tough time, you are not alone.
Check out the video below.