For anyone who loves James Whitcomb Riley — and who doesn’t? — you can get your fill of the Hoosier poet at the the 40th annual Riley Festival in Greenfield, Indiana, in Hancock County. Although Riley spent his adult life in Indianapolis, in the historic neighborhood of Lockerbie, he grew up just a few miles down US 40 in the city of Greenfield. The man has been widely revered throughout the country, especially as the one responsible for bringing us Little Orphan Annie, Greenfield proudly claims him as their own.
Billed as one of the largest craft festivals in Indiana (because Riley loved arts and crafts. . . didn’t he?), the fair will have designated areas for food, fine arts, home arts and quilting, photography, posters, and decorated pumpkins. It’s also a chance to remember what Riley did for literature, poetry, and his beloved home.
The festival is free for everyone, but if you want to park at the Hancock County 4-H Fairgrounds, there is a donation fee shuttle that goes from the fairgrounds to the east entrance of the festival. The festival is open from 5 pm – 9pm on Thursday, 9 am – 9 pm, Friday and Saturday, and 9 am – 5 pm on Sunday.
Some of the don’t miss events include:
All days, 9:00 am – dusk:
Living history encampment
Craft booths open
6:00 pm, Thursday, October 1: Opening Ceremonies with Danny Russel, 1st Person Riley Narrative at the Entertainment Tent, South Street & SR 9
Saturday, October 3: Largest pumpkin displayed on courthouse lawn.
Riley 5K Run and Walk
11:00 – Riley Festival Parade