Riley Festival Competition, Display Forms Due – Daily Reporter

GREENFIELD – The 2023 Riley Festival is coming to downtown Greenfield Oct. 5-8, and several contest entry forms are available online now.

Anita Turner, president of the Riley Festival Board of Directors, said an estimated 78,000 people come to the four-day festival each year.

“The festival is a celebration and gathering for our community,” Turner said. “It supports our downtown merchants and the city of Greenfield as a whole. The tourism money impact on the county is also evident, with hotels being booked for the festival.

This annual event coincides with the birthday of Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley, a Greenfield native. This year’s theme is Riley’s poem “Nine Little Goblins.”

They are already sold out of the vendor space, Turner said.

“We’re looking at 450 vendors — arts and crafts, jewelry, clothing, and boutique products. We’ll also have traditional food trucks and commercial booths there as well.”

Just before the actual festival, Kings Selection: The Riley Festival Pageant takes place at 6pm on September 24 at Trinity Park Church.

The Children’s Rose Parade — the tradition of placing flowers at a statue of Riley — will have a traditional feel this year: School is in session, so school groups are invited to participate in a special trip to downtown Greenfield. In the past few years, the Rose Parade has been small due to the fall holiday. The Rose Parade is at 12:30pm on October 6th.

The Riley Festival show takes place at 11 a.m. on October 7; The deadline for entry is September 13. There are usually about 75 entries in the parade, which moves from Greenfield Central High School to downtown Greenfield.

A photography contest, fine art show, and home art/quilt show will take place throughout the festival from October 5-8, with delivery on October 4. Fine art can be viewed at Twenty North Gallery while photography and home arts will be on display. at the Hancock County Courthouse Annex.

There will also be a Little Miss and Little Mr competition. Riley Festival Pageant is October 6, and applications are due October 2.

There are several poetry competitions with prizes upcoming, including a poetry competition written based on this year’s theme (deadline September 25); Open poetry reading on October 7 (registration by October 2); Fourth grade poetry competition (scheduled on October 2).

Apples are the subject of this year’s Best Baker’s Contest, hosted by Hancock County Extension Homemakers and Tuttle Orchards. Entries are scheduled to be judged on September 30 and the Grand Champion will win $50 and will be asked to create a new entry for the Mayor at the Mayor’s Breakfast on October 7.

The pumpkin decorating contest will be held at the Hancock County Courthouse Annex on October 5. Participants can use paper, glue, paint or other craft items to decorate a “Nine Little Goblins” theme, and the pumpkins will remain on display through October 8.

Turner said she is grateful for the support of the city of Greenfield, as well as the Indiana Department of Transportation in closing streets for the event.

Now all that’s left to wonder about is the weather, she added. Early October celebrations have faced all types of weather over the years.

“We ask our vendors to prepare their booths for anything — wind, rain, snow, sun,” she said.

For more information and to enter contests, visit

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