Bob Evans Farm Festival celebrates 50th anniversary

Local News

Bob Evans Farms Logo (Photo Courtesy: Associated Press)

RIO GRANDE, OH (WOWK) – The 50th annual Bob Evans Farm Festival is set to kick off next month.

The event, which takes place Friday, Oct. 8-Sunday, Oct. 10, takes place next to the original restaurant and the farm in Rio Grande, Ohio, where the company’s late founders, Bob and Jewell Evans, once lived. Since the first event in 1971, the Bob Evans Farm Festival “pays homage to the company’s roots in the farming community.”

The festival runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Sunday and 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets for the festival will be available at the entrance gate at $5 for adults and free for children 5 and under. Company officials say school buses and chartered buses will receive free admission.

Officials with the company say to celebrate the 50th anniversary, the celebration will include free on-site camping and numerous other family-friendly activities such as the Kids’ Farmyard Fun area with face painting, a hay bale maze and kiddie train rides.

There will also be several live music performances such as country music band, Exile; the award-winning bluegrass group, Dailey & Vincent; and long-time Farm Festival performers, Johnny Staats & The Delivery Boys and The Rarely Herd, among others.  

“Like so many families, we are looking forward to welcoming back our favorite event that’s deeply rooted in tradition,” said Bob Holtcamp, president and chief marketing officer for Bob Evans Restaurants. “We also are excited to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Bringing families together has always been at the heart of what we do and our farm festival helps us do this outside of our restaurants and in the very community where our brand was born.”

Officials say the entertainment will also include performances from lumberjacks and chainsaw carvers; farm demonstrations including sheep shearing, horseshoeing and pig races; the Ready Go Dog Show; Lily Pearl’s Square Dancing Tractor Team on Saturday, Oct. 9 and an interactive visit with animals from the Columbus Zoo on Sunday, Oct. 10.

The Village of Rio Grande will also be setting off fireworks at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9. Multiple artisans and food vendors will also be set up throughout the festival, organizers say.

“Farm Festival has become a tradition for so many families over the past five decades and we are grateful to be able to hold this event this year and celebrate this momentous anniversary together in-person,” said Holtcamp. “We look forward to welcoming back visitors and members of the local community to make memories together down on the farm.”

Amusement park rides will also be set up at the festival with all-day ride wristbands available for $10 for adults and children 13 and up or $5 for children 12 and under. Festival-goers can also buy an individual ride ticket for $1 each.

Those wanting to camp at the festival can set up Tuesday, Oct. 5 through Sunday, Oct. 10, with spots on a first-come, first-serve basis. Reservations are not necessary.

For more information on the festival or to see the full entertainment schedule, visit Bob Evans’ website.

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