RIO GRANDE — Surprises are in store for the approximately 30,000 visitors from 19 states expected to flock to this year’s Bob Evans Farm Festival and the company prepared to unveil the approximately $3 million dollar farm renovation project.
First discussed in early March, the renovations include an enhanced entry to the Homestead Museum; preservation and relocation of the historic Adamsville log cabin village; renovation of the existing Quilt Barn with space for receptions, meetings, and other events; the unveiling of the renovated Union Stockyards and Transit Authority Sign – a unique piece of livestock memorabilia purchased by Bob Evans more than 40 years ago; reconstruction of the Bob Evans restaurant located on the farm, as well as the resurfacing, grading and overall improvements to the Farm Festival field.
“It truly is a new day at Bob Evans Farm,” Bob Evans Farms, Inc. Chairman and CEO Steve Davis said. “We recognize that the Farm is the touchstone of the Bob Evans culture. We’ve made extensive changes to make the farm and the festival experience even better for our guests.”
The complete renovation is scheduled to be completed before the opening bell of this year’s festival which will be held Oct. 14-16 at the Bob Evans homestead and farm in Rio Grande. Activities, exhibits and presentations will be offered from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
“The decision to invest in our brand icon was an easy one to make,” stated Davis. “This renovation pays homage to our founder, who believed that farm-fresh food brings families together.”
Entrance to the festival costs $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 6-18 (children under six get in free). Parking is included in the admission cost, and home-style food will be served all day long.
Activities will include learning how to milk a cow, shear a sheep or tutorials from a blacksmith or soap maker in the farm’s traditional crafts area. Kids and parents alike can join the pie-eating contest, climb to the top of the hay bale castle, or take a tractor ride around the farm grounds in the kids’ area.
Families will also enjoy cloggers performing traditional folk dancing, a Border Collie herding demonstration and bluegrass, gospel and country music. The 2010 International Bluegrass Music Association Male Vocalist of the Year Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out will perform on Sunday afternoon.
“Folks come from every direction, near and far, to see where it all began and join in the festivities,” Ray McKinniss, manager of Bob Evans Farm said. “We’re excited to offer our guests the traditions they know and love with an added bonus of our new grounds.”
For more information about this year’s Farm Festival, including a full list of activities, directions, and entertainment schedule, visit www.bobevans.com/farmfestival or watch for updates at www.twitter.com/farmmanray.