RIO GRANDE — Final preparations were taking place on Wednesday afternoon at Bob Evans Farm in Rio Grande where farm staff members, volunteers, crafters and vendors were gearing up for the legion of visitors who will descend upon the historic farm this weekend.
The 42nd Annual Bob Evans Farm Festival will take place Friday, October 12 through Sunday, October 14 and will allow return visitors, as well as first-time festival goers to tour the completely renovated farm first unveiled at last year’s festival.
According to Farm Manager Ray McKinniss, the changes made to the farm in 2011 were completed this March and, following last year’s festival, farm workers have had the goal this year of improving the farm festival experience for those visiting the renovated farm.
“During the 2011 festival we found some areas we needed to improve. The steps we have taken since that rainy weekend will make the festival a better experience for all,” he said.
The $3 million dollar renovation project was announced in March 2011 and has included the restoration of several of the buildings on site, improvement of the farm festival field, the rebuilding of the first Bob Evans Restaurant, as well as the relocation of the historic Adamsville log cabin village.
Each year, the festival attracts more than 30,000 visitors from across 19 states, and, this year, festival-goers can enjoy the host of festival exhibitors and myriad of crafts, vendors and food that have become a staple of the event each year.
In addition, the farm festival will again host a variety of regional and nationally-know musical acts.
On Friday at the amphitheater stage, Tallgrass will perform at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., with Fossil Creek taking the stage at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Marty Raybon & Full Circle will perform at 3 p.m.
Saturday’s performances will include sets by Hard Drive at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., the Ragged Ridge Bluegrass Band at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and the Idletymes Bluegrass Band at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Sunday will be “Gospel Bluegrass Day” at the farm and will feature performances at 11 a.m. by No One You Know, a 12:30 p.m. performance by Johnny Staats & The Delivery Boys and a performance by the 2011 IBMA Instrumental Group of the Year and the Emerging Artist of the Year, The Boxcars, at 2 p.m. The Gibson Brothers, the 2011 IBMA Vocal Group of the Year and Album of the Year winners, will perform at 3:30 p.m.
After hours entertainment will also be held on Friday and Saturday beginning at 7 p.m. on the outdoor stage in the “hollar” at the farm.
“That was Bob,” a production about the life of Bob Evans created through the collaborate efforts of the Bob Evans Farm, the Madog Center for Welsh Studies and the University of Rio Grande Theater Program, will be held on Friday, with Ragged Ridge and Idletymes returning for performances at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
The annual “Rockets Over Rio” fireworks display will also be held Saturday night at the University of Rio Grande and in view of Bob Evans Farm campground.
Several returning and new demonstrations will also be seen this year at the festival.
Sheep shearing by the Forgey Family and cow milking by the Laurel Valley Creamery will be held at 9:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 4 p.m. daily. At 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. horseshoe pitching will be seen by the Reno Family.
In the horse arena, tractor square dancing by the Delaware County Tractor Square Dancers will be held at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. each day and a Wild West Show by the Ohio Top Hands Drill Team will be held at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
The festival will also feature a lumberjack show by Bruce Belanger and the Great Lakes Timber Show at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. each day.
Additionally, a new Frank Addington archery show will be held at their year’s festival, along with Border Collie demonstrations by Alan Miller and chainsaw carving by the Stihl Pro Carving Team.
Admission to the event is $5 for adults, $3 for children ages six through 18 years and is free for children age five and under.
For additional information and for a full list of scheduled events, visit www.bobevans.com/farmfestival.