RIO GRANDE, Ohio — Bob Evans Restaurants this week announced it will be celebrating the fall harvest season this year with the 50th annual Bob Evans Farm Festival on Friday, Oct. 8 through Sunday, Oct. 10, at the Bob Evans Farm in Rio Grande, Ohio.
According to a news release from organizers, “This signature event is held at the birthplace of the brand, where the original Bob Evans restaurant still stands today—paying homage to its history and roots in the farming community. This year’s 50th anniversary celebration down on the farm will feature live musical performances, free, on-site camping and several other activities that allow guests to experience America’s Farm Fresh in a unique way.”
“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.”
The news release stated, “Throughout the weekend, guests can enjoy live performances from incredible country music and bluegrass acts, including the legendary 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.”
Performances from lumberjacks, chainsaw carvers, an opportunity to interact with Columbus Zoo animals (Sunday only), and farm demonstrations, including sheep shearing by Stanley Strode, horseshoeing by the Hocking College Equestrian Program, and pig races, will also be a part of the festival. More than 60 artisans will be in attendance to showcase and sell their work during the festival.
Additionally, the professional, high-energy Ready Go Dog Show will “wow crowds” throughout the weekend with their natural ability to fly through the air and the Lily Pearl’s Square Dancing Tractor team will show off their “fancy driving routines” (on Saturday only). Fireworks will round out the night on Saturday with the colorful display provided by the Village of Rio Grande starting at 8:30 p.m. with the “Rockets Over Rio” event.
In addition, organizers stated the Farm Festival will include amusement park rides for all ages. All-day ride wristbands can be purchased for $10 for adults ages 13 and up and $5 for children 12 and under. Individual ride tickets can also be purchased for $1 each. A Kids’ Farmyard Fun area will feature face painting, a hay bale maze, game tent, kiddie train rides, and a corn pile.
Farm-Fresh food will also be available.
“Visitors can enjoy a wide variety of food options from local vendors throughout the festival including fall favorites like cider slushies, apple dumplings, kettle corn, Ohio-made cheeses, as well as beloved Bob Evans favorites like its farm-famous sausage and iconic Farm Festival Bean soup,” stated the news release. “Sausage is what started it all for Bob Evans, and guests can enjoy it on the original stomping grounds with one of the various sausage sandwiches or iconic freshly-baked biscuits with sausage gravy. Guests can also dine at the original Bob Evans Restaurant located on the Bob Evans Farm during Farm Festival weekend to enjoy more farm fresh favorites for breakfast, lunch or dinner.”
In addition, camping will be available.
“Bob Evans welcomes families to camp on the farm for free from Tuesday, Oct. 5 through Sunday, Oct. 10 to enjoy all of the festival activities that weekend,” according to the news release.
Spots are available on a first come, first served basis and no reservations are necessary.
“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.”
The Bob Evans Farm is located on State Route 588 just off U.S. Route 35. Festival hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Sunday and 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets can be purchased at the entrance gate and are $5 for adults and free for children five and under. On Friday, Oct. 8, all school and chartered buses will receive free admission.
In regards to any COVID-19 guidelines, representatives for the festival stated, “At this time, Bob Evans Restaurants is continuing to monitor and follow local, state and federal guidelines as health orders evolve, and encourage people to visit our website for up to date information leading into the event.”
For more information and to view a full entertainment schedule, visit https://www.bobevans.com/farm-festival.
More on the festival schedule in an upcoming edition.
Information for this article provided on behalf of Bob Evans Restaurants and the Bob Evans Farm Festival.