1978 – “Little Orphant Annie” was the theme. Erma Rodocker and Joanie Bowen were the Co-Chairs of the Festival. Sen. Richard Townsend, D-Harford City warmed a Mayor’s Breakfast crowd of some 250 people with a list of “goblins” of government.
This year weather was a big factor for the Riley Festival as wind knocked down the stage and exhibitors had a hard time keeping their booths together.
Lee Ann Pence Petropoulos was chosen Riley Festival Queen. The Board of Directors consisted of Joannie Bowen, Chris Dowling, Robert Eagleston, Louise Edwards, Ed Gill, Patrick Johnson, J.B. Stephens, Bob Stine, Richard Towne, Dorothy June Williams, John White, Robert Strickland – Treasurer, and Elly Myers – Secretary.
1979 – “The Raggedy Man” was chosen for the theme this year. A contest was held to draw a cover for the Program Cover using the theme. Mrs. Robert Adams of Fortville, was named the winner and received $50.00. Her drawing was featured on the program cover as well as in advertisements for the Festival.
Joannie Bowen and Erma Rodocker were again Co Chairmen of the Festival. This year saw the Festival grow even more and become a state recognized Festival as attendance increased.
Carol Foster and Sarah Kesterson were the co chairmen of the Home Arts Show. The Heiken puppets entertained children of all ages, a talent show and dramatic productions were also given this year. The 1979 Riley Festival Queen was Virginia Jolly.
1980 – “The Nine Little Goblins” was the featured poem. The General Chairman was Robert Bottorff. Parade Marshalls were TV 13’s Ross Becker and KISS 99’s Bruce Eric Smallwood. Kelly Johnson Agee was crowned the 1980 Riley Festival Queen.
The Board of Directors were: Myra Bleill, Anita Nay, Joannie Bowen, Carol Foster, Paul Honaker, Andrew Perguson, Erma Rodocker, Fred Keen, J. B. Stephens, Joe Wachtstetter, Robert Eagleston, Robert Strickland – treasurer and Elly Myers – secretary.
1981 – The theme for the 1981 Festival was “Up And Down Old Brandywine”. Again, a contest was held to select a design to appear on the cover for the Riley Festival Program. Donna Gordon of New Palestine was the winner and received $50.00.
Dawn Copple was crowned the 1981 Riley Festival Queen. Tickets to the Mayor’s Breakfast sold for $4.00 each. Larry Conrad, former Secretary of State was the speaker for the Breakfast. Parade Marshal was Don Hein WTHR sports director.
A new feature this year was a Balloonist. Peter Krieg from Indianapolis, launch his balloon Saturday from the east side of the Memorial Building, his passenger was James Barr Greenfield Banking President.
Bob Bottorff was the President of the Riley Festival.