1985 – Fred Keen remained as Chairman of the Festival. “A Dream of Autumn” was the theme for the 1985 Festival. Krysty-An Parker was chosen as the Queen. Jack Hite, of rural Greenfield was the parade marshal. Jack was the designer of the city flag that flies over Greenfield.
The Board of Directors were: J. B. Stephens, chairman of the Board, Fred Keen, Robert Strickland, Elly Myers, Joyce McClain, Janice Rogers, Joe Wachtstetter and Ann Clifford.
1986 – Myra Maxwell was the General Chairman of the Festival. The theme was “Billy Miller’s Circus Show”. Elisa Bowen Bell was selected at the 1986 Riley Festival Queen. Cowboy Bob from WTTV channel 4 was the parade marshal. He brought his horse Skye, dog Scuba and a pony and cart and a train to be part of his unit in the parade.
Agnes Bridgford who grew up across the street from James Whitcomb Riley’s home on Lockerbie Street was the speaker for the Mayor’s Breakfast. The Riley Home got a “face – lift” with gutter to resemble the original as an old-fashioned standing seam roof on one portion and a flat tin deck on back.
A poll was taken during the Festival of 250 randomly selected people. Six of the comments are still being heard today; 1. more vendors, 2. demonstrations, 3. better parking, 4. better restrooms, 5. more entertainment and 6. enlarge the parade.
1987 – R. B. “Brownie” Eagleston, owner of Bradley Hall Furniture, as named parade marshal. “The Bear Story” was chosen as the theme for this year’s Festival. This year also marked the completion of the renovation of the Riley Home.
Larry Conrad, former Secretary of State was the featured speaker at the annual Mayor’s Breakfast. The Festival program cover was done by Jeff Jackson.
Nancy Alldredge was in her third year as Secretary for the Board of Directors. Rae Jo Fox was the 1987 Riley Festival Queen. Myra Maxwell was again the General Chairman.
1988 – Lafayette, IN., Mayor James F. Riehle was the speaker at the Mayor’s Breakfast. A gazebo was constructed behind the Riley Home and was dedicated during the Festival. The theme for the year was “We must get Home”. Molly Circle was chosen Queen for the 1988 Riley Festival.
- B. Stephens was the President of the Board of Directors and Joe Wachtstetter was the General Chairman for the Festival. Nancy Alldredge wrote a history of the Festival. This was a very successful Festival.
1989 – “ Billy’s Alphabetical Animal Show” was the theme poem. Secretary of State Joseph Hogsett was the keynote speaker at the Mayor’s Breakfast. Tickets sold for $6.50.
The James Whitcomb Riley Festival received the Downtown Promotional Activity Award from the Indiana Department of Commerce for its significance in the community.
Donnette Parker was chosen the Queen for the 1989 Festival. Fred Keen was the General Chairman and J. B. Stephens was President of the Board of Directors. Other members of the Board of Directors are: Joe Wachtstetter, Melva Jackson, Harry Tracy, Robert Eagleston, Sarah Kesterson, Sarah Wolf, Ann Skvarenina, Elly Myers, Myra Maxwell and Nancy Alldredge.
The Hancock County Extension Homemakers sponsored the first Bake-Off in the Entertainment Tent.