1994 – Greenfield Banking Company continues to sponsor the opening night activities. This year it was a pig roast and Judy Bogeman, a country western singer. The Ameriana Parade Marshal was Joey Johnson. This year’s theme was “Little Orphant Annie”.
1994 saw the Riley Festival establishing the James Whitcomb Riley Festival Award. The Award is based on community service and financial need and is given to a Hancock County graduating senior.
The Mayor’s Breakfast featured a performance by a delegation of Japanese guests from our sister city Kakuda, Japan. Also Jan Hendrickson shared some of Riley’s poems. Jamie Lantz was crowned Queen of the 1994 Riley Festival.
1995 – Elise Erikson was crowned Queen of the Riley Festival. Elise went on to win the Indiana State Festival Association’s Scholarship Pageant. Jim Kesterson and Greg Carwein were the General Co-Chairman of the Festival. “The Toy Balloon” was the theme for the year. The Opening Entertainment was country singer Benny Wilson and comedian Clara Trusty.
Jon Burroughs a Riley impersonator was the featured speaker at the Mayor’s Breakfast. During the Festival on Thursday evening, there was a fire. The fire department tried to hook a hose to a hydrant behind a vendor’s booth when something happened. The vendor’s booth was flooded and all of their merchandize was ruined. The vendor then sued the fire department.
1996 – The Riley Festival agreed to donate $6,700 towards the cleaning of the Riley statue in front of the Courthouse. Work was completed before the start of the Festival. Dawnya Carter was the Queen of the 1996 Riley Festival.
The Riley Festival started pre-registering vendors at the 1996 Festival for the 1997 Festival. The theme for the year was “The Bear Story”. Jon Burroughs was the part of the entertainment for the Mayor’s Breakfast the speaker was David Spencer a local resident.
Kelly Craft was selected as the winner of the second Annual James Whitcomb Riley Festival Award for Community Service.
1997 –. The Amazing Kreskin, served as the Grand Marshal of the Ameriana Parade Greg Carwein was the General Chairman.
Jessica Zaph was chosen 1997 Riley Festival Queen. The theme for the Festival was “Wortermelon Time”. The 27th Annual Mayor’s Breakfast tickets were $8.00 each. Greenfield resident Camilla Miller a volunteer at the Riley Museum was the speaker.
Karen Carder was selected as the 3rd Annual Riley Festival Award winner.
1998 – “The Circus Parade” was the theme for the 1998 Riley Festival. Heidi Nolton was chosen Queen for the 1998 Riley Festival. Henry Ryder, Father of Anne Ryder on Chanel 13 News, was the speaker for the annual Mayor’s Breakfast. Tickets sold for $9.00 each.
Ventriloquist, Phil Davis and his puppets JoJo & Jody were the Parade Marshals. Mr. Davis is a Hancock County native and is the Principal of Mr. Comfort Elementary School. Also in the parade was a marriage proposal from David Spencer to Kathy Arthur.
1998 was the first year the Festival had theme pins. Five hundred pins were ordered to be sold for $3.00 each during the Festival. Nancy Alldredge was the General Chairman and Steve Kirkpatrick Board of Directors Chairman.