2008 – It was with great sadness that the Riley Festival learned of the death of J.B. Stephens.
- B. was instrumental in establishing the Riley Festival. J. B. was 100 ½ years old when he died.
“Our Hired Girl” was the chosen theme for the year. Melanie Wicker was crowned Queen of the 2008 Riley Festival. Melanie is the first Home Schooled girl to win.
The name of the Mayor’s Breakfast was changed to the James Whitcomb Riley Breakfast because the current mayor was not going to be in the country during the Festival. Cook & Belle will be the featured entertainers during the Opening Ceremonies on Thursday.
U.S. Marine Cpl. Josh Bleill was the keynote speaker at the Riley Festival Breakfast. Josh is a Greenfield native who was injured in the war on Iraq. Josh was the Grand Marshal of the Ameriana Parade as well.
Debbie Pfeiffer was the President of the Board of Directors and Tom and Terry Beagle were the General Co-Chairmen.
2009 – A new feature this year is the 2009 Indiana Canine Disc State Championship in the Riley Park. The theme for this year was “From A Balloon” Tom and Terry Beagle was the General Co-Chairmen of the Festival and Debbie Pfeiffer was the President of the Board of Directors.
This is the 40th year for the Festival. To help celebrate this milestone and Laser Light Show was held on Friday night. Clayton Myers, coach of the 1973 2A State Football Championship team was the keynote speaker at the Riley Breakfast. Laura Robinson Hiner a Celtic harpist provided music for the event.
Kyla Brummett was selected to reign over the 2009 Riley Festival as Queen. This year also saw the Festival using “trustees” from the County Jail to help the street department with trash pickup and street cleaning. This was done to help reduce the cost of the Festival on the county budget. Brandon Jilg was the winner of the 2009 James Whitcomb Riley Festival Community Service Award.