1968 – No history found
1969 – No history found
1970 – The Riley Festival Association was born. Prior to this time, we had Riley Days and Sidewalk Days. A group of people came to City Hall in Greenfield, to form a committee to put together a Festival. J. B. Stephens was elected Chairman; Erma Rodocker was Secretary and Bob Strickland, Treasurer and Roy P. Whitton, General Chairman.
They received contributions of $865.00 to produce the 1970 Riley Festival. Barbara Reuter Cox was selected as the 1970 Riley Festival Queen.
The theme was the “Ole’ Swimmin’ Hole”. A historical marker was dedicated at the Riley Park at the site of the “Ole’ Swimmin’ Hole” on October 7 as part of the Riley Festival.
The first Mayor’s Breakfast was held at the Cattlemen’s Restaurant with Mayor Berry Hurley presiding. Approximately 100 people attended the breakfast.
The Psi Iota Xi sorority in conjunction with the Greenfield Chamber of Commerce sponsored a costume contest.
1971 – The second annual Riley Festival saw Jonna Sirocky Kiesel become Queen and J. B. Stephens remained as chairman of the Board and Clifford Fields was chairman of the event. During this year, we only cleared $26.57, but we still remained in the black. The Ol’ Fiddlers Contest was born. The community loved the Fiddlers. County-wide participation was stressed for the Festival activities. The two candidates for Mayor held a contest to see who is the best horse shoe pitcher. Jack New, State Treasurer, was the speaker at the Mayor’s Breakfast.
1972 – Kathy Krienbrink became the Riley Festival Queen. Various activities were scheduled for the Festival. The Mayor’s Breakfast tickets cost $2.00 each. We saw the dedication and opening of the Boy Scout Trail. Of course, the Parade of Flowers was held as it has been for the past 60 years. J. B. Stephens was elected Chairman of the Board and Robert Eagleston and Cliff Fields were Co-Chairmen of the Festival. The theme this year was “James Whitcomb Riley Museum” was selected to help raise funds to establish a museum near Riley’s home in Greenfield.
1972 was the first year a Souvenir Edition of Riley Days was published. It was a 44 page booklet filled with history about James Whitcomb Riley, some of his poems and photographs. It sold for $0.50 each until October 21. After the 21st the books cost $1.00.
Street booths and concessions were charged 10% of their net proceeds for the Festival Association to function and to establish a Riley Memorial Fund to create a museum to display works and mementoes from that period in time. Judy Stanley was Secretary of the Festival.
1973 – Saw Luanne Burdine become the Queen. J. B. Stephens remained Chairman of the Festival. Mrs. Luanne Keith was Secretary. Mayor’s Breakfast ticket price was lowered this year to $1.00. Members of the Board of Directors were: Joannie Bowen, Bert Bradley, Robert Eagleston, Cliff Fields, Norma Harland, James Hendrix, Richard Levering, Virginia Weger, Dorothy June Williams, Robert Strickland, Treasurer. Ten percent was still collected from the street booths for revenue into the Festival Association.