1982 – The Mayor’s Breakfast continues to draw a large crowd. This year’s featured speaker was Herbert F. Schwomeyer an educator, author, coach and Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame member. The parade marshal this year is Vivian Pierson Ramsey of Greenfield.
The theme was “The Circus-Day Parade”. Bob Campbell and his wife, Pam were Co-Chairmen of the Festival. Denise Best was selected Riley Festival Queen.
Sandy Hall’s drawing of a circus scene was chosen as the winning design for the 1982 Riley Festival brochures.
This year also saw the closing of State Road 9 from Osage to North Street for the Festival to aid with the growing size of the Festival. The Riley Festival became incorporated and a constitution and bylaws were adopted. The Festival felt they had become big time.
Elly Myers remained as secretary and coordinator of the Festival activities. Each year the Festival continues to grow and more and more time is spent on planning and coordinating.
1983 – J. B. Stephens was Chairman of the Board of Directors. Jim and Sarah Kesterson were named General Chairman of the 1983 Festival. The theme was “The Bumblebee”. Mary Anne Siureck of Greenfield won the contest to design the program cover.
The fee charged to rent a booth space was changed from $15 plus $10 for electricity plus 10% of profits after first $100.00; to $35.00 plus $10.00 for electricity. Also the flea market policy was redefined so that it returned to what it was intended to be – a place to sell antiques and collectibles.
Dr. Donald C. Manlove, a professor at Indiana University was the featured speaker at the Mayor’s Breakfast. Dr. Manlove is an authority on James Whitcomb Riley works and author of “The Best of James Whitcomb Riley.
Jennifer Shelby was chosen 1983 Riley Festival Queen. New this year was the March of Dimes Car Bash. For a donation you could take your frustrations out on a car with a sledge hammer. Parade Marshal was Dr. Robert Beeson, who came in third in a bicycle race Across America.
Board of Directors were: Elly Myer, Margaret Lund, Myra Maxwell, Beverly Gard, Andrew Perguson, Ann Clifford, Fred Keen, J. B. Stephens, Joe Wachtstetter, Richard DeWitt and Robert Strickland.
1984 – Fred Keen was chosen Chairman. “Old October” was the theme for the Festival. Myra Flison was selected the Queen. This year’s Festival was a huge success both in attendance and exhibitors. Over 200 exhibitors were set-up around the Courthouse Square and along Main Street.
Tickets to the Mayor’s Breakfast sold for $5.00 each. The speaker was Henry C. Ryder; his topic was “Hoosiers, Great and Small”.
The Parade Marshal was Dick Wolfsie, talk show host of “Night Talk” on channel 59.