The 2015 Greene Countrie Towne Festival was a success, even with Mother Nature’s insertion of sweltering temperatures and a couple vicious storms that struck the weekend event in Greenfield.
“It really was great,” Greenfield Rotary Club President Angela Shepherd said, “even though the weather wasn’t the most cooperative. We had a good turnout every day, even with the heat and storms.”
The festival opened on July 17 with the Rotary Club receiving a commendation from Ohio Secretary of State John Husted’s office in regard to the longevity of the festival and its bringing together the community year after year.
Before the rains came Friday, festival royalty was crowned with Kendall Pollard named Greene Countrie Towne Festival Queen. Kalei Fabin was named first attendant, Kaylee Hurley was named second attendant, and Jhaela Coleman was named third attendant.
Other festival royalty included princess Jillian Arthurs, first attendant Abi Lester, and second attendant Brayla Cannon; prince Aiden Lester, first attendant Evan Branson, second attendant Aaron Branson, and third attendant Landon Daugherty; junior miss Abi Everhart, first-attendant Presley Patterson, and second attendant Alexis Arthurs; little miss Abigail Branson, first attendant Jayana Parr, and second attendant Amber Badgley.
Saturday began with the annual Baby Contest sponsored by Edgewood Manor. The winners were as follows: 0-10 months, Kenzleigh Speakman and Joshua David Bowman; 11-23 months, Ember Arthurs and Zachary Brewer; 24-36 months, Karlee Burns-Coleman and Gavin Henson; and 37-48 months, Kennadie Malone and Cylus Davis.
Shepherd noted that on Saturday, according to a digital display at Community Savings Bank, the temperatures reached triple digits. But despite the stifling heat a crowd gathered for the Rotary auction, which brought in just shy of $20,000.
The auction is the biggest fundraiser for the service organization, Shepherd said, with funds going to the club’s coffers to finance a number of worthwhile community endeavors that include the Ralph W. Phillips Recreation and Civic Center, supporting local students, and supporting local law enforcement and emergency services, among many other things.
The popular Lip Sync Contest was also held Saturday. In the 18-and-older group, first place went to a group who performed to Disney’s “Be Our Guest,” and in the 18-and-under group the winner was a youngster who performed Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Were Made for Walking”. First- and second-place winners received cash prizes.
Despite the oppressive heat, Shepherd said other activities of the day were well-attended like the annual Car & Truck Show, sponsored by the Greenfield Antique Car Club, and the parade of the antique and classic vehicles later in the afternoon. And a good-sized crowd gathered for the Kiddie Tractor Pull, she said, which is sponsored each year by the Greenfield Tractor & Machinery Club.
The youngsters who won were as follows: age 3-4 group – first place, Bentley Marsh and second place, Blake Hurless; age 5-6 group – first place, Paisley Pryor and second place, Breonna Keller; age 7-8 group – first place Evan Kinnison and second place Tyson Knedler.
On Saturday evening prior to McGuffey Lane taking the stage, the Greenfield Rotary Club presented the very first Jim Weller Memorial Scholarship to recent McClain graduate Wyatt Jones. Weller, who passed away in January, was a longtime Rotarian and a huge part of the festival each year, Shepherd said. The club recently decided to create a memorial scholarship as a way to honor Weller.
“Saturday’s headliner McGuffey Lane was cut very short and were only a couple songs in when the skies opened up and sent the large crowd scurrying for cover,” Shepherd said.
That crowd, she said, was one of the largest at the festival in recent years. While everything on and around the stage was protected as much as it could be, the storm proved to be too much for the equipment, some of which was standing in water once the storm passed, Shepherd said.
Sunday began with the Modern Movement Dance Group performing different numbers on the Fourth Street stage. That was followed by the annual parade, and even though the procession was under ever-darkening skies, the storms didn’t come until later.
Dumfounded closed the festival and was only delayed for a short time due to weather. It played a little longer for those who ventured back out after the storm, Shepherd said.
“All in all, it was a really good weekend with a steady stream of people enjoying the different activities at the festival,” Shepherd said. “The auction went well, and despite the inclement weather and the blow of McGuffey Lane not being able to do their whole show, this festival will go in the books as a success.”
For more information about the Greenfield Rotary Club, which sponsors the festival each year, go to greenfieldrotary.org.
For more from the 2015 Greene Countrie Towne Festival see Wednesday’s Times-Gazette.