Despite sweltering temperatures Saturday and a little rain Sunday organizers of both the Greene Countrie Towne Festival in Greenfield and Rumble in the Hills at Rocky Fork State Park said crowds were good over the weekend and they are already making plans for next year.
For the Greenfield Rotary Club and its annual festival that may mean moving it to earlier in the year to avoid conflicts with Rumble in the Hills at Rocky Fork and the Fayette County Fair in Washington C.H.
Festival chairman Andrew Surritt said Monday that pending approval from the Ohio Festival and Events Association, the Greenfield festival could move to late April to early May or late May to early June.
“It’s something we’re considering, too, to try beat the weather and maybe try it when it’s a little cooler, and so we’re not in direction competition with the Fayette County Fair and Rumble in the Hills,” Surritt said.
He estimated that 500 to 600 people took in Friday night’s concert featuring Sean Poole and Bucking Crazy and that around 1,100 took in Saturday’s McGuffey Lane concert.
“We had great crowds Friday and Saturday nights and I believe the Saturday crowd was probably one of the largest we’ve had in a while,” Surritt said.
He said the crowd seemed to enjoy misting stations and fans that were placed around the festival area, and that the annual Rotary Club Auction, its biggest fundraiser of the year, generated $22,277, a little more than it has in recently years.
Of that total, Surritt said $17,000 came from the sale of 10 limited edition prints of a drawing by local artist Tammy Wells. The buyers of those 10 prints were: Wooden It Be Nice, W&W Dry Cleaners, Southern Hills Community Bank, Adena Greenfield Medical Center, Sitterle Insurance, Greenfield Research, Dr. Rick Mizer, Community Savings Bank, a group of Rotarians in honor of Charlie Stevens, and Danny Long.
Rumble in the Hills co-organizer Mike McGuire said the hope is for the event that was held over three days this year to grow, possibly even to the point that it is called the Rocky Fork Lake Rumble in the Hills Festival, or something along those lines. This year it started with a kick off party Friday evening, then continued Saturday and Sunday.
“I thought it was great. The weather didn’t really bother us,” McGuire said. “We definitely had more spectators. McCarty and Associates, which has been surveying the course for years, said it’s the biggest turnout they had ever seen for spectators. We had great crowds both days, and the fireworks Saturday night were outstanding. Some people told me they were better than the Red, White and Boom in Columbus. They were set to music and it was pretty cool.”
Before long, McGuire said, he plans to have a mix of pictures and video posted on the event Facebook page.
There was a bit of dangerous excitement during the races Sunday. McGuire said one racer was nearing the finish line when air got under his boat, it did a double back flip, then hit the water and kept racing. The driver was treated and released by emergency personnel after the race.
McGuire said that in addition to growing the festival footprint, there has also been talk about making the race at Rocky Fork a regional or national event. He said about 60 racers turned out this year.
“It’s going to grow big time,” McGuire said. “It’s going to grow by itself.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.