It will be a bit scaled back this year, but 12 months after it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Greene Countrie Towne Festival has returned to Greenfield and it will continue throughout the weekend.
The festival, sponsored by the Greenfield Rotary Club, actually started Thursday evening with the queen’s pageant, but jumps into full swing with opening ceremonies at 4 p.m. Friday and continues through 6 p.m. Sunday.
“By the time we decided to go for it the governor made the announcement to open things up and we thought it would be safe to move forward cautiously, because things can change in the blink of eye with this Covid thing,” Rotary member Ron Coffey said.
Whether or not there will be any kids rides was still in question early Thursday evening. Greenfield Rotary President Wes Surritt said the company that formerly provided the traditional festival rides no longer exists, but there was a chance that there could be some inflatables and smaller rides. Surritt said the club would know for sure by Friday.
“For this year we thought anything we could do for people that are eager to get out and do something would be good,” Coffey said. “We thought maybe people would like to get out in the community and see their neighbors, have some festival food, enjoy some entertainment, and see each other once again.”
Last year before the pandemic struck, Coffey said the Rotary booked a Canadian group called Hotel California that does an Eagles tribute. It was not possible to book the group this year, but Coffey said there is still a good lineup of local entertainers.
Friday from evening will feature a country music show by local resident Sean Poole and Buckin’ Krazy from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday will feature well-known local act Blue Steel from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m., and the Sunday attraction will be Seven Mile Bluegrass from noon to 2 p.m.
“That’s a lot of good local talent, and hopefully the weather will cooperate,” Coffey said.
Coffey said the Rotary is planning for a special entertainment lineup next year because it will be the 100th anniversary of the Greenfield Rotary Club that was established in May of 1922.
The annual Rotary auction, which funds many of the club’s community service projects, will take place from 1-3 p.m. Saturday. It will feature 10 limited edition prints by local artist Tammy Wells, who this year has created a streetscape of downtown Greenfield in the horse and buggy days. The view features the north side of Jefferson Street, approximately from Fourth Street looking east toward Washington Street. Coffey said that while many of the buildings look familiar, the businesses located there have changed to meet the needs of customers.
“These prints by Tammy Wells take us back to a simpler time when Greenfield was a bustling community, and capture a moment in time in Tammy’s unique style,” said Greenfield Rotary President Wes Surritt. “The prints have been framed by Roe’s Custom Framing and will make a very attractive addition to local homes or businesses.”
Some of the other items up for bid at the auction include children’s items such as a swing, tricycle and larger bikes all the way up to adult size that have been donated by area businesses and individuals. There will also be fire pits, fans, pop-up tents, chairs, a wagon, air fryer, gift baskets, a self-propelled Toro mower, a Dustbuster, a shop vac, a souffleur, hose rack, tool box and ice cream maker, among many other items that will be auctioned off by Gary Binegar of Binegar Auction Service.
In addition, the auction will feature tickets for concerts, theme parks and other attractions.
“The Rotary auction is our primary fundraiser each year that allows us to maintain the Ralph W. Phillips Civic & Recreation Center and do other projects that benefit the community,” Surritt said. “We hope the community will come out and support this important event.”
Greenfield Rotarian Ron Coffey contributed to this story.