VERSAILLES — Another Annie Oakley Festival has come to a close, and despite some scattered showers Friday evening and hot temperatures just about all weekend, the committee reports another successful year.
Even with the rain the first night, it didn’t seem to keep some people away. One of the concerts, featuring Jeff Hittle, was cut short.
“The 53rd Annie Oakley Festival was a huge success,” said Committee President Jo Ellen Melling. “We had a great time, and God blessed us with a wonderful weekend. The American Western Arts Showcase was full of energy and thrills, and as always was exciting to watch. We had two great horse shows Saturday afternoon that pleased the crowd, Sunday featured a Family Fun Day, with lots of activities for the kids as well as the parents. The 2016 Annie Oakley Festival Car Show was a big addition this year, with cars lined up on both sides of the drive, the National Kiddie Tractor Pullers Association returned this year, and with many in the crowd encouraging the kids to keep peddling, the kids had a great time and gave some the opportunity to win a trophy. Entertainment, bus tours, games, melodrama, and so much more, made up a great weekend. On behalf of the Annie Oakley Committee, thank you to all who came out to York Woods to celebrate Annie Oakley Days. Plans are already being made for next year’s festival.”
Jennifer Peck, second vice president of the committee, reported that the parade in downtown Greenville was successful, with many units parading from the Darke County Fairgrounds to the traffic circle, led by grand marshals, Dean and Arlene Bankson.
“The parade was an amazing event with around 130 units this year,” said Peck. “It had local fire, EMS, police along several local businesses and individuals from all over Darke County. The Shriners were back again with even more units! The Troy Corvette Club came with 14 beautiful corvettes! Huge success and greatly appreciate all of the participants and volunteers that made it possible.”
As Melling said, the festival had lots to offer for the whole family, with five historical bus tours, musical entertainment Saturday and Sunday [with Country Harmony, Jeff Hittle, Spittin’ Image, Chapter Seven, Four Swords and Scarlotte Charlotte], talent show, car show and Kiddie Tractor Pull. There were also some whip artistry, fast-draw competitions artistic demonstrations and a melodrama. Yes, “The Perils of Priscilla,” or “The Schoolmarms’s Dilemma,” under the direction of Dane Leeper, was performed once on Friday; twice on Saturday and once on Sunday.
Also there was the Ohio Western Arts Showcase presented by GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd. and a couple of horse groups, including the Renegades, an equestrian drill team made up of males and females of all ages from the northern Miami Valley.
Robert Wiest was there making hooks in the blacksmithing area. He is a machinist by trade, doing blacksmithing as a hobby.