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Riley Festival

Indiana's largest four day festival.

*Poetry  * Art  *Music

October 5-8, 2023

Theme:  Nine Little Goblins


                                                                                      Festival Hours

                                                                        October  5               5pm-9pm

                                                                        October  6 & 7        9am-9pm

                                                                        October   8              11am-5pm                                                




Nine Little Goblins                                                                                                                    

James Whitcomb Riley 1849-1916

They all climbed up on a high board-fence—

Nine little Goblins, with green-glass eyes—

Nine little Goblins that had no sense,

And couldn’t tell coppers from cold mince pies;

And they all climbed up on the fence, and sat—

And I asked them what they were staring at.

And the first one said, as he scratched his head

With a queer little arm that reached out of his ear

And rasped its claws in his hair so red—

‘This is what this little arm is fer!’

And he scratched and stared, and the next one said,

'How on earth do _you_ scratch your head?'

And he laughed like the screech of a rusty hinge—

Laughed and laughed till his face grew black;

And when he choked, with a final twinge

Of his stifling laughter, he thumped his back

With a fist that grew on the end of his tail

Till the breath came back to his lips so pale.

And the third little Goblin leered round at me—

And there were no lids on his eyes at all—

And he clucked one eye, and he says, says he,

‘What is the style of your socks this fall?’

And he clapped his heels—and I sighed to see

That he had hands where his feet should be.

Then a bald-faced Goblin, gray and grim,

Bowed his head, and I saw him slip

His eyebrows off, as I looked at him,

And paste them over his upper lip;

And then he moaned in remorseful pain—

'Would—Ah, would I’d me brows again!'

And then the whole of the Goblin band

Rocked on the fence-top to and fro,

And clung, in a long row, hand in hand,

Singing the songs that they used to know—

Singing the songs that their grandsires sung

In the goo-goo days of the Goblin-tongue.

And ever they kept their green-glass eyes

Fixed on me with a stony stare—

Till my own grew glazed with a dread surmise,

And my hat whooped up on my lifted hair,

And I felt the heart in my breast snap to

As you’ve heard the lid of a snuff-box do.

And they sang 'You’re asleep! There is no board-fence,

And never a Goblin with green-glass eyes!—

'Tis only a vision the mind invents

After a supper of cold mince-pies,—

And you’re doomed to dream this way,' they said,—

'_And you sha’n’t wake up till you’re clean plum dead!_'

About The Riley Festival

We invite you to come and enjoy one of the largest  craft festivals in the state of Indiana, with designated areas for food, commercial, flea market booths, and much more.  Over 460 exhibitors will be set up on the streets around the 100 year old courthouse.  Our event follows many years of traditions in celebrating the birth date of famed "Hoosier Poet" James Whitcomb Riley.  The Riley Festival begins every year on the first Thursday of October in beautiful downtown Greenfield Indiana.  Residents of Greenfield, Hancock County, and surrounding areas combine their talents and resources to honor the memory of Greenfield's native son.  Each year, one of Mr. Riley's poems is selected as the theme for that year's festival. The 2023 theme is "Nine Little Goblins".

The Greenfield Banking Company Entertainment Tent is a showcase for a wide variety of talent that runs Thursday thru Sunday during the festival.  The Parade Of Flowers, which has been taking place for well over 65 years, features Greenfield-Central Community School Corporation's elementary students marching downtown to place bouquets of flowers around Mr. Riley's Statue.  The statue was placed in front of the courthouse in 1918 and is the focal point of the Riley Festival.  Our regular parade will be on Saturday with over 75 units traveling from the high school through downtown to Riley Park.  

There are various contests you can enter, such as Photography, Home Arts & Quilt Show, and Little Miss & Mr Pageant.  All entry forms are available here on our website.  

Shuttle Service

For your convenience, shuttle buses run from the Hancock County 4-H Fairgrounds to the east entrance of the festival until 9pm.  You can ride for a donation of $1.00.



Get in touch!


20 W. South Street

Greenfield, Indiana  46140


(317) 462-2141



2022 Sponsors


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