When the Bob Evans jingle says "down on the farm," they mean it literally. Bob Evans was a real person and he had a real farm.
The breakfast and comfort food chain still owns the Bob Evans homestead in Rio Grande, Ohio (pronounced "rye-o"), about two-and-a-half hours outside of Cincinnati. And this Friday through Sunday, the farm is hosting the 50th-annual (yes, 50th) Bob Evans Farm Festival.
"This signature event is held at the birthplace of the brand, where the original Bob Evans restaurant still stands today — paying homage to its history and roots in the farming community," reads a release.
And what can you expect at a festival hosted by Bob Evans? Food, obviously, but also live music, family-friendly farm activities and free camping.
The weekend's culinary offerings are homey, featuring local vendors slinging everything from apple dumplings and cider slushies to Ohio-made cheese and kettle corn. Bob Evans will be serving the favorite Farm Festival bean soup and their brand of sausage. Attendees can also eat at the original Bob Evans restaurant on the farm's grounds.
Country music band Exile, Bluegrass group Dailey & Vincent and Farm Fest mainstays Johnny Staats & The Delivery Boys and The Rarely Herd will be performing throughout the weekend.
If music isn't your thing, check out chainsaw carvers, sheep shearing demonstrations, pig races, a dog agility show, lumberjacks and a Saturday performance from Lily Pearl’s Square Dancing Tractor team, who will be driving actual tractors. A Kids' Farmyard Fun area includes classic fall activities like a corn pile and hay bale maze. There will also be amusement parks rides.
Arts and crafts vendors will be set up on the property all weekend, and Saturday will close out with a fireworks show at 8:30 p.m.
“Farm Festival has become a tradition for so many families over the past five decades and we are grateful to be able to hold this event this year and celebrate this momentous anniversary together in-person,” said Bob Holtcamp, president and chief marketing officer for Bob Evans Restaurants, in a release. “We look forward to welcoming back visitors and members of the local community to make memories together down on the farm.”
Camping is available Tuesday through Sunday for free. Reservations are not required and spots are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Bob Evans Farm Festival takes place 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 8 and 9 and 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Oct. 10. Admission is $5 at the gate for adults and free for kids 5 and under. All-day wristbands for on-site amusement park rides cost $10 for those 13 and up and $5 for those 12 and under; individual ride tickets are also available.
The Bob Evans Farm is located at State Route 588 just off U.S. Route 35 in Rio Grande, Ohio. For more details and a full schedule, visit bobevans.com/farm-festival.
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