One of Ohio’s native daughters is famous Wild West celebrity, sharpshooter and markswoman Annie Oakley who became famous as part of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Every year Greenville, Ohio, Annie Oakley’s birthplace holds the Annie Oakley Days Festival to pay tribute to Oakley and to perpetuate her memory. Cleveland Old West history enthusiasts are invited to join in the festivities at the Darke County Fairgrounds and to enjoy a wide range of Wild West entertainment on July 29 – July 31. Greenville, Ohio is 239 from Cleveland and it is approximately a 4 hour drive.
Annie Oakley Days Festival Born Phoebe Ann Mosey in 1860, Annie Oakley supported her family by shooting and selling game to grocers in Greenville and nearby towns. Because the precision of her aim was so accurate doing very little damage to the game, her catch was in high demand. She took the stage name Annie Oakley when she married sharpshooter Frank Butler and became known as “Little Sure Shot” when she joined the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show.
Activities at this year’s Annie Oakley Days Festival include shooting contests, a fast-draw competition, bullwhip contests, knife throwing contests, roping exhibitions and contests, a kiddie tractor pull, presentations of old time melodramas, historical tours, arts & crafts, authentic historical encampments and a farmer’s market. Visitors will also be able to take lessons in some of the Old West skills.
Other activities include the Indian Creek Wild West Encampment complete with reenactments of cowboy shootouts, a Wild West Gun Show, the Annie Oakley Western Arts Showcase, a Art and Photography Show and appearances by Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill Cody impersonators.
Visitors can also view a 98 unit parade on Saturday, July 30 at 10 a.m. which will proceed from the Garst Museum to the Fairgrounds.
Among the performers offering free entertainment at the Festival are “Singing Fireman” Brian Benedict, The Classics Vocal Quartet, Knipp Pickers, Southern Illusions, Terry Longfellow, Storm’s Creek and Classic Touch.
Food options at the Festival include a Knights of Columbus Chicken Barbeque on Friday, Saturday and Sunday until sold out, pulled pork dinners from Comanche Steak and Barbeque Company and pies from Bob Evans. Visitors will also be able to purchase items like apples, corn, melons, tomatoes, green beans, peaches and cider slushes from Downing Fruit Farm.
Hours for the Annie Oakley Days Festival are noon – 10 p.m..on Friday, 9 a.m. – 10 p.m on Saturday and 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $3 for any person over 16.
The Darke County Fairgrounds is located at 800 Sweitzer Street in Greenville, Ohio. 937-548-2391. Greenville is located near the Indiana border and it is approximately a 4 hour drive from Cleveland.