Landmark to host events leading up to bicentennial, Riley Festival

GREENFIELD — The James Whitcomb Riley Boyhood Home and Museum has a lot to celebrate this year, and Hoosier Poet enthusiasts are inviting the public to join in on the fun.

To mark 100 years since Whitcomb’s death, as well as Indiana’s bicentennial, Riley Home staff will host several celebratory events in the coming days and weeks, including a chance for visitors to tour the home for free — a once-a-year opportunity.

Riley Boyhood Home and Museum open house

When: 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday

Where: Grounds of the Riley Boyhood Home and Museum, 250 W. Main St., Greenfield

What: This event will be the only opportunity for residents to take free tours of the Riley Boyhood Home. It will also be the first official appearance of the Riley Festival queen and her court. An opening ceremony will be held in the Riley Gardens tent followed by a free performance by Catrina and the Baggy Bottom Boys of Metamora. Refreshments will be served.

Pop-in for Poets

When: 2 to 6 p.m. Friday

Where: Tent behind the Riley Boyhood Home, 250 W. Main St., Greenfield,

What: Indiana Poet Laureate Shari Wagoner and the Indiana State Federation of Poetry Clubs will give poetry readings of Riley’s poetry and poetry about Riley and Indiana. Free caramel corn and other popcorn treats to the first 200 people, provided by Just Pop In of Broad Ripple, and free hot chocolate, coffee and apple cider will be provided by Westland Friends Church of Greenfield.

Riley Statue Unveiling

When: 2 p.m. Oct. 8

Where: In front of the Riley Boyhood Home, 250 W. Main St., Greenfield

What: The Indiana State Bicentennial Legacy Project, “Reading with Riley,” a new bronze statue of Riley, will be unveiled in front of the Riley Boyhood Home. Artist Bill Wolfe, Mayor Chuck Fewell, Indiana Poet Laureate Shari Wagoner and other dignitaries will attend. The new statue will be available for pictures after the unveiling.

James Whitcomb Riley and Indiana Birthday Party

When: 2 p.m. Oct. 9

Where: In the tent behind the Riley Boyhood Home, 250 W. Main St., Greenfield

What: To celebrate Riley’s birthday, the boyhood home will offer free birthday cake and a performance by the Greenfield Community Choir with songs by Indiana composers. There will also be other impersonators of famous Hoosiers at the party.