41st Annual Bob Evans Farm Festival (October 2011)+ a Flip Camera Giveaway!

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As I mentioned in a previous post, my family recently traveled all the way from Southern Minnesota to Southeastern Ohio to attend the 41st Annual Bob Evans Farm Festival.  We piled into a rental van and set off to enjoy some good old fun “down on the farm”.  We didn’t entirely understand what a Bob Evans experience would entail as we set off.  Neither my husband or I were very familiar with Bob Evans restaurants and we had certainly never been to the Bob Evans farm in Rio Grande, Ohio.   But there is something special about festivals that take place in the fall.  There is no other place better than to spend those beautiful autumn days than in the serene and colorful countryside.

Notice the brilliant blue sky and shades of fall in the trees in the photo below?  Our day was a tad windy, but the sun was shining and the the temperature was great.

But let me back up a minute.  Before we actually attended the festival, we were invited to a “Friends of the Farm” party.  This gathering was a way to dedicate the newly renovated farm grounds and to celebrate the start of another fall festival. My family had a wonderful time visiting some of the Bob Evans employees and friends.  They made us feel very welcome into their midst.  My husband was delighted with the ribs he feasted on that evening, but my favorite part was being together as a community in a large old-fashioned tent.  I felt like I had stepped back in time to one of the old time Southern revivals.  The white tent and the lanterns hanging within gave the evening an almost magical glow.  There was no preaching involved, but I could already see that my time at the Bob Evans farm would be a pleasant experience.


Notice the charming cake in the picture above?  The Bob Evans Fresh-Thinking Chefs created this look-a-like cake and it tasted fabulous.

The next day (Saturday), was festival time.  In the days prior to the festival it had rained a great deal.  Obviously this can make for a very muddy situation.  But I was very impressed with the Bob Evans crew.  They had sprinkled sawdust and straw all over the muddy areas to make the paths as smooth as possible.  As anyone from the farm knows, Mother Nature is your biggest obstacle, and making the best out of any situation is a must.

First I had the opportunity to meet some fellow bloggers.  I was very excited.  I had never meet another mommy blogger before!  We had a great time “talking shop” at several of the events at the farm.


Andrea from Moody Mama Says,  Glenda from Busy-At-Home, Paula from Frosted Fingers, Sam from Have Sippy will Travel, Jessi from Jabbering Jessi, and of course me.

Notice how all the other bloggers are wearing long sleeve shirts or coats?  It might have been a little chilly in the morning, but my internal temperature was just right:)  Isn’t 58′ degrees perfect weather?  I sure think so!

After another quick picture with my family, we were ready to tackle the festival.

We couldn’t wait to have a fun day on the farm! There go my guys….I better catch up!

Let me also explain what is located at the festival grounds.  It isn’t merely just a big gathering of white tents for the festival.  This is truly the original Bob Evans farm and the first Bob Evans restaurant.

The Bob Evans farmhouse has now been turned into a museum.  It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was built long before Bob Evans was around. (1825)

The festival grounds are located in a small valley that is surrounded with colorful trees.

The grounds are large enough to host an RV camping area.

The area is seeped in history and character.  Even within the normal festival activities I was able catch glimpses of its past.  I’ll share more of those images in a moment.

Our first stop for the day was chainsaw carving by Ted Scherer.  His work is amazing.  It is incredible how he can look at a mere piece of wood and turn it into a piece of art.

Next we were off to see the Border Collie Demonstration.  My boys were very excited to see this.  Kids gravitate towards animals, especially dogs.  I was truly amazed at the level of obedience and training the dogs demonstrated.  It was fun to see them herd not only sheep, but ducks as well.

Located right next to the Border Collie demonstration we saw part of the Lumberjack show.  The skills involved in all of the different acts is amazing.  My eldest son, age seven, was riveted.  This was one of his favorite parts of the day.

It was on this slope of the hillside that I was able to learn more about the local history of the farm.  Perhaps others would not be interested in these random sites, after all there is an entire festival to explore.  But I relish these glimpses of the past and find myself connecting with the people who lived on the land generations ago.

For instance there is a spring and coal mine.  This farm was entirely self-sufficient.

Next on our agenda was lunch!  We were all too willing to sit down for a Bob Evans Festival meal.

Fried chicken sandwiches for the adults and hot dogs for the kids with baked beans and coleslaw.  I am not a particular fan of coleslaw, but this salad was tasty!  I loved it!

After lunch it was time for a budget meals cooking demo with Chef Rachel.  She demonstrated how to make Stuffed Peppers.  they looked delicious and easy to make!  Check out a variety of recipes available online.

Then we decided to explorer some of the kid activities on the farm and sneak in some shopping.

My middle son, age four, loved the straw mountain.  And both of my older children enjoyed running through the hay bale maze.  I was impressed with the variety of children aged activities available.  They even had a corn pile for those six and under with trucks to dig in.  There was also horse rides, tractor wagon rides, train rides, horse wagon rides, face painting, and a game tent.

After the kiddos had a chance to let off some steam it was time for Mommy to check out some of the products available for sale.

Antiques!  I was so impressed!  I was not expecting to find antiques at the festival.  Craft items, great food, but not antiques!  And the prices were great.  I snatched up some old books, my personal favorite.

There were beautiful flowers available for purchase.  I love the contrast of flowers with pumpkins.

There was also a wide selection of painted pumpkins. What fun!
The sweet tea was awesome!

Bucket of Beans anyone? What a job!

Yummy farm goodness!

By this time in the day the festival had quite a crowd.  Luckily it still wasn’t hard to get around.

Next we wandered over the the Quilt Barn where there were some amazing quilts for sale.

And then we just had to listen to some of the fabulous music. My husband took the following shot using his iPhone with Instagram.  Doesn’t it look neat?

Our family could have spent much longer listening to the music.

Our last event of the day was Tractor Square dancing.  Yep, you read that correctly.  Tractor Square dancing.  I lived on a farm the first eighteen years of my life and I had never heard of this before.  It was funny and frightening at the same time.  Most people would not have been frightened, but if one driver slipped up the tractors would crash together.  I was nervous for the drivers!  With “skirts” on their undercarriage the tractors were even suitably dressed for the dance!  My youngest son just had to dance to the music at the square dance.  Luckily there was plenty of safe dancing room.

We had such a wonderful day “down on the farm”.  I wish we could have stayed Sunday as well.

My middle son keeps asking if we can “go back” to the festival.  He doesn’t exactly understand that it isn’t there at the moment like he remembers.  I have to explain to him that the festival only happens one special weekend a year.  Time is illusive to a four year old.

My family truly enjoyed our time at the Bob Evans Farm Festival.  Our time there was a weekend well spent.   While our tickets were covered by Bob Evans they are only $5 for adults, children 6-18 for $3, and children 5 & under for free.  This makes the event truly affordable for all.

Check out this professional video for a recap of the event.

I should not put my video after a professional one, because the differences are startling.  But here is my recap of our experience!

Bob Evans provided me with a Flip video camera to capture videos of my time at the festival.  However, I already own a Flip camera.  Yep, you know what that means!

One lucky Mama Report reader will win a Flip video camera, Ultra HD, 4 GB, it records up to one hour of video, this camera retails for $65

I will have this new camera shipped to you in time for Christmas morning!

Please follow the Rafflecopter entry method below.

I am a Bob Evans Farm Festival Correspondent through BFPR and my travel and accommodation fees were provided to attend to this event, however (as always) my opinions are my own.

Comments

  1. It looks like you had a beautiful day for this festival … and it looks like you all had fun! Thanks for giving us this opportunity to win a flip-cam.

  2. Your pictures were amazing! Thank you for sharing your day.

  3. Looks like such a fun time! Thank you for sharing.

  4. What a great event my grandson would have had a ball there. Lots of fun happenings : ]

  5. darlene bohannon says:

    looked like a fun day,video was good,wish i had went. thanks i enjoyed

  6. Monique Rizzo says:

    I am a GFC follower.
    Thanks for the chance.
    mogrill12@gmail.com

  7. Fun!

  8. I Loved the Tractor Square Dancing.

  9. Wow, it sure did take clear pictures and a great video!

  10. Kimmie Barnes says:

    This looks like so much fun and I would love to come visit with my family. You can’t find very many family friendly places to go where the entire family has fun. Looks like you all had a great day!!

    Kimmie Barnes
    shawnandkim@suddenlink.net
    jakeremom–twitter and GFC

  11. What fun!!! I would love to have gone to this. I hope I win. I really want to start vlogging for my site.

  12. steve fuller says:

    Life at its greatest

  13. April Woodard says:

    It looks like you had such a great time. Great pictures. I love to take pictures of my kids. This camera would really help me instead of always buying a throw away camera. Thanks for the chance to win one

  14. Michelle Nakoff says:

    The cake was amazing.

  15. Looks like a fun day!

  16. stephanie dewaide says:

    looks like a great day, i’ll have to go visit there one day

  17. I love all the photos. Looks like your day was full and fun.
    I would like to invite you to enter my Christmas Giveaway.
    http://grandmabonniescloset.blogspot.com/2011/12/crafty-christmas-giveaway.html

  18. Christian Nunez says:

    I enjoyed the pics and vid! I need to tag along with you guys next time!

  19. oh man… so wish I lived closer to Ohio! Looks like an amazing time…. and a great way to have quality time with the family! Thanks for sharing!

  20. Shelly Burklund says:

    What a beautiful place you shared with all of us thru your pictures! Breathtaking! Thank you. Keep on sharing!

  21. that looks like it was lots of fun 😀

  22. Love your blog and I want to enter the giveaway, but quick question: what is “GFC”?

  23. Joyce Raymond says:

    I love fairs and festivals and this one looked great!

  24. Wish I lived in the area to attend this, looks like you had alot of fun!

  25. how big is the flip camera? Looks perfect to fit in a small handbag

  26. Ed Nemmers says:

    I am a follower.

  27. barbara hunt says:

    Thanks for the great contest!
    bahjeep@aol.com

  28. yes i dig it

  29. Valarie Vann says:

    The festival looked so fun!! I know that my 4 kids and I would have enjoyed it!!

  30. wow looks like you had so much fun!

  31. nice giveaway ty.

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