One of Ohio’s native daughters is renowned 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 Festival to pay tribute to Oakley and to perpetuate her memory. Cleveland Old West enthusiasts are invited to join the festivities at York Woods (north of Greenville) and to enjoy a wide range of Old West entertainment on Friday, July 24, Saturday, July 25 and Sunday, July 26.
A Bit About Annie Oakley 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 always in high demand. She took the stage name of Annie Oakley when she married sharpshooter Frank Butler and became known as “Little Sure Shot” when she joined the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show.
Annie Oakley Festival Activities at this year’s Festival include a National Fast Draw Competition (Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m.), the Annie Oakley Fast Draw Reaction 50/50 (Saturday at noon), Storytime with Annie and Buffalo Bill, a car show and presentations of an old time melodrama “The Dangerous Diamonds or The Malicious Mayor of Nowhere”). Another main attraction will be the Parelli Horsemanship Cowboy Mounted Shooting and demonstrations.
Be sure to check out the Family Fun Games offered all 3 days and don’t miss the Annie Oakley Western Arts Showcase at the Festival featuring bullwhip, roping and knife throwing exhibition contests (Saturday at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.). And make sure you attend the big parade (returning this year) taking place at 10 a.m. Special Note: There will be a pilgrimage to Annie Oakley’s grave on Thursday evening, July 23 (the day before the official start of the Festival).
Among the performers offering free musical entertainment this year will be The Classics, Country Harmony, Flashback, Thien Snips and Spittin’ Image. Food will be aplenty and available for purchase.
Hours for the Annie Oakley Festival are 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free this year. Parking is free. For more information about the Annie Oakley Festival, call 937-548-2391 or get online at www.annieoakleyfestival.com.York Woods (site of the Festival) is located at 2129 Reed Rd. in Versailles, Ohio (north of Greenville). Versailles is 223 miles from Cleveland and it is approximately a 4 hour drive.