In 1978 David Begley, Art Powers, Greensburg Daily News publisher; & Herb Kohler, a local attorney, visited Versailles Pumpkin Show & brought home the idea for a festival. The Tree City Fall Festival began the next year, in 1979 and featured the Hoxie Brothers Circus.
Mr. Kohler served as the general chairman for the next five years. Herb passed away in August, 1985 and the festival committee chose to honor him by naming the parade the Herb Kohler Memorial Parade in honor of his service to the festival and community.
Bob Bostic became the general chairman of the festival in 1985. He was one of the original festival event chairpersons when the festival started in 1979. Many changes have happened over the years, with the committee incorporating and receiving the designation of a non profit corporation in 2006 and forming a Board of Directors. Other chairs or board presidents and their terms include: Herb Kohler, 1979- 1984; Bob Bostic, 1985 – 1989; Joseph Riddell, 1990; Bob Bostic, 1991 – 1997; Alan Coy, 1998-1999; Pam Jackson Abel, 2000; Bob Bostic, 2001 – 2004; Mike Casuscelli, 2005 – 2006; Steven Teverbaugh, 2007 – 2009; and Laura Welborn, 2010 The festival was a 10-day event in 1987, 7 days in 1988, 4 days beginning in 1989 and 3 days starting in 1998.
The history of prior festivals remains somewhat sketchy, and will be updated as received. If you have information regarding prior festivals and/or photos, we encourage you to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
History as recorded includes:
2019- The crowning of royalty kicked off the Festival on Friday evening. Taylor Gramman was crowned Miss Tree City, Caroline Koehne crowned Junior Miss Tree City, Gwen Gauck crowned Little Miss Tree City, and Jonathan Arnett crowned Little Mister Tree City. Spencer Niles and Hairbangers Ball were the entertainment for the evening. Saturday morning started off with the Caleb Brown Memorial 5K, with the Herb Kohler Memorial Parade following. Saturday morning also included the Cruise In Car Show. As for the entertaining, the Nuttin’ Fancy Band, Walker County, and Sounds of Summer wrapped up the evening.
2018- Entertainment on Friday night was changed due to inclement weather. The festival hosted the crownings at city Hall and the Melody Mart Student Jam on the David Begley-Art Powers Festival Stage. Saturday the festival assisted with the Inaugural Caleb Brown Memorial 5K put on by Decatur County Special Olympics. We had the World’s Funniest Parade Part II, The Bel Airs Show Band, Lip Sync contest, the 2nd Annual Tree City Chili Cook Off, a car show/cruise in and much more! Our Tree City Fall Festival Royalty was: Little Miss Tree City Lana Wall, Little Mister Tree City Preston Hart, Junior Miss Tree City Tyce Robbins and Miss Tree City Emily Tallent.
2017- Entertainment on Friday night included a Greaser and Squares Look A Like Contest, a drive in Car Show and The Van Dells. Saturdays entertainment included: The World’s Funniest Parade, Ladies for Liberty, Lip Sync contest, Silly Safari, Lemonwheel and much more. Our Tree City Fall Festival Royalty was: Little Miss Tree City Carley Goss, Miss Tree City Ashley DeArmond and Little Mr. Tree City Mason Lawrence. The Tree City Chili Cook Off sponsored by Elwood Staffing was held at City Hall the Thursday before the festival. The festival board also dedicated the main stage to Tree City Fall Festival founders, David Begley and Art Powers.
2016- The festival was not held this year
2015- Entertainment on Friday night included Battle of the Bands and The Hunter Smith Band on Saturday night. Miss Tree City was Ashley Kramer. Little Mister Tree City was Kable Koors and Little Miss Tree City was Karlie Moore.
2014 – Miss Tree city was Morgan Nobbe,
2013- Entertainment included: The Bama Band, Oldie Wed Game,Decatur County’s Got Talent and JB Music Student Concert. There were carnival rides this year! Madison Clift was Miss Tree City, Conner Beagle was Little Mister Tree City and Abigail Lamb was Miss Tree City.
2012- Jessica Hensley was Miss Tree City, Little Miss Tree City was Gwyneth H. Blair and Little Mister Tree City was Caleb Greiwe. Water ball competition, Jai Baker Band, Dog show, Battle of the Bands and more!
2011- Miss Tree City was Ericka Carman, Little Mister Tree City was Brayden Coy and Little Miss Tree City was Alexxis Baluyot.
2010- Miss Tree City was Hunter Gramman, Little Mister Tree City was Bryce Keller and Little Miss Tree City was Lilly Hampton. Corey Cox, Tree City Idol and The Wright Brothers all performed.
2009- Miss Tree City was Jennifer Laczko, Little Mister Tree City was Payton Richey and Little Miss Tree City was Stormie Raye. A street dance was held, Skeeter McGee performed and there was a lip sync contest.
2008- Miss Tree City was Natalie Herbert.
2007- Miss Tree City was Tasha Heaton, Junior Miss Tree City was Jennifer McGuire, Little Mister was A’Jay Hannum and Little Miss was India Taylor Benefiel.
2006- Miss Tree City was Kelsi Niles and Little Miss Tree City was Taylor Gramman
2003 – Little Miss – Ashley Veerkamp, Little Mr. – Elijah Tungate, Miss Tree City – Alena Caffee
2002 – Little Miss – Renae Kramer, Little Mr. – Brennan Coy, Miss Tree City – Heather Roszelle, 1st runner up – Sara Dickman; 2nd runner up – Lindsey Hewitt; Miss Congeniality – Kelly Inscho & Natalie Hamilton; Rain storm forced contest to be held in courthouse – 23 contestants; Lip Sync held in the rain on new stage with overhead cover; Final Four IV band played country night; Tornados hit Greenwood & Indy; Medals of Honor given to city & county officials; entertainment: The Association $14,000
2001 – Little Miss – Shelby Callahan, Little Mr. – Austin Westerfeld, 911 tragedies in NY, PA, & Wash DC, Celebration of Freedom held, Theme – God Bless America in honor of our fallen brothers and sisters, Special flag displayed & hung in courthouse in honor of those who died from terrorist attacks. Otis Day & The Knights appeared from LA – $10,000.
2000 – Little Miss – Tori Metz, Little Mr. – Mike Metz, John Lagneau wrote song for Mr. & Miss contest, Ambrosia appeared on stage, A live/silent auction was held, movie theatre opened in Greensburg.
1999 – Little Miss – Ericka Carmen, Little Mr. – Zachary Hess, Battle of bands started, The chicken appeared, Paul Poteet of Ch-6 appeared, 1st of 2000 trees planted on same spot old red oak tree had grown for 250 years at the corner of N. Franklin & Hendricks St., the home of Walter & Anna Lowe, owners of The Daily News. It was a dogwood millennium. Radio Flyers band appeared. Festival moved back to 3rd weekend in September.
1998 – Little Miss – Holly Pierson, Little Mr. – Alex Fisher, All wore costumes, Festival went to 3 days, Oct 1,2,3; Janie of Ch-4 TV appeared, Rain was bad, Same year Larry Bird elected to the Hall of Fame.
1997 – Little Miss – Rhianna Snyder, Little Mr. – Schuyler Brown, All wars memorial fund raising underway, Tower Tree bricks were sold by Arts & Cultural. Festival held Thursday, Saturday and Sunday – no Friday.1st lady policeman hired same year – Stacey Chasteen. Riverboat Law Pass same year. 1st bike race held – 22 miles – won by local Darrin Marhanka. Bike rodeo held. Endless Summer appeared on stage.
1996 – Little Miss – Alyss Herbert, Little Mr. – Matthew White, Magic show featured, Quilt show held , Children show held. Street dance held on cool night. Mickey & Minnie were in the parade. Festival held 1st weekend of October.
1995 – Little Miss – Kera Davis, Little Mr. – Christopher Marshall, 2nd year with Power of the Past, Theme: See how we have grown homecoming 95, “Game-Master” held children hour. Weather was hot! Had been over 90 for 12 days! Last year to have joint festivals with Power of the Past.
1994 – Little Miss – Dana Collins, Little Mr. – Brandon Combest, Theme: What’s “Deere” to my heart, People tractor pull on square. 26 flights taken at local airport during aviation awareness day.
1993 – Little Miss – Michaela Redd, Little Mr. – J.R. Downey, Theme: Then & Now, First joint festival with Power of the Past in August, New stage was used on converted semi-trailer. Mike Wenning was world champion power lifter. Native & Early American Village Rendezvous held. Ping Pong balls dropped from airplane over square
Historic items were on display in courthouse. Youth sunrise service held.
1992 – Little Miss – Genea Ison, Little Mr. – Dustin Dyer, Fly-in held at airport, Three-Quarter midget race held, Teen center started, Family Tree exhibits on display in courthouse, some family roots were traced back to Mayflower.
1991 – Little Miss – Trista Pennington, Little Mr. – Branden Warren, WRTV Ch 6 – celebrities brought their antique tour to Greensburg, filming Historic downtown.
YMCA celebrated 100 years of basketball with a special shooting contest. International cultural display held in courthouse. Family bingo held, Spaghetti eating contest on stage. Fireman held waterball competition. Japanese “Koto” concert Helo.
1990 – Little Miss/Little Mr – No Contest, held later on Oct. 20. Desert Storm support group led parade, Ronald McDonald was parade marshal, Red ribbon campaign included. Tree County Players celebrity auction held, 150 classic cars on display.
Same year as South Decatur State Football Championship.
1989 – Little Miss – Ashley Tungate, Little Mr. – Eric Lecher, Miss Tree City – No Contest, 4 day festival started, Theme: Education Enriches Everyone, 96 Parade entries, Airport runway was paved, Family funfest, Indiana University Musical Calliope in parade.
1988 – Little Miss – Samantha Stevens, Little Mr. – Michael Colson, Mrs. Tree City – No Contest, 138 entries in parade, Memorial walk on square dedicated. Can food was collected. Bike Rodeo held, Pie eating contest held. Community artist held 10th annual show. All wars flags placed on courthouse lawn,. Theme: Agriculture the Roots of Decatur County – Outstanding farmers honored.
1987 – Little Miss – None, Little Mr. – None, Mrs. Tree City – Cheryl Coy (Allen), Tree County Players, Bike Rodeo, Fashion Show – Josh Tressler, Gloria Austin. Pacers player Greg Drieling & Pacemates in parade. 123 entries in parade. Theme: “Industry a showcase of Progress”. “The Geriatrics” senior band. Pizza King – 1st in parade
10 days Sept 11 – 20. Horseshoe tourney. Flea market at fairgrounds. Joe Riddell – Chairman. Silhouettes & Shadows show in 2 halves. Lt. Gov. John Metz, Decatur County – A showcase of progress.
1986 – Little Miss – Tara Phelps, Little Mr. – Donald Barber
1985 – Little Miss – T.J. McGuire, Little Mr. – Kyle Morford, Mrs. Tree City – Phillipa Joy Stamm (Scott) from Great Britain, “Live at 5” Channel 13 TV show on lawn, 1st Fashion Show, Greensburg Silhouettes & Shadows 1st show choir appearance, Cabbage Patch dolls on exhibit, Colts cheerleaders appear with Lee Ann Bischoff
1984 – Little Miss – Monique O’Mara, Little Mr – Charlie Stevens, Mrs. Tree City – Jayne Gault (Daniel), Health Fair, Marigold Contest, Basketball shoot on the lawn, Sidewalk sales on square, Flea market at North Blend plaza, Tourneys – Softball, soccer, tennis, Care Contest for 125th celebration of Greensburg, Ft. Benjamin Harrison Army Band, Circus at Fairgrounds, 10 days Sept 14 – 23, Water ball Fireman’s competition
1983 – Little Miss – Robin Dilkes, Little Mr. – Shaun Rankin, Mrs. Tree City – Mary Lou Davis (Charles) – Won Mrs. Indiana and Top 10 of U.S. Mrs. America; Hot air balloon race, 170 parade entries, Shrine Club dance, Radio-Controlled fun fly, Ultra-light plane demonstration, 4-day festival, Children’s carnival rides tiny kiddy midway of Elkhart, Parade route KB – Old Shriver Field
1982 – Little Miss – Lea Morford, Little Mr. – Todd Cronin, Mrs. Tree City – Sarah Deiwert (Fred), 3rd annual army band in parade, Tiny kiddy midway rides of Elkhart, Clown contest, Soccer, 2-mile run, Softball Tourney, Park & Rec. dept open dance, 138 parade entries, God Bless America Rally – 600 persons
1981 – 1st Little Miss – Tiffany Nicole Prewitt (daughter of Eugene & Darlene Prewitt), 1st runner up Little Miss – Suzann Moore “Future Miss Decatur County”, 2nd runner up – Amber Boyd, daughter of Fred & Shirley, Sponsored by Jay-C-ettes, Mrs. Tree City – Elaine Ortman (David), Sidewalk days, Community artist’s exhibit, Tourneys – Softball & tennis, Senior swingers, YMCA – 10,000 meter run, GHS Jr. High Choir, Flyover by local pilots, Sept 18 – Sept 21 – 4 days, 124 parade entries, 15 shrine units, 2 local men in army band – Vince Navarra & Paul Croy, YMCA dance – WFBQ – Q95 road show, Gene Olson – Radio personality, Debonnettes baton twirling, Senior Citizens Kitchen Band, Heavy metal GCHS combo band, Pedal tractor pull, Dixie land band – Anderson Madison-Heights students, Senior Swingers, Greensburg Jr. High choir, Murat Temple Shrine Band, Army band – Ft. Ben, Dog show, Bluegrass Jamboree at fairgrounds,
Flea market at Greensburg Plaza
1980 – Mrs. Tree City – Rheadawn Metz (Bob), 1st runner up – Mrs. Vivian Gault, 2nd runner up – Mrs. Annabelle Evans, 3rd runner up – Rita Hellmich, Miss Congeniality – Joan Bostic, 30 contestants; 125 units in parade – Parade Marshall Kim Hood WISH TV – CH-8; 5 bands. Clown contest, Dixon Dance, Tree City Squares, Horse show, Sidewalk sales
1979 – The very first Tree City Fall Festival included: Hoxie Brothers Circus, Dixon Dancers, Melody Mart combo, Square Dancers, Clown contests, Tree County Players, Band contest in parade, Annette’s Dancers, Art show in Bates building, Garage sale at North Bend Plaza, Frisbee throw, Helicopter on display, Dunking machine, 78 parade units