Celebrating 40 years of Roy Rogers Festivals


The 2023 Roy Rogers Festival will kick off August 3, running through August 5, with guests, musical acts, and more.

The festival is entering its 40th year and organizers are excited to reveal an impressive lineup.

Roy Roger’s Festival President Eva Dodridge Robbins has been involved in the event for six years and believes this year is going to be a great way to celebrate 40 years.

“I believe it is going to be a really great thing for Portsmouth. We have some great, local talent, even though some may be across the river in places like Ashland,” Robbins said. “I think it is going to go over really well, though, especially having it at the American Legion, because we’ve had a great response already from people we haven’t had over the years.”

Robbins explained a part of her love for Rogers stems from his love of his home.

“This event is to keep Roy Rogers alive. I mean, he was from our area. He may have been born in Cincinnati, but he had been in the Portsmouth area from the time he was nine months old and the time it took to take a houseboat upriver,” Robbins said. “This is his boyhood home and he made it to the top. He was always good at remembering Portsmouth, Ohio.”

The president also finds importance in the festival because of the messages they carried.

“He always had good, clean, healthy morals. During his shows, there were guns involved, but he never shot anybody,” Robbins claimed. “He always sneaked up on them and took them in. He showed you that you didn’t need to use violence. His movies are just honest and clean.”

Musical acts include Steve Free, Jon Patterson, and Jerry and Jim Evans at 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 3; Phoebe White, the yodeling cowgirl, on Friday at 6 p.m.; and Rob McNurlin and the Beatnik Cowboys at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

The Mark Wood Fun Show will be entertainment for guests as well.

Roy Roger’s family, Dodie Rogers Patterson and Julia Fox-Pomilia, will be present to meet with guests.

Celebrity guest Mary Deese Hampton will also be present. Hampton is an actress and wife of James Hampton, of F Troop and Teen Wolf fame. Mary is known for DALLAS, Family Matters, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, General Hospital, and Thunder Road. She will be selling signed copies of her late husband’s book and showing off scripts and letters from famous friends.

The festival will have vendors, an auction, a look-alike contest and food from the Scioto Ribber and McManus Catering.

Doors open to visit vendors and all that’s going on Thursday, Friday and Saturday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the American Legion Post 23.

Doors reopen again at 6 p.m., nightly, for food and entertainment.

Thursday will be $20 per person for a buffet dinner, music, visiting and shopping with vendors.

The Friday night mixer is $20 per person and includes a buffet dinner and music.

The Saturday Gala Banquet is a catered buffet for $40 per person and includes the live auction and music by McNurlin’s band.

Tickets are available online at www.RoyRogersFestival.com or by calling festival President Eva Robbins at 740.285.6311. You can also follow the group on Facebook for updates on the festival and future years.

Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

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