Unless you ask an “old timer” it is practically unknown that the then active Lions Club of Bainbridge made the plans for the very first festival. Today it is one of the best known and finest festivals in southern Ohio.
The Lions discussed the showcasing of the natural attractions which are around the Bainbridge area. Being good “hunting ground”, it was once roamed by the Mound builders and tribes of Indians and was known as “The Valley of the Kings”. Seip Mound, Kilvert Mound and Baum Village Site as well as many Indian artifacts still being found in the surrounding fields today all attest to these claims.
The Lions’ Club sent letters to all businesses, organizations, churches and civic minded citizens to attend a town meeting in February 1968. More than thirty people attended the first meeting and plans were made for the first festival to be held October 17-20, 1968. Otis Brodess, Bainbridge Lions Club Director was named General Chairman of the Festival. Councilman Robert McCoy and Jim Krug, a past Lions Club President assisted Mr. Brodess. Mr. Krug pointed out that the historical value of the area and the natural beauty of the surrounding hills in the fall made Bainbridge the ideal location for such and event.
Today his prophecy has proved true as the “Fall Festival of Leaves” continues to grow into one of the largest and best attended in southern Ohio.