Archive for July, 2011

August in Downtown Indianapolis

July 30, 2011 Leave a comment
Indiana Convention Center

ABOVE: The Indiana Convention Center hosts the huge Gen Con Gaming Convention, Aug. 4-7. staff photo.

Guest Blogger:
Brittany Smith, Indianapolis Downtown, Inc.

Make yourself at home Downtown!

Have you been thinking about living Downtown? Now’s the time! Living Downtown provides convenient, walkable access to the city’s best restaurants, performing arts, entertainment, sports, museums and parks. It means skipping the daily commute and suburban traffic jams and having time after work for family, friends and fun.   What’s more, Downtown boasts vibrant neighborhoods with many options for prospective homeowners and renters.  It’s the only place in Indianapolis that people of all backgrounds call home and share the unique Downtown living experience.

IDI recently launched a “Make yourself at home Downtown” campaign.  The website prominently features new Downtown living opportunities.  In addition, residents tell their story of why they love to live Downtown.  IDI’s e-mail highlights a Downtown property or resident weekly.  Additionally, the August Indianapolis Monthly includes a Downtown Living Guide. Check out featured properties and meet the neighbors here:

August 5 – 7: Monumental Weekend Downtown!

Downtown will be bustling the weekend of Aug. 5 – 7 with several events! Looking to get in on the excitement? The Lawn at White River State Park will be hosting two concerts: The Decemberists with guest The Head and the Heart (Aug. 5) and My Morning Jacket with guest Neko Case (Aug. 7). Or if you’re seeking sports action, check out the Indians at Victory Field Aug. 4 – 7 vs. the Toledo Mud Hens. Aug. 4 – 7 gaming enthusiasts from across the country will convene at the world’s largest gaming convention, Gen Con, at Indiana Convention Center. Circus arts meet street entertainment at Cirque de Soleil’s presentation of “Dralion” Aug. 3 – 7. Fill your tummy with the best grub in town at Easley Winery’s Taste of Downtown Aug. 6.

Downtown on two wheels

Pedal down to Indianapolis City Market to pick up your map for the first Naptown Urban Crawl! Discover or rediscover the Mass Ave Cultural District with this unique urban experience Aug. 6. NUVO and Indianapolis Cultural Trail Cycling Team present the 2011 Mass Ave Criterium Aug. 13. The day includes multiple cycling races, a Fixed Gear Bike Polo Contest, professional skateboard presentation and New Belgium Beer Garden in Davlan Park.

RedBull Indianapolis GP

Join thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts to celebrate the Red Bull GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Aug. 28. This is the third year the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has hosted the prestigious road racing motorcycle series. Be there as the riders practice on Friday and Saturday, and on Sunday for the main event. Redbull Indianapolis GP events are not limited to the track! Check out all the great motorcycle action happening Downtown! The XDL Sportbike Freestyle Championship returns to Downtown Aug. 26 & 27, promising all the excitement of last year’s competition. Spectators should expect to see amazing stunts and tricks from this up-and-coming sport at Indiana War Memorial. Pull out the leather and unleash your inner biker at Motorcycles on Meridian Aug. 26 & 27 where thousands of motorcycles shut down part of Meridian, south of the Circle to celebrate the beginning of RedBull GP.  If bikes don’t rev your engine, keep the leather and head to the Indianapolis Museum of Art for a ‘Grease’ Sing-A-Long during the Summer Movie Nights film series Aug. 5. Dress up in your favorite 50s fashion and enjoy the film under the blue moon at IMA’s amphitheatre.

Chow Down(town).

The month of August offers several opportunities to take a bite out of Downtown’s tasty food scene.

  • Taste of Downtown – Head to Easley Winery Aug. 6 for FREE winery tours and food from Downtown restaurant favorites. Live music and $2 wine tastings round out the night.
  • Devour Downtown is guaranteed to satisfy your appetite! From Aug. 8 – 21, some of Downtown’s most popular restaurants will offer three-course meals for $30 as well as specialty dishes you wouldn’t normally see on the menu.
  • DigIN – Journey from field to table at this unique event that unites farmers, chefs and consumers. Celebrate Indiana agriculture Aug. 28 at White River State Park with educational discussion panels, live music, cooking demonstrations, urban gardening exhibits, local chef Q & A sessions, wine tastings, beer tastings and much more. Tickets: $20 in-advance; $30 at the gate

Summer music, movies and art entertain Downtown Indianapolis

Where can you go to listen to live jazz, rock, punk, pop-rock and comedy? Downtown, of course! Downtown’s indoor and outdoor venues cater to multiple genres and music fanatics alike. This summer there’s a sound for everyone Downtown.

Head to The Lawn at White River State Park Aug. 2 for Wiz Khalifa and The Decemberists Aug. 5.  Enjoy My Morning Jacket with guest Neko Case Aug. 7 and the Carnival of Madness tour featuring Theory of a Deadman, Black Stone Cherry, Alter Bridge & more Aug. 17Finally, come back to The Lawn Aug. 23 for Ke$ha and Aug. 29 for Guster and Jack’s MannequinBritney Spears will take the stage at Conseco Fieldhouse Aug. 22. Dave Koz will be at Murat Theatre at Old National Centre Aug. 6 and Return to Forever IV with Zappa plays Zappa will be there Aug. 21. The Egyptian Room at Old National Centre features a variety of performances this August including Bright Eyes Aug. 4, followed by Tech N9ne Aug. 5 and All Time Low Aug. 25.

Enjoy a glass of local wine and listen to awesome musical acts at Groovin’ in the Garden at Easley Winery Tuesdays and Saturdays through September. Head to the Indianapolis Zoo for Animals and All That Jazz Aug. 4, 11 & 18.  The concert series offers a rare opportunity to experience the Zoo after hours. Watch a movie under the stars! Grab some popcorn, your favorite snacks and a warm blanket and head to the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Grease Sing-A-Long, To Catch a Thief, Labyrinth and Superman are playing in August during the Summer Nights Film Series.

Hear the world’s most talented marching bands at the Drum Corps International World Championships. From Aug. 10 – 13, Lucas Oil Stadium will host this week-long celebration with individual and ensemble competitions.  As part of the 2011 Drum Corps International World Championships, there will be a Celebrate Indy Arts! Parade Aug. 13 showcasing more than 30 of the world’s finest marching music ensembles from around the world together with members of the local Indianapolis arts community. Be sure to stop by Rhythm! Discovery Center and check out the interactive exhibits and fun opportunities to find your own rhythm!

Summer sports action heats up

The Indianapolis Indians take to Victory Field 16 times in August: 4 – 7, 16 – 25, 30 & 31. Bring the family to Victory Field for an exciting game and fun give-aways and promotions including Friday Night Fireworks, Souvenir Sunday and Monday Dollar Menu.

Watch the record setting, red-hot Indiana Fever heat up the court at Conseco Fieldhouse Aug. 9, 13, 21 & 27.

Back to school!

Remind the kids, just because school is starting doesn’t mean they can’t have fun while they learn! Visit the Indiana State Museum for Excavation Experience: Megenity Cave, Aug. 15 – 26. Take a lesson in archaeology at The Children Museum’s newest exhibit, National Geographic Treasures of the Earth. Say “¡Adiós!” to Dora and Diego – Let’s Explore at The Children’s Museum Aug. 14. It’s your last chance to have an adventure with the interactive traveling exhibit. Celebrate President Benjamin Harrison’s 178th Birthday Aug. 20 with FREE tours and birthday cake at the President Benjamin Harrison Home. At the Eiteljorg Museum, meet President Theodore Roosevelt and learn about exploring the wild.

Festivals bring the fun in August

  • Gen Con – If you like fun and games, go check out ‘The Best Four Days in Gaming’ when family- friendly Gen Con is in town Aug. 4 – 7 at the Indiana Convention
  • IndyFringe Festival – Enjoy more than 250 artists performing more than 50 unique, cutting-edge stage productions in six theatres featuring dance, drama, comedy, music, magic and more Aug. 19 – 28.

Visit for a Downtown map, Downtown parking information and a complete listing of Downtown Indianapolis events.

Roundpeg Launches New Web Site

July 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Guest Blogger:
Jay Mattingly, Roundpeg Business Services

Lorraine Ball
Lorraine Ball.

Roundpeg, a local small business marketing company in Indianapolis, has launched a fully redesigned website. The site’s first major overhaul since 2009 includes an ultra-clean, modern layout, all new copy, and the same old Roundpeg attitude.

“Roundpeg has changed a lot in the past two years,” said Lorraine Ball, creative director of Roundpeg. “Our new website shows off our evolved design aesthetic and skills while staying true to our focus on small business marketing with a healthy dose of fun.”

The site is designed on a WordPress platform, just like the websites Roundpeg creates for its small business clients. Besides its updated look, the site includes a new section of free resources, a redesigned blog, and more. For more information or to check out the new site, visit

About Roundpeg

Roundpeg, an Indianapolis small business marketing firm, is focused on helping small businesses become big businesses through smart, understandable, and strategic marketing. The company offers full-service marketing, including web design, social media, public relations, marketing strategy, and more.

Disclosure Notice:, LLC has benefited from free business and marketing advice offered informally by Lorraine Ball and Roundpeg. Publishing this blog post is our small way of saying “Thank you.”

Venture Around the World in Northwest Indiana

July 29, 2011 Leave a comment
Pastries at Chesterton European Market

ABOVE: Chesterton European Market Pastries. Photo provided by Indiana Dunes Tourism.

Guest Blogger:
Erika A. Mihalek, Indiana Dunes Tourism

With Indiana’s only authentic Spanish restaurant and great French and Italian restaurants, along with a European Market and several gourmet food shops, Indiana Dunes Country is a great destination for those looking to experience a slice of Europe close to home.

Chesterton European Market

Chesterton European Market

The European Market draws visitors from all around from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday from May to October at Broadway and 3rd Street in Chesterton, IN. The market boasts nearly 150 vendors selling everything from boutique cheeses to fresh flowers and even local artwork. Visiting guests can spend the day browsing the booths and local shops in the heart of downtown Chesterton.

Visitors can also enjoy delicacies from around the globe, as the region has restaurants rich with character and flavor.

Don Quijote Restaurant in Valparaiso, IN is Indiana’s only authentic Spanish restaurant. Chefs and proprietors Carlos Rivero and Elena Jambrina plate up delectable dishes from Spain. For more information, visit

Downtown Valparaiso is also home to Bon Femme, a restaurant that is a blend of both American and European dishes. Executive Chef Eddie Luick emphasizes a menu rich with French accents. Their Web site is

Popolano’s Restaurant in downtown Chesterton, IN boasts a blend of classic Italian dishes in a charming 100 year old building. See

Chesterton is also the site of Lucrezia, a restaurant in a quaint setting which specializes in northern Italian dishes and delicacies. This restaurant is sure to entertain with its interesting history surrounding the life of Lucrezia Borgia. Web site:

In addition to the many restaurants within the region visiting guests can venture into a number of shops that also share a European influence.

The Old World Market located in the heart of downtown Valparaiso is a gourmet store that features everything from freshly baked artisan breads to decadent goat milk cheeses.

Molly Bea’s INGREDIENTS in Chesterton specializes in providing organic and exotic ingredients. Guests can shop for an amazing variety of spices and bulk foods and candies, and even purchase goods in small quantities.

Also in Chesterton is the Regal Rabbit, a store that provides interesting finds for the home and kitchen. Those visiting the shop can also schedule cooking lessons and engage in understanding different culinary techniques.

For those interested in making an overnight stay, the Grey Goose Inn is a charming bed and breakfast centrally located within Chesterton, IN. Nestled on a private lake, the inn offers guests seclusion and is only minutes away from downtown Chesterton.

Another relaxing spot is the Inn at Aberdeen in Valparaiso, a bed and breakfast that has hosted celebrities such as Bruce Jenner and Suze Orman.

For more information about these sites and other attractions, visit

Do more for less in Fort Wayne

July 26, 2011 Leave a comment
Visit Fort Wayne

ABOVE: Visit Fort Wayne Guide. Image provided by Fort Wayne CVB.

Guest Blogger:
Kristen Guthrie, Fort Wayne CVB

This summer, your family can do MORE than you’ve imagined in Fort Wayne, Indiana — for a lot LESS than you think!

  • Visit our Children’s Zoo, one of the top ten in the nation!
  • Catch Tin Caps baseball fever in our brand-new downtown stadium – with seats starting at just $5.
  • Enjoy outstanding attractions like Science Central, the Botanical Conservatory, the Museum of Art and so much more!
  • Splash into a summer of fun, filled with MORE festivals, concerts, museums and shopping in Fort Wayne, Indiana!
  • Find affordable, family-friendly hotels that offer free breakfasts, refreshing poolside fun, and a chance to relax and unwind.

Learn more at, where you can:

Downloada Visitors Guide• Print valuable coupons

Sign up for our e-newsletter, and

View Fort Wayne getaway packages

Visit our online visitor blog, and more!

Help change a child’s life: Tutor.

July 25, 2011 Leave a comment
Help change a child's life: Tutor.

ABOVE: Help change a child's life: Tutor. Photo provided.

Guest Blogger:
Julie Henson
Americorps Volunteer Coordinator for ReadUP United Way of Central Indiana

One hour a week. That’s all it takes to change a child’s future. As a tutor with United Way of Central Indiana’s ReadUP program, you’ll rediscover just how rewarding volunteering can be.

It takes 12 years to make a high school graduate, or alternately a drop-out. ReadUP is part of United Way’s education priority where we believe that helping kids today means helping communities tomorrow.

Here are some statistics we know:

  • Two-thirds of Indiana fourth graders aren’t reading at grade level, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress
  • Research shows that kids who aren’t on track with reading by 6th grade are more likely to drop out.
  • ReadUP benefits 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders helping them read at grade level and pass the English Language Arts portion of I-STEP

You can help! One tutor, Marsha Hardy, says she chose our program because a teacher once told her that, “if a person can read and comprehend what is read, they can do anything.” And it’s true. Our volunteers are making a difference, changing the lives of central Indiana students one hour at a time.

Tutoring takes place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Tutors work with two students every week for half an hour blocks, or every other week with our partner option.

It launches this September and runs through May 2012. A variety of school sites and time slots are available.

Take the next step.

Visit or call 317-925-READ to get the latest on training dates, school sites, and other ReadUP details. All volunteers must submit to a background check and attend a United Way ReadUP training prior to tutoring.