Archive for July, 2012

156th Indiana State Fair, Aug. 3-19

July 31, 2012 Leave a comment
Indiana State Fair

Indiana State Fair, Aug. 3-19. staff photo, (c) 2011, all rights reserved.

The 156th edition of the Indiana State Fair is scheduled for Aug. 3-19, 2012, at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, 1202 East 38th Street, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Gates open daily at 8 a.m. (6 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 11). Admission tickets will be sold and accepted until 9 p.m. Sun-Thu and until 9:30 p.m. Fri-Sat. General Admission is $10 and children under 6 are free. Discount tickets are available at Wal-Mart, CVS, Indiana Farm Bureau offices, the Marten House Hotel, and the State Fairgrounds Ticket Office for $7.

New in 2012 is a 3-day pass for $18. The pass is good for one admission for up to three different days. You can purchase these passes at the same locations indicated above. Also new is a text service monitored daily from 7 a.m. to midnight. If you have an issue or question while at the State Fair, send a text message to the Indiana State Fair Operations Center at 317-451-5366.

State Fair concerts will be held at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, 125 South Pennsylvania Street, in downtown Indianapolis, and include Barry Manilow on Aug. 3, Train on Aug. 4, Journey on Aug. 8, and Blake Shelton on Aug. 17. Tickets to these concerts include one free admission to the State Fair, good on any day of the fair.

Some daily highlights include:

  • Friday, Aug. 3: Band Day at the State Fair Grandstand
  • Saturday, Aug. 4: Monster Truck Nationals
  • Sunday, Aug. 5: Lucas Oil Indy Super Pull
  • Monday, Aug. 6: International Circus Hall of Fame
  • Tuesday, Aug. 7: International Circus Hall of Fame
  • Wednesday, Aug. 8: Timberworks Lumberjack Show
  • Thursday, Aug. 9: Timberworks Lumberjack Show
  • Friday, Aug. 10: Xtreme Action Sports Show
  • Saturday, Aug. 11: Cheerleading Competition
  • Sunday, Aug. 12: Great American Wild West Show
  • Monday, Aug. 13: Great American Wild West Show
  • Tuesday, Aug. 14: Indiana State Fair Horse Pulls
  • Wednesday, Aug. 15: Harness Racing
  • Thursday, Aug. 16: Harness Racing
  • Friday, Aug. 17: Naptown Roller Girls
  • Saturday, Aug. 18: Lucas Oil Indy Mile AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National
  • Sunday, Aug. 19: Lucas Oil Demolition Derby and Last Blast Fireworks

To view the official PDF program online, visit For more information, visit the Indiana State Fair Web site at, or call 317-927-7500.

XDL Motorcycle Madness, Aug. 17-18

July 30, 2012 Leave a comment
XDL Motorcycle Madness

XDL Motorcycle Madness, Aug. 17-18.

By Jeremy Riffle
On behalf of the XDL Championship Series

The XDL Championship Series is making its fifth trip back to Indianapolis as part of the Red Bull Indianapolis GP weekend on August 17 &18, 2012. This year XDL is unveiling a brand-new entertainment concept called Motorcycle Madness that will include XDL Round 3, trials demos, the Bling Rockets bike show, the XDL Photo Zone, music and plenty of food & drink.

“The idea is to bring the ultimate entertainment package to Indy and to make full use of the wonderful park at the Indiana War Memorial,” commented XDL Founder Randy Grube. “As an example, we will introduce the XDL Open House on Thursday, August 16, which will be an opportunity to grab a bite and a drink in the park while watching the XDL pros practice for the event.”

Admission to the venue on Thursday is free but will require a voucher that can be downloaded at the XDL tickets site or on the XDL Facebook fan page.

Alex Flores

Alex Flores.

XDL also has two new content formats in store for Indy: The Motul Drift Battle and the Girl Power Jam Session. With the popularity of motorcycle drifting around the world and its wide following on YouTube, fans in Indy will have the chance to see this exciting format in a live competition setting for the first time.The Girl Power Jam Session is a new format designed to showcase the growth of the sport among women. As the name indicates, this is a session that is controlled by the athletes and they decide on what content to showcase during their time slot.

Tickets for the grandstands tend to sell out prior to the event and can be purchased on the ticket page or the XDL Facebook fan page.

To keep up with Motorcycle Madness Indy and XDL, visit the official site, follow the Facebook fan page, or use #XDLINDY on Twitter.  Info on Motorcycle Madness and the Indy event can be found on the web at:

Tickets for Motorcycle Madness Indy can be purchased at XDL can be found on the web at:

XDL is the only championship of its kind and is a leader in reaching the 18-34 old sportbike demographic. Each XDL event features the world’s most skilled athletes squaring off in five unique competitions for over $10,000 in prize money. Since its inception in 2006 the series has built a global following in places as far off as India, Indonesia, China, Japan, Australia, France, Thailand and Eastern Europe, and in the process emerged as the fastest growing action sport in America.

Editor’s Acknowledgement: Bohlsen Group.

Things to do in Indianapolis, July 30 to Aug. 5, 2012

July 29, 2012 Leave a comment

41st Swiss Wine Festival in Vevay, Aug. 23-26

July 28, 2012 Leave a comment
Swiss Wine Festival in Vevay.

Swiss Wine Festival in Vevay. Poster provided by Switzerland County Tourism and used with written permission.

By Kendal R. Miller
Switzerland County Tourism

An air of excitement is materializing across Switzerland County, Indiana, as locals and visitors are getting a glimpse of the preparations well underway. This isn’t a fly-by-night operation—within a month or two of the close of last year’s event, the groundwork began to make one of Indiana’s top festivals bigger and better.

Guests won’t be disappointed as organizers are pulling out all the corks for the 41st annual Swiss Wine Festival. Held at Paul Ogle Riverfront Park in Vevay, IN, this year’s event is Thu-Sun, Aug. 23-26, 2012.

“Just when you think they can’t improve on this event, another facet is added and bigger names are booked,” said Kendal Miller, public relations spokesperson for this year’s festivities.

The Swiss Wine Festival is a four-day celebration that commemorates Switzerland County’s winemaking roots and bragging rights as the “Birthplace of the First Successful Commercial Winery in the United States.”

“Switzerland County and Vevay have worked hard over the years to put this part of southeastern Indiana on the map,” said Miller. “The Swiss Wine Festival has played a big part in that.”

Visitors will find the traditional aspects of the festival firmly in place—the famous Wine Tasting Pavilion, Midwest Championship Grape Stomp, arts & crafts, amusement rides, Grand Festival Parade, riverboat cruises, 5K run/walk, cheerleading competition, live entertainment, and more. This year includes a free video game truck for children and adults and “Close Encounters of the Exotic Kind” that includes lions, tigers, and elephants.

Twelve Indiana wineries are offering samplings of their award-winning wines, with staff on hand to answer questions about their yield. Novice or connoisseur wine lovers can enjoy sample tastes or a glass/bottle if already acquainted with their palates desire. Participating wineries include Buck Creek, Carousel, Chateau De Pique, Ertel Cellars, French Lick, Grateful Goat Vineyard, Harmony, Indiana Creek, Lanthier, Ridge, Windy Knoll, and Winzerwald.

The event will have varieties of cuisine to suit anyone’s tastes. “The Swiss Wine Festival was selected as the fourth best food festival in Indiana by the Best of Indiana earlier this year,” Miller said. “I can personally attest that it’s hard to know what to try first!”

This year’s Swiss Wine Festival entertainment headliners are country music legends Sammy Kershaw and Aaron Tippin, performing on Fri., Aug. 24 beginning at 7:00 pm—and is included with the $4 gate admission. An autograph session will take place after the show ends around 10:00 pm. Additional musical performances include Brittany Gillstrap, Hi-Tops, Kent Family, Diamondback, Hot Wax, Kristen Hobbs, Stevie and the Johns, I69, the Dusty Road Band and more. Guests are advised to bring lawn chairs.

The ZuZu African Acrobats will take the Ogle Stage on Aug. 24-26. Several members of the troupe from Mombasa, Kenya, performed on the NBC show America’s Got Talent. Also featured will be the Kent Family Magic Circus, magician Daniel Lusk, Rik Roberts, and joyUNSPEAKABLE, an interactive character performer who boasts notable performances including one for President Ronald Reagan.

Upholding the Swiss Wine Festival tradition, gates will open on Thurs., Aug. 23 at 6:00 pm with the Little Swiss Polka and Edelweiss Dancers. Hours of practice by local youths had been undertaken to bring together a traditional part of Swiss Wine Festival entertainment.

Festivities begin on Saturday morning at 10:00 am with the Grand Festival Parade in downtown Vevay. Marching bands, floats, and local and visitors line the streets of Main Street to kick-off the celebration Switzerland County-style.

Entry into the festival and parking is free on Thursday only and $4 per day on Fri-Sun. Children 5-12 years admitted for $2, with under age five free. Parking is $3 per vehicle. Festival times are Thu, Aug. 23, 5-10 pm; Fri, Aug. 24, 3 pm-2 am; Sat, Aug. 25, 10:30 am-2 am; and Sun, Aug. 26, 10:30 am-6:30 pm.

The Wine Pavilion is closed on Thursday, but is open Fri 3-10 pm, Sat 11 am-10 pm, and Sun 12-6 pm. The $15 admission fee includes wine samples and a souvenir wine glass.

Additional activities, performers, and events can be found on the Swiss Wine Festival website at, or call 812-427-9463. Reservations for riverboat cruises can be made by calling 800-435-5688. Information on lodging, local businesses and tourist activities can be found at or by calling Switzerland County Tourism at 812-427-3237.

Review: “Nunsense” at Beef and Boards

July 27, 2012 Leave a comment
"Nunsense" at Beef & Boards

“Nunsense” at Beef & Boards. Photo provided by the theatre and used with written permission.

By Elizabeth J. Musgrave
Syndicated Columnist

When is a greeting card more than a greeting card? When it spawns an international sensation known as Nunsense. One of off-Broadway’s most commercially successful shows, six sequels, three spin offs and a television show followed quickly. Originating from Dan Goggin’s line of nun-based humorous cards, the popular Little Sisters of Hoboken convenes once again on stage at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre, Indianapolis.

The rollicking ladies of the convent are in dire straits for quick cash. 52 nuns have died from botulism caused by the poor culinary skills of an unseen cooking sister (Sister Julia, Child of God). With only 48 buried due to improper money management, the wacky spiritual ladies contrive a revue and cookbook sale to raise the remaining funds needed to bury the dearly departed…before the Board of Health slaps them with a hefty fine for storing the stiff sisters in the walk-in freezer.

Read the full review…

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her newest column, Infused at and and as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published,, in M and Retired Living magazines and several newspapers: Southsider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.