By Nicki Mackowski-Gladstone
On behalf of “Sizzling Day of Bacon”
The grand opening of Fair Oaks Farms’ newest agritourism attraction, the Pork Education Center, will be an over-the-top, family focused event celebrating the only pork education center in the nation focused on transparent pig farming.
The “Sizzling Day of Bacon” will be held on Sunday, June 28, 2015, 10 AM to 5 PM, and will attract a wide demographic of individuals from around the nation.
The celebration will be hosted on the event grounds of Fair Oaks Farms, which are adjacent to the new Pork Education Center, and in the center itself, as well as across the rest of the Fair Oaks Farms campus.
“The grand opening celebration for this one-of-a-kind attraction will feature industry leaders, consumer products, great musical entertainment, delicious food and fun activities. It will be an exciting event for the whole family,” said Brian Martin, president of the board of directors for the Fair Oaks Pig Adventure.
The Pork Education Center is a nonprofit facility whose mission is to bring food to the table, educate consumers about the many uses of pork products and set industry standards, as well as offer a transparent look into the world of modern pig farming.
Guests to the center can learn amazing facts about how pork products are used in everyday life, challenge themselves on an exciting ropes course, watch videos about selecting and preparing pork, view a giant storyboard or play pig-related games.
Children will enjoy exploring the center’s tree house featuring a bacon slide and a “real” fireplace. This creative addition to the center was custom-made by Daniels Wood Land, Inc., and will be featured on the Animal Planet show “Redwood Kings.”
“We could have opened this amazing education center with just a ribbon cutting, but the creative minds of our board members and those at Mixdesign wanted to come up with a fantastic way to celebrate such a special building. I think we have planned a very memorable day,” Martin added.
The highlight of the grand opening celebration will be a concert showcasing the world famous Bacon Brothers Band – nothing says “bacon” quite like a performance by Michael and Kevin Bacon!
Additionally, the celebration will include a battle of the chefs’ pork cook-off competition, pork and related product samplings, a “bacon shake” for kids, a full day of kids’ activities and much more.
Tickets for the day’s events are $45 for adults and $21 for kids. The Bacon Brothers Band concert and entrance into both The Dairy and Pig Adventures, as well the educational centers on the Fair Oaks Farms campus, are included in the ticket price.
Fair Oaks Farms is located in Newton County in northwestern Indiana at 856 North County Road 600 East in Fair Oaks, just off I-65 Exit 220. For more information about the event or to purchase tickets, visit http://fofarms.com/. Tickets can also be purchased online on Ticketweb. For more event details, contact Nicki Mackowski-Gladstone at email@example.com or call 219-322-7190.
Indiana Black Expo
On May 26, 2015, Indiana Black Expo announced that former Indianapolis Colt Reggie Wayne will receive the Key to the City of Indianapolis from Mayor Greg Ballard during the Pacers Sports & Entertainment Corporate Luncheon presented by Indiana University.
The luncheon will take place on Friday, July 17, 2015, at 11 AM in Halls D and E of the Indiana Convention Center, 100 South Capitol Avenue, as part of the 45th Annual Summer Celebration.
“Reggie has given back to our community on and off the field, and I am thrilled to present him with the key to the city,” said Mayor Ballard. “From being a fan favorite throughout his years wearing the Colts jersey, to lending his time and energy to benefit countless good causes in Indianapolis, Reggie has been a role model to many.”
“We are excited about honoring Reggie Wayne and declaring the last weekend of Summer Celebration ‘Reggie Wayne Weekend,'” said Tanya Bell, IBE president & Chief Executive Officer. “Besides his greatness as one of the best NFL wide receivers and the stellar example he set for the Colts franchise, Reggie has done so much for our community and we want to make sure that the state of Indiana is provided with an opportunity to thank him for his contributions,” added Bell. “Reggie has always supported the mission of Indiana Black Expo and has invested significantly in our youth. IBE will be forever indebted to #87,” added Bell.
Wayne played college football for the University of Miami and was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the first round (30th overall) of the 2001 NFL Draft. He is a six-time Pro Bowl selection, and was a member of the Colts’ Super Bowl XLI championship team. He is currently sixth all-time in NFL receiving yards (leading all active players in both categories) and tied for 22nd all-time in career touchdown receptions.
The Corporate Luncheon is the largest luncheon in the state of Indiana with nearly 3,000 guests. Tickets of $60 each and tables for $600 are available at the IBE Box Office located at 3145 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis, Indiana.
IBE will honor Reggie Wayne throughout Summer Celebration weekend. The full schedule of events will be published for the community.
A “Thank You Reggie” exhibit will be featured during the Cultural Arts Pavilion from Friday, July 17 to Sunday, July 19. The community will also have an opportunity to sign a display and see Reggie Wayne during the Annual Amp Harris & Reggie Wayne Saving Our Youth Celebrity Basketball game on Saturday, July 18 at 6:00 PM in Hall J of the Indiana Convention Center.
For additional information, call 317-925-2702.
By Amanda Dorman
Downtown Indy, Inc.
Family-friendly outdoor festivals take the forefront in June with the return of many annual Downtown favorites.
The Christ Church Cathedral Women’s Strawberry Festival returns to Monument Circle to serve an estimated six tons of strawberries and 18,000 homemade shortcakes on Thursday, June 11, 2015.
Thousands of people will gather outside of Holy Rosary Catholic Church and enjoy 25 different Italian meats, pastas, salads and desserts during Italian Street Festival June 12 & 13 (see photo above).
The Circle City IN Pride Festival, Indiana’s largest LGBT celebration, takes place at American Legion Mall June 13.
Sip on craft beer from more than 50 local and national breweries at Brew-Ha-Ha on Park Avenue June 20.
On June 27 & 28, check out the Eiteljorg Museum’s Indian Market and Festival, one of the Midwest’s largest Indian markets.
Other big June festivals:
June 6: Vintage Indiana Wine and Food Festival
June 13: PBS Kids in the Park
June 13 & 14: Talbot Street Art Fair
June13: INDIEana Handicraft Exchange
June 18: Marsh Cookout on the Circle
June 20: Asian Fest
June 21: Familia Fest
Take in the sights and sounds of summer
Summer concerts are officially here and national and local artists alike will bring Downtown to life this June.
The Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park hosts an exciting June summer concert lineup, with Third Eye Blind and Dashboard Confessional kicking off the season on May 30. See Alabama Shakes June 2, Cage the Elephant June 7, Hozier June 11, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals June 13, Rob Zombie June 14, Barenaked Ladies June 17, Flogging Molly June 17 and David Gray/Amos Lee June 27.
At Old National Centre, fans of all genres of music can catch big names including:
June 5: Juicy J
June 11: Heart
June 16: Rob Thomas
June 17: The Smashing Pumpkins: In Plainsong – An Acoustic Electro Evening
June 27: Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake
Catch two more shows at The Cabaret at the Columbia Club: Indy Men’s Chorus: A Night at the Cabaret on June 12 and Linda Lavin: Now on June 26 & 27.
There are several options for enjoying live tunes outside this summer. Indiana Historical Society’s “Concerts on the Canal” kick off May 28 and continue every Thursday at 6 – 8 p.m. through the end of July. Reserve a table on the Stardust Terrace or bring a chair or blanket and take a seat on the grassy hill right off the Canal.
Easley Winery offers free concerts every Saturday from 2 – 5 p.m. as part of their “Groovin’ in the Garden” concert series.
Enjoy great live music, animals, rides, delicious food and more Friday nights June 19 through July 10 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Indianapolis Zoo’s Zoolapalooza Concert Series.
The Indianapolis Museum of Art kicks off Summer Nights Film Series on June 5 with National Lampoon’s Vacation. Other June showings include Heathers June 12; Casablanca June 19 and Psycho June 26. The series continues every summer Friday through Aug. 28. Films begin at dusk with pre-show activities at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12; $6 for members.
Go car-free this summer
WalkScore.com ranks Downtown Indy as a “Walker’s Paradise” and Sports Illustrated named Indy as “the most walkable Downtown in America.”
That’s why Downtown Indy is challenging the public to go car-free this summer with the new Car-Free Indy program. Ride your bike, take the bus or walk for a more sustainable city. Participants can up online, create a profile, set a goal and track progress now through August. The program strives to have 1,000 participants and save 30,000 miles of commuting by the end of the summer. Prizes will be awarded monthly.
Georgia Street action
Happy Hours kicked off with a bang, with more than 400 people attending each week. Wind down your week at Downtown’s hometown hangout every Thursday from 4:30 – 7 p.m. Enjoy live DJs or bands, appetizers from the Severin Bar and domestic beers and craft brews including Flat 12 and Upland. This event is free to attend.
Workout Wednesdays continues through the end of July on Georgia Street’s west block. Downtown Indy has again partnered with the YMCA to provide fun, all-levels group fitness for FREE Workout Wednesdays weekly from noon – 12:45 p.m. thanks to Buckingham Companies.
Eat lunch alfresco on the Boardwalk and enjoy the sights and sounds of Downtown during Food Truck Fridays from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Cheer the Fever, join the Tribe and more Downtown sports
Catch one (or more) of the 15 Indianapolis Indians home games at Victory Field in June. Enjoy monthly promos including 2-for-1 Tuesdays, Thursday Craft Beer Night, Friday Fireworks and Kid’s Eat Free Sundays.
On June 4, catch the Celebrity Softball Challenge at Victory Field. This game features Indianapolis Colts Robert Mathis and teammate Dwayne Allen, along with other local sports stars as well as mascots and media personalities. The Home Run Derby competition begins at 6 p.m., followed by the seven inning Celebrity Softball Game at 7 p.m.
The Indiana Fever home opener is June 6 against the Minnesota Lynx. Catch four more games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse this month: June 12, 14, 20 & 26. Every Indiana Fever game of the 2015 season will be broadcast either online or on radio or television.
And there’s one more chance to catch the Indy Eleven at home for the season. The team plays FC Edmonton June 13 at IUPUI.
For more information, visit http://downtownindy.org/, or call 317-237-2222.
The Greatest Short Track Race in the World is set for this Saturday, May 23, 2015, at historic Anderson Speedway, with the 67th running of the Pay Less Little 500 presented by UAW-GM.
Activities leading up to the Pay Less Little 500 presented by UAW-GM begins Thursday from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. for the run for the pole. The field of the fastest non-wing sprint cars will be set during “bump day” on Friday from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Both qualifying days are free to the public.
The field of 33 sprint cars starting in 11 rows of three is scheduled to take the green flag on Saturday at 8 p.m. Pre-race festivities start when gates at 4 p.m. with Kroger FanFest, UAW-GM Buy American Interactive Fan Display and Sprint Car Simulators. An autograph session will start at 6 p.m. with all 33 drivers in attendance. On track pre-race festivities will begin at 7 p.m.
Crawfordsville driver Jacob Wilson will be seeking his third consecutive Pay Less Little 500 victory after battling with Kokomo resident Shane Cottle the past two years.
Thirty-eight teams have submitted pre-entries for the Little 500 with the winner earning at least $25,000 from the $124,400 purse.
Five former Little 500 winners are entered with Jeff Bloom, Brian Tyler, Chris Windom along with Wilson and Cottle.
Top drivers from around the U.S. and Canada are descending on the world’s fastest quarter-mile high banked oval with the goal of making the starting field.
Drivers scheduled to compete in the Pay Less Little 500 include: Jerry Coons Jr., Tony Elliott, Shane Hollingsworth, Bobby Santos III, Aaron Pierce, Kody Swanson and Troy Decaire.
Reserve seat tickets are priced at $30 and can be purchased at the Anderson Speedway ticket office daily and on race day.
For additional information on Anderson Speedway, visitwww.andersonspeedway.com or contact Anderson Speedway at (765) 642-0206.
By Ken Kosky
Indiana Dunes Tourism
Pizza Wars, a bracket-style contest to crown the best pizza in Porter County, Indiana, kicked off on Friday, May 15, 2015.
The Epic Eight, identified as having the best pizza in the county through social media mentions and surveys, will battle head-to-head until a winner is crowned.
Porter County’s Epic Eight are:
- AJ’s Pizza, Chesterton
- Duneland Pizza, Chesterton
- Gelsosomo’s, Portage
- Greek’s, Valparaiso
- Rolling Stonebaker, Beverly Shores
- Shoe’s, Valparaiso
- Tomato Bar, Valparaiso
- Tony’s Place, Valparaiso
People can visit http://indianadunes.com/wars to vote in the first round. The winner of each pairing will advance to a round of four on May 28, with the final round of two kicking off on June 4.
The winning restaurant will be announced June 8, and will compete against pizza from six other Northern Indiana counties starting June 12 to pick a Northern Indiana champion.
“The goals of Pizza Wars are to remind people that they don’t have to go to Chicago to get fantastic pizza, and to guide visitors and residents to local favorites so they can decide for themselves what is their favorite pizza,” said Angela Pasyk, niche market director for Indiana Dunes Tourism.
“We had hundreds of votes cast to determine our Top 8, so they all had numerous nominations and loyal customers who insist they are the best, so it’ll be fun to see how this plays out.”
Pizza Wars, an initiative of Indiana Dunes Tourism and the Northern Indiana Tourism Development Commission, is designed to highlight the fact that this is a pizza-lover’s paradise.
The eight restaurants competing against each other will have tourism-produced posters at their businesses and are encouraged to use social media and be creative in getting diners and voters to come their way.
“Pizza Wars not only allows people to participate in the battle for the best local pizza, but it should also encourage non-locals to try some Porter County deep dish, stuffed, or thin crust goodness,” Pasyk said.
She said Pizza Wars is the second of the food wars series, with Octave Grill in Chesterton being crowned Burger Wars winner last year. She anticipates a new food war taking place each year.
The Pizza Wars winner will receive a banner and a plaque. In addition, Indiana Dunes Tourism will purchase $150 in gift cards from their restaurant and $100 in gift cards from the runner up’s restaurant to give away to people who vote during Pizza Wars.