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Pizza Wars in Porter County, Indiana, May 15 to June 8, 2015

May 16, 2015 1 comment
Pizza Wars in Porter County, Indiana

Pizza Wars in Porter County, Indiana. AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2011, all rights reserved.

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:

  1. AJ’s Pizza, Chesterton
  2. Duneland Pizza, Chesterton
  3. Gelsosomo’s, Portage
  4. Greek’s, Valparaiso
  5. Rolling Stonebaker, Beverly Shores
  6. Shoe’s, Valparaiso
  7. Tomato Bar, Valparaiso
  8. 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.

Visit http://indianadunes.com/warshttp://facebook.com/IndianaDunesTourism, or @indianadunes on Twitter for opportunities to win the prizes.

GreekFest 2015 in Carmel, Indiana, Aug. 28-30, 2015

GreekFest in Carmel, Indiana

GreekFest in Carmel, Indiana. AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2013, all rights reserved.

By Mary Lee Pappas
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church

GreekFest 2015 in Carmel, Indiana marks the 42nd year for what has become one of central Indiana’s oldest and largest ethnic festivals.

Save the date! GreekFest 2015 is a three-day event taking place Friday, August 28, to Sunday, August 30, 2015. Admission is free. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

Hosted by the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, the GreekFest is known for its array of authentic Greek cuisine, fine wines, and fresh pastries, many of which are only available once a year at GreekFest.

GreekFest 2015 features an open marketplace, live Greek music, Church tours, dance performances by the Holy Trinity Hellenic Dance Troupes, authentic food and pastry, children’s activities, local craft beers, and more.

www.IndyGreekFest.org

Friday, August 28, 4 – 10 p.m.
Saturday, August 29, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday, August 30, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., 2015

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church
3500 West 106th Street
Carmel, Indiana

Holy Trinity is a parish that has been on a journey for more than a century in central Indiana. Founded by Greek immigrants who had journeyed themselves to this country, the parish’s first temple was on West Street. By 1961, the Holy Trinity parish had outgrown those facilities and moved to 40th and Pennsylvania Streets. Now, Holy Trinity hosts the GreekFest at the church’s 20-acre campus at 106th and Shelbourne in Carmel, Indiana.

Indiana Landmarks Home Tour in Muncie, May 30, 2015

Indiana Landmarks Center

Indiana Landmarks Center. AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2014, all rights reserved.

By Jen Thomas
On behalf of Indiana Landmarks

Indiana Landmarks’ annual “Back to the Future: A Mid-Century Modern Home Tour” on May 30, 2015, will feature five standout homes on the north and west sides of Muncie, Indiana.

The homes, which were built between 1948 and 1972, exhibit classic mid-century features including open floor plans, expansive use of glass, natural materials, and integration with surrounding landscapes.

One of the five—the Graham House on Briar Avenue—remains in the original family, now owned by the son and daughter-in-law of the architect who built it for his family in 1948.

A 1972 house on the tour was designed for his family by Charles Sappenfield, the first and long-time dean of the Ball State University’s College of Architecture and Planning, now celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Mid-century homes opening for the May 30 Back to the Future tour include:
• Benham House (1950) owned by Steve Austin, 204 North Winthrop Road
• Sursa House (1963) owned by Sandra and Eric Damian Kelly, 3410 West University Avenue
• Graham House (1948), owned by Greg and Linda Graham, 1104 North Briar Avenue
• Sappenfield House (1972), owned by Melanie Schreiner, 2322 West Berwyn Road
• Fisk House (1972), owned by James and Nancy Morris, 2307 West Norwood Drive

In the driveway of each house, an automobile of a similar vintage will be displayed by Indiana Automotive, another affinity group of Indiana Landmarks. The cars range from a 1948 Lincoln Continental to a 1973 Ford Mustang.

The home tour runs from 1 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 30, 2015. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 on the day of the tour.

Indiana Landmarks and its Indiana Modern affinity group, sponsors of the tour and lecture, work to protect Modernist buildings and foster appreciation for the landmarks of the era. Back to the Future tour is staged with support from Chilluffo Media and AXIS Architecture + Interiors, both of Indianapolis, and INGUARD, Muncie.

WHAT:
Back to the Future: A Mid-Century Modern Home Tour

WHEN:
Saturday, May 30, 1-6 p.m.

WHERE:
Five houses in Muncie. Day of tour ticket sales and shuttle service originates at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2801 West Riverside Ave.

COST:
$15 per person in advance. Buy tickets in advance at Indiana Landmarks Center and Form+Function in Indianapolis or online atbttfhometour15.eventbrite.com.

$20 per person on May 30, 1-6 pm at tour headquarters, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2801 West Riverside Ave., in Muncie, and at each tour home.

WHO:
Presented by Indiana Landmarks and its Indiana Modern affinity group.

For more information, call Indiana Landmarks, 317-639-4534 or visithttp://indianalandmarks.org/.

36th Zoopolis 500 at the Indianapolis Zoo, May 20, 2015

Indianapolis Zoo

Indianapolis Zoo. AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2013, all rights reserved.

By Carla Knapp
Indianapolis Zoo

Ready. Set. Slow! The 36th running of Zoopolis 500 presented by the American Dairy Association Indiana is May 20, 2015, at the Indianapolis Zoo, 1200 West Washington Street, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Considered the “Greatest Spectacle in Tortoise Racing,” this event is one of the Zoo’s most popular and longest running traditions.

Zoopolis 500 puts a unique twist on the Indianapolis 500 and regularly draws thousands of local fans and national media attention.

This beloved event features the “racing” radiated tortoises as well as 2013 Indianapolis 500 champion Tony Kanaan, who will serve as the honorary race steward, and former Indianapolis Motor Speedway chief announcer Mike King, who will call all the Zoopolis action.

Race-day activities begin at 10:30am at the Entry Plaza where guests can meet the 500 Festival Princesses and get pictures with a 500 Festival Pace Car.

Guests can also get a chug of Dean’s milk (while supplies last), meet Zoo mascots and pose for photos with a winner’s wreath.

Pre-race analysis then begins at 11am at Dean’s Arena as King and Kanaan take center stage along with Zookeeper Jon Pilarski, who will share some expert insights before the main event.

The parade around Dean’s Arena begins at 11:30am and also includes 500 Festival Princesses, the Dairy Princess, American Dairy Association mascot Buttercup and the racing tortoises.

Following the parade, Kanaan will drop the green flag on the feature race and guests can cheer for their favorite tortoise as they “speed” toward the finish line and a tray of delicious fruits waiting in the winner’s circle.

At the finish line, the winning “pit crew” will enjoy icy cold bottles of milk, provided by the American Dairy Association Indiana.

Following the race, guests are invited to meet the winning tortoise and his crew — Zookeepers who can answer tortoise-related questions and tell guests all about the Zoo’s efforts to help these critically endangered animals.

Zoopolis 500 activities are free for Zoo members and included with regular admission. Guests are encouraged to save time and money by planning their visit in advance at http://indianapoliszoo.com/. For more information, call 317-630-2001.

French Lick Resort Named “Best Historic Hotel” in America

French Lick Resort

French Lick Resort. AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2012, all rights reserved.

By Dyan Duncan
French Lick Resort

The results are in: French Lick Resort has been named Best Historic Hotel in the Readers’ Choice Awards – topping properties nationwide such as Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in Riverside, Calif. and Palmer House Hilton in Chicago.

Out of the 260 hotels recognized by Historic Hotels of America, Lawrence Horwitz, Executive Director of the organization, narrowed down the field to just 20 nominees for the “Best Historic Hotels” category.

After the field was narrowed to 20, readers of USA TODAY and 10Best had the opportunity to vote for their favorite historic properties. After four weeks, the top 10 winners were announced, and French Lick Resort was awarded the title of Best Historic Hotel.

“For USA TODAY’s savvy world travelers to single of French Lick Resort amongst the prestigious list of historic properties speaks volumes about how far we’ve come since our re-opening just nine years ago,” said VP of Resort Operations Joe Vezzoso. “With a readership of 3.1 million, there’s huge opportunity for us to get our property in front of a lot of potential visitors.”

French Lick Resort features two grand hotels nestled in the Hoosier National Forest of southern Indiana. French Lick Springs Hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, while the West Baden Springs Hotel, a National Historic Landmark, consistently makes Condé Nast Traveler’s “Best Places to Stay in the World” and has been ranked the No. 1 Hotel in Indiana by US News & World Report in 2013 and 2014.

There are 45 holes of golf, including the fully restored 1917-designed Donald Ross Course at French Lick Resort and the 18-hole Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort, two world-class spas, Vegas-style gaming, horseback riding, activities for kids and meeting and event space totaling 200,000 square feet.

This prestigious award comes less than a week before the resort is set to host the 2015 Senior PGA Championship, May 19-24, 2015, presented by KitchenAid. The championship is expected to draw upwards of 25,000 people to the area and will be broadcast to 250 million homes in 160 countries and territories.

About French Lick Resort

French Lick Resort is a $560 million historic restoration and casino development project that includes the West Baden Springs Hotel, French Lick Springs Hotel and the French Lick Casino. This premier resort and casino destination in Southern Indiana features 686 guest rooms and suites; a 51,000-square-foot, single-level casino; 63 holes of golf, including the fully restored 1917-designed Donald Ross Course at French Lick and the 18-hole Pete Dye Course at French Lick; two full-service spas with a combined 36 treatment rooms totaling 42,000 square feet; meeting and event space totaling 200,000 square feet and an array of dining and entertainment options.

For more information, visit http://frenchlick.com/, or call 812-936-9300.