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Bacon and Beer Classic at Victory Field, July 11, 2015

June 30, 2015 Leave a comment
Bacon and Beer Classic at Victory Field

Bacon and Beer Classic at Victory Field. Image provided by the event organizers and used with written permission.

By Sam Schaible
On behalf of the Bacon and Beer Classic

Bacon and beer — what combination could be better? Taste all the deliciousness for yourself at the Bacon and Beer Classic. Held on Saturday, July 11, 2015 at Victory Field in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana, this event brings together over 75 of the best local breweries and restaurants for an unforgettable mix of food and fun.

Cannonball Productions brings the Bacon and Beer Classic (www.baconandbeerclassic.com) to Victory Field, for an all-you-can-eat-and-drink tasting experience.

Guests can choose to attend the Brunch session (1 to 4 p.m), or the Dinner session (7 to 10 p.m.). VIP guests will have 1-hour early admission (12p.m. and 6p.m. respectively), entrance to the VIP area on the warning track and dugouts, samples of exclusive craft beer on the field, and more.

In between all-inclusive craft beer samples from local breweries and bacon-inspired tastes from local restaurants, guests can dance to music and bring out their inner kid by playing interactive games (think inflatable bungee run and cornhole).

Hosted in major and minor league baseball stadiums on non-game day Saturdays across America, the Bacon and Beer Classic national tour visited New York City, Seattle and the Bay Area earlier this year and has grown exponentially to include more than 10 destinations nationwide in 2015.

“Indianapolis is a hot spot for craft beer and is the unofficial ‘pork state’, so we’re very excited to tap into the market with the first Midwest Bacon and Beer Classic!” says Kate Levenstien, founder of Cannonball Productions and Bacon and Beer Classic.

The all-star line up of breweries and restaurants participating grows each day. Over 50 local brewers including Bier Brewery, Fountain Square Brewing Co., People’s Brewing and Quaff On Brewing are all signed up to serve at least two of their most coveted craft selections.

Chefs from 30 expected restaurants are challenged to bring their most inventive and delicious bacon-inspired dishes to the plate. Local restaurants including Shoefly Public House, The Exchange Pub + Kitchen, Fermenti Artisan, The Pint Room and The District Tap will be dishing out their best bacon-themed dishes. The combination of refreshing craft beer and delectable bacon is sure to please all palettes!

The Bacon and Beer Classic also brings in an all-star lineup at each event to judge all the sips and tastes, and award winners in select categories. This year’s judges include Indianapolis Star food and beverage reporters Liz Biro and Amy Haneline; founder of the blog and website Eat.Drink.Indy, Jolene Ketzenberger; and Certified Cicerone Bob Mack; Jennifer Rubenstein, editor, and Rachel Russell, writer, at Edible Indy, among others.

The Bacon and Beer Classic is always an all-inclusive event! General Admission tickets are $49. Fans may choose to purchase the VIP Experience ticket for $89. All tickets include a souvenir Bacon and Beer Classic branded glass to take home.

Designated driver tickets are available at a cost of $29 for unlimited bacon. Indy’s Bacon and Beer Classic welcomes families and children with unlimited bacon tickets for kids 5-20 for $19.

Cannonball Productions partners with neighborhood vendors and organizations to give the event that local hometown feel. This year they have partnered with the Indianapolis chapter of the American Cancer Society.

For up-to-date information on the event, please visit: http://www.baconandbeerclassic.com/

Direct link to tickets: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/indianapolis-bacon-and-beer-cla…

Facebook: facebook.com/bandbclassic

Twitter: @bandbclassic

Instagram: bandbclassic

Hashtag: ‪#‎bandbclassic‬

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A Great Day at the Indianapolis Zoo

June 27, 2015 Leave a comment
Indianapolis Zoo.

Indianapolis Zoo in White River State Park.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2015, all rights reserved.

By Bob Burchfield, Editor
AroundIndy.com, LLC

It’s easy to dream about taking a trip to the beach or the mountains or some special place that’s captured in your imagination, but we often overlook the obvious gems right under our noses.

You don’t have to travel all over the country or the world to have a good time. Indianapolis is living proof of that. And one of those gems is the Indianapolis Zoo and White River Gardens.

In the course of covering Indianapolis events, I drive by the zoo almost every week. But I haven’t been inside the zoo in nearly five years. I discovered this week that a LOT has changed since the last time I visited.

With its entertainment and rides, dining options, special exhibits, and all those animals, the Indianapolis Zoo is among the best attractions in Indiana. The Oceans, Forests, Deserts, Plains, and Flights of Fancy areas—in addition to White River Gardens—offer visitors a wide variety of viewing and interactive activities and a full day of fun.

Bath Time at the Indianapolis Zoo.

Bath Time at the Indianapolis Zoo.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2015, all rights reserved.

My personal favorites during this visit were the elephants in the Plains area. I found two active youngsters in the pond just swimming and splashing and having a good time and putting on a real show for the spectators (see photo above). Simple enjoyment at its best! I also enjoyed getting up close and personal with the giraffes (as the photo below reveals!).

Up close and personal with the giraffes at the Indianapolis Zoo.

Up close and personal with the giraffes at the Indianapolis Zoo.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2015, all rights reserved.

That’s not to overlook or overshadow the other activities at the zoo. Each day from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the zoo offers a regular summer schedule with special chats at designated hours of the day, such as Tiger, Cheetah, Parrot, Baboon, Python, and Meerkat Chats, plus the Dolphin Presentations three times a day in the Dolphin Pavilion and the All-Star Dog Challenge four times a day most days of the week.

Butterflies Exhibit at White River Gardens.

Butterflies Exhibit at White River Gardens.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2015, all rights reserved.

Two notable temporary exhibits—the Butterflies exhibit at the Hilbert Conservatory (see photo above) and the Koalas exhibit in the Forests area (see photo below)—both end on Sept. 7, 2015.

Koala action (?) at the Indianapolis Zoo.

Koala action (?) at the Indianapolis Zoo.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2015, all rights reserved.

But the biggest noticeable change since my last visit is the Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center in the Deserts area, an imposing structure with a cathedral-style architecture. The entrance almost made me feel like I was entering a church! And you can get up within inches of the orangutans (as well as many of the other animals, on the other side of the glass, of course). Fascinating creatures!

Hire wire act at the Indianapolis Zoo Orangutan Center.

High wire act at the Indianapolis Zoo Orangutan Center.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2015, all rights reserved.

As my photos reveal, many of the animals are as curious about you as you are of them. It makes for an interesting and visually-appealing experience, and is certainly a photographer’s delight! I had a bear-y good time [grin]:

A bear-y good time at the Indianapolis Zoo.

A bear-y good time at the Indianapolis Zoo.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2015, all rights reserved.

On a side note, I was wheeling my camera equipment around in a sizable cart, and so I’m happy to report that the grounds are fully wheelchair- and handicap-accessible.

There’s so much more than I’ve covered here in a short blog post. When you throw in special events like Zoobilation, Zoolapalooza, Animals and All That Jazz, ZooBoo, Christmas at the Zoo, and all the other special events each year, the zoo is definitely worth a visit if you haven’t been lately!

Flamingo Exhibit in the Flights of Fancy area at the Indianapolis Zoo.

Flamingo Exhibit in the Flights of Fancy area at the Indianapolis Zoo.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2015, all rights reserved.

The Indianapolis Zoo is located in White River State Park at 1200 West Washington Street, just on the west side of downtown Indianapolis, Indiana, and is open daily beginning at 9 am.

For more information, visit http://indianapoliszoo.com/, or call 317-630-2001.

DISCLOSURE NOTICE: The Indianapolis Zoo provided a free media pass and tour guide for this visit. Thank you for the hospitality! Please note that these photos were taken from the general visitor areas that any zoo visitor can access.

Kombo Coaster in the Deserts Area at the Indianapolis Zoo.

Kombo Coaster in the Deserts Area at the Indianapolis Zoo.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2015, all rights reserved.

Riding the Zoo Train in the Plains Area at the Indianapolis Zoo.

Riding the Zoo Train in the Plains Area at the Indianapolis Zoo.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2015, all rights reserved.

3rd Annual Curiosity Fair at Conner Prairie, June 13-14, 2015

Conner Prairie Interactive History Park

Conner Prairie Interactive History Park. AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2012, all rights reserved.

By Duane Brodt
Conner Prairie Interactive History Park

Thousands of curious minds of all ages will explore science, physics and nature through hands-on experiments and interactive activities in mid-June at Conner Prairie. The third annual Curiosity Fair runs from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. June 13-14, 2015.

New this year, the Smithsonian Institution’s Places of Invention affiliates project, in partnership with the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation and with support from the National Science Foundation, will guide guests through what it takes to build a pipeline from Kokomo, Ind., to Chicago with its Indiana Gas Boom activity.

Guests can help Purdue University assemble and design race cars and test them on a track. And 3D Parts Manufacturing, Club Cyberia and Nickel Plate Arts will engage guests in building a large 3D sculpture in a maker’s space.

>> A complete list of Curiosity Fair activities: http://bit.ly/1HTJU09.

>> Photos from last year’s event: http://bit.ly/1AyL6qf

>> Video: http://bit.ly/1e1eHhz

The Wonder Wheels BMX Stunt Show will perform at 11:00 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day. Dow Agroscience will provide interactive opportunities to explore chemistry and science while Eli Lilly and Co. will present its “Chemistry is a Blast” show at noon, 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. each day. Indianapolis Engineering for Kids will offer hands-on engineering activities.

Returning favorites will include IndianaFirst Robotics, which will host hands-on robot demonstrations, and Indiana University’s Pervasive Technology Institute, which will demonstrate the inner workings of computers. Kroger will reveal how ice cream is made, Pace Dairy will demonstrate how cheese is made and Fair Oaks Farm will share how milk is produced.

Other attractions will include Cirque Amongus, the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra which will help guests explore making music with a variety of instruments and share how instruments are designed and function. And Columbian Park Zoo will showcase its exotic animals and share what they eat, how they live and more from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. each day.

Presented by Dow Agroscience with support from Kroger, Curiosity Fair is included with paid admission to Conner Prairie and free for members.

Spanning 850 wooded acres in central Indiana, Conner Prairie welcomes more than 360,000 guests of all ages annually. As Indiana’s only Smithsonian Institution Affiliate, Conner Prairie offers various outdoor, historically themed destinations and indoor experiential learning spaces that combine history and art with science, technology, engineering and math to offer an authentic look into history that shapes society today.

For more information, visit http://connerprairie.org/, or call 317-776-6006.