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Jay County Fiber Arts Festival, Mar. 9-10, 2018 @JayCoTourism

February 21, 2018 Leave a comment
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Jay Community Center in downtown Portland, Indiana.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2017, all rights reserved.

By Blake Watson
Jay County Visitor & Tourism Bureau

The Jay County Fiber Arts Festival is scheduled for Mar. 9-10, 2018: Friday 10 AM to 5 PM, and Saturday, 9 AM to 4 PM. The Fiber Arts Festival, which features classes, fiber artists, food, vendors and demonstrations, is located at the Jay Community Center, 115 E. Water St., in Portland, Indiana.

Here’s a little bit about Dick Reel, Fiber Fest Spooner and Wood Working Demonstrator:

Musicians have long used a variety of instruments to entertain crowds for centuries. One of the most interesting and storied instruments used involves spoons.

American folk music has a rich history, which includes musicians using spoons that are sometimes accompanied by jugs and washboards.

The method as to how spoons are played is simple, as it involves the musician setting a rhythm and hitting the spoons against one’s knee and palm of hand.

Every year, during the second weekend of March, Dick Reel entertains a multitude of visitors who attend the Jay County Fiber Arts Festival in Portland, Indiana.

Reel is often dressed in his signature attire of suspenders and a long sleeve-shirt. Attendees of the Fiber Arts Festival are often scene marveling at Reel’s talents of creating music with spoons.

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Dick Reel. Photo provided by Jay County VTB and used with written permission.

It is a known fact that many of those who attend the Fiber Arts Festival always make it a special priority to visit with Reel and witness his playing of spoons.

Reel’s hobbies involve woodworking with various varieties of wood. He also enjoys demonstrating his woodworking skills, as he has done for several years at the Jay County Fiber Arts Festival.

Woodworking accomplishments of Reel involves his philanthropic donation of his specialty crafted wooden benches to the Laporte County 4-H Auction and the Purdue Agriculture Alumni. Over the years, Reel’s donated, crafted wooden items have raised over $15,000.

Notable awards that Reel has been the recipient of includes: Bob Hiler Outstanding Alumni Leadership Award, John P. Daley Jaycees Community Leadership Award, LaPorte County Historical Society Historian of the Year Award and Purdue Alumni Certificate of Distension Award.

Reel’s accomplishments also include the Pioneer Land, which he helped develop that is found at the Laporte County, Indiana Fairgrounds.

Organizers of the Jay County Fiber Arts Festival are honored to have such a remarkable and talented musician and woodworker participate at the event.

Mark your calendars now to attend and check out all the offerings, including Reel’s wooden demonstrations and playing of spoons.

For more information about this event, please visit http://www.visitjaycounty.com/fiberfest or contact Fiber Arts Festival organizers directly at 260-726-3366.

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Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration Concerts, July 20-21, 2018 @inblackexpo

February 18, 2018 Leave a comment

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Indiana Black Expo Press Release

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Indiana Black Expo, Inc. recently announced its weekend lineup for the 48th Summer Celebration featuring a new New Jack Swing concert on the entertainment stage in the free exhibition hall inside the Indiana Convention Center.

Grammy Award winning singer, song writer and Broadway actress Stephanie Mills, R&B Group After 7 and British R&B sensation “Loose Ends will perform during the Music Heritage Festival l Free Outdoor Concert at the American Legion Mall on Friday, July 20, 2018.

IBE has added another free concert for attendees to enjoy inside the free exhibition hall on Saturday July 21st. Titled the New Jack Swing concert, exhibit hall attendees will see performances from three-time Grammy nominated “Al B. Sure, chart topping vocalist “Christopher Williams” and “Big Bub of the group “Today.”

Later on Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Summer Celebration attendees will enjoy a concert featuring R&B group Maze and Frankie Beverly, Grammy winning singer, song writer Brandy and the creator of New Jack Swing Teddy Riley & Blackstreet.

Tickets for Saturday’s concert go on sale Monday, February 19, 2018 and are available at the Indiana Black Expo office located at 3145 North Meridian Street or Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, at all Ticket Master outlets, ticketmaster.com — or by visiting IBE’s website at http://indianablackexpo.com or by calling 317.923.3037.

The 48th Annual Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration runs from July 12 – 22, 2018 and will impact over 200,000 visitors.

 

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Eagles over Monroe returns to Fairfax SRA, Jan. 26-28, 2018

December 13, 2017 1 comment
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An American Bald Eagle photographed in Indiana.
Photo credit: Bob Burchfield, (c) 2016, all rights reserved.

Indiana DNR Press Release

Eagles over Monroe will celebrate Indiana’s relationship with our national bird through educational programs and birdwatching opportunities at Fairfax State Recreation Area, Jan. 26-28, 2018.

Monroe Lake is hosting the event in conjunction with the Fourwinds Lakeside Inn and Visit Bloomington. Advance registration, full program details, and lodging and dining information are available at visitbloomington.com/eaglesovermonroe.

While eagles are the event headliners, programs will explore the lives of other bird species, too.

Eagles over Monroe kicks off the evening of Friday, Jan. 26 with presentations about saw whet owl research and the biodiversity of Monroe Lake.

Saturday, Jan. 27, offers opportunities to learn about the eagle restoration program, how to bird by impression, the evolution of dinosaurs into birds, and the whooping crane recovery story.

During lunch, participants can see live raptors from the Dwight Chamberlain Raptor Center and make avian-themed crafts. A formal presentation later in the day will feature live raptors from the Indiana Raptor Center.

A self-guided driving tour around the lake on Saturday afternoon offers attendees a chance to see eagles and other birds in the wild. Stops will be manned by local birders and their spotting scopes.

James Kawlewski, outreach program assistant for the International Crane Foundation, will present Saturday evening’s keynote address, “Raptors and Cranes, An Interconnected Wonder.”

Saturday evening concludes with avian-themed bingo. The event wraps up on the morning of Sunday, Jan. 27 with photography and birding hikes.

Advance registration is $15 for adults (ages 16 and older) and $10 for kids (ages 6 to 15) and includes all of the scheduled event programs and activities.

Walk-up registration will also be available at the Fourwinds Lakeside Inn from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 26, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 27. Walk-up costs are $20 for adults and $15 for kids.

The Fourwinds Lakeside Inn is offering a special rate of $79 per night for a lakeside room to event attendees. Dining specials will also be available throughout the weekend.

Fairfax State Recreation Area (stateparks.IN.gov/2954.htm) is located at 9301 S. Fairfax Road, Bloomington.

To view all DNR news releases, please see dnr.IN.gov.

“Circle of Lights” Celebration on Monument Circle, Nov. 24, 2017 @indydt

October 31, 2017 1 comment
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Monument Circle during the holiday season.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2015, all rights reservd.

By Jennifer Hanson
Downtown Indy, Inc.

INDIANAPOLIS – For 55 years, thousands of spectators have gathered Downtown at Monument Circle to see the most spectacular holiday display illuminate. Central Indiana’s most beloved tradition is here again. Downtown Indy, Inc.’s Circle of Lights® presented by IBEW #481 will take place the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, Nov. 24, 2017.

“The Electrical Workers of IBEW #481 are thrilled to be the presenting partner of Circle of Lights,” said Steve Menser, IBEW #481 business manager. “The tradition is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the standards, skill and capability of the union electrical industry along with our community commitment. We invite all Hoosiers to kick off their holiday celebration with us!”

NEW THIS YEAR: The decorations on the Soldiers & Sailors Monument will look familiar – 52 garland strands with 4,784 colored lights, strung from the top of the Monument to its base.

However, all of the strands are new this year including the use of LED bulbs for the first time ever. These improvements are the first phase of the Keeping Spirits Bright capital campaign with a goal to raise $2 million to further enhance and keep this beloved tradition alive.

The Monument will continue to be surrounded with 26 larger-than-life toy soldiers and sailors and 26 peppermint sticks.

More than 100,000 spectators are expected for the FREE ceremonial lighting and holiday kickoff on Friday, Nov. 24. Entertainers chosen from statewide video auditions will share the stage with Sandi Patty, host of the Indianapolis Symphony’s IPL Yuletide Celebration.

Festivities begin at 6 p.m. with the live televised show running from 7 – 8 p.m. on (NBC) WTHR-13. The Monument light-up will occur at approximately 7:55 p.m.

And who gets to “flip the switch?” Each year, a lucky child is chosen from the Carson’s Coloring Contest to help Santa illuminate the night.

To conclude the evening, watch the sky for a spectacular fireworks finale.

Millions of sightseers will take in this brilliant spectacle throughout the holiday season, lit through early January. Travelocity named the Circle of Lights® one of the top five “must-see Christmas trees” in the nation. USA Today also listed the Circle of Lights® as one the “10 Best Holiday Attractions.”

BONUS: After the Monument is lit, head to Carson’s Department Store for FREE Selfies with Santa from 8 – 10 p.m.

As the presenting partner of Circle of Lights®, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) #481 represents more than 3,000 electrical workers. IBEW #481 provides the needed expertise, highly trained workforce, safety and dedication to help build many of Central Indiana’s premiere education, health care, utility and logistics projects. Visit www.ibew481.org.

Circle of Lights® is an official program of Downtown Indy, Inc. which focuses on three areas: development, management and marketing to advance Downtown as a great place to live, learn, work and play. Visit www.downtownindy.org for more information or call 317-237-2222.

8th Annual Indy Criterium @indycrit, July 8, 2017

July 6, 2017 1 comment

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By Jennifer Cvar
Indy Criterium, Inc.

The 8th annual IU Health Indy Criterium Bicycle Festival rolls into Monument Circle Saturday, July 8, 2017.

This family-friendly festival is a fun way to enjoy bicycling in the heart of the city while watching world-class amateur and professional bicycle racing. Families and bicyclists will also enjoy many of the activities taking place throughout the day including food and beer vendors, music, vendor village, community rides, PNC Kids Zone activities, BMX stunt shows, kids and juniors bicycle races and much more.

The IU Health Indy Criterium Bicycle Festival is the largest criterium bicycle race in the state of Indiana and one of the largest in the Midwest. More than 600 professional and amateur cyclists are expected to compete, drawing in crowds of nearly 20,000 to spectate throughout the day. The IU Health Indy Criterium Bicycle Festival is one of the most hotly contested bicycle races in the Midwest, with hundreds of pro and amateur participants competing. The race will wind through an exciting 1-mile figure-8 course looping through the heart of downtown Indianapolis over the famous Monument Circle bricks.

All proceeds from the IU Health Indy Criterium benefit Freewheelin’ Community Bikes, a local non-profit committed to enhancing life skills for community youth through bicycles. In total, the IU Health Indy Criterium has contributed over $105,000 to Freewheelin’s Earn-A-Bike program that helps inner city youth earn bicycles of their own.

What to watch for:
Indy Crit Kick-Off Ride of over 500 bicyclists starting at 9 a.m. with a parade lap around the race course on closed city streets.

Bicycle-related activities throughout the day for spectators to enjoy or take part in including BMX stunt shows with X-Games athletes, PNC Kids Zone activities, bicycle safety course for kids, face painting, rock wall, bounce house, Silly Safaris animal show and more!

The National Bank of Indianapolis and Faegre Baker Daniels VIP/Celebrity Relay Race on Pacers Bikeshare bicycles at 12:15pm, featuring Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, Indiana Pacers mascot Boomer, Indiana Fever mascot Freddy Fever, Colts cheerleaders, IU Health physicians and local business leaders.

Bicycle helmet giveaway of 200 helmets for kids at the CIBA tent from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

PNC Kids Bicycle Races on Meridian Street at 2 p.m.

Inaugural Indy Bike Parade at 6 p.m. featuring musicians on bicycles, micro-floats pulled by bicycles and race team presentations.

Food and beverages from a variety of local food vendors.

Traffic Advisory:

The bike race will begin and end at Monument Circle. As a result of the race, the following streets will be closed or partially closed from 7:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.:

Northwest Quadrant of Monument Circle (total closure)
Market St. between Monument Circle and Illinois St. (total closure)
Illinois St. between Market and New York St. (partial closure)
New York St. between Capitol Avenue and Delaware St. (total closure)
Meridian St. between Monument Circle and Vermont St. (total closure)
Vermont St. between Pennsylvania and Meridian St. (total closure)
Pennsylvania St. between Vermont and Market St. (total/partial closure)
Ohio St. between Illinois Street and Pennsylvania St. (total closure)

Additional details, including an event map, can be found at www.indycrit.org. Attendance is free.