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Jingle Rails @EiteljorgMuseum thru Jan. 15, 2018

December 5, 2017 1 comment
Jingle Rails at the Eiteljorg Museum.

Jingle Rails at the Eiteljorg Museum.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2013, all rights reserved.

By Bryan Corbin
Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art

INDIANAPOLIS – The iconic landmarks of Hollywood are new additions this year to the Eiteljorg Museum’s holiday model train display, Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure. Now open, Jingle Rails continues at the Eiteljorg through Jan. 15, 2018.

One of the most affordable holiday attractions in the Indianapolis area, Jingle Rails features electric trains that crisscross delightful miniature replicas of famous landscapes — from the skyline of Indianapolis to the impressive sights of the American West — that visitors can walk through, around and under.

Trains chug through backdrops constructed of all-natural materials, including bark, acorns, tree roots and honeycomb. Model railroad tracks carry the nine G-scale trains past dioramas depicting Lucas Oil Stadium, Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Aspen Ski Resort, Hoover Dam, Golden Gate Bridge and others, and the scenes are decked out in holiday lights.

For this season, the eighth year of Jingle Rails, a new destination on the model train itinerary is a replica Hollywood, including famous film industry locations. The mountaintop Hollywood sign, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre with handprints and footprints of the stars, the Paramount Studios gates, the Warner Bros. water tower, a Western-movie studio set and the Griffith Park Observatory all are depicted in miniature.

Discount tickets to Jingle Rails can be ordered in advance online by visiting the museum’s website, www.eiteljorg.org. With the online ticket discount, all adults are $11, youth ages five to 17 are $6, and children ages four and under are free.

Visiting the Eiteljorg during the holiday season has become an annual family tradition for many. Last year, more than 41,000 visitors experienced the spectacular train display.

“With its intricate recreations of iconic Western scenes, Jingle Rails sparks children’s imaginations and brings back nostalgic memories of favorite Western landmarks for parents and grandparents,” said John Vanausdall, Eiteljorg president and CEO. “We are delighted that families return to the Eiteljorg Museum each holiday season to experience Jingle Rails. Between the familiar scenes they already enjoy and the new Hollywood landscape, it again will be a treasured experience for all ages.”

The Jingle Rails dioramas were designed and artistically created out of natural materials by Paul Busse and his company, Applied Imagination in Alexandria, Ky. They built similar installations at the New York Botanical Garden and the United States Botanic Garden in Washington D.C.

Special programming is held at the Eiteljorg during the duration of Jingle Rails. Screenings of the holiday film The Polar Express take place at Dec. 16 and Dec. 20, both at 1 p.m. Check www.eiteljorg.org for daily details.

While visiting the Eiteljorg to experience Jingle Rails, museum-goers also can see a special exhibition of contemporary Native American art called Native Art Now!, view the museum’s permanent galleries, enjoy the kid-friendly R.B. Annis Western Family Experience, grab a bite at the Museum Café and shop at the Museum Store. Recognized by USA Today as a “10 Best” Indianapolis holiday attraction, Jingle Rails is included with regular admission to the Eiteljorg Museum.

Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure at the Eiteljorg Museum is presented by The Indiana Rail Road and sponsored by Katz Sapper & Miller, the Indianapolis Colts, Indianapolis Power & Light Co., the Kortepeter family, Faegre Baker Daniels, Stuart’s Moving and Storage, the Butler Foundation, L.G. and Alyce Edwards and other sponsors.

Photo credits: (c) AroundIndy.com, LLC. All rights reserved. Event listings: https://aroundindy.com/eiteljorg.php

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“A Christmas Story” Comes Home in Hammond @southshorecva

November 3, 2017 1 comment

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By Erika Dahl
South Shore CVA

Editor’s Note: Hammond is on central time (e.g. 8 am in Hammond is 9 am in Indianapolis).

This holiday season, the “A Christmas Story” Comes Home exhibit, presented in collaboration with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, will be on display from Nov. 11, 2017 until Jan. 7, 2018 at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond, Indiana. The exhibit takes visitors to the streets of downtown Hohman, a fictional Indiana town which was a disguise for author, Jean Shepherd’s, hometown Hammond.

A Christmas Story Comes Home exhibit features six animated scenes from the holiday movie A Christmas Story. The displays include Higbee’s Department Store Window, Flick’s Tongue and the Triple Dog Dare, It’s a Major Award, Santa’s Mountain at Higbee’s, The Bumpus Hounds and A Hero’s Dream.

In addition to the exhibit, visitors will have the opportunity to see a bronzed Flick with his tongue stuck to the flag pole. This homage to the classic scene is the perfect photo opportunity in front of the Indiana Welcome Center.

The Indiana Welcome Center is located at the intersection of I-80/94 and Kennedy Avenue South in Hammond; only 30 minutes from downtown Chicago and two hours north of Indianapolis.

Special Events

“A Major Event” & Holiday Market will be held Saturday, Dec. 2 at the Indiana Welcome Center and kicks off the holiday season. The Welcome Center will be bustling with children’s activities from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and a cozy holiday market from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. features handcrafted and specialty items and gourmet treats. “A Major Event” kid’s activities include a passenger train – kids can ride for just $1! “Flick” Bingo, movie viewings, crafts, and a visit to Santa atop Santa’s Mountain.

“Oh Fuuudge!” Tire Changing Relay is an event that pays tribute to the events leading up to Ralphie blurting out “the-queen-mother-of-dirty-words,” will be held on Saturday, Dec. 9. Parent/child teams will run through an obstacle course and prizes will be awarded to the pair with the best time. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m., and the event begins at 10:00 a.m.

The popular “Mommy’s Little Piggy” Mashed Potato Eating Contest features plates mounded with mashed potatoes and contestants of different age groups showing how the piggies eat and will be held on Saturday, Dec. 16. Registration will start at 9:30 a.m., and the first wave of participants will begin at 10:00 a.m.

All events are held at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond and registrations are available online at http://www.AChristmasStoryComesHome.com.

Letters to Santa, live entertainment and more!

Bring the whole family to enjoy live entertainment on the weekends and write letters to Santa and drop them in the big mailbox in the exhibit hall! Request to view the documentary “The Untold Christmas Story” in the 100-seat theater, vote on the ugliest leg lamp and favorite holiday tree or participate in the Write a Theme Contest – the exhibit is packed with fun for the whole family. More information is available online at www.AChristmasStoryComesHome.com.

Relive the “You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out” scene atop Santa’s Mountain

Have your picture taken with Santa on top of Santa’s Mountain, a replica of the one featured in the movie. In the famous scene, Ralphie Parker asks Santa for an Official Red Ryder BB Gun, and Santa responds, “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.”

Photos with Santa on Santa’s Mountain are available between Thanksgiving and Christmas, every Saturday and Sunday between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. at the Indiana Welcome Center; photos on Christmas Eve will end at 2:00 p.m. Photos are also available on Nov 24 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Dec. 22 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Children have the opportunity to slide down a big red slide into a pillow of snow. Photos are $6 each.

Wag Your Tail Wednesdays

Don’t miss the opportunity to have your pet photographed with Santa on Santa’s Mountain. Pet photos with Santa will be available Wednesday, Nov. 22; Nov. 29; Dec.13 and Dec. 20 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Photos are $6 each, and $1 of every photo is given to local animal rescues. Well-behaved animals only.

The Parker Living Room

See an additional “A Christmas Story” Comes Home animated display window this year at Cabela’s in Hammond! This year, Cabela’s will display The Parker Living Room through the holiday season. Cabela’s is located one-mile from the Welcome Center at 7700 Cabela Drive in Hammond.

More Information

Visit www.AChristmasStoryComesHome.com for a complete list of special events, contests, hours of operation and directions. The Welcome Center gift shop offers an array of movie memorabilia including the infamous leg lamp!

“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.

“Lights at the Brickyard” Returns Nov. 11-Dec. 30, 2017 @ims

August 29, 2017 Leave a comment
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Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2016, all rights reserved.

By Jessica Redden
On behalf of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

INDIANAPOLIS. – Lights at the Brickyard, the popular, drive-through holiday display that debuted last year at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, will return from Nov. 17 through Dec. 30 this year with a longer route and over 2.5 million bright lights illuminating an expanded lineup of colorful displays.

The Lights at the Brickyard course will expand to more than 2 miles from last year’s 1.7 mile layout. As in 2016, the route—which travels through the IMS infield and along the front stretch of the historic oval—will cross the world-famous Yard of Bricks start-finish line.

Dozens of new displays can be seen along the route, with more than 500,000 additional lights this year.

“Lights at the Brickyard will become a wonderful holiday tradition at IMS, and we’re happy to see it grow into an even bigger and better family attraction this holiday season,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “We’re also grateful for the feedback from our loyal customers after last year’s event, which helped guide improvements such as the longer route, even more displays and a more streamlined pricing structure. We can’t wait to welcome even more families this winter to once again celebrate Christmas by crossing the Yard of Bricks at the Racing Capital of the World.”

General admission will be $25 per car on Mondays through Wednesdays and $30 per car Thursdays through Sundays at the gate, with standard entry lane access. Vehicles with 15 or more passengers will be charged $50 at the gate, with standard entry lane access. General admission can be purchased only at the gate, with each admission valid for one drive through the displays per vehicle.

The popular Speedy Pass will also return, allowing participants who want the quickest access to the course to skip the longer lines and arrive through a special entry near the IMS golf course. This pass can be purchased now at IMS.com for $40 per car through Nov. 16 and $50 online from Nov. 17-Dec. 30. Speedy Passes are $60 when purchased at the gate, with special midweek pricing to be announced.

This year, Emmis Communications and B105.7, “Indy’s Christmas Station,” will become the official radio partners of Lights at the Brickyard.

Operating hours for Lights at the Brickyard are 6-9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 6-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Visit IMS.com for more information on Lights at the Brickyard.

Downtown Indianapolis Heats Up in July

June 26, 2016 Leave a comment
skyline-with-bicyclists-april-23-2016

Bicycling along the White River in White River State Park in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2016, all rights reserved.

By Amanda Dorman
Downtown Indy, Inc.

Fourth of July weekend
Indy’s most popular fireworks show and festival – the Donatos Downtown Freedom Blast – returns to the grounds of the Indiana War Memorial July 4. More than 20,000 people are expected to be Downtown on Veterans Memorial Plaza and American Legion Mall from 6:30 – 10:30 p.m. The fireworks will launch from the Regions Bank Tower at 10 p.m. (North and Michigan streets will be closed throughout the day and New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Delaware streets surrounding the Regions Bank Tower will be closed 9:30 – 10:15 p.m. during the fireworks show.)

Crowds will gather for many music festivities including the Indiana Historical Society’s patriotic-themed Concerts on the Canal July 4 from 5 – 9:30 p.m. The two-day INDYpendance Day Concert for Cancer is back on Georgia Street July 2 & 3 from 2 – 10 p.m. with headliners Ludacris, Awolnation, Kongos and more. On July 1, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra will perform a one-night only concert Star Spangled Symphony at the Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State and The Doo! are playing at the Rathskeller Biergarten July 4. The Indianapolis City Market hosts Party of the Plaza July 4 from 7 – 11 p.m. complete with corn hole, checkers, sidewalk chalk and a great view of the Downtown fireworks.

IBE Summer Celebration
The Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration returns July 7 – 17. The 46th running of Summer Celebration includes business seminars, an employment fair, concerts and more. More than 80,000 attendees will take part in events at various locations Downtown, with most events taking place at the Indiana Convention Center. The FREE Music Heritage Festival takes place Friday, July 15 at American Legion. Music Heritage Festival II takes Place Saturday, July 16 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Downtown gets festive
There’s still time to enjoy some of Downtown Indy’s best summer festivals. Saturday, July 2 from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., the Taste of Indy will present an assortment of Asian, Soul, Greek, Mediterranean, Cajun, Hispanic and American food on Monument Circle. Tickets are $6 in advance or FREE for kids 6 and younger.

The Indy Criterium Bicycle Festival, taking place Saturday, July 9 starting at 9 a.m., offers cyclists a unique opportunity to race the city streets that they would rarely do otherwise. Families and bicyclists will also enjoy many of the activities taking place throughout the day including food and beer vendors, music, expo area, free community rides, free Kids Zone activities, BMX stunt shows, kids and juniors bicycle races and more. This festival is FREE to attend.

Step into the West at the Eiteljorg Museum’s West Fest on July 23 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. This festival is a family event featuring entertainers, animals, food and family fun. Tickets are included with museum admission.

On July 30 from 3 – 7 p.m., the Indiana Microbrewers Festival will showcase more than 100 breweries all in one location – Military Park. Tickets are $40 general admission, $60 for early bird entry and $10 designated driver.

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 summer. Two big names are coming Downtown this month. Coldplay performs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on July 20. Also at Bankers Life Fieldhouse – Twenty One Pilots on July 31.

Enjoy nine concerts at the Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park this month: Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra July 1; “Weird Al” Yankovic July 7; Barenaked Ladies July 8; Sublime with Rome July 16; Peter Frampton & Gregg Allman July 20; WTTS Rock on the River with The Head and the Heart July 25; Bush and Chevelle July 26; Tedeschi Truck Band o July 27; and Halsey July 29.

The Indianapolis Zoo’s Zoolapalooza series continues for two more Friday nights: July 1 & 8. Another Zoo concert series – Animals and All That Jazz – kicks off July 7 and continues Thursday nights through Aug. 4.

Two big names are coming to the Cabaret: catch Rumer Willis July 22 &23 and John Pizzarelli & Jessica Molaskey July 29.

Cheer the Fever, join the Tribe
Catch one (or more) of the 15 Indianapolis Indians home games at Victory Field this month. On July 4, enjoy two firework shows following the games (the Indians’ own firework show plus the Donatos Downtown Freedom Blast). There are four chances to catch the Indiana Fever at home: July 1, 13, 15 & 19. The Indy Eleven play at IUPUI’s Michael A. Carroll Stadium July 9, 13 & 23.

Georgia Street action continues
Workout Wednesdays strengthened by Indiana University Health continue through the end of July on Georgia Street’s west block. Downtown Indy, Inc. partners with the YMCA to provide fun, all-levels hip hop classes weekly from noon – 12:45 p.m. New this year: Sunrise Yoga on the Canal in partnership with Invoke Studio takes place Wednesday mornings from 6 – 6:45 a.m. on the Vermont Street Plaza.

Downtown residents and workers are invited to wind down the week during Happy Hour Thursdays on Georgia Street. Every Thursday from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m., enjoy music from RadioNow DJs, appetizers from the Severin Bar and domestic beers and craft brews. This event is free to attend, but everyone must be 21 or older.

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.

For more information, visit http://www.downtownindy.org/ or call 317-237-2222.