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Great Big Idaho Potato Truck in Indianapolis, May 15-17

Idaho Tater Truck

The Great Big Idaho Potato Truck. Photo provided by the Idaho Potato Commission
and used with written permission.

By Tracy M. Smith
On behalf of the Idaho Potato Commission
http://www.bigidahopotato.com/

The Great Big Idaho Potato Truck is on a seven-month cross-country journey to celebrate the Idaho Potato Commission’s 75th Anniversary and to raise funds and awareness for Meals on Wheels. 

WHAT:

A 48-foot long flatbed trailer featuring a 28-foot long, 12-foot wide and 11.5-foot tall Idaho® potato specially “cultivated” in honor of the Idaho Potato Commission’s 75th anniversary year in 2012.

WHEN: 

  • Tuesday, May 15, 2012, 1-3 p.m., Kroger, 5718 Crawfordsville Road
  • Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 1-3 pm, Aldi’s, 2955 Madison Avenue
  • Thursday, May 17, 2012, 9-11 am, Marsh, 6965 West 38th Street

After months of much anticipation and fanfare, the Great Big Idaho® Potato Truck recently set-off on its seven-month cross-country journey following a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Idaho Governor C. L. “Butch” Otter in front of the Idaho Capitol Building.

In celebration of its Diamond Anniversary, the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) built a larger-than-life version of the vintage Idaho® potato postcard.  Weighing in at 6 tons (the equivalent of 32,346 medium-sized Idaho® potatoes), the Great Big Idaho® Potato is traversing the country to greet fans and to help raise funds and awareness for Meals On Wheels Association of America (MOWAA), the oldest and largest national organization dedicated to helping end senior hunger.

“Potatoes are very important to Idaho and I’m proud of the work the entire industry has done for the past 75 years to develop a first-class brand that is recognized around the world,” said Governor Otter. “The Great Big Idaho® Potato Truck serves as a traveling ambassador for the great state of Idaho, the number one producer of potatoes in the country.”

 

“This is a very special year for us as we recognize an industry that has worked tirelessly to grow the finest potatoes available. We know that our potatoes provide nourishment to millions of folks every day of the year but many don’t realize how important the potato industry is to Idaho,” explained Frank Muir, president and CEO, IPC.  “Idaho® Potatoes generate more than $4 billion dollars in revenue annually and employee more than 30,000 people.  Agriculture and potatoes in particular are the primary reasons Idaho is among the most fiscally sound states in the nation.”

 

The Truck

The Great Big Idaho® Potato Truck made its national debut at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise, Idaho last December when ESPN prominently featured it several times during the Game.  Since then, the Truck has made several public appearances and at every venue, the most frequently asked question is “Is it real?”  We’ll never tell, but in the event it is, the Great Big Idaho® Potato…

  • Would take more than 10,000 years to grow.
  • Is 1,102 times heavier than the largest potato ever grown, which weighed 11 pounds.
  • Would take 2 years and 9 months to bake.
  • Could make 30,325 servings of mashed potatoes and more than 1.4 million (1,455,570) average-sized fries!

The Great Big Idaho® Potato Truck was created and built by Chris Schofield and Sharolyn Spruce of Weiser, Idaho.  With the help of a few specialized contractors, they spent an entire year designing and building this incredible vehicle.  The Kenworth Sales Company and Western Trailer, both based in Boise, Idaho, also aided with the construction.

The Tour

To find out when the Great Big Idaho® Potato Truck will be in a city near you, please visit www.bigidahopotato.com,  The website provides in-depth information about the Truck, the IPC’s partnership with MOWAA and is updated regularly with tales and photos from the road.  Information can also be found on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/FamousIdahoPotatoTour?ref=ts and Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/BigIdahoPotato.

Folks who stop and see the Truck are invited to take photos of themselves with this all-American icon and share them with their friends and family.  After the Truck’s cross-country tour, it will be back on its home turf in Idaho to celebrate the 2012 harvest at Shelley Spud Days as well as participate in other events around the state.

Meals On Wheels Association of America

In recognition of its milestone anniversary, the IPC made a $100,000 donation to MOWAA. This national organization represents more than 5,000 MOWAA programs across the country that, in total, prepare and deliver more than one million meals each day to homebound seniors. It is estimated that on any given day, there are between 800,000 and 1.7 million volunteers donating their time and often their own resources to make sure the elderly in their communities are nourished.  Potatoes are an important food for these programs, because they are nutrient dense, affordable and extremely versatile.  And maybe most importantly, they are a food that many seniors enjoy eating.

Those who visit the Truck will be encouraged to make a $7.00 donation to MOWAA, the cost of preparing and serving one meal.  The MOWAA logo prominently appears on the Truck and on the website www.bigidahopotato.com where donations can be made electronically.  Additionally, the driver of the Truck will have pre-stamped envelopes for people who want to mail in donations.  In turn, MOWAA will keep their volunteers and friends updated on the Tour by posting the Truck’s schedule and photos from the road on their Facebook page and website and in their monthly newsletter.  If you are interested in learning more about the organization, visit www.mowaa.org. 

Fort Wayne Kicks Off Summer Season in April

March 31, 2012 Leave a comment
Visit Fort Wayne

Image provided by VisitFortWayne.com and used with written permission.

By Kristen Guthrie
VisitFortWayne.com
http://VisitFortWayne.com/

Fort Wayne is gearing up for the 2012 summer season and has plenty of fun activities to offer out-of-town travelers, including the opening of the amazing Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, the start of the TinCaps baseball season, and the kickoff to our outstanding festival season.

The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo will open its doors for the season April 21. The zoo provides visitors with a ride in every corner of the zoo, and an up-close encounter with its animals. It’s no wonder that it has been named by Parents magazine as one of the nation’s “Top Ten Zoos for Kids.”

The Fort Wayne TinCaps season opener is at home on April 5. Parkview Field was just ranked the “#1 Minor League Stadium in the United States” and it’s easy to see why. This stadium in a park-like setting provides a great experience for the entire family at an affordable price (seats on the lawn start at just $5!).

The festival season kicks off with the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale April 11-15 at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum Expo Center featuring savings of 40% – 60% on handbags, stationery, luggage and accessories. The summer months are packed with different festivals to attend including Germanfest, BBQ Ribfest, Greekfest, IPFW RiverFest, Three Rivers Festival and CountryFest.

But the #1 reason that families love Fort Wayne is that we are affordable, fun, and family-friendly! The Visit Fort Wayne DEALS page (found at www.VisitFortWayne.com) offers a great number of ways for visitors to bag a bargain when visiting some of Fort Wayne’s favorite attractions, restaurants, and hotels. Throughout the summer months the DEALS page will feature summer getaway hotel packages, coupons and contests to win tickets to events and overnight stays in Fort Wayne hotels.

For more information, visit http://VisitFortWayne.com/, or call 260-424-3700.

Marc-Andre Hamelin Concert, Mar. 18

March 11, 2012 Leave a comment
Marc-Andre Hamelin

Marc-Andre Hamelin. Photo provided by the American Pianists Association and used with written permission.

By Bridget Rawlins
American Pianists Association
http://www.americanpianists.org/

The American Pianists Association has a concert on Sunday, March 18, 2012,3:30 p.m., at the Indiana Landmarks Center, featuring classical pianist Marc-André Hamelin.

You can get $10 off adult, non-member tickets to hear Hamelin.  Enter promo codePIANO”  for $10 off when ordering your tickets on our Web site.  This concert has general admission seating and is open to all ages.  $10 student tickets are also available.

The Indiana Landmarks Center is located at 1201 Central Avenue in Indianapolis, Indiana. For more information, visit http://www.americanpianists.org/, or call 317-940-9334.

Women’s History Month in Indianapolis

March 1, 2012 1 comment

By Brittany Smith
Indianapolis Downtown, Inc.
http://www.indydt.com

Who are those gals?

Celebrate Women’s History Month in March with these recognizable ladies of Downtown!

  • Lady VictoryLady Victory: All eyes fall on me as I am THE center of the city perched atop the Indiana Soldiers and Sailors Monument over 284 ft. above Monument Circle (only 15 ft. shorter than the Statue of Liberty!). Made of limestone and designed by German architect Bruno Schmitz, I was dedicated in 1902. For the past 118 years I have symbolized the City of Indianapolis and commemorated the service of Indiana’s heroes who served before World War I.  Much needed structural and cosmetic repairs led to my first trip off the statue in the spring of 2011. Now I am looking better than ever! Location: Monument Circle
  • Lady Spray: The enthusiastic persistence of my Fountain Square neighbors led to my rededication in 2010. I am a Greek Goddess with a prime location at the intersection of Virginia Avenue, Prospect and Shelby streets. I give Fountain Square a splash of history as the original version of me was erected in 1889 as a water source for citizens and their horses.  Today, I stand in the center of all that is the funky and eclectic – Fountain Square Cultural District. Location: intersection of Virginia Avenue, Prospect and Shelby Streets
  • Ann DancingAnn Dancing: Known for my smooth, LED-illuminated sway, I greet visitors to Mass Ave and pedestrians along the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. Designed by internationally celebrated Welsh artist, Julian Opie, I joined Mass Ave in 2008. I aim to encourage random, spontaneous and inspired creativity. Come dance with me! Location: intersection of Mass Ave, Alabama and Vermont Streets
  • Dimensional Shadows: You’ll find my muraled-self decked out in bold hues of grey and blue on the 600 block of Mass Ave. My artist, Eduardo Mendieta, was commissioned to create me as part of the Arts Council of Indianapolis’ 46 for XLVI mural project. I signify the importance of self-empowerment and represent the breaking of planes – be it planes found in work, relationships or life. Location: 609 Mass Ave
  •  Little Orphant Annie: Four stanzas written by famous Hoosier poet, James Whitcomb Riley, launched my story into the spotlight of plays, comic strips, television shows, movies and more. The poem was aimed to teach children the importance of obeying one’s parents and being kind to the unfortunate. You can learn more about me by visiting the James Whitcomb Riley Home located in the historic Lockerbie Square neighborhood in Downtown Indianapolis. Location: 528 Lockerbie St. (James Whitcomb Riley Home)
  • Madame CJ WalkerMadam CJ Walker: I developed and marketed a hugely popular line of beauty and hair products for black women and became the first self-made American woman millionaire.  In 1910, I moved to Indianapolis where I established my headquarters and built a factory.  My generous nature led to the creation of the community center known as Madame Walker Theatre Center. Today, you can learn more about me by taking a tour at the Center located on Indiana Avenue. Location: 617 Indiana Avenue

Visit www.indydt.com for Indianapolis events and information, or call 317-237-2222.

Free Pancakes at IHOP on Feb. 28

February 20, 2012 Leave a comment
An IHOP short stack of pancakes.

An IHOP short stack of buttermilk pancakes. Photo provided by IHOP and used with written permission.

By Amanda Kelly
On behalf of IHOP Restaurants
http://www.ihoppancakeday.com/

WHAT:
For the seventh consecutive year, IHOP restaurants nationwide will offer each guest a free short stack of its famous buttermilk pancakes on National Pancake Day in an effort to raise awareness and funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and other local charities.      

WHY:
For every short stack of buttermilk pancakes served on National Pancake Day, IHOP guests are invited to make a voluntary donation to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Donations made at IHOPs in the Indianapolis area will benefit the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ program at Riley Hospital for Children. IHOP hopes to raise $2.7 million this year, with a goal to bring the total amount of funds raised to more than $10 million.  To find a local IHOP or to donate online, visit www.ihoppancakeday.com.

WHEN:
Tuesday, February 28, 2012, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.  (15 full hours)

WHERE:          
Participating IHOP restaurants in the Indianapolis area.

National Pancake Day Fun Facts:

  • IHOP served four million free pancakes on National Pancake Day 2011 and pancake lovers donated more than $2.5 million to children’s charities, exceeding the fundraising goal of $2.3 million.
  • All of the free pancakes served on National Pancake Day 2011 would create a stack nearly 16 miles high.
    • Since the inception of National Pancake Day in 2006, IHOP has raised nearly $8 million and given away more than 14 million pancakes to support charities in the communities in which it operates.
    • National Pancake Day 2011 was IHOP’s largest one-day event in the company’s 53-year history.

Editor’s Acknowledgment: Wills Communications, Inc.