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Circus Day at the Indiana History Center Mar. 30, 2019 @indianahistory

March 4, 2019 Leave a comment
indiana-history-center-mar-22-2018

Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center in Indianapolis, Indiana.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2018, all rights reserved.

By Rachel Hill Ponko
Indiana Historical Society

INDIANAPOLIS—The Indiana Historical Society (IHS) invites families to celebrate Indiana’s circus tradition with its 18th annual Circus Day, a free event featuring carnival activities, live performances and access to the award-winning Indiana Experience. Circus Day takes place Saturday, March 30, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, located at 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis.

Circus Day gives families the chance to show off their carnival game skills and win great prizes. Guests will laugh with comedian and juggler Krembo K, be amazed by a contortionist, and meet and learn about rescued animals with Silly Safaris. New this year, visitors can enjoy a 1937 film from IHS’s collections featuring Indiana’s own Cole Brothers Circus.

Guests are also invited to take full advantage of free admission and visit the Indiana Experience, which will include IHS’s newest offering, You Are There 1939: Exploring Angel Mounds, opening March 9. The exhibit will take guests back in time to the archaeological dig in Southern Indiana where workers uncovered a once-thriving Mississippian town.

Circus Day visitors can purchase tickets for carnival games and activities, such as face painting and balloon sculptures. Tickets can also be used for refreshments, such as cotton candy, popcorn and snow cones. In honor of Circus Day, the History Center’s Stardust Terrace Café, operated by Hoaglin Catering, will offer kid-friendly meal options.

IHS’s 18th annual Circus Day is presented by the Indianapolis Indians and Jack’s Donuts of West Market Street. For more information about this event and other IHS offerings, call (317) 232-1882 or visit www.indianahistory.org.

Downtown Indy Events on Martin Luther King Day 2017 @IndyDT

January 15, 2017 Leave a comment

martin-luther-king-memory

By Jennifer Hanson
Downtown Indy, Inc.

Celebrate the birth of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by taking advantage of special offerings in Downtown Indy. FREE admission to Downtown’s top attractions, volunteer opportunities and more help make this year’s tribute to the iconic civil rights leader a fun, meaningful one for the family. To view all these events online, visit: www.downtownindy.org/event-coll…/…/martin-luther-king-jr-day.

Indianapolis Museum of Art
FREE admission with donation on Sunday, Jan. 15 from 1 – 4 p.m.
Spend the afternoon at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and reflect on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Hear Indy poets, singers and artists speak of love. Practice mindfulness, relieve anxiety through a large group meditation, and engage with others through activities and random acts of kindness. Donations can include non-perishable food items, toiletries and school supplies for the MLK Community Center.

White River State Park
Receive FREE admission Monday, Jan. 16 with a donation of one non-perishable food item per person, per attraction for Gleaner’s Food Bank. The Park is also offering complimentary parking. Visitors may park in the underground garage located off Washington Street in front of the Indiana State Museum, in the surface parking lots at the Indianapolis Zoo and Victory Field and in the surface parking lot across from Victory Field next to the Park’s Visitor’s Center.

Eiteljorg Museum
Enjoy the museum’s holiday exhibit, Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure and Titan of the West: The Adams Collection of Western and Native America Art. Be sure to check out the lunch specials at the Eiteljorg Museum Cafe.

Indiana State Museum
Films, activities and performance art fill the museum in celebration of the life of the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Indiana First Robotics Team from Southport High School will make a special appearance. The museum in its entirety is open to the public, and engages visitors in unique and meaningful ways that reflect the vision of MLK, Jr. Stay for lunch – the Farmer’s Market Café will be open.

Eskenazi Health and the Indianapolis Indians will offer free health screenings at the Indiana State Museum. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., nurses will also be available to discuss the importance of primary and preventive care. Anyone who participates in the health screenings will receive a complimentary ticket to Opening Night at Victory Field on April 6 courtesy of the Indianapolis Indians. Plus, Rowdie, the Indians mascot, will stop by for autographs between 11 a.m. and noon.

Indianapolis Zoo
Walk the grounds and see animals, especially the ones that love the cooler temperatures. Favorite activities will include petting sharks, looking eye-to-eye with orangutans and gazing at dolphins (12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.)

NCAA Hall of Champions
Get your workout in at the NCAA Hall of Champions where current and former student athletes lead classes. Guests can participate in a scavenger hunt and register for hourly raffle prizes. At 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., watch the film “Game of Change,” involving the 1963 NCAA men’s basketball tournament regional semifinal. Mississippi State, an all-white team, sneaks out of town in the middle of the night despite protests from the governor and state police of Mississippi to play a Loyola team that features four black starters.

IMAX Theatre
Voyage of Time: The IMAX Experience, narrated by Brad Pitt, the film is a one-of-a-kind celebration of life and the grand history of the cosmos, transporting audiences into a vast yet up close and personal journey that spans the eons from Big Bang to the dinosaur age to our present human world. Shown for free as space permits at 10 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:45 p.m. and 3 p.m. Make sure to get your IMAX tickets early that morning as there is limited seating capacity and tickets are typically gone before noon.

Indiana Historical Society
FREE admission on Monday, Jan. 16 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Head to Indiana Historical Society for performances, programs and service opportunities, as well as free admission to the award winning Indiana Experience. Watch a short play featuring Hoosier reactions to Robert F. Kennedy’s speech in Indianapolis the night Dr. King was assassinated. The theater will also be home to a special performance by the Griot Drum Ensemble at 1:30 and 4 p.m. This presentation will treat visitors to African folktales accompanied by traditional instruments. guests can fill in a dream cloud with words or pictures featuring their own hopes for the future. The IHS traveling exhibition Who is a Hoosier? will also be on display.

Guests are invited to help pack care packages to benefit HealthNet Homeless Initiative Program, with items provided by Target and the Gentle Dentist. HealthNet will also be collecting new or gently used cold-weather items – hats, gloves, socks, coats and hand warmers – for its Homeless Initiative Program in honor of Jill Buck and two of her children who were killed in a crash in 2015.

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
FREE admission on Monday, Jan. 16 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
At The Children’s Museum enjoy activities, storytelling by Portia Jackson about courageous children from the Civil Rights Movement (11:30 a.m., 12:30 & 1:30 p.m.) and performances by The Griot Drum Ensemble (10:30 & 11:45 a.m.) and the Freetown Village Singing Troupe (1 p.m.)

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
Music of the Earth Festival
FREE performance, Monday, Jan. 16, noon at Eskenazi Hospital
Seven Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra musicians, led by violinists Sherry Hong and Charles Morey, will take listeners on a poetic journey through an intimate performance of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. The performance takes place at the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Hospital: Eli Lilly and Company Foundation Concourse.

Day of Service at IUPUI
Monday, Jan. 16 from 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Hundreds of students, faculty and guests will volunteer at various sites around Indianapolis for the IUPUI Day of Service – a tribute to Dr. King’s commitment to service and social justice. Participants meet at the IUPUI Campus Center.

Landmark for Peace Memorial
Of course, if you are headed to Downtown Indy, stop by Martin Luther King Park (1702 Broadway St.), the site where Robert Kennedy gave his memorable speech the night King was assassinated in 1968. The park is home to the Landmark for Peace memorial sculpture, designed and executed by Indiana artist Greg Perry. The sculpture – showcasing King and Kennedy reaching out to each other – honors the contributions of both leaders.

http://blog.downtownindy.org/family-friendly-events-for-ml…/

Free Admission at White River State Park Venues, Jan. 16, 2017

January 5, 2017 Leave a comment
white-river-state-park-sign-600x335

White River State Park in Indianapolis, Indiana.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2010, all rights reserved.

By Jen Thomas
On behalf of White River State Park

White River State Park celebrates MLK, Jr. Day with free admissions

Synopsis: Park attractions open for free in exchange for food donations to benefit Gleaners; Free health screenings offered by Eskenazi Health

INDIANAPOLIS – Visitors to White River State Park attractions will receive free admission and free parking on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 16, 2017, with a canned good donation (one can per person, per attraction).

In addition to enjoying the attractions themselves, MLK Jr. Day visitors to the Park
can:
• Watch films with Dr. King’s speeches at the Indiana State Museum.
• View “Game of Change,” a film featuring a historic basketball game in 1963 where Mississippi State disregarded an unwritten Mississippi rule against playing integrated teams, at the NCAA Hall of Champions.
• Catch Jingle Rails at the Eiteljorg Museum the day before it chugs out of town.
• Get a free ticket to the Indianapolis Indians’ season opener if they complete a health screening at the State Museum.
• See animals that love the cooler temperatures and plenty of indoor exhibits at the Zoo.
• Experience the IMAX® film “Voyage of Time: The IMAX Experience” for free.

Since it started 17 years ago, the Park’s partnership with Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana on this one-day, annual event has resulted in more than 95 tons of non-perishable, canned food donations.

“The food drive not only helps Hoosiers in need, but allows families to enjoy these wonderful facilities at no cost,” said John Elliott, Gleaners’ president & CEO.

Special activities will take place throughout the day at most of the major attractions that make up White River State Park: Eiteljorg Museum, IMAX® Theater, Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis Zoo and the NCAA® Hall of Champions. The Indianapolis Indians will have activities at the State Museum.

“I love how our visitors rise to the occasion by filling the donation bins to benefit those less fortunate, while enjoying plenty of entertainment and healthy activities throughout the day,” said Carolene Mays-Medley, executive director of White River State Park.

The following FREE activities at Park attractions will be taking place on MLK Day:

• NCAA Hall of Champions: Get your workout in at the NCAA Hall of Champions where current and former student athletes lead classes. Guests can participate in a scavenger hunt and register for hourly raffle prizes. At 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., watch the film “Game of Change,” involving the 1963 NCAA men’s basketball tournament regional semifinal. Mississippi State, an all-white team, sneaks out of town in the middle of the night despite protests from the governor and state police of Mississippi to play a Loyola team that features four black starters. Mississippi State overcame an unwritten Mississippi rule against playing integrated teams with a cloak-and-dagger flight to the North just one step ahead of a court injunction.

• Indianapolis Zoo: Visitors can walk the grounds and see animals, especially the ones that love the cooler temperatures. Favorite activities will include petting sharks, looking eye-to-eye with orangutans and gazing at dolphins (presentations are at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.).

• IMAX Theater: Voyage of Time: The IMAX Experience, narrated by Brad Pitt, the film is a one-of-a-kind celebration of life and the grand history of the cosmos, transporting audiences into a vast yet up close and personal journey that spans the eons from Big Bang to the dinosaur age to our present human world… and beyond. Shown for free as space permits at 10 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:45 p.m. and 3 p.m. Make sure to get your IMAX tickets early that morning as there is limited seating capacity and tickets are typically gone before noon.

• Indiana State Museum: Films, activities and performance art fill the museum in celebration of the life and times of the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Indiana First Robotics Team from Southport High School will make a special appearance, and the Farmer’s Market Café will offer lunch.

Eskenazi Health and the Indianapolis Indians will offer free health screenings at the Indiana State Museum. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., nurses will also be available to discuss the importance of primary and preventive care. Anyone who participates in the health screenings will receive a complimentary ticket to Opening Night at Victory Field on April 6 courtesy of the Indianapolis Indians. Plus, Rowdie, the Indians mascot, will stop by for autographs between 11 a.m. and noon.

• Eiteljorg Museum: Visitors can immerse themselves in Native American and Western cultures with the museum’s many exhibits. It’s your last chance to visit Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure, a one-of-a-kind G-scale train experience featuring the Vegas Strip, Mt. Rushmore, Yosemite, the Golden Gate Bridge, Soldiers and Sailors Monument and much more. Named a USA Today “10 Best” Indy holiday attraction in 2014, Jingle Rails features trains that chug along nearly 1,200 feet of track through a network of trestles, bridges and tunnels with detailed replicas of national treasures.

The Park is also offering complimentary parking on MLK, Jr. Day. Visitors may park in the underground garage located off Washington Street in front of the Indiana State Museum, in the surface parking lots at the Indianapolis Zoo and Victory Field, and in the surface parking lot across from Victory Field next to the Park’s Visitor’s Center. Parking is not guaranteed and is on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information about White River State Park, visit http://www.whiteriverstatepark.org/, or call 317-233-2434.

Downtown Indianapolis Heats Up in July

June 26, 2016 Leave a comment
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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.

Ten Great Indiana Events: Number 3 Might Surprise You

October 3, 2015 Leave a comment

By Bob Burchfield, Editor
AroundIndy.com, LLC

Once again this week a reader asked, via email, “What are the best events in Indiana?” Hmmm…talk about a loaded question! That’s kind of like trying to name Indy’s best burger (which is sure to provoke an argument) or trying to answer the eternal question: “What is Hip?” (sometimes hipness is what it ain’t). One person’s pleasure is another’s poison.

Nevertheless, in an attempt to address the question, I’m going to offer ten of my personal favorite events in Indianapolis and Indiana. I’m well aware that others would likely choose an entirely different list, because we all have our own likes and dislikes.

Also, if I lived in South Bend or Fort Wayne or Evansville or elsewhere, I’m certain my list might be different. So please don’t send vehement text messages or emails saying something like, “I can’t believe you left the Three Rivers Festival off your list,” or “Why didn’t you include the West Side Nut Club Fall Festival?” or “Where’s the Covered Bridge Festival on your list?” (But I would like to hear your choices in the comments section below.)

Having made those disclaimers, here goes!

#10. Christmas City Walkway of Lights

Christmas City Walkway of Lights

Christmas City Walkway of Lights in Marion, Indiana. AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2014, all rights reserved.

Matter Park in Marion, Indiana, about 90 minutes north of Indianapolis, presents the Christmas City Walkway of Lights every November/December. For $5 you can drive your car load of passengers through the park and see a huge variety of colorful and visually-appealing holiday light displays, with millions of lights, featuring everything from the IU logo to the 12 days of Christmas. Be sure to time your visit so you arrive just after dark. It’s even cooler if you park your car and walk through the park. Your kids will love it. See http://www.walkwayoflights.org/

#9. St. Joan of Arc French Market

St. Joan of Arc French Market

French Market at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2015, all rights reserved.

St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church at 46th and Central Avenue in Indianapolis holds its parish festival every summer in August. I finally made it to the French Market in 2015 and was enthralled by the laid-back, easy-going setting, the big crowd, the variety of French cuisine, and the many vendors and activities in a beautiful neighborhood setting. Admission is free, but parking in the neighborhood can be a challenge. See http://www.sjoa.org/frenchmarket/

#8. Mid-Summer Festival

St. Christopher Mid-Summer Festival

Mid-Summer Festival at St. Christopher Catholic Church in Speedway, Indiana. AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2015, all rights reserved.

St. Christopher Catholic Church conducts an annual parish festival each summer in July. I love this festival for its neighborhood setting in Speedway on Indy’s west side at 16th and Lynhurst, plus its excellent variety of cuisine and carnival rides. Admission is free, but finding parking in the neighborhood can be a challenge. It’s pay-as-you-go at the food booths and rides. See http://indyfestival.com/

#7. Indianapolis Indians

Victory Field in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana

Victory Field, home of the Indianapolis Indians. AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2015, all rights reserved.

The Indians are the AAA minor league baseball team in Indianapolis. They play their home games at Victory Field, 501 West Maryland Street, in downtown Indy. I love to go out to the ball park because the action is up close and personal, tickets are reasonably priced in the $10-15 range, and the skyline of Indianapolis presents a beautiful backdrop for a baseball game. Monday Dollar Nights offer hot dogs, peanuts, potato chips, Cracker Jack and popcorn for just $1 each. See http://indyindians.com/

#6. Indy Greek Festival

Middle Eastern dancing at the Greek Festival in Carmel, Indiana

Middle Eastern dancing at the Greek Festival in Carmel, Indiana. AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2015, all rights reserved.

This is a colorful event held at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Carmel, Indiana each summer in August. The Greek food is plentiful, the Middle Eastern dancing and music is so enjoyable, and the sanctuary inside the church is breathtaking. Be prepared for long lines in the food court, and you may have to park at Marsh Supermarket more than a mile away on Michigan Road and wait for a shuttle bus to transport you to the church. See http://indygreekfest.org/

#5. Italian Street Festival

Italian Street Festival at Holy Rosary Catholic Church.

Italian Street Festival at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2013, all rights reserved.

I love the Italian Street Festival at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 520 Stevens Street in Indianapolis, across the street from the Eli Lilly Company. The food is terrific (the four-layer carrot cake is unforgettable), the neighborhood atmosphere is enjoyable, admission is free, and I can usually find free parking across the street from the church. By now you are probably thinking that I’m a devout Catholic based on my selections thus far, but I’m not. I just love a good festival. See http://www.indyitalianfest.org/

#4. Indiana Flower and Patio Show

Indiana Flower and Patio Show at the State Fairgrounds

Indiana Flower and Patio Show at the State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis. AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2012, all rights reserved.

This show is held each spring at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, 1202 East 38th Street, in Indianapolis. It’s a great event with colorful displays, lots of good ideas for decorating and home improvement projects, and a photographer’s delight. See http://hsishows.com/wp/indianaflowerandpatioshow/

#3. Feast of Lanterns

Feast of Lanterns at Spades Park in Indianapolis, Indiana

Feast of Lanterns at Spades Park in Indianapolis, Indiana. AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2015, all rights reserved.

This one-day festival doesn’t always get a lot of media coverage, but when they turn on the lanterns after dark, this is one of the most beautiful and colorful events in the city, in my opinion, held at Spades Park on Indy’s near east side in August. Food trucks, lots of vendors, a beer garden, and a neighborhood setting combine to make this event so enjoyable. Admission is free, but parking in the neighborhood can be a real challenge. Take your own chair and enjoy a lovely evening (opting for acoustic music would further improve this event, IMO). See https://www.facebook.com/IndyFeast

#2. Circle of Lights Celebration

Circle of Lights as viewed from the Skyline Club.

Circle of Lights on Monument Circle as viewed from the Skyline Club. AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2009, all rights reserved.

Every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving, Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis transforms into a holiday showplace with the lighting of “the world’s tallest Christmas tree,” free live entertainment, and a festive atmosphere. Admission is free, so join me and 100,000 of my closest friends for this annual holiday tradition. See http://www.downtownindy.org/happening-downtown/hot/circle-of-lights/

#1. Indiana State Fair

Indiana State Fair midway.

Indiana State Fair midway in Indianapolis. AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2015, all rights reserved.

I’ve been going to the Indiana State Fair since 1953 when I was still in diapers. It’s unquestionably my number one favorite event of the year. There is so much to see and do. You can’t really see it all in one day, but it’s fun to try! I like to ride the shuttle train all the way around the fairgrounds at least once just to see what’s new, then jump off the shuttle and work my way around the fairgrounds on foot.

My mom’s favorite was the quilt display in the Family Arts Building, so I always stop by and view the quilts to honor her memory. My brother played trombone in the Anderson High School marching band that won three consecutive state championships in the late 1950’s. So our family has a long and enjoyable history at the fair. The food is unbeatable, the midway is lively and colorful, the concerts feature national recording artists, the hot air balloon launch is inspirational, and a stop at the Dairy Bar for an official State Fair milk shake is a must. There’s something for everyone. See http://www.in.gov/statefair/

Honorable Mentions:

  1. Dig IN: A Taste of Indiana at White River State Park in Indianapolis
  2. Indianapolis Theatre Fringe Festival on Massachusetts Avenue in Indianapolis
  3. Indy Irish Fest at Military Park in Indianapolis
  4. Freedom Blast Fireworks Show on July 4 in downtown Indianapolis
  5. St. George Festival at St. George Orthodox Christian Church in Fishers, Indiana

How did I do? What are YOUR favorite Indianapolis and Indiana events of the year? Let me know in the comments because I try to cover as many Indianapolis and Indiana events as possible each year, and I’ll try to get to as many of them as I can.

DISCLOSURE NOTICE: AroundIndy.com, LLC received a Media Pass to the 2011 Indiana State Fair, complimentary tickets to the 2012 Indiana State Fair, a 2015 Media Pass, and a media pass to the 2015 Indiana State Fair. You may think I’m biased as a result, but I was going to the fair decades before these complimentary passes were offered.