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Call for Artisans and Craftsmen in Switzerland County

February 8, 2015 Leave a comment
Community Art Center in Vevay, Indiana.

Community Art Center in Vevay, Indiana. Photo provided by Switzerland County Tourism.

By Kendal Miller
Switzerland County Tourism

Switzerland County Tourism in Indiana invites Switzerland County artists and craftsmen to participate in the “Artisans Tour of Switzerland County.” The event will take place throughout galleries, home studios, and businesses in Switzerland County on May 2 & 3 from 10am-4pm. There is no charge to participate but artists must pre-register by calling (812) 427-3237 or by e-mailing visitsc@switzcotourism.com by April 18, 2015 at 4:30 p.m.

Artisans can reside outside of Switzerland County but must display their work within the county limits. Businesses, galleries and participating artists are asked to share spare space with others who may wish to join the tour. Demonstrations in all mediums are encouraged. A map of artisan locations will be distributed throughout the tour.

Art glass, quilts, weaving, jewelry, baskets, ceramics, painting, sculpture, woodworking, photography and artful reuse are examples of mediums on display. A showcase of items from participating artists will be on display at the Community Art Center in Vevay during the May 1 Vevay’s First Friday.

For more information telephone (812) 427-3237 or e-mail visitsc@switzcotourism.com. Information on lodging, county events and local businesses be found on to the Switzerland County Tourism website at www.switzcotourism.com or join the Artisans Tour of Switzerland County Facebook page.

43rd Swiss Wine Festival in Vevay, Aug. 21-24

July 24, 2014 1 comment
Swiss Wine Festival

Image provided by Switzerland County Tourism and used with written permission.

By Kendal Miller
Switzerland County Tourism
http://www.swisswinefestival.org

Organizers of Indiana’s 43rd Swiss Wine Festival invite the public to Enjoy our Grape Heritage this August 21-24, 2014, as they pay homage to Switzerland County’s Swiss wine-making roots. Held at Paul Ogle Riverfront Park in Vevay, the festival is a non-stop celebration that includes food, fun and festivities along the scenic Ohio River.

Named a Top Ten Festival by Top Events USA and the Fourth Best Food Festival in Indiana by Best of Indiana, the Swiss Wine Festival was recently nominated by the Indiana Office of Tourism Development as one of the American Bus Association’s 2015 Top 100 Events.  Judging took place in June with winners to be announced in September.

“The Swiss Wine Festival president, festival coordinator, and the board of directors are excited about the nomination. We’d loved to see our event make this Top 100 list,” said Kendal Miller, Switzerland County Tourism executive director and Swiss Wine Festival board member.  Switzerland County Tourism is the festival’s largest sponsor along with nearly 100 additional sponsors that make the top-notch festival possible each year.

Located in Switzerland County between Cincinnati and Louisville—and about an hour and half from Indianapolis—four days of non-stop activities, food, and entertainment attract wine lovers and visitors from across the country. With a population of around 1700, the people in and around the town of Vevay (pronounced Vee-vee) are experts at throwing a grand festival. The famous Wine Tasting Pavilion includes 12 Indiana wineries on site that offer tastings of their award-wines or purchases by the glass or bottle.

Visitors won’t be disappointed as organizers and volunteers have been working since the close of last year’s event to insure that Switzerland County maintains a high-quality family celebration that honors their winemaking origins and their notoriety as the Birthplace of the First Successful Commercial Winery in the United States.

“The festival fosters both Switzerland County past and future. Not only does it provide a positive financial impact for local non-profit organizations and for-profit businesses, but also helps drive economic development through tourism in Switzerland County,” said Miller.

The event is put on by volunteers, including the unpaid Swiss Wine Festival president and board of directors. A part-time paid festival coordinator also volunteer’s additional time and talents. While facets of the festival require professional labor, as many tasks as possible are completed by the volunteerism of the locals. In 2013, over $40,000 collected by the festival went to 43 local clubs and organizations that provided helpers to work the festival. Over $7,000 was given through scholarships and prize money for festival events with more than $180,000 going to Switzerland County for-profit businesses and/or individuals. The amounts do not include figures for money spent by tourists through gas, food outside the festival or lodging.

In 2014, visitors will find the traditional aspects of the festival firmly in place—the famous Wine Tasting Pavilion, Midwest Championship Grape Stomp, arts & crafts, Grand Festival Parade, riverboat cruises, beer garden, 5K river run/walk, poker runs, cornhole tournament, cheerleading competition, live entertainment, and more. Debuting in 2014 are new and bigger amusement rides by Burton Bros. Amusement.

Twelve Indiana wineries in the wine pavilion offer samplings of their award-winning wines with staff on hand to answer questions about their yield. Novice or connoisseur wine lovers can enjoy samples or purchase wine by the glass or bottle. Participating wineries include Buck Creek, Carousel, Cedar Creek, Ertel Cellars, French Lick, Harmony, Indiana Creek, Lanthier, The Ridge Winery, Traders Point, Windy Knoll and Winzerwald. Entrance into the wine pavilion is $15 per person and includes a souvenir wine glass and wine sampling opportunities. A beer garden is also available.

The event includes many varieties of cuisine to suit anyone’s taste so Miller recommends that guests come hungry and try a variety of items.

This year’s Swiss Wine Festival entertainment headliner is Diamond Rio, performing on Friday, August 22 beginning at 8:45pm. The event is free with a $5 gate admission with guests advised to bring lawn chairs. An autograph session with be held afterwards.

Additional musical performances throughout the four-day event include: Midnight Special, DiamondBack, After Midnight, Gringo Starz, Ken & Mary Turbo Accordions Express, CEF Michael, Madison Community Band, The True Voice of “Elvis”, MonkeyBone/Pinch-n-Roll, and the SKALLYWAGS. For the kids, “rock out” with Rockasaurus Rex, a 7-foot dinosaur who loves to read, write, and rock along with Captain Crunch & the Cereal Killers.

Solution Actions Sports will keeps guests on the edge of their seats as they bring out the best in both FMX (Freestyle Motocross) and BMX (bicycle motorcross) entertainment for all ages. The FMX Team defies gravity by jumping over 80 feet through the air performing some of the biggest stunts possible on a motorized machine.

A Swiss Wine Festival favorite, Mark Abbati as the living statue “JoyUNSPEAKABLE” blends movements and characteristics of the Masters of Silent Communication with various dances and statue poses.

Upholding a Swiss Wine Festival tradition, gates will open on Thursday, August 21 at 5:00 p.m. with the Little Swiss Polka Dancers performing at 6:00 p.m. Hours of practice by local youths had been undertaken to uphold this traditional aspect of the Swiss Wine Festival entertainment.

Festivities begin on Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. with the Grand Festival Parade in downtown Vevay. Locals and visitors line the streets of Main Street to kick-off the celebration utilizing the Enjoy Our Grape Heritage theme. Floats, marching bands, classic cars, and area businesses and organizations “put on the dog” to commemorate the festival.

A brochure with a complete list of activities and events is downloadable from the Swiss Wine Festival website located at http://www.swisswinefestival.org. Entry into the festival and parking is free on Thursday, and $5 per day on Friday-Saturday with children 5-12 years for $3. Youths under age five are free. Sunday admission is $4 for adults and $2 for youths 5-12. Youths under age five are free.

Festival times are Thursday, August 21 from 5-10 p.m.; Friday, August 22 from 3 p.m.-2 a.m.; Saturday, August 23 from 10:30 a.m.-2 a.m.; and Sunday, August 24 from 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. There is a small parking charge near the festival grounds and limited free parking in downtown Vevay.

The Wine Pavilion is closed on Thursday, but is open Friday, 3-10 p.m., Saturday, 11a.m.-10 p.m., and Sunday noon-5:00 p.m. The $15 per person admission fee includes wine sampling opportunities and a souvenir wine glass.  The Beer Garden opens Thursday for Happy Hour from 5:00-10 p.m. and will reopen Friday from 3:00 p.m.-2 a.m.; Saturday 11 a.m.-2 a.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Additional activities, performers, and events can be found on the Swiss Wine Festival website at www.swisswinefestival.org. For more information telephone 812-427-9463. Reservations for riverboat cruises can be made by calling 800-435-5688.

Information on lodging, local businesses and tourist activities can be found at www.switzcotourism.com or by calling Switzerland County Tourism at 812-427-3237 or e-mailing visitsc@switzcotourism.com. The Swiss Wine Festival and Switzerland County Tourism-Vevay, IN are on Facebook.

The Doctors’ Band at Vevay First Friday, July 4

June 21, 2014 Leave a comment
The Doctor's Band

The Doctors’ Band. Photo provided by Switzerland County Tourism and used with written permission.

By Kendal Miller
Switzerland County Tourism
http://switzcotourism.com/

Switzerland County Tourism will present “Dancin’ on Liberty Street” during Vevay’s First Friday on July 4, 2014. The Doctors’ Band will perform from 6-9 p.m. Liberty Street is located between the Switzerland County Visitors Center at 128 West Main Street and the historic Switzerland County Courthouse in downtown Vevay, IN.

“With Vevay’s “Red, White & Blues” First Friday falling on July 4 we wanted to do a little extra,” said Kendal Miller, Switzerland County Tourism executive director. “There will be activities across Switzerland County beginning at 11:00 a.m. in Patriot and finishing up with Belterra’s fireworks that start at 10 p.m.”

The Doctors’ Band performance is free and open to the public to dance or sit and enjoy music. Lawn chairs are recommended.

The nine-piece Doctors’ Band specializes in classic rock and soul from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. The band was formed with the intention of having fun and playing music that members grew up with. Many of the performers are doctors with different specialties. Members include Joe Perkinson (teacher) vocals, guitar, keyboard; James Stanley (musician) vocals, keyboard; Ken Harding (nurse anesthetist) guitar; George Alcorn (internal medicine/pulmonologist) bass guitar; Chris Watson (musician) percussion; Tom Kennedy (dentist) trombone; Rick Bennett (artist) saxophone; Mark Johnson (builder) trumpet; and Dave Butler, (dentist/oral surgeon) trumpet.

“Make a day of it. Start in Patriot for the Fourth of July festivities, then head to Vevay to shop, dine and enjoy live music. Complete the holiday with the fireworks out at Belterra.” said Miller. Vevay Main Street will provide musicians along the sidewalks of downtown Vevay for First Friday and offer free carriage rides around town also at 6 p.m.

In case of rain, an alternate location for the Doctors’ Band will be announced.

Vevay’s First Friday is presented by Vevay Main Street and includes late night dining, shopping, store specials, live entertainment, art openings and free carriage rides (weather permitting) around downtown Vevay. The event is sponsored in part by Switzerland County Tourism.

For more information on Switzerland County, its businesses, eateries and events, log on to www.switzcotourism.com or the Switzerland County Tourism-Vevay, IN Facebook page. Information is also available at 812-427-3237.

Vevay Ghost Tour in Switzerland County in October

September 12, 2013 Leave a comment
Vevay Ghost Tour

Vevay Ghost Tour, Oct. 11-12, 18-19, 25-26.

By Angie Satterfield
River Towns Rock Tour Company
http://rivertownsrock.com/

“The Original” Vevay Ghost Tour and the EXCLUSIVE Ghost Hunt at the Historic Hoosier Theatre will take place this October in Vevay, Indiana.  Enter a world of hidden pasts and dark secrets, stories that will send chills down your spine as you join us for a spirited journey in historic Vevay.  Explore the eerie history, lore and some spine tingling stories as you walk around town and tour four different locations,The Switzerland County History Museum, The Historic Hoosier Theater, The Switzerland County Courthouse Basement, and The Old Jail.

The walking tours will take place on Oct. 11-12, 18-19, and 25-26.  Cost is $25 per person and tours start at 7:00 pm, rain or shine.  A portion of the ticket sales go to both the Historic Hoosier Theater and the Switzerland County Historical Society.  Also visited is the Switzerland County Courthouse Basement (hear actual EVP’s from an investigation) and the Old Vevay Jail.  Tours start and end at the Haunted Julia Knox House.

All four locations are reputed to be haunted, and several locations will also offer tour participants the opportunity to meet and hear actual experiences from those who had them.  Tour guides encourage those on the tour to bring their ghost hunting equipment, flashlights, and cameras along and take advantage of the opportunity to gain access to these places.

A new offering this year is a very limited opportunity to take part in an EXCLUSIVE Ghost Hunt at the Historic Hoosier Theatre conducted by Researchers Investigating the Paranormal (RIP).  This ghost hunt starts at 11:00 pm on October 25 at the theatre and ends at 2:00 am.  Participants will get the opportunity to learn from professionals about equipment, proper technique, processing of data, observation, and interview.  They will break out into hunts to conduct an actual ghost hunt of this historic property and the opportunity to spend the night in a location with a reputation using hands-on learning with ghost hunting equipment and technology.  The Exclusive Ghost Hunt at the Historic Hoosier Theater with RIP is $39 per person .

Tickets are available at the Julia Knox House located at 206 East Main Street in Vevay or by phone 812-427-3338. Credit Cards are accepted. Tour sizes are limited and it should be noted that prior tours have sold out quickly.

Lucky 14 Downtown Discovery Game in Vevay, Sept. 6

September 4, 2013 Leave a comment
Vevay Lucky Cards

Vevay Lucky 14 Downtown Discovery Game, Sept. 6.

By Kendal Miller
Switzerland County Tourism
http://www.switzcotourism.com/

The public is invited to participate in Switzerland County Visitors Center’s “Lucky 14 Downtown Discovery Game” during the September 6, 2013, Vevay Main Street First Friday. The “14 miles to Vevay” themed First Friday event will take place from 6-9 p.m. in downtown Vevay, Indiana.

Sealed envelopes with one numbered card will be provided by the Switzerland County Visitors Center to each participating business for the Lucky 14 game. The goal is for participants to discover downtown businesses while collecting one sealed envelope per participating business.  (Cards graciously donated by Belterra Casino Resort & Spa.) Tourism staff will open sealed envelopes in front of contestants to reveal the numbers on the cards in anticipation that they will add up to 14 or as close to 14 as possible without going over. It is the responsibility of the participant to disclose how many and which cards they want opened.

Only one unopened, unhampered envelope collected per person per business will be accepted. Each participating business/organization will have their name on the envelopes they distribute, making them eligible for a prize along with the winning contestant. Envelope locations will be available at the Visitor Center and participating businesses by Friday at 6:00 p.m.

Unopened envelopes need to be returned to the Switzerland County Visitors Center located at 128 West Main Street on September 6 by 8:30 p.m. Entries received after 8:30 p.m. will not be eligible. Any contestant who turns in an envelope that appears tampered will be disqualified. A winner will be named before the close of the event at 9:00 p.m.

The winner of the Lucky 14 Downtown Discovery Game will win a Bicentennial t-shirt and medallion of the Historic Switzerland County Courthouse. In case of a tie, winners will be chosen by a drawing. The business names that appear on the envelopes of the winning Lucky 14 contestant will go into a drawing to receive a prize for their business provided by Switzerland County Tourism.

The Visitors Center will also offer mustache face painting from 6-7 p.m. and will have Bicentennial items on display and sale including t-shirts, tote bags, coloring books, a limited edition bronze medal designed by Switzerland County artist Donna Weaver, and a collector basket with a lid designed by Erin Williams.

Vevay Main Street First Friday is held monthly rain or shine. The event features late night shopping and dining, specials, live entertainment and free carriage rides around downtown Vevay weather permitting.

For more information, contact the Switzerland County Visitors Center at (812) 427-3237 or by e-mail at visitsc@vevayin.com. Information can be found at www.switzcotourism.com or on the Switzerland County Tourism-Vevay, IN Facebook page.