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Jun 18, 2013 by Carrie Lambert
When you put together great food, great friends and great music, you get an unforgettable night. And that is exactly what we did the other weekend at Klipsch Music Center.
Let me back up a few years ... if you are a country fan in the least you will remember when the song "Chicken Fried" hit the radio. It was an instant hit and made the Zac Brown Band celebrities over night. I loved that song and my husband, a huge fan of country music, loved the band and quickly bought their first album and listened to it non-stop. Since then, we have never missed an opportunity to see them in concert. When we heard their "Jump Right In" tour was coming to Hamilton County my husband organized all our friends, bought tickets and put it in our schedule.
As the date grew closer we knew we didn't just want to go to the concert, we wanted it to be an experience. Being an outdoor concert venue, Klipsch is the perfect place to plan for just that. So we bought the VIP parking pass and it was well worth it. For $25 you get a prime parking spot - but the real incentive is you are able to leave quicker than most of the other 24,000 fans because of the VIP exit!
We loaded up our cars and headed to Klipsch right at 4pm - the time the VIP parking lot opens. We came loaded down with chairs, tents and of course wonderful food!
We spent the next three plus hours hanging out and enjoying the beautiful weather.
Before we knew it, it was time to head inside for the main event. If you have the chance, splurge to enter through the VIP lounge. There are separate bathrooms, separate vendors and a covered tent to enjoy before, during and after the show.
We were off to find our seats. We have attended several shows at Klipsch in the past and have really been pleased with the lawn section. But since this was our third time to see them live, we decided to enjoy the luxury of sitting under the pavilion.
The Zac Brown Band to me showcases some of the best musician mastery there is ... and I'm not even a harsh judge of music. One of their band members, Clay Cook, jumps from instrument to instrument and is amazing. Unfortunately he didn't sing my favorite song ("Black Bird"), but that was forgotten when they did play my all-time favorite "Devil Went Down to Georgia." Unreal.
As my husband said, we have never been disappointed by a show and there is always something that surprises us. This time, it was the cover of a Metallica song. Not to mention the other bands they covered: Dave Matthews Band, the Eagles and David Gray. Who has this kind of talent??
The music went solid for over two hours and by the time we left I think both of us were a bit hoarse and definitely worn out from standing, cheering and singing along!
It was a great night to be outside, enjoy the company of friends and hear a phenomenal concert. Don't worry if you aren't a country fan, there are a variety of other concerts coming up so do yourself a favor and check out who is playing the rest of this summer. You'll be glad you did.
Jun 13, 2013 by Hamilton County CVB
Celebrate dad this weekend in Hamilton County! Below you'll find plenty of ideas for enjoying the entire weekend including Father's Day on Sunday. From encountering dinosaurs to riding the rails, there's plenty to see and do. For even more things to do in Hamilton County, check our online calendar of events.
1. Find a unique gift for pops at a locally owned shop in Hamilton County. Shop the Annual Summer Sale at Main Street Shoppes to find one-of-a-kind antique items, or if dad's a wine lover, treat him to something from Arcadia Wine & Spirits. For sports loving dads, a gift certificate from Authentic Sports Collectibles will help him get that signed memorabilia he's been eyeing.
2. Please your creative side with some Nickel Plate Arts events. Try your hand at creating a masterpiece during the Painting Flowers Class on Saturday. Or if you're better at buying rather than creating art, stop in at one of the Umbrella Sales on Friday or Saturday to purchase local art. Maybe you'll even find something special for dad!
3. Have a kiddo who is fascinated by dinosaurs? You won't want to miss ERTH's Dinosaur Petting Zoo at The Center for the Performing Arts! This interactive show lets the audience get up close to dinosaurs created by the visual arts company ERTH. Shows being today and runs through Sunday.
4. ALL of the farmers markets in Hamilton County are open for the season! Get loads of fresh produce including tasty strawberries that are now in season. Click here for locations and times of the Fishers, Noblesville, Carmel and Westfield markets. Why not grab ingredients at a market and make a meal for dad? Check out our previous post by blogger Shanna for ideas.
5. Ever strolled through Carmel and thought that you'd like a closer look at some of the yards and porches? You're in luck! The Carmel Clay Historical Society's Garden and Front Porch Tour is this Saturday. Discover beautiful historical homes and history facts about Carmel too.
6. All dads love trains, right? If yours does, take him for a ride on the rails with the Indiana Transportation Museum this weekend. The Blue Arrow Train and the Jeffersonian Train both depart from the museum this Saturday evening. Or take dad on the Father's Day Train on Sunday!
7. Treat dad to a special meal on Father's Day with brunch at Mo's A Place for Steaks. They are hosting a special brunch to honor dads that features culinary stations and a Bloody Mary bar. Or if your pop has a sweet tooth, find the perfect place to take him for a cupcake or ice cream cone on our restaurant page.
8. Enjoy a theater performance by a talented community theater group. There are several shows to choose from this weekend alone like The Spitfire Grill or Beanstalk the Musical!. For dads who love theater shows, surprise him with tickets to a performance at AACTFest next week!
Jun 12, 2013 by Clair Kassebaum
This summer, Hamilton County is overflowing with music almost every night of the week! Free concerts in the parks provide a host of opportunities bringing communities and visitors together to enjoy local and traveling bands for evenings of bluegrass, jazz, classical, and popular tunes. There are more than enough options for everyone in your family to enjoy themselves under the warm summer sky. Located in different areas of the county, these concerts also provide the perfect chance to check out the wide selection of cuisine local foodies crave.
Start out the week in Fishers, visiting the Nickel Plate District Amphitheater. Every Tuesday at 7, bring a picnic and listen to styles including country, pop, and even an island-inspired tribute band. Consider stopping by Alexander's or Handel's for ice cream after the show.
Get an early start to the weekend by bringing the family on Thursdays at 7 to enjoy the pleasant atmosphere of Dillon Park in Noblesville. Local bluegrass, jazz, and cover bands provide the entertainment. Make it a whole night of savoring all the community has to offer by making reservations at The Local Eatery beforehand for some delicious dishes made from food grown by local farmers. If you'd rather, Clay Terrace also offers a free local concert on Thursday nights.
On Fridays, enjoy music on the cheap at the Cool Creek Park and Nature Center outside with your neighbors and friends! From 7-10, you can celebrate summer and your community with the whole family in one of Hamilton County's most popular parks for $5 for adults, and free for kids 12 and under.
For a mix of art and music, come by the Jazz on the Monon series. There is a free jazz concert every Saturday in the heart of the Carmel Arts and Design District. Bring your lawn chairs, and check out local eats. Try the famous Bub's Burgers and Ice Cream for fresh, delicious burgers and shakes before the show begins!
What's a week of music without the symphony playing into the night air? Conner Prairie hosts the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for Symphony on the Prairie every Friday and Saturday night beginning June 21st at 8:00. The orchestra breaks from normal routine to please the crowds with themes such as movie soundtracks, Broadway favorites, the Beatles, and rock and roll classics. Nothing says summer like lawn chairs and blankets spread out over the lawn and families enjoying a picnic to the sounds of a nationally renowned orchestra. This event costs money, but try to sneak it into your budget for a quintessential summer experience. Make a whole day of it and explore the rest of the grounds of Conner Prairie before the concert!
If you can't get enough of the music scene around here and want to see some of your favorite bands on tour, pick up some tickets for a show at Klipsch Music Center. Klipsch is the premier music venue in Hamilton County, with shows all year round. This summer, enjoy performances from artists such as Tim McGraw, Dave Matthews Band, Rascal Flatts, and John Mayer.
With all the free options and various styles of music offered, there is no excuse for not checking out the concert scene in Hamilton County this summer! For a complete listing of shows, check the visitors bureau's calendar of events.
Jun 11, 2013 by Shanna Mooney
Whether you're a thespian, theatre geek or just have a general appreciation for the arts, you certainly must be aware that you aren't alone in Hamilton County. And come June 17-23, you will be in fine company as the American Association of Community Theatre (AACT) arrives with a fabulous flourish to the Center for the Performing Arts for the AACTFest 2013 National Festival.
The AACT links more than 7,000 theaters across the country, and the festival is expected to bring more than 400 people representing those theaters to Carmel for a week dedicated to their art. And that is what they are: dedicated. Everyone likes to compare how busy they are, but try adding rehearsals and performances into your schedule like these people do! AACT members are people who have, for whatever reason, chosen to not make theatre their living, but an all-consuming hobby of sorts that feeds on others' hobbies of viewing theatre. What a wonderful relationship!
The festival is a chance for these artsy, dramatic folks to get together and socialize with, learn from and perform for each other. Certainly attendees will gather for workshops, meetings, and the like, but the awesome part surely will be the performances. Which, according to June Clair, who co-chairs the event with her husband John, will be judged and open to the public. Holla! The public can see the schedule and can order tickets by going to the Center for the Performing Arts website.
"It is exciting in that these 12 theater companies that will be performing have won both state and regional competitions in order to get to the national event," June says. "Also, there are very stringent rules for the performances - the shows cannot be more than an hour in length, so they don't do the whole show - it's more of a cutting of the show. If the group goes over, they are docked points. Each show is judged, and at the end of the event, there is an awards ceremony with 16 awards given out. It's the community theater equivalent of the Oscars."
While I certainly plan on attending a performance or two, I think it will be fun to just hang out in downtown Carmel carrying a Remains of the Day lunchbox and wearing a Corky St. Clair name tag and absorbing the scene.
Oh, and in case you missed the references above, do yourself a favor and watch Waiting for Guffman, a loving and hilarious parody of community theatre that June identifies with on, um, some level. "There is truth in it," she says, "Because that company of actors is quite familiar with the world of theater. One could say there's always a lot of drama behind the drama."
Indeed! And I can't wait to witness it!
Jun 06, 2013 by Hamilton County CVB
This weekend is seriously packed with things to do and see in Hamilton County, Indiana! The Nickel Plate Arts Weekend will make a perfect weekend getaway for art lovers and Conner Prairie's Bioblitz will serve as the same for science and nature lovers. Read on to see what other fun activities there are to fill your weekend with! As always, there are even more (yes, more!) events on our online calendar of events.
1. Art lovers, this is a weekend you won't want to miss in Hamilton County! The annual Nickel Plate Arts Weekend begins tomorrow and runs through Sunday evening. See painters outside participating the Gathering of Plein Air Painters, ride on the Art Train, check out the Nickel Plate Arts Campus, buy a hand painted rain barrel, and much more. There are far too many events going on to list them all, but check this online schedule for all of the happenings!
2. Have a little scientist or explorer on your hands? Bioblitz at Conner Prairie this weekend is the perfect activity for them! Professional scientists will be cataloguing the plant and animal species found on the grounds and visitors will be able to see their findings. Trek along the Nature Walk to explore critters and plants for yourself, take part in special programs, and even learn to identify animal tracks to help the residents of Prairietown.
3. There's a new addition to the farmer's market line-up this week! For those that like to sleep in on Saturday mornings, the new Noblesville Main Street Produce Market is held Thursday evenings from 4-7pm beginning today. Visit the market in the alley just south of the Noblesville courthouse right next to our Noblesville Visitor Center. Also don't forget about the markets throughout the county on weekends too.
4. The second Saturday brings extra weekend fun to Hamilton County each month and this Saturday is no exception. Visit the Carmel Arts and Design District from 5-10 p.m. for the Second Saturday Gallery Walk. Galleries in the district will be open and have special exhibits just for the occasion. There will also be a Second Saturday celebration in Arcadia with wine and music at the Hedgehog Music Showcase!
5. Enjoy some outdoor summer concerts! Due to the rain last week, Sheila Stephen and the Rodeo Monkeys will perform this Sunday as a part of the Fishers in the Country music series. During the week you can catch a concert nearly every night- Fishers Summer concerts on Tuesdays, Carmel Gazebo concerts on Wednesdays, the Noblesville Parks Summer Concerts are on Thursdays, and Fridays bring the Cool Creek Concert Series. Check our calendar for even more- yes more- summer concerts coming up!
6. Enjoy a day at the Monon Community Center & Central Park. This Saturday is Free Fishing Day where you can try your hand at fishing even without a fishing license! Stick around and enjoy the walking paths and natural features of Central Park before hopping on the Monon Trail for a ride or taking a dip in the pool at the Waterpark.
7. Take a shopping weekend getaway and update your style for summer! Shop ‘til you drop at the Fashion Mall, Clay Terrace, and Hamilton Town Center. Or browse a list of local boutiques to find your style. You can also spruce up your home's style with treasures found at this Saturday's Old Mill Festival in downtown Noblesville!
8. Take an Indiana weekend getaway here to Hamilton County to enjoy the activities mentioned above and save money at the same time! Along with some free events, there are also money saving coupons on everything from lodging to canoes on our special offers page. You don't have to spend a fortune to have an enjoyable family vacation this summer!
Jun 05, 2013 by Carrie Lambert
History was never my favorite subject. All those dates to memorize and trying to keep things straight in my head seemed tedious. I'm a person who likes to experience things by touching them, seeing them in person, feeling them in front of me. That is why I've always liked Conner Prairie Interactive History Park. It had been awhile since I walked the grounds of Conner Prairie and I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to go back last month. I was amazed at how much has changed since my last visit.
We started inside the museum, where gone are the static exhibits of the history of Indiana and in their place is "Create. Connect" an interactive exhibit that focuses on history, science and technology. Here, you can build your own windmill to see if you can provide power for a farmhouse or create your own circuit with wires and switches.
Once we ventured outside, the first place we hit was Animal Encounters. It is exactly what you think - a place where you come face-to-face with cows, goats, sheep and more. I could barely get my four-year-old out of this building ... which explains why we had to go back multiple times during our visit!
Next, it was on to the historic areas. Prairietown is an 1836 reconstructed town based on one you might have found in Indiana. The people (interpreters) you encounter live in that time period - meaning they don't know about cell phones, cameras, computers, etc..., and if you try to talk to them about it, they will become quite puzzled! It makes for interesting conversations to say the least, but what I love to do is just visit with them, hear what their life is like, see what they bought in the store or even sit in a classroom and learn about ciphering (or addition as it is called today!). By experiencing it, the 1800s come alive and before I know it, history doesn't seem quite so boring.
But let me tell you about my favorite part ... the 1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana. When you cross the beautiful covered bridge, you are transported to Dupont, Indiana where just "yesterday" they were raided by John Hunt Morgan's cavalry. Learn about what it was like to live through a raid and then have a choice of whether or not to join the war. Kids (and adults) even have the opportunity to train and become part of the militia. And if you have little kiddos there is a wonderful play area complete with a splash pad for those hot summer days!
If you are like me and haven't been in a while, here are some more highlights you won't want to miss!
• 1859 Balloon Voyage- Weather-permitting Travel 350 feet above the ground for an exceptional view of the area!
• Nature Walk- Explore the natural setting by taking a walk along a gravel path that winds through the forest and along the top of a levee and get some exercise doing it - .64 miles round trip! Also, don't miss Bioblitz on June 8-9 to learn even more about the grounds.
• Treehouses: Look Who's Living in the Trees! Open through September 2 this 2,000 square-foot indoor traveling exhibit will teach ways humans and animals live in and use trees - both now and in the past!
So if you are one of those people who says, "I went there in 4th grade" or "I go every year for ‘Symphony on the Prairie,'" then you haven't experienced the new, ever changing and always exciting Conner Prairie. What are you waiting for?
Jun 04, 2013 by Shanna Mooney
The challenge, should I choose to accept it: Go to a Hamilton County farmer's market and create a meal from what you find. I joyfully accepted! And with my daughter in tow one recent Saturday morning, we donned comfortable shoes and headed out armed with a shopping bag and pockets bulging with singles and fives.
OK, some of you may be thinking, "Carmel Farmer's Market? That's an oxymoron." And, yes, while it's true many of the vendor's wares are not grown or produced actually in Carmel, they are still pretty darn "local." And in case you have yet to experience it, the variety rocks! As we made our way around, sampling goods and having a hand-held breakfast of pastries and coffee (and a slushy; my daughter is 6...), I started planning the evening's menu.
As a semi-vegetarian (I eat fish and an occasional over-processed chicken nugget snagged from my child's plate), I knew going in that my protein for this challenge likely would be eggs. The organic, free-range version I prefer are plentiful and reasonably priced at the market, and it's something everyone in my family likes. If you like your protein from the four-legged variety, there was plenty of that too, including dried jerky and "Beefalo." Charts and statistics touting the latter's lean healthfulness was on display at the stand where it was available.
For this challenge, we shopped early in the season, so the available produce included rhubarb, morel mushrooms and lots of asparagus. While I love rhubarb pie, I'm generally way too busy to bake one. Or anything that doesn't come from a box, for that matter, so that was out. I love morels, but at $45 a pound, I'll hold out hope that I'll find a few while hunting around my parent's property. So that leaves asparagus, which, I thought, would be delicious roasted and served tucked into an omelet drizzled with hollandaise sauce and sprinkled with chives. (Turns out, I was right!)
For a side, some locally baked sour dough bread was the perfect accompaniment. While I choose, my daughter called out, "Mommy! Goats!" Sure enough, she was oohing and ahhing over adorable photos of goats. I did the same-but over the cheese the farmers produced from these cute creatures. I opted for a tub of plain-flavored that I was originally going to slather on the bread. Then I saw a purveyor of homemade pastas-and sauce. That settled it: Marinara was purchased and goat cheese marinara with sour dough bread served as a great appetizer.
And remember how I mentioned pie, but lamented being too busy to bake? Well, a couple of stands had a variety of reasonably priced Amish-baked treats that are entirely better than any attempt I would make anyway. I purchased several: an apple pie, a couple of fried-apple pies (those smallish lunch-box type of folded-over yumminess) and some cream-filled whoopie pies.
Certainly this was just the first of many weekend farmers' market forays.
May 30, 2013 by Hamilton County CVB
My, my, May sure flew by here in Hamilton County! Welcoming June along with the warmer temperatures marks the start of many events: farmers markets, outdoor concerts, festivals and more. Read on for great weekend ideas and browse our online calendar of events for even more.
1. The start of outdoor concert season is upon us. See local bands light up stages across Hamilton County at events like the Noblesville Summer Concerts Series, Splash Attack! Concerts at the Waterpark, and Groovin' on the Green at Prairie View Golf Course that all begin this week. Even more community concerts will begin next week! Of course national acts will be rocking the stage at Klipsch Music Center during their 25th Anniversary season as well. See the lineup here.
2. Conner Prairie is hosting a fun event for craft beer and history lovers this Friday! History on Tap will feature local craft brews from Indiana, brewing demonstrations, historical beer tastings, and more. It's the perfect event for a group of friends, coworkers, or even date night.
3. Chocolate lovers, rejoice! Garden Thyme at the Old Schoolhouse is hosting their annual Chocolatefest this Saturday. This year they will not only be celebrating chocolate, but also their 10th year in business. Stop by for chocolate plants, chocolate colored shrubs and of course the kind of chocolate you eat too.
4. Gather ‘round for Sheridan's annual Fireside Tales event. This Saturday storytellers, magicians and musicians will delight picnicking crowds at Sheridan Community Park. In case of rain, the event will be moved inside.
5. If you're visiting Hamilton County this weekend, you should definitely visit at least one farmers market this Saturday. It will be well worth getting up a bit early to discover the local produce, baked goods and more that each market has to offer! The Carmel Farmers Market, Noblesville Farmers Market, and Fishers Farmers Market are all held on Saturday morning.
6. Dinner and a movie? Boring. How about dinner and a train ride? Hop aboard the Blue Arrow train that travels from Noblesville to Tipton and drops hungry passengers off for dinner before the return trip. Or choose the Jeffersonian train where passengers enjoy appetizers and drinks during their journey to dinner. Both trains run this Saturday.
7. If rainy weather makes outside too soggy, head inside for some fun and games. Head to Pinheads for bowling or try your hand at being a rock star during karaoke on Friday night. Or head to Ben & Ari's for classic arcade games and pizza. Laser Flash in Carmel also offers great indoor fun with arcade games and laser tag for kids and those who are a kid at heart.
8. Experience a one-man show at the Tarkington in Carmel this weekend. Internationally acclaimed performer Tomas Kubinek will delight audiences with his funny vaudeville-style show. Some tickets are still available for both the Saturday and Sunday shows.
May 28, 2013 by Caroline Mosey
Mark your calendar for June 7-9, when the Nickel Plate Arts Weekend gets underway! This 3-day celebration of the arts in Hamilton County is a fun and unique way to connect with local artists and enjoy their rich contribution to our community.
The event kicks off Friday and spans the communities of Fishers, Arcadia, Noblesville, Atlanta, Tipton and Cicero. Beginning on Friday morning, look for art displays in the Noblesville City Hall and the Fishers Town Hall. Gallery 116 will also be offering art demos open to the public.
And don't miss an exciting opportunity for aspiring and seasoned painters to engage in a little friendly competition! The Plein-Air Paint Out, sponsored by the Hamilton County Artist Association, offers the chance for artists of all ages to paint their own creations throughout the day in an outdoor setting. At the close of the weekend, paintings will be evaluated by judges for awards and cash prizes, and will be available for purchase! Click here for more information on the event.
The Lions Club will host a Pork Chop Dinner and a Pancake Breakfast, both on the Noblesville Square, to fuel the weekend festivities. Choose from musical performances, spinning and weaving demos, beer and wine tastings, food truck sampling, scavenger hunts, train rides, crafts and more!
You can even catch a performance of "The Spitfire Grill" at the intimate Belfry Theatre, where Noblesville's acting talent takes center stage.
Come be a part of the fun! Whatever your artistic interests, they're sure to be piqued during this jam-packed weekend!
May 23, 2013 by Hamilton County CVB
Enjoy the holiday weekend in Hamilton County! Whether you're visiting from out of town or are a resident, there's plenty to see and do. Splash in newly opened pools, shop local ‘til you drop, and take in some art and history too! Read on for those ideas and more. As always, our online calendar has even more things to do!
1. Freshen your home décor for the summer season with some shabby chic new furniture. The perfect stop is the Upscale Barn Sale today through Saturday at Prairie Guest House! There will be vintage finds, restored antique furniture and much more. For even more treasures, hunt at shops along the square in Noblesville like A Corner Cottage, Old Picket Fence and Logan Village Mall.
2. Take advantage of all that Conner Prairie has to offer for the holiday weekend! Make crafts at the Craft Corner and learn to load and fire a reproduction Civil War musket at Bang!. Take part in the May theme of "Invaders" and see the newest indoor exhibit TreeHouses: Look Who's Living in the Trees. On Memorial Day, all water play areas will be open for the season as well!
3. Speaking of slashing around, there are several places to do so in Hamilton County! Head to the Forest Park Aquatic Center that will be open all weekend including Memorial Day from noon-7pm. Float in the lazy river or surf on the FlowRider at The Waterpark at the Monon Community Center that opens Saturday and will also be open on Memorial Day from 11am- 7pm. Morse Beach provides a more natural setting and opens this Saturday as well and will be open on Memorial Day from 11am- 6pm.
4. Get your dose of art with Nickel Plate Arts this Saturday. View the exhibit on display, Artist Free For All Exhibit, from 10am- 5pm. Or sign the kiddos up for the Greeting Cards Galore Class from 2-4pm. But whatever you do, don't miss the first Umbrella Sale of the season! Artists will "pop-up" umbrellas and sell their artwork outside on the patio and you can "pop-in" to buy art.
5. Kick back and take in some live music. The Hedgehog Music Showcase will host a CD release concert for Diamond Hill Station Bluegrass on Memorial Day at 7pm. Louie's inside Pinheads will also have live music and a chance to take over the stage yourself during Karaoke!
6. Stock up on local goodies at the 3 area farmers markets that are now open for the season. New to the lineup this week is the Fishers Farmers Market that opens on Saturday from 8am- Noon. The Carmel Farmers Market and the Noblesville Farmers Market are both on Saturday morning as well.
7. Gather golf knowledge from our site and plan a great day of golfing in Hamilton County. Be sure to call and reserve tee times! Read some of our golf expert's blog posts to help plan your day or trip of golfing.
8. I scream, you scream we all scream for ice cream! Celebrate the unofficial start of summer with a sweet treat in Hamilton County. Grab a cone at Bub's, relax by Morse Reservoir with a treat from Alexander's on the Water, or get a decadent Handel Pop at Handel's in Carmel. For a full list of where to find treats, browse our sweet treats page.
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