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8 Great Things to do the Last Weekend of September 2014

Sep 25, 2014 by Hamilton County CVB

Carmel International Arts FestFestivals abound this weekend in Hamilton County, Indiana. Cheers with a local brew, see international art, pick a pumpkin or enjoy live music... or do it all! Read on for 8 great ideas and check our online calendar of events for even more getaway ideas. 

1. Travel around the world in just a few blocks at the Carmel International Arts Festival in the Carmel Arts & Design District this weekend! See juried artists exhibiting art of all kinds. Plus enjoy international music performances and excite your taste buds with ethnic food. 

2. The northern Hamilton County town of Atlanta will welcome thousands of visitors for their annual New Earth Festival this weekend! Be one of them and discover hundreds of vendors with arts, crafts, antiques, and food, plus take a spin on a caboose ride. Be sure to stop by and say hi to our mobile tourism vehicle Pinny on Saturday!  

3. The last show of the season is coming to Klipsch Music Center this Saturday. See Dierks Bentley live along with Chris Young, Jon Pardi, and Chase Rice for the Riser Tour. Limited tickets are still available!  

4. Prost! Cheers to another year for the Fishers Oktoberfest at Saxony this Saturday from Noon- 10 p.m. Enjoy a beer garden, live music, activities for the kiddos, plus German food.  

5. Noblesville Brewfest from 3-7 p.m. this Saturday is giving beer lovers a chance to sample lots of beers for a great cause. Over 15 breweries will be on hand with samples of their best fall brews plus there will be live music and activities. Best of all? The proceeds benefit the Forest Park Aquatic Center.  

Oktoberfest at Saxony6. Take part in the archaeology month celebrations and Twilight Trail Run & Walk this weekend at Strawtown Koteewi Park. There will be hands-on activities and demonstrations about the life-ways of Indiana's Native peoples that inhabited the area. For outdoor rec lovers, the Twilight Trail is a fun way to explore the park at a beautiful time of day. You can even register the day-of to participate. 

7. Fall = pumpkins! Go pick your perfect pumpkin at the Russell Farms Pumpkin Patch Country Fall Festival OR Stonycreek Farm Pumpkin Harvest Festival. It's the opening weekend for both!  Fall wouldn't be complete without a trip to the pumpkin patch.  Stonycreek Pumpkin harvest fest

8. Visit Conner Prairie... for FREE. Yes, free! Museum Day Live! at Conner Prairie is this Saturday. Download a ticket from the Smithsonian website here and present it at Conner Prairie for free admission to see their spectacular historic areas.  

All-IN with Jerry Torr

Sep 24, 2014 by Kate Burkhardt

 

ALL-IN ad

Hamilton County Tourism has partnered with the Indiana Humanities to help encourage the Hamilton County community to complete activities to help connect them to each other and to make Indiana even better. People from all over the state have participated to complete a scorecard of 16 challenges in 8 categories. Follow seven VIPs in the community as they complete challenges and complete your own to win prize packs! Those who complete challenges can register to win either by tweeting about their experiences with the hashtag #Allin_HC or entering at HamiltonCountyTourism.com/All-In

Indy 500For a challenge like sharing a photo of something that defines Indiana, there is no better person for the job than Jerry Torr. As the state representative for House District 39, Jerry is passionate about his home state - and the unique attractions that set it apart from the other 49 states of America. 

"I can't think of anything that defines Indiana like the Indianapolis 500," Jerry said.

Jerry, a longtime fan of the famous race, says he looks forward to watching the cars at the start and finish line all year. His favorite part of the experiences is watching the checkered flag fly and feeling the energy in the crowd at the beginning and end of the event each May.

As for the changes since Jerry started attending in 1972?

"The speeds only continue to increase, but so have the safety elements for both the drivers and crew members."

Besides attending the Indy 500, Jerry enjoys spending time around his Hamilton County home. The Carmel resident said the excellent school system was the original draw to the area, but quickly developed an affinity for the Arts and Design District as well as friendships with neighbors and coworkers.

On the weekends, Jerry enjoys cooking for friends and family and strumming a guitar - but not at the same time. Jerry Torr Head Shot

"I enjoy making crab cakes, risotto or braised short rib," Jerry said. "My favorite meals are those served at my dining room table."

Name: Jerry Torr
Job: State Representative, House District 39
Town: Carmel
Social: @TorrJer
Birthplace: Greencastle, IN
Years in Indiana: Entire life

Show that you're All-IN and WIN! Share a photo of you and your family completing All-IN challenges on Twitter with the hashtag #Allin_HC or go to HamiltonCountyTourism.com/All-IN to enter!

An Apple A Day...

Sep 23, 2014 by Erin Vollmer

 

Stuckey Farm baskets

Nothing celebrates the start of autumn like a cool breeze, the crinkle of leaves, and a warm cup of apple cider. Thankfully, here in Hamilton County you can visit farms to do your own apple picking and sampling of tasty fall goodies. Stuckey Farm sign

If you're looking for a hands-on kind of day, visit Stuckey Farm Market, where you can pick from 27 different varieties of apples from their 4,000 trees. I went apple picking earlier on in the season, and talked to the owner, Jeff Pierce, about their biggest attractions.

First, we chose from three different sizes of bags ranging from ½ peck to ½ bushel. It is great that the bags are labeled with price, so you can fill them to the brim without worrying about how much it will cost in the end. The prices range from $7 to $20 for picking your own, or you can buy a pre-picked ¼ peck for $4.

When we visited at the beginning of August, the trees were loaded! Looking at the online chart, it is easy to decide when to plan your trip. As time goes on, more apple varieties are available, but more people have been picking as well. So find that sweet spot!

I will definitely be returning again now that their Cider Mill is open. They produce over 50,000 gallons of cider per season, but they don't skimp on flavor; about 5 different types of apples are used to create their signature taste. Visitors can watch the process of how it's made while shopping in the market store.

Pierce said that there is an event every weekend in September and that they will keep updating their Facebook page with details. In addition to the events, Stuckey Farms offers a lot of attractions during the fall, like an adventure area, corn maze, and even a QR code scanning game throughout the property. Their free hayrides will also be available to take you to the pumpkin fields! 

Stuckey Farm apples

Okay, you might be thinking, "I don't have time for picking, just tell me where I can eat a treat, already!" That's understandable- those cider donuts are delicious. Find them in the wide selection of produce, treats, and gifts available in Stuckey's marketplace or read on for more places to indulge.

AppleStoreConnerPrairieThe Connor Prairie Apple Store is a great place to visit during September and October. There are hand-dipped caramel apples, cider donuts, slushies, and Indiana popcorn to enjoy while visiting the exhibits or during their fall events, like the Headless Horseman.

Serving Hamilton County since 1922, Gatewood Vegetable Farm & Greenhouse is a fourth generation business that is open from mid-March until Christmas. Gatewood has a store full of hanging baskets, fresh and locally grown produce, mums, apples, cider, apple butter, and pumpkins.

Local Farmers Markets also offer apple products during the fall season, so make sure to look through all of the booths to find fresh produce and sweet treats!

8 Great Things to do the 3rd Weekend of September

Sep 18, 2014 by Hamilton County CVB

From chucking pumpkins to following the Chocolate Trail, this weekend in Hamilton County will be anything but ordinary! Painters will be creating works on the spot in Carmel, and chefs will be preparing their finest for Northside Nights and a chili cook-off. Experience it all in Hamilton County, Indiana! Find even more ideas for fun on our online calendar of events. Sheridan Harvest Moon Fest

1. Northside Nights Restaurant Week has begun! Through September 28 you can dine at participating restaurants at great prices. Many are offering 3 courses for $30, or dinners and lunches at other special prices. Not a foodie? Enjoy deals on Palladium tickets too!  

2. Not to be missed this weekend is the Sheridan Harvest Moon Festival! This annual event will bring out all of your fall favorites: live music, food vendors, a carnival, and of course the pumpkin chuck. Participants in the pumpkin chuck will create pumpkin-flinging contraptions to see which pumpkin can be flung the farthest!  

3. Downtown Noblesville is alive with activity this weekend! Kick off the fun with the Chocolate Trail on Thursday to enjoy tasty treats and shopping. The Music and All that Jazz concert series will continue on Friday with another free show. On Saturday don't miss the Old Mill Festival on the Square for great shopping and the annual Noblesville Historic Home Tour to peek inside historic homes. Sunday brings the first annual Ducati Brunch at Matteo's Restaurant where moto enthusiasts will gather for great food.  Old Mill Festival - Image

4. See talented artists create works right before your eyes at Carmel on Canvas this weekend. The Carmel Arts & Design District will be filled with over 50 plein air painters (aka painting outside!) and prizes will be given for the best painted-on-spot creations.  

5. Speaking of art, Nickel Plate Arts will be celebrating at their annual Block Party fundraiser! Get your ticket now for a night filled with games, food, and of course art. Party-goers will enjoy hands-on artsy activities and view special art exhibits plus the current Anniversary exhibit.  

6. Tour de... Carmel? Yes! Cyclists of all skill levels are welcome to participate in this annual bike trip around Carmel. Even if you haven't pre-registered, you can show up on Saturday morning to participated in the 10 or 20-mile routes.

7. Clay Terrace is turning 10! Celebrate with them this Saturday with live music, discounts at shops throughout the mall, and giveaways too. 10 $1,000 Simon gift cards will be given away in a drawing (and could supply a pretty awesome fall wardrobe if won!).  Tour de Carmel

8. Warm up for fall at the State Chili Championship this Saturday in Cicero. This annual event in Red Bridge Park will crown a people's choice chili champion based on your votes. $5 equals 5 votes, so pick your favorite chili wisely!  

With fall in the air, it's time for one of the last shows of the season at Klipsch Music Center. Enter to win 2 tickets to see Dierks Bentley on 9/27:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest begins at 8:30 a.m. on 9/18 and ends at 10 a.m. on 9/19. Winner will be notified via email.

 

All-IN with Tania Castroverde Moskalenko

Sep 16, 2014 by Kate Burkhardt

Tania Castroverde Moskalenko at Amber Indian for All-INTania Castroverde Moskalenko may be new to Indiana, but she is already an expert on the cultural experiences her Hamilton County home has to offer. The Cuban-born performing arts enthusiast chose to complete her challenge to "try an ethnic restaurant" at Amber Indian on North Meridian Street in Carmel.

"I love ethnic food," Tania said. "Indian and Cuban fares are my favorites."

Over a plate of naan and chicken vindaloo, Tania shared her excitement for Grammy award winning Indian musician Zakir Hussain to take the stage at the Palladium on September 28. Zakir is a renowned drummer, specializing in an instrument native to India called the tabla. Tania has met many internationally recognized musicians and loves experiencing global culture through the performing arts - and through food, of course.

"In Hamilton County, we have culture in our own backyard. People don't have to go to Chicago, New York or Los Angeles to see amazing performances, experience art or taste unique cuisines," Tania said. "Hamilton County has a sense of vibrancy with the level of artistry present."

Tania's favorite place in Hamilton County gives voice to her passion for the arts. She loves being a part of concertgoers' experience at the Palladium.

"I love watching the reactions on peoples' faces during a performance," Tania said.

When Tania is not watching live performances and meeting with the Palladium's long list of VIP guests, she enjoys spending time at home and cooking for her family. Zakir Hussain - Image

Now through September 19, you can enter to win a pair of tickets to see Zakir Hussain, valued at $160! Share a photo of you and your family completing All-IN challenges on Twitter with the hashtag #Allin_HC or go to HamiltonCountyTourism.com/All-IN to enter!

Name: Tania Castroverde Moskalenko
Job: President/CEO of the Center for the Performing Arts
Town: Carmel
Social: @CarmelPalladium
Birthplace: Cuba
Years in Indiana: 2

 

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8 Great Things to do the 2nd Weekend of September 2014

Sep 11, 2014 by Hamilton County CVB

Fall is in the air here in Hamilton County, Indiana and that means festivals! Celebrate the White River, try Middle Eastern cuisine, even ride in an Indy Car at this weekend's festivals. Read on for 8 great ideas for a weekend getaway and check out our online calendar of events for even more fall fun. Voices from the Past Westfield

1. The St. George (Middle Eastern) Festival will be held for the first time at its new location in Carmel this Friday and Saturday! Sample Middle Eastern food, hear live traditional music, even ride in a hot air balloon. In addition to all of those offerings, there's also a children's carnival.  

2. See history come alive at Voices from the Past Living History Walk this weekend in Westfield! Attendees will be guided on a journey into the past through the Anti-Slavery Cemetery in Asa Bales Park and Old Friends Cemetery Park, where they will be met by Westfield Playhouse actors portraying local historical figures with interesting stories to tell.

3. It's time again for the Second Saturday Gallery Walk in the Carmel Arts & Design District! Check out the galleries to see what's new, grab a bite to eat and also check out the inaugural gallery show at The Warehouse. The Warehouse is a new multi-use venue available for rent to many groups and it'll also host art exhibits and other cool events. Festival of Machines at CP

4. If you love wine, check out the first annual Blackhawk Winery Harvest Festival in Sheridan. In addition to sampling their own wines, there will be a BBQ meal, other wine vendors, and live country music.  

5. Another first for a fun festival in Hamilton County: the Festival of Machines at Conner Prairie. See classic cars and vehicles of all kinds, explore the history of auto making in Indiana, meet motorsports celebs and even ride in an Indy Car! The event is included in the general admission price for Conner Prairie this weekend.  

6. Dance the night away at the Nickel Plate District Amphitheatre in Fishers this Saturday. Glow in the Park will be a glowing good time filled with glow sticks, a DJ and more. If you'd rather relax, head to the amphitheater on Friday night for a free movie.

7. Noblesville is celebrating the White River this Saturday during the White River Celebration. The 20th annual White River clean up will begin the day and at 5 p.m., the Million Dollar Duck Race will send rubber duckies floating downstream. Also enjoy live music, food, artist demonstrations, and more. Plus enter to win prizes from Nickel Plate Arts by tagging your White River photos with #WhiteRiverSelfie!  White River Kayak w Train

8. Sports lovers, don't miss College Game Day Presented by Bullpen Tournaments this Sunday at Grand Park. Area college softball teams will battle it out all afternoon! To showcase the event, Bullpen Tournaments is giving away free tickets to local Indiana youth softball programs. Contact Sarah Billman at sbillman@hamiltoncountytourism.com for more information!

EAT, DRINK, and PLAY!

Sep 09, 2014 by Alan Hinds

Prairie View BarGolf course cuisine is usually not noted to be anything other than fast and familiar. But that doesn't mean there is just a halfway house approach to menus.

I had occasion to visit with chefs at several of our county's Stay and Play courses-Plum Creek, Prairie View and Purgatory.

The common denominator among each is culinary school training with skillful experiences at notable restaurants and golf courses. Add creative enthusiasm with "start from scratch" offerings and you have our unique Stay and Play chefs.
In serving both food and golf at the same time, courses must often act as if in a triage setting. Plum Creek's chef Adam Gallagher pointed out "we have those about to tee off, those making the turn, and those who linger. Without quick service we can have a grumpy golf course."

Handling wine dinners, weddings, outings, and special event caterings at these popular clubs all suggest there is more to golf course menus than relish, onions and spicy mustard on a wiener. Purgatory Lounge Menu

Andy Schwimmer, food & beverage director at Plum Creek GC, has the Pete Dye Trail course with multiple offerings including weekend community buffets. After play patrons enjoy a richly appointed dark wood bar, sports memorabilia and 9 draft lines. The relaxed setting also extends to a covered patio and fire pit.

Popular favorites from Adam's grill include prime rib on a French bread hoagie, chicken salad and barbeque ribs steamed to fall apart tender.

Host for a variety of championships, Prairie View GC's food and beverage director is Vaughn Dieterman. His kitchen sports an on-site smoker for pulled pork and a popular southwest chicken wrap. Both are the course's on-the-go favorites. The Covered Wagon bar (see bar mural) extends the prairie theme for after play drinks.
His special dinners once a month also draw a following. For example his September evening presents a Cajun dinner that Emeril Lagasse would take pride. Bam!

Samantha Lamberth is food and beverage director at Purgatory GC, one of Indiana's most scenic links layouts and a top rated course for women. She can present not just a food selections but suggested beverage pairings as well. (see menu). Samantha delights in taking fresh ingredients from the course's own "Chef's Garden" adding a variety of flavors to the day's meals. 17th Hole at Plum Creek

Patrons say her two sided menu, one offering quick sandwiches to go and the reverse with a more relaxed plated lunch provides the best of both worlds. Her pecan and poached chicken salad on whole grain bread and fried grouper often lead as the mountain lodge clubhouse sandwich favorites.

Our Stay and Play golfers are finding the answer to "where do we go for drinks and to eat?" is just a wedge away from where they tee it up that day. It's Gourmet Magazine meets Golf Digest.

8 Great things to do the 1st Weekend of September 2014

Sep 04, 2014 by Hamilton County CVB

First Friday celebrations, free concerts and movies, and lots of sales- all this weekend in Hamilton County, Indiana! Read below for those ideas and more to make your weekend getaway great. For even more weekend fun ideas, visit our online calendar that's always being updated with more to see and do. NPArts

1. It's time again for a First Friday celebration in Noblesville! Enjoy music from The Tides for the All That Jazz concert series, dinner at an eatery on the square, plus shopping.  

2. While you're on the square, be sure to walk to Nickel Plate Arts to see the latest exhibit opening. The Anniversary Exhibit is filled with art from locals that celebrate the anniversary of Nickel Plate Arts!  

3. See the 1,000th show at the Palladium for yourself! Martina McBride will be performing this Friday and her show will mark the 1,000th show performed on the stage there. Some tickets are still available, grab some at www.TheCenterPresents.org before they're gone.  Palladium Interior

4. Just outside of Hamilton County, the Tipton County Pork Festival is worth traveling north for. Take the train or caboose rides provided by the Indiana Transportation Museum to make your way to the delicious festivities.  

5. Head to the Ambassador House in Fishers this Saturday for a special date night. The annual Harvest Wine Tasting includes music, gourmet hors d'oeuvres, and of course wine tasting. Pair all of that with the ambience of the historic home and gardens, and it'll be an evening you won't soon forget.  

6. Sales, sales, sales! Freshen your wardrobe and home for fall with goodies acquired at special sales this weekend. This Saturday not only will retailers in the Carmel City Center be having sidewalk sales, but also fashion trucks will be parked in the area for even more shopping fun. If you're visiting Noblesville, take advantage of the First Friday sales at Old Picket Fence and Whimzy.ambassador house 2

7. Catch a movie under the stars this weekend with family and friends. The Noblesville Summer Movie Series continues this Saturday with "Man of Steel" showing at Forest Park. On Friday, the Fishers Nickel Plate District Amphitheater will begin a movie series as well. Both are free!  

8. Celebrate the heritage and importance of the White River with special events this month. See the latest exhibit at the Cool Creek Park Nature Center, "A River Runs Through Us" and experience river-related activities at Conner Prairie's "White River Part & Present." Later this month Noblesville will hold the White River Celebration too. 

Bonus! Savor the last sounds of summer at Klipsch Music Center by entering to win tickets to see Toby Keith LIVE at Klipsch Music Center

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Fall Fun Every Weekend

Sep 02, 2014 by Sarah Buckner

Fishers Ren Faire newFall into Hamilton County, Indiana, where autumn comes alive with colorful leaves, cool fall air, and weekends are filled with unforgettable festivals fit for the whole family. Celebrate the season with local culinary treats, groovy music, and artistic delights. Carmel International Arts Fest

Begin the fun September 14 at Grand Park in Westfield, where 13 collegiate programs from Indiana and Ohio will be the first to step up to the plate at the baseball/softball complex.  Are classic cars and machines more your style?  Head to the newest festival at Conner Prairie, Festival of Machines, from September 13-14. The following weekend, September 20-21, the excitement continues at Veteran's Park in Sheridan for the Harvest Moon Festival. This local tradition offers crafts, food, music, carnival rides, and a car show.

The weekend of September 27-28 is a busy one in Hamilton County. Saturday only, visit Fishers for Oktoberfest at Saxony. Taking place from noon until 10 p.m., attendees of this free fest can enjoy live music, food, and a beer garden. Stonycreek Pumpkin harvest festThe same weekend, head to Atlanta for the 21st Annual New Earth Festival. This two-day event 600 vendors and draws crowds of more than 80,000! To fully experience this festival, hop aboard the New Earth Festival Caboose Ride and travel to the fair in style. Also that weekend is the 17th Annual Carmel International Arts Festival! Guests of all age are invited to wander the streets of the Carmel Arts & Design District and visit with more than 130 artists, each of whom offer their own unique voice and style.  Also don't forget to take a trip to the pumpkin patch!  The Stonycreek Farm Annual Pumpkin Harvest Festival is from September 27- October 31. 

The weekend of October 4, enjoy a beautiful fall day in Noblesville for the 15th annual Potter's Bridge Fall Festival, or at the outstanding Fishers Renaissance Faire.

With so much to do and see, Hamilton County is sure to please guests of all ages. Learn more about these fun events and many more at visithamiltoncounty.com!

8 Great Things to do for Labor Day Weekend 2014

Aug 28, 2014 by Hamilton County CVB

Alas, summer is fading away here in Hamilton County. But with fall comes tons of fun! This Labor Day Weekend is no exception to the fun-filled schedule either. Read on for ideas like live music, farmers markets, train rides and more. Be sure to check our online calendar for even more ideas for the weekend and for upcoming fall fun. Carmel Farmers Market Corn

1. It's the last weekend of the season to catch live tunes on the prairie during Symphony on the Prairie at Conner Prairie. Pack a picnic and dive in to a weekend packed with music. This Thursday and Friday, enjoy the Hit Men: Studio Legends of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Saturday and Sunday bring the Preservation Jazz Hall Band with great jazz sound all the way from New Orleans. 

2. Summer may be ending, but the fresh produce at local farmers markets is still very abundant! Check out some farm fresh flavors at the Noblesville Main Street Produce Market, the Carmel Farmers Market, Noblesville Farmers Market, Fishers Farmers Market, or Saxony Market.  

3. Head to the Nickel Plate District Amphitheatre for some FREE concerts this weekend. On Friday the AMP After Dark series concludes with a show featuring Jon Banard. Saturday you won't want to miss the 2nd Annual Blues Festival from 4-10 p.m. Several artists will light up the stage with classic blues tunes and a lifetime achievement award for Indiana blues legend Harvey Cook will be presented. Outside picnic food is welcome at both events, but vendors will also be on hand too. Saxony Summer Concert Series: LemonWheel - Image

4. Ride in style with the Indiana Transportation Museum. Two train excursions are available this weekend. The Blue Arrow runs this Saturday and transports passengers from Fishers to Noblesville, Atlanta or Tipton. Schedules allow for about an hour stop at your destination, perfect for picking up a bite to eat at a local restaurant. Also this weekend is the Hoosierland Train that runs from Fishers to Noblesville's square and Forest Park.  

5. Say farewell to summer at the Salute to Summer in Witten Park in Saxony this Saturday. Local favorites The Bishops will perform from 6:30- 9:30 p.m., plus picnics and chairs are welcome.  

6. Can't get enough classic cars? Head to the Saturday Night Cruise-In on the square in Noblesville this Saturday evening. Or save your Labor Day plans for the 23rd Annual Red Bridge Rod Run in Cicero. Over 150 vintage cars will be on display in Red Bridge Park starting at 8 a.m. on Monday.  AppleStore1

7. Many summer exhibits are ending soon, don't miss out on these unique shows! Walled Gardens in Miniature is the Museum of Miniature Houses and Other Collection's summertime showcase. Marvel at the tiny replicas of several styles of gardens. Or take in some local art at Nickel Plate Arts' exhibit highlighting local photography. "Aperture Stop" will be on display through Saturday.  

8. The close of summer brings fall flavor to Conner Prairie once again. The Apple Store will open on September 1 and be open Tuesday- Sunday through October 31. Not only are local apples available, but also hand-dipped caramel apples, apple donuts, apple cider slushies, and many more local treats!  

Have a safe, relaxing, and happy Labor Day Weekend! 

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