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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:
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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! 

Something Old, Something for You!

Aug 26, 2014 by Erin Vollmer

 

Main Street Shoppes Outside

The vintage theme in decorating has become so popular, but I rarely think to look for antiques before starting a DIY project of my own. There are tons of antique stores around, so I used the new Visit Hamilton County App to find them! Even though I couldn't visit them all, I had a great time and learned a few things along the way. Antiques Blog- Pinterest Ideas

1. I will make sure to leave space for an adorable vintage desk in my next home.
2. I can find great antiques that would be more authentic (and save me time) than trying to DIY something similar.
3. Antique shopping is something that many can enjoy. (Even a 4th grader oohed and ahhed over everything)

One of the newest antique stores in the county, Upscale Junk and Antiques, is the perfect stop for travelers interested in finding that perfect statement piece to add character to a room. It is a huge building on the highway and always has tons of cars in the parking lot. Like many antique stores, the place is organized into "shops" that are owned by different sellers. Some sellers used chalkboard paint on an old door to write their name and social media info (very Pinterest-esq). 

I acted like I was in the show American Pickers- pointing out what I liked and guessing at the price tag. I also had fun finding pieces that would be perfect to add personality to a restaurant or local shop. Antiques Blog- books

The brightly painted building, Main Street Shoppes, was next, which is connected to Big Hoffa's BBQ in Westfield. Many of those vendors were preparing for exhibiting at festivals. Down the street is The Painted Cottage, a great place for people who want vintage items that already work as Pinterest-perfect home décor. The staff members renovate pieces in the store and offer painting and card-making classes in the upstairs room.

Next up: Historic Downtown Noblesville to visit Old Picket Fence, A Corner Cottage, Noblesville Antique Mall, Logan Village Mall, and Whimzy. Whew! That's a lot of antique stores on the square! Each store has its own flair, and many sell antique items along with boutique gifts. If you are looking for true antique hunting, the three floors of eclectic items at the Noblesville Antique Mall will give you plenty to do. 

Noblesville Antique MallI lost track of time in Logan Village Mall because of how much I loved the displays and products sold there. One room transported me in time to an old soda shop and another room showed a video that demonstrated how to "antique" furniture with the paints that they sell there.

After all of that shopping, I had to take a break for a scoop of coconut chocolate almond from my favorite vintage-inspired ice cream shop, Alexander's On the Square. While I was there, a young girl shouted, "Wow, these chairs are really old!" ...I guess you are never far from antique inspiration in Hamilton County!

8 Great Things to do the 4th Weekend of August 2014

Aug 20, 2014 by Hamilton County CVB

Summertime fun still abounds in Hamilton County, Indiana this weekend. Wouldn't it be nice to see the Beach Boys? Try some new cuisine? Gaze longingly at fancy cars? You can do all of that and more this weekend! Read on for those fun ideas, plus discover even more on our online calendar of events. Greek Festival

1. Feta fries, hummus, baklava... are you drooling yet? Try all of those great dishes and many more at the Indianapolis Greek Festival this Friday-Sunday! In addition to amazing Greek food and wine there will be live traditional music, dancing, guided tours of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church and more.  

2. Surf your way to the Prairie! The Beach Boys will be taking the stage at Symphony on the Prairie this Friday and Saturday night. Dance and sing along as founding members Mike Love and Bruce Johnston perform their greatest hits.

3. The Nickel Plate District Amphitheatre is lighting up Friday night once again with the AMP After Dark concert series. This week the Indianapolis Municipal Band will play starting at 9 p.m. (Update 8/22- this show has been cancelled.)

4. The Annual Summertime Celebration of Arts & Crafts returns to the Noblesville 4-H Fairgrounds this Saturday and Sunday. Browse local vendors that have crafted gifts, costumes, art, home decor and much, much more.  

5. Autos, autos everywhere! Don't miss the annual celebration of automobiles and art- Artomobilia. This event will take over the Carmel Arts & Design District this Saturday. Gaze at beautiful cars lining the streets and pop into art galleries and shops along the way. Also don't miss the antique sale at Carmel Old Town Antique Mall during the fun.  Artomobilia

6. Who's got a doggy? It's time to celebrate man's best friend at Dog Day Afternoon featuring Woofstock this Saturday. The Nickel Plate District Amphitheatre area will be filled with dog-friendly vendors, a parade of pups, plus live music. And it's all for a great cause- the Hamilton County Humane Society. 

7. Sounds of summer continue on Sunday as well. For a rockin' time, head to Klipsch Music Center for the Rockstar UPROAR Fest or pack a picnic and venture to Seminary Park for a free show with the Indianapolis Brass Choir.

8. Summer produce in Indiana is at its peak- sweet corn, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers- you name it. Get in on this beautiful bounty by visiting a farmers market this Thursday or Saturday, trying a dish prepared with local goodness, or going to pick your own.  Farm fresh flavors in Hamilton County shouldn't be missed!  

Does an evening listening to Luke Bryan LIVE sound like your kind of night?  Enter to win tickets to his show on August 29 at Klipsch Music Center in Noblesville!  The contest runs from 9am on August 21 to 10am on August 22. The winner will be announced Friday, August 22 and must respond by 5pm that evening. 

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Caroline’s Cheap Eats

Aug 19, 2014 by Caroline Mosey

I love cooking. I really do. I love scouring recipes, shopping for ingredients, and the therapeutic effect of chopping and dicing in my kitchen alongside a good Pandora station and a glass of wine. LOVE. Truly. Jersey's Cafe Indy Cheesesteak

But sometimes, it's nice to get out and let someone else take care of the chopping and dicing...and dishes. Taking our family of five out to a restaurant can get pricey pretty quickly if we hit the wrong spots, and that's why we have a handful of tried-and-true places that have great food and even greater price points.

Yats is a clear front-runner when it comes to inexpensive and delicious meals. Most plates hover around $5 and I'll let you in on a little secret-they serve rice-and-cheese plates for kids for just a dollar. The atmosphere is fun, laid-back and fast. And we all know that's the essential trifecta when dining out with little ones.

Jersey's Café delivers BIG meals for low prices. Their huge selection of hoagies run in the $8-9 range and seriously fill up the biggest, hungriest man alive, so bring a big appetite! The owner is a New Jersey native and knows a thing or two about deli meats and cheeses. So trust him. The Local Veggie Burger

Bub's Burgers is a great spot for the quintessential "All-American" burgers, fries and shakes we all crave sometimes. It has an energetic vibe and great food, and it won't break the bank. (Unless, of course, you all order a Big Ugly.) 

Greek's Pizzeria is perfect because 1) everyone loves pizza, and 2) Greek's does pizza uniquely well and their breadsticks are delicious. Plus, it's very affordable and they have locations in Carmel, Fishers and Noblesville

Local Eatery & Pub is one of my very favorites for a night out. Don't let the higher price points on their larger entrees scare you away, either. While those options are delicious, you can still enjoy an amazing meal for less cash if you stick with their salads and sandwiches. Many ring in under $10 and offer unique flavor profiles you don't get just anywhere (goat cheese and apple panini sound good?) so it's a still a solid and wallet-friendly bet.

Affordable deliciousness awaits in Hamilton County!

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