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8 Great Things to do the 1st Weekend of October 2014

Oct 02, 2014 by Hamilton County CVB

Prairie ViewFrom jousting to picking pumpkins to playing golf, this weekend in Hamilton County, Indiana has got a bit of everything! Fall festival season is in full swing, so get out and enjoy the crisp fall air and changing leaves. Read on for weekend getaway ideas and check our online calendar for even more fall fun. 

1. First Friday in Noblesville this week will bring lots of fall fun! Sample soups from local businesses at the First Friday soup cook-off, see the latest exhibit at Nickel Plate Arts, and even take a caboose ride around the square.  

2. See some very talented ladies take to the golf course this weekend. Friday and Saturday Prairie View Golf Club will host the 2014 IHSAA Girls Golf State Finals with top high school golfers from throughout the state. Inspired to get out your own clubs? Visit a Hamilton County course to play a round as the leaves change. 

Fishers Ren Faire new

 

3. Come ye lords and ladies to ye olde Fishers Renaissance Faire! This fun festival leads guests back in time to the Golden Age of Queen Elizabeth I. The Saturday and Sunday schedule is packed with everything from jousting to live music. Huzzah!  Potter’s Bridge Fall Festival - Image

4. The Grand Junction Derby is racing into downtown Westfield this Saturday. Homemade gravity-powered derby cars will battle it out in bracketed heats to crown a winner. Everyone is welcome to enjoy the after-race festivities including live music, food, and more. 

5. One of the most beautiful spots in Hamilton County to catch the leaves changing is at Potter's Bridge in Noblesville. Visit the county's only remaining covered bridge for the annual Potter's Bridge Fall Festival this Saturday for a variety of arts and crafts booths and food in addition to the beautiful leaves!  PumpkinTrain 149

6. Pick a pumpkin! Time to find the perfect pumpkin for that jack-o-lantern. Ride the Hamilton Harvest Train to a pumpkin patch or visit Russell Farms, Spencer Farm, or Stonycreek Farm for a traditional hayride to the patch.  

7. The fall fun has only just begun at Conner Prairie! This weekend brings the Dance! Lenape Indian Traditions event where you can experience music and more from the Lenape tribe, an iPhone photo class where you can capture fall on the prairie, plus a series of workshops to learn traditional crafts. Don't forget to visit the Apple Store too for fall treats!

8. Want to try something new in Hamilton County?  Whether you live here or like to visit, you can participate in our All-IN challenge in conjunction with Indiana Humanities. People from all over the state have participated to complete a scorecard of 16 challenges in 8 categories. Learn more about the challenges and how to enter to win prizes for completing them HERE.  

All-IN with Kurtis Moss

Oct 01, 2014 by Kate Burkhardt

 

Kurtis Moss ALL IN Blog

Where would you choose to volunteer with a goal of investing in the lives of youth in the community? A good question to ask may include "where do teenagers spend large amounts of their time?" The YMCA may come to mind, or clubs like the Boy and Girl Scouts of America, 4H and many notable others. But why not consider the organizations that house kids and teens all day, every day, for nine months of the year?

When people hear the word "organization," many do not include high schools in the mix of nonprofits and charitable organizations. But for Hamilton County VIP Kurtis Moss, Covenant Christian High School in Speedway is an organization where he can invest in the future of America: kids and teens.

"My wife, Carrie, and I believe in the importance of the next generation, so we use our time and resources to help out at CCHS where ever we can," the Launch Fishers executive director said. "We enjoy the opportunity to help the kids develop goals and plans for their futures."

The Moss's use shared skills and experience in event planning to plan, organize and run recruitment events where prospective students can visit the school, play games and meet other students. Carrie and Kurtis also chaperone trips for international students to experience the fullness US culture during their time staying with host families. On a smaller scale, Kurtis volunteers taking tickets at sporting and holiday events.

"Teens need positive role models," said Kurtis. "High school can be a tough time of transition, so I love be part of an organization that values those relationships."

When Kurtis is not volunteering or manning the entrepreneurial floor at Launch Fishers, he enjoys being outdoors and says the Monon Trail is his favorite place in Hamilton County. Kurtis Moss Head Shot 85

Name: Kurtis Moss
Job: Executive director, Launch Fishers
Town: Fishers
Social: @KM12288
Birthplace: St. Louis, MO
Years in Indiana: 22

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!

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

 

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Sports New & Old

Sep 30, 2014 by Sarah Billman

Purdue Softball at GPWith fall comes football, right? Right! (Go Colts!) But here in Hamilton County, fall sports also include softball, golf, soccer, and more. From new tournaments to old traditions, Hamilton County loves their sports and sports love Hamilton County!

First, let's start with the new. Did you hear about the inaugural College GameDay Softball Tournament that took place at Grand Park - The Sports Campus at Westfield a couple weeks ago? Thirteen collegiate softball teams from Indiana and Ohio, including the crown jewels, Purdue and Notre Dame, went head-to-head all Sunday long. With over 2,500 fans coming from all over the region, this first year tournament was quite the success, and Grand Park, Bullpen Tournaments, and fans are already looking forward to next year. Prairie View Golf Course Blog

Next, have you been able to catch any of Indiana High School Athletic Association's (IHSAA) 42nd Girls Golf State Tournament? If not, you still have time! Last weekend, sectionals began, and this weekend regionals will be taking place at 5 locations throughout the state of Indiana. Then, on October 3rd and 4th, the State Finals will be held at Hamilton County's own Prairie View Golf Course. The girls will be starting early, about 8:30am each day, and admission is $12 per person. Seeing this caliber of talent in person is something you can't afford to miss!

 

Also, did you know: The IHSAA Girls and Boys Golf State Championships will be held at Prairie View for the next five years, starting this year and concluding in 2019? Talk about tradition - mark your calendars now!

Halloween Classic 2014Lastly, you can't forget about another tradition, Indy Premier Soccer Club's 23rd Annual Boys and Girls Halloween Classic. The girls will be playing October 18 and 19, and the boys will be playing October 25 and 26. Play will be at both Fishers' Cyntheanne Park and Hamilton Southeastern High School. Touted one of the Midwest's finest tournaments, teams from Indiana and the region - as far as Tennessee, Wisconsin and Missouri - come to compete as well as celebrate the soccer season. Last year, over 200 teams participated! Admission is free. However, attendees and fans are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items, which will be donated to a local food pantry, to the annual Coaches Games.

 

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.

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