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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.
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.
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.
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!
Aug 26, 2014 by Erin Vollmer
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.
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.
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.
I 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Aug 14, 2014 by Hamilton County CVB
Try something new this weekend in Hamilton County, Indiana! Dust off those golf clubs, try farm fresh foods, or even try your hand at winning some concert tickets. Find all of those ideas and more in this post. For even more getaway inspiration, check our online calendar of events to see what's coming up.
1. The Indiana State Fair continues through the weekend, and so does the FairTrain! Beat the traffic by riding in style from the Fishers train depot location. It operates on a daily 9-time, round-trip schedule.
2. Visit Conner Prairie this weekend to learn a new skill or check out their historical exhibits. A local favorite, Fermenti Artisan, will guide you through making fermented pickles and sauerkraut. Learn how to preserve the summer vegetables from your garden and even sample some of their best-selling foods in this workshop. There is also a hand building and wood firing pottery class offered on Saturday.
3. Do you love to paint or have always wanted to give it a try? Then today's your day (or Saturday, really)! Join the Indiana Plein Air Painters Association in painting or photographing the great outdoors at the event, Connor Prairie at Dawn. For more instruction, join the Hamilton East Public Library in Fishers in "One Stroke Painting," a class where you will learn to blend, shade, and highlight, then bring home a finished piece to hang on the wall!
4. Head to the Noblesville Courthouse Square for a weekend of fun! Explore the historic sites, like the Hamilton County Museum of History and the Old Sheriff's Jail, or shop the numerous boutiques and shops! Make sure to be downtown when Cathy Morris performs as a part of the "2014 Music and All That Jazz Concert Series" on Friday.
5. Experience farm fresh food here in Hamilton County, Indiana. Whether it's a trip to a farmers market, picking your own produce, or chowing down at a local restaurant, you'll love the local flavors. Check out our latest Youtube video for even more inspiration!
6. Is that the sweet sound of ABBA? No, but it'll be pretty close to the real deal this Friday and Saturday night at Symphony on the Prairie! ABBA tribute band Waterloo will perform all of the hits that'll surely bring some dancing queens out to the dance floor on the prairie.
7. Break out the golf clubs for some fun this weekend. Head to Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel on Saturday for their Saturday Series Tournament that's open to all with an IGA handicap. Or try your hand at some of the county's best par 5 holes. Check here for blogger Alan's suggestions for the south nine and north nine of his favorite standout par 5s.
8. If you have a "heart like mine", you'll love the Miranda Lambert concert on Saturday. Be there by 7:30 pm to hear Thomas Rhett perform before Miranda takes the stage at Klipsch Music Center.
Is rock more your style? Enter to win tickets to see Kiss & Def Leppard LIVE at Klipsch Music Center on August 22. Contest begins at 9 a.m. on August 14, and concludes at 10 a.m. on August 15.a Rafflecopter giveaway
Aug 12, 2014 by Alan Hinds
Last month we introduced the South nine of our county's mythical 18 hole course made up from Hamilton County's public access golf courses Par 5's. Now enjoy the North nine. It's our back nine from courses above 146th street.
Hole 10. "Take It From The Top." The 1st at Forest Park, Noblesville. In 1927, it was the first hole ever played in the county. A scenic tee box encourages a fade to start this reachable dogleg. A miss left or right to a small saucer green is short sided in kidney bean traps.
Hole 11. "Classic Conclusion". The 18th at Wood Wind, Westfield. Heading home to a classic clubhouse backdrop, landing zone bunkers test the player's shots along the way (see green complex). Regardless of score, the end of the round is an unforgettable finish.
Hole 12. "Saint Patrick." The 9th at Purgatory, Noblesville. The clubhouse chimneys provide the tee target for this best as 3-shot hole. A well bunked green falls away. Playing patient along the left side can make opponents green with envy.
Hole 13. "Dead Man's Curve." The 18th at Stony Creek, Noblesville. The tee shot faces an avenue of trees and a blunt dead end that starts the 90 degree second shot uphill. Get the right distance off the tee and it's a clear but long shot to massive green. Go off this route and a battered 18th hole score is found in the wreckage.
Hole 14. "Crescent". The South 2nd at Pebble Brook, Noblesville. Keeping to the outer, right side arc of this curving hole makes a second shot to an easily putt-able green very possible.
Hole 15. "The Adventurer." The 12th at Bear Slide, Cicero. The tee shot has a large landing area and then offers two roads. The low runs along a lake with a better angle to the green. The high is dryer but tougher on the third shot. The road less traveled usually gets a birdie. But which one is it?
Hole 16. "Short-Not So Sweet". The Central 1st at Fox Prairie, Noblesville. While benign in total yardage, a creek cuts the fairway halfway out and a hazard right can catch a tee shot. Up ahead, a cluster of thick trees seem out of play until a "thonk" is heard. A bogey or worse can sour golfer's start.
Hole 17. "Loner." The North 18th at Pebble Brook, Noblesville. The only par 5 on the back nine challenges a tee shot and a right side Lilly pond splashed up against the green makes slicers and faders jumpy as a box of frogs.
Hole 18. "The Gryphon" the 18th at Purgatory, Noblesville. It is a classic risk reward with a wishbone fairway. But go over its center valley, blistered with bunkers, and a down slope kicks your ball to just a mid iron from the green (see split fairway). Close attention to pin locations can yield a closing birdie.
Aug 07, 2014 by Erin Vollmer
This is a great weekend to gather friends and family to enjoy a unique event or relax in the great outdoors. The activities range from "planes, trains, and automobiles" to ghosts and pancake breakfasts. Read on and check the Hamilton County, Indiana event calendar to discover an activity that is right for you!
1. This Saturday, join Montgomery Aviation in supporting Down Syndrome Indiana during their Open House that kicks off with the Indy Air Race! This free event will have T-6 Texan rides, a bounce house, face paint, magic, music, great food, a raffle, and a silent auction. This is the 8th year for the event, but the first year in a partnership with the Sport Air Racing League. I should also mention that the forecast predicts raining candy...
2. Free pancakes (yum!) and vintage cars make for a great morning in the park. Giveaways and old-fashioned entertainment continue throughout the day at the Vintage Vehicle Expo at Cool Creek Park & Nature Center this Saturday. Look for our Mobile Tourism Vehicle, Pinny, for more giveaways!
3. If you "ain't afraid o' no ghost!" visit Westfield during the Historic Underground Railroad Ghost Walk Saturday evening. You will hear tons of stories (and maybe see something paranormal?). Kick-off the spooky weekend with a free viewing of "Ghostbusters".
4. Two artists will be featured in an exclusive unveiling event at the Nickel Plate Arts Campus on Friday night. Leanda Grogan will open an exhibit of watercolor illustrations and Larry Sweazy will celebrate the release of his latest book, "Vengeance at Sundown". The brilliant photographs from the Aperture Stop exhibit will continue to be open for viewing all weekend.
5. The second Saturday of the month is always a little more artistic in the Carmel Arts and Design District, thanks to the IU Health North Hospital Gallery Walk series. Get a free caricature while listening to the harp, or participate in a scavenger hunt with unique district prizes!
6. If you are looking for a light-hearted evening, reserve your seats for the Westfield Playhouse Summer Youth Program's production. You can see 2 one-act plays in which you will learn how to survive a "zombie apocalypse" and see a "Seussified" version of the romantic classic, Romeo and Juliet.
7. There is always great music in Hamilton County! Klipsch Music Center has a full schedule this weekend with REO Speedwagon and Chicago, Drake vs. Lil Wayne, and the Under the Influence of Music Tour. Marsh Symphony on the Prairie presents the John Denver Songbook. Check out the Amphitheatre or Witten Park in Fishers for free, high-energy concerts.
8. Take a break to enjoy time with the people you love. Whether it's gathering around the campfire on National S'mores Day, riding to the State Fair on the FairTrain, or floating down the White River under the summer sun, you are sure to have a great day catching up with one another.a Rafflecopter giveaway
Aug 05, 2014 by Sarah Buckner
22 ounces of ground chuck. A half pound of bun. A plate garnished with fresh toppings. Three slices of melted cheese. Put it all together and you have... The Big Ugly Burger.
Since May of 2003, Bub's Burgers and Ice Cream has been a local staple in the Carmel Arts & Design District. Settled along the Monon Trail, the local eatery has fed TV personalities like Adam Richman, visitors, and locals (which of course includes the Hamilton County Tourism staff). Their claim to fame is the Big Ugly Burger, a one-pound burger cooked to order and sure to satisfy.
Just yesterday, I was able to sneak into the kitchen and watch them create the masterpiece. The chefs begin with a 22-ounce patty of ground chuck (which cooks down to a full pound) seasoned with a secret blend of spices (I tried, and failed, to figure out the mix), and toss it on the grill for eight to 10 minutes.
While the meat sizzled on the grill, I watched as one cook lightly toasted a custom sized, fresh baked bun, and a prep chef filled a plate with lettuce, tomato, pickle, and onion. Cheese is optional, but if you make the Big Ugly a cheeseburger, three slices cheese top your burger. I definitely went with cheddar cheese for my meal.
While I waited for the burger to cook, I had a chance to ask one of the managers, Amanda, how guests can make the Big Ugly their own. Some add something as simple as sautéed mushrooms, while others go all out and add a treat called Sloppy Waffles - a mix of waffle fries, melted cheese, bacon, and sour cream. I also learned that while the Big Ugly is the big draw, the quarter pound "Settle-for-Less" burger is their highest seller, so there is a burger available to fit all appetites.
Once my cook, Pascual, finished the burger, he sent me back to my seat and my awesome server, Carla, brought the dish out to my table. I stared in awe for a moment and then... I took a bite... YUM.
Guests who are able to finish the entire Big Ugly get their photo placed on the wall - I am sad to say that I left WITHOUT having my picture taken for the wall of fame!
Jul 31, 2014 by Erin Vollmer
Another weekend is here at last! It's time to enjoy the company of friends and family or do some exploring on your own. Shop, dine, and listen to great music. Make sure to look at the event calendar before planning your weekend excursion in Hamilton County, Indiana.
1. A lot is happening on the Historic Noblesville Square this weekend! First Friday kicks off August with a special "Back to School Bash," so if you have kids, this event is tailored to you. Hotdogs and ice cream, live music, and a dunk tank will fill the square. If you want something a little more sophisticated, go to the open house at Nickel Plate Arts Campus just down the street. Saturday, go to Art Fair on the Square to view and buy unique art and enjoy a hands-on activity area.
2. Klipsch Music Center always has the good shows! Saturday, spend time with your favorite Aussie, Keith Urban, along with Jerrod Niemann and Brett Eldredge on August 2nd. OneRepublic and The Script take the stage on August 3rd.
3. Peter Frampton, one of the most celebrated guitarists in rock history, will perform in the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts on August 3rd. If you aren't sure that this will be one of the greatest concerts that you've been to, a few notes from his guitar will have you eating Humble Pie (like the legendary group that he founded!).
4. Look through unique items for a great deal! Artichoke Designs' Annual Backroom Sale runs through August 9, so be sure to stop in and shop this annual event. Top designer brands will be featured for up to 50% off their lowest price. Also, find antiques and vintage inspired goods from The Old Picket Fence Floor to Ceiling Sale from August 1-2.
5. There are plenty of opportunities to listen to music in the great outdoors this weekend, in addition to the usual free outdoor concerts that happen each week. Enjoy a Fishers Music Works and Wind Symphony concert on Saturday in the Nickel Plate District. Cynthia Lane stars in the last Jazz on the Monon concert Saturday night in Carmel and the Glenn Miller Orchestra will perform for Marsh Symphony on the Prairie.
7. Ride in style to the Indiana State Fair on the Indiana Transportation Museum FairTrain! Starting August 1st, it operates on a 9 time, round-trip schedule with the first departure from Fishers at 8:45 am every day.
8. Act like a local, and eat like one, too! Check out the list of nearby restaurants or use the new app to find them on the go. If you like cars, head to downtown Noblesville during the Saturday Night Cruise-In and eat at one of the restaurants around the square before admiring classic cars.
Jul 30, 2014 by Erin Vollmer
I went to Klipsch Music Center for a last minute concert last week. One thing is for sure- Lady Antebellum owned the night (along with Joe Nichols and Billy Currington)! I had never been to Klipsch for a concert, but I loved the facility and the atmosphere created by the artists and the outdoor amphitheater. The lawn wasn't just a field where you would have to stand on your toes to get a glimpse of any action, it was set on a hill where we could sit and still see the stage. Of course, once the main show started, everyone stood from excitement!
I took my friend Elizabeth, who had just gotten back from Texas and was loving the "Sunny and 75°" weather. Even though Texas is in the Deep South, she mentioned that there were hardly any country music concerts there, but that Klipsch has tons of big names in country come each year.
We arrived around 7:15 and there was still a lot of great lawn space available (most people were still tailgating in the parking lot). Everything was easy to find because there were buildings for everything and obvious signage- the venue was definitely built for concerts.
The food and drink sold there were quite pricey, but that's to be expected. Klipsch does allow unopened bottles of water and small bags of food, so we brought take-out and ate during the opening numbers. There were also a few food vendors that sold treats for a reasonable price, like Gigi's Cupcakes.
The space filled up quickly and we unintentionally started a Snapchat scavenger hunt for our friends that were also at the concert. I had sent a snap of the show from our viewpoint, and my friend sent one back showing that she was there too! With a capacity of 24,000 people, it isn't that unusual that we knew other people there!
The concert itself was remarkable. The musical groups complemented each other well and Lady Antebellum even called Billy Currington and Joe Nichols back on stage to sing one of my favorite throwback country songs, "It's a Great Day to be Alive", by Travis Tritt. They all acted like a family and kept up the energy throughout the show. The video screens and lighting were creative, and multiple staging areas let the band perform from all over the amphitheater. One of my favorite parts was when the audience raised their cell phones and lit up the night.
I was very impressed by the ease and convenience of parking at the venue. The parking staff had everything so organized that we got out of the lot in about 5 minutes, even after staying for the encore.
Overall, I had a great experience and I hope to return for another concert soon!
Want to see a concert for yourself at Klipsch Music Center? Enter to win tickets to the Chicago & REO Speedwagon show! Winner will be announced on Thursday, July 31.
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37 E. Main Street
Carmel, IN 46032