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The Four Items You Must Bring to Symphony on the Prairie

Jul 08, 2015 by Robert Annis

SOTP Blurb

I'm a big fan of Symphony on the Prairie concerts. My wife Dee and I have been going to the concerts for years, so we've become experts on what to bring to keep the good times rolling. Here are a few of our suggestions.

SOTP Picnic

Every good SOTP experience starts with great food. Several restaurants and grocery stores have SOTP take-out specials. If you love grilled shrimp, Petersons has a spectacular deal for you. If you prefer to pick your own items, Marsh - appropriately the title sponsor for SOTP, has everything you need.

Some people bring entire elaborate meals with tablecloths and real silverware to the concerts, but that just makes me feel I'm in a fancy restaurant that I'm about to get kicked out of for violating the dress code. Stick with basic finger foods - cheese, crackers, sliced veggies and hummus. It makes clean up a breeze, and you have less stuff to lug back home.

Wine at Vine & Table


Let the weather and the music determine what wine or beer to bring. If it's a warm night, try a chilled, semi sweet, rosé; I'm partial to HGK's Rosé of Pinot Noir, which has notes of strawberry, guava and stone fruit. For the annual Star Spangled Symphony, I'd go with either Budweiser - it doesn't get more American than that - or, better yet, a craft brew. Triton Brewing's Rail Splitter, brewed in nearby Lawrence, ranks as one of my favorites.

Folding Chair


Folding Chairs
Camp chairs are great for making the outdoors seem like your living room, only with a few more mosquitoes. You can find the collapsible chairs at any department or sporting goods store, but be sure to pick up the ones with at least one beer holder built into the arm rest. If you really want to make your neighbors jealous, Target sells chairs with a built-in foot rest as well.

Be sure to bring a blanket as well, just in case you decide to stretch out, it gets cold or some unprepared friends crash your party.


Rolling Cooler

Getting from the parking lot to a spot in the grass can be a bit of a hike. Add in armfuls of various items, and by the time you get to your spot, you no longer want music, but a nap.

This 40-quart cooler from Coleman not only fits all of our food and drink, we stack all of the remaining stuff on top and secure it with a bungee cord. So much easier. And the cooler also acts as a makeshift table, so you don't need to worry about stepping on your cheese plate when you have to make a mid-show jaunt to the restroom.

See you at the Movie Music of John Williams!

Click here to see the full Symphony on the Prairie schedule.

Shakespeare in the Park in Noblesville

Jul 07, 2015 by Hamilton County Tourism

This blog was contributed by David Heighway, Hamilton County Historian and Shakespeare in the Park participant.

Shakespeare in the Park Noblesville- rehearsal

22 years can seem like a long time, but having watched Noblesville's Shakespeare in the Park production grow into a city institution, it sometimes seems to me that the years have sped by. As an actor in the show and member of the Noblesville Cultural Arts Commission, I've had a front row seat for the activities and excitement.

The NCAC was created by Mayor Mary Sue Rowland in September of 1992 as a city-affiliated, but self-supporting organization dedicated to the encouragement of the arts. Jane Campbell, who was one of the founders of the Hamilton County Theater Guild, was made the first head of the commission and had the title of "Minister of Culture". I was one of the early members. I remember sitting in the meeting in March of 1993 when Jane first proposed doing Shakespeare in the Park. Like several other commission members, I thought it was a great idea, but was doubtful as to whether we could sustain it. However, Jane was a very strong-minded person and insisted that the attempt be made. Jane was correct and this is now the longest continuously-running Shakespeare in the Park event in central Indiana and the second oldest in the state. (Monroe County Civic Theater in Bloomington has the oldest.) The show is now into its second generation of performers, using actors who were not even born when the first production happened.

Shakespeare in the Park Noblesville- video


This will be third time that we've done the play "Twelfth Night". This year, we will also have an original one-act play examining what Shakespeare might have been thinking about as he wrote the play. It's been great to have been a part of this project from the beginning and to be a part of the 22nd annual production. See you in the park!

Shakespeare in the Park
July 23-25 and July 30-August 1
7:30 p.m.
Seminary Park, Noblesville

Klipsch Music Center named 5th Best Outdoor Music Venue in USA

Jun 30, 2015 by Kate Burkhardt


KMC long

Experts and fans agree, Klipsch Music Center rocks! The amphitheater just announced an exciting a fifth place finish in USA Today's "Best Outdoor Music Venue" reader's choice competition. Industry experts selected the top 20 nominees for the contest and readers voted the top ten picks.

The Noblesville concert venue is the largest amphitheater in the Midwest and sees hundreds of thousands of music lovers applauding under the pavilion and cheering from the lawn each season. Where else can you join up to 24,000 people to hear the biggest names in pop, country, rock and hip-hop to a backdrop of a stunning Indiana sunset? Congratulations, Klipsch!

Tickets are still up for grabs for many of the remaining summer shows. See the lineup here. What's the best show you've ever seen at Klipsch Music Center? Share with us in the comments!

Enter to win tickets to one of the upcoming shows at Klipsch Music Center!

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Summer Porch Tales in Hamilton County

Jun 03, 2015 by Hamilton County Tourism

This blog was contributed by storyteller Celestine Bloomfield who will be telling at the Summer Porch Tales on June 6 and June 27.

Storytelling Porch TalesThe beauty of storytelling is that one good story leads to another. You don't have to be Scheherazade to tell a good tale and everyone has a story to tell. My journey into storytelling began in grad school when I told my version of "The Three Little Pigs" while creating a filmstrip. Filmstrips are obsolete but I am still telling this urban folktale, "The Real Story of the Three Little Pigs".

The media center in my first elementary school had shelves of books minus their colorful book jackets and I used storytelling as my advertising gimmick to connect the students with the stories. I challenged my students to find the tales I told in the folklore section. While sharing literature, I might read the same story seven times in one day. By the last classes, I found myself telling the story without the book and thus my storytelling began.

Celestine StorytellerPeople often ask me what kind of stories do I tell and my answer is always, "I only tell the stories I like." I like stories from all cultures, but something has to grab me in the story. Something has to speak to me. Watch the audience in any storytelling session and see where the audience smiles in unison, laughs in unison or even groans in unison. We can relate to the story because it has happened to each one of us and we know how that feels. We are more alike than different and world folktales are perfect vessels to illustrate this. Because I am an African American woman, it certainly shapes my telling but I love to respectively share stories from other cultures.

My mission is to encourage everyone to tell tales. Stories are for all ages and we need to be sharing them. It does not have to be from a book. Tell your family history before it is forgotten and lost. I remember my Uncle Ernest talking about his service in World War II and being in Italy. Talk about how you met your spouse. Did you get to Indiana via Ellis Island or Route 66? Where did you grow up? What did you and your brothers and sisters do for fun? Describe your school days. Share your grandmother's peach cobbler recipe and tell the story about how you ate too many peaches or strawberries or scuppernong grapes.

I will do anything to tell a story. I will sing. (And I cannot sing!) I will draw. (And I definitely cannot draw!) I will do anything to tell a story and I want you to join me.

Experience the magic of storytelling this summer at the Summer Porch Tales series presented by Storytelling Arts. Two 30-minute performances at each location will delight audiences of all ages. Different stories will be told at all venues, so visit one or all!

Summer Porch Tales at Nickel Plate Arts
Nickel Plate Arts Campus, Noblesville
Saturday, June 6 at 4 p.m.

Storytelling Arts Presents: Summer Porch Tales in Westfield
South Mill Street, Westfield
Saturday, June 13 at 4 p.m.

Storytelling Arts Presents: Summer Porch Tales at Historic Ambassador House
Ambassador House, Fishers
Sunday, June 21 at 5 p.m.

Storytelling Arts Presents: Summer Porch Tales at The Monon Depot
Monon Depot, Carmel
Saturday, June 27 at 4 p.m.

Outdoor Concerts in Hamilton County, Indiana

May 26, 2015 by Sarah Buckner

I love music - country, pop, classic, new- just music. I especially love really great live shows where everyone is up from their seat, dancing and singing along. Summer in Hamilton County, Indiana ushers in festivals and farm markets, trails and park visits - but best of all, out door concerts. For me, there is nothing better on a warm summer night than throwing down a blanket in the grass and listening as the sounds fill the air. This summer offers another great year in music, from local favorites to the big names in today's tunes. 

Family Friendly ConcertsNickel Plate District Amp

Almost any night of the week, you can pack a picnic and a lawn chair and enjoy a concert happening in a local city.

On Tuesday nights, guests of all ages are invited to visit the Nickel Plate Amphitheatre in Fishers.
Each Wednesday take your families to Carmel for the annual, free concerts at the Carmel gazebo.
Spend your Thursday evenings with the Noblesville - where local parks in the city will offer free music from fun bands.
On the first and third Fridays of the month, Noblesville Main Street will present free music on the historic Noblesville Square.
Also on Fridays, The second Friday of June, July and August will be home to the Saxony Summer Concert Series.
Visit the Carmel Arts & Design District for the popular Jazz on the Monon concert series many Saturdays this summer. symphony on the prairie

Family-Friendly or Date Night Out

For the 34th year, one of my favorite summer events, the Symphony on the Prairie is back to Conner Prairie! Rent a table or relax in the lawn, and listen to great music. For an additional fee, experience the 1859 Balloon Voyage as it travels 350 feet into the air. For more information or to purchase concert tickets, click here.

Date Night Music

One of the best outdoor venues in the country, Klipsch Music Center, is located in the county seat of Noblesville. Whether you score a ticket under the canopy, or secure a spot in the lawn under the stars, Klipsch is able to accommodate more than 24,000 fans. Showcasing the sounds from the big names in all genres, summer in Hamilton County just isn't the same without a visit to this incredible spot. For a full line up of the shows, visit the Klipsch Music Center page.

Klipsch Blog SizeStill want to hear great music, but want to stay indoors? For a truly unique musical night out, visit the Palladium, a state-of-the-art, acoustically perfect concert hall. This summer, the Palladium is presenting music from Chris Botti, Esperanza Spalding, and Harry Connick Jr. - but that is just naming a few of the great acts coming to the Carmel hall. To buy tickets or take a peak at the rest of the shows, visit The Center for the Performing Arts page.

Check out the online calendar more information on live music, and all the other fun summer events, in Hamilton County, Indiana.


The ultimate guide to the first concerts of summer at Klipsch Music Center

Apr 28, 2015 by Kate Burkhardt

Outdoor concerts are the essence of summer. Summer concerts bring fans with tans and headlining bands together in perfect harmony while the striking sunset sets the whole scene.

KMC Crowd new


"What we're seeing is that the music festival is becoming one of America's favorite summer pastimes," said Martina Wang, the head of music and entertainment for Eventbrite in an interview with CNBC.

At Noblesville's Klipsch Music Center, in Hamilton County, every summer concert feels like a festival. As the largest outdoor concert venue in the Midwest, hundreds of thousands of fans flock to Klipsch every season to watch the biggest names in country and pop music perform on a stage that has seen everyone from Luke Bryan to KISS to OneRepublic.

As the lawns start to green and tickets begin flying out the box office window, here is a look at what to expect from the first concerts of the season at Klipsch:KMC Country Audience

Saturday, May 16 - Lady Antebellum: Wheels Up 2015 Tour with Hunter Hayes & Sam Hunt

What to wear: Cowboy hat and boots

What to listen for: Fans of Lady A should listen for the 2014 hit single "Bartender" along with top picks from their latest album "747." Hunter Haye's classic country love song "Wanted" is still one of his top downloaded songs on iTunes, eclipsed only by "I Want Crazy." Country newcomer Sam Hunt's "Take Your Time" and "Leave the Night On" are sure to cause an eruption of applause from the boot scootin' audience.

Thursday, May 28 - Lana Del Rey

What to wear: flower crown headband or vintage tee

What to listen for: Lana's unique sultry sound has graced many a movie soundtrack, including "Young and Beautiful" featured in "The Great Gatsby" and "Once Upon a Dream" featured in Disney's "Maleficent." Her hit single "Summertime Sadness" is a crowd pleaser as well as "West Coast" from her brand new album Ultraviolence, which was just released this February.

Saturday, May 30 - Rascal Flatts with Scotty McCreery 

KMC gates- ErinWhat to wear: baseball cap and plaid shirt

What to listen for: Rascal Flatts is no newcomer to the country music scene, with a list of chart topping singles longer than the Mississippi River. Fans can expect classic favorites like "What Hurts the Most" and "My Wish" along with new songs from their most recent album like "Riot" and "Rewind." American Idol alum Scotty McCreery will woo and wow audiences with hits "The Trouble with Girls" and "I Love You This Big."

Get your tickets now to start your summer singing along with show stoppers and chart toppers in May at Klipsch! Enter to win tickets here:

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The Weekend of January 22-25, 2015 is Closer Than you Think!

Jan 22, 2015 by Hamilton County Tourism

From cosmic bowling to seeing a bass guitar virtuoso live, this weekend in Hamilton County, Indiana has quite the variety of events. Craft your own weekend getaway with the following ideas and check our online calendar of events for even more.

Cooper's Startdust Bowling

Stardust Bowl Cosmic Bowling
Fridays and Saturdays
Head inside for some winter fun at Coopers Stardust Bowl in Noblesville. The lights will go down, the lasers will turn on and the music will go up for cosmic bowling nights this winter! What a fun idea for date night, a family outing or getting together with friends. Cosmic bowling starts at 10 p.m. Fridays and 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays through March 28.

The Center Presents: Emerson String Quartet
January 23
"America's greatest quartet" is stopping by The Palladium on Friday! With 8 Grammy Awards under their belt, the Emerson String Quartet is sure to impress. The program includes Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn and begins at 8 p.m. Get tickets before they're gone!

 Cp Hearth

Baking Bread: Hearth Style
January 24
Learn to bake various types of breads at Conner Prairie this Saturday. The first class in the Prairie Pursuits series geared towards adults will teach the basics of all things bread. From traditional oven baking to old school hearth baking, this class will cover it all! Reservations are required for all Prairie Pursuits classes, see the schedule here.

Stanley Clarke Trio

The Center Presents: Stanley Clarke Trio
January 25
Electric and acoustic bass virtuoso Stanley Clarke will take over The Palladium stage on Sunday. Concert goers will be treated to Clarke's award-winning jazz fusion style. This show is a must-see for bass enthusiasts!

Want to always know what Hamilton County weekend happenings are coming up? Sign up to have this list and more delivered right to your inbox.  



To the Theatre!

Jan 06, 2015 by Emma Diebold

DiavoloWinter is a great time to catch some indoor performances by one of the several talented theatre groups in Hamilton County. From small community theatres to touring acts stopping by The Center for the Performing Arts, there is quite a variety coming up this season! Here are some highlights:

The Carmel Community Players will present An Enchanted Cabaret from January 9-11. Attendees will be treated to songs from Disney classics like Aladdin and even some Broadway tunes. Best of all? The Playhouse is located at Clay Terrace mall so you can grab a bite to eat (or use up those gift cards from Christmas!) before or after the show.

The 39 StepsDance, martial arts and gymnastics will come together for a thrilling performance called coming to The Tarkington. Performers will present two pieces that will use actual architectural set pieces to create stories. It's rather difficult to explain, but just judging from the photo to the left, it looks like an amazing, one-of-a-kind show! Tickets are available now for shows on January 16 and 17.

Planning ahead? The end of the month brings the opening of three new shows throughout the county. Pair a performance near Valentine's Day with dinner at a local Hamilton County eatery for a unique date night.

The two-time Tony Award winning play The 39 Steps is being presented by the Actors Theatre of Indiana. Think Hitchcock plus a spy novel with a dash of Monty Python humor, and you've got the recipe for this great show. The tagline is "Hitchcock meets hilarious," after all! The show runs from January 30- February 15.

Belfry Theater

Bus Stop, a play originally produced during The Belfry Theatre's 1983-84 season will return to the stage once again beginning January 30. A bus makes a stop at a roadside diner, only to get stranded for the evening. Friendship, drama and even a little romance ensues.

Also beginning a run on January 30, Home Games will be presented by the Westfield Playhouse. This 3-person show revolves around a former Yankee baseball player, his daughter Mertle, and Mertle's new love interest. Will the former Yankee stick to his stubborn ways or allow Mertle to be with the love of her life? You'll have to go see the show to find out!


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 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





Kickin’ Back at Klipsch

Jul 30, 2014 by Erin Vollmer

KMC gates- ErinI 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. GiGi's at KMC

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.

Crowd at KMC- ErinThe 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. Lady A at KMC- Erin

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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