Bicentennial Torch comes to Hamilton County Oct. 13

The Bicentennial Torch Relay makes its way through Hamilton County Oct. 13 beginning at 3 p.m. at Zionsville Presbyterian Church on 116th Street and ending at the historic Noblesville Square about four hours later with a grand finale celebration. The 36 torchbearers – chosen by a Bicentennial committee – include firefighters, teachers, coaches, athletes, entrepreneurs and volunteers dedicated to making Indiana a better place to live, work and play. They range in age from 10 to 95 and come from all corners of the county. Sadly, torchbearer James Neal recently passed away but will be honored in the relay when his grandson carries the torch.

Torchbearers will have their unique ways to travel their leg of the path. They will travel by tractor, wagon, vintage fire truck, horse, helium balloons and even with a Chinese dragon.

There are plenty of ways for residents to get involved, too. The easiest way is at one of the five celebration stations around the county.

The first will be from 3:50 to 4:15 p.m. at the Palladium for the Performing Arts in Carmel; then, at Union Bible College in Westfield from 4:45 to 5:10 p.m. Arrive at Conner Prairie to view the torch by 6 p.m. and stay for Headless Horseman, or head over to Fishers City Hall for the third celebration station from 6:15 to 6:50 p.m. Finally watch the torch arrive at the Noblesville Square at approximately 7:15 p.m. The celebration there begins about 6:45 p.m. View a map of the route.

Residents can show their pride with an exclusive Hamilton County Bicentennial Celebration Party Kit. For $35, you’ll get blue and gold balloons with a Hamilton County logo, a banner, pom poms, shakers and foam cut-outs in the shape of the torch.

Patterned after the Olympic Torch Relay, the Indiana relay travels through all 92 counties covering more than 2,300 miles over six weeks. It began Sept. 9 and will continue through Oct. 15.

Visit Hamilton County for the holidays

The end of summer should not mean an end to visiting Hamilton County. A new promotion that runs through Dec. 26 will give visitors numerous reasons to plan a memorable getaway in Hamilton County this fall and through the holidays. Think girlfriend shopping getaways, family get-togethers or holiday excursions.

A highlight of the promotion is The Hamilton County Giftable Guide. This digital guide will showcase unique gifts found at local businesses from Strawtown Pottery to custom creations at Bath Junkie and handmade artisan gifts at Nickel Plate Arts. Featured wearable items include Cardigan sweatshirts and the latest styles from Little Gypsie. It will show memorable excursions to places such as ziplining at Koteewi Aerial Adventure Treetop Trails and Conner Prairie by Candlelight. The guide also will highlight delectable foods, specialty shops and more.

Radio spots began airing Oct. 4 in Champaign, Illinois, and Fort Wayne. There will be digital and social media promotions around the state to advertise hotel deals and more.

View the special hotel discounts, the Holiday Giftable Guide and video at

What the Visitor Said

Here’s what we know: sports visitors spend more, business travelers stay longer and leisure travelers buy more tickets.

Understanding who visitors are and how they engage with Hamilton County hotels, attractions, and amenities is important to creating marketing and communications strategy. The ambitious 2015-2016 Hamilton County Visitor Profile study was an attempt to get deeper into the behavior of sports, business and leisure visitors.

More than 1,200 intercept studies by the Hamilton County Stats Squad took place throughout the county in 2015-2016 to validate what we thought we knew and to see if there were surprises.

No surprises – but a validating effort that gives us confidence for future marketing initiatives.

Other business intelligence that informs how the enterprising marketing team here strategically targets visitors includes web data analytics and hotel room demand. And soon we will experiment with even more sophisticated techniques to understand if we engaged with someone who eventually decided to visit.

If you’d like to know more about the Hamilton County tourism visitor, you can see the results in this 2016 Hamilton County Visitor Profile Study info-graphic.

‘The Icon at Purgatory Golf Club’ Set to Take its Place Among Golf’s Most Famous Landmarks

Purgatory Golf Club unveiled an 11-foot tall, signature statue Oct. 3. Designed by celebrated local artist Scott Westphal and fabricated from one-inch thick, rust-resistant aluminum, the sculpture depicts Purgatory’s Addy Award-winning logo a trident, golf ball, and halo.

Guests at Purgatory are encouraged to pose for pictures at the statue’s base before and after rounds to share with friends using #DivineCamaraderie. Golfers heading to the first tee can also make a “Daily Offering” by placing a donation on a small collection plate; monies raised will benefit local charities and aspiring artists.

Named “The Icon at Purgatory Golf Club,” the towering work of art is akin to golf’s most famous landmarks, including Pinehurst’s Putter Boy statuette, St. Andrews’ Swilcan Bridge, Harbour Town’s striped lighthouse and TPC Sawgrass’ infamous island green.