Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Million Reasons to Start a Summer Festival Paper Chain Countdown

A Million Reasons to Start a Summer Festival Paper Chain Countdown

Christ Church Strawberry Festival
Strawberry-lovers will take over Monument Circle June 11 for the Christ Church Strawberry Festival! Enjoy the “Works” for $6 which includes traditional strawberries, ice cream and whipped topping on a shortcake biscuit. Variations are available for less. Be sure to stop by Monument Circle between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. and take part in this great summer tradition! Check out www.cccindy.org for more details.
#pro tip: lines are always long...make use of those handy little paper fans they always pass out by peering coyly above them at the hottie in the next line.

Italian Street Festival
Enjoy more than 25 different pastas, Italian meats, desserts and more at this delicious celebration of Italian culture! Be sure not to miss it June 12 & 13 at the corner of East Street and Stevens Street. On the Saturday of the festival, there is an early afternoon Mass held at Holy Rosary Catholic Church. Later in the day an Italian religious procession takes place, which is followed by a second mass. Call 317.636.4478 or visit
www.italianheritage.org/streetfestival.htm for more details.
#pro tip: Attend Saturday for the First Communion processional into mass. Be sure to purchase a bottle of wine, at least three peronis and, if one lingers about at the end of the night, one can often purchase the marinara to take home!

Independent Music + Art Festival
Don’t miss this exciting event on June 13 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the Harrison Center for the Arts. This annual event honors location musicians with live music performances, visual artists and more. Seventeen bands will play on two stages in the Center’s courtyard. Food and beverages are available for purchase. Log on to h
ttp://www.myspace.com/imaf for more details.

Indy Pride Festival
Enjoy the Pride Parade down Mass Ave June 13 at 10 a.m. Afterwards, spend the afternoon in University Park enjoying live music, informational booths, dancing and food from various vendors. For more information, log on to www.indyprideinc.com/circlecityinpride/calendar/saturday13.html
#pro tip: The park at the corner of Mass Ave. & Vermont - just outside the Starbucks - provides excellent viewing and room for little ones to run around. Also, this provides an opportunity for parents to distract said little ones when the colored condoms are thrown from the parade floats.

Talbot Street Art Fair
Walk down Talbot Street June 13 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. & June 14 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. for an art selection like none other! Browse and buy art from more than 250 artists around the
United States. Enjoy live entertainment and food booths lining the historic street all with FREE admission. Log on to
http://www.talbotstreet.org for more information or call 317.745.6479.
#pro tip: Go early!!! Between Talbott St., Indy Pride, and the Italian Festival this is a PACKED weekend. This is an excellent place to pick up reasonably priced local art.

Marsh Cookout on the Circle
Show your support for scouting and enjoy lunch on Monument Circle Thursday, June 18 from
11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. This is the 18th year for Marsh Supermarkets to partner with the Crossroads of America Council and Boy Scouts of America, to help send less fortunate Scouts to local camps. “Celebrity cooks” will prepare and serve grilled chicken breasts or bratwurst served on buns, potato salad, cookies and a drink! Tickets are $6 in advance at Marsh Supermarkets and $7 the day of the event. Call 925.1900 or click
here for details.
#pro tip: Get tickets in advance. Use as many napkins as possible so that the Boy Scout busboys have something to clear away. Otherwise they linger around staring at you while you eat. Also, there's always a good chance that there will be a cheesy D.J. starting up the Chicken Dance and/or the Macarena on the steps of the Monument.

El Dia De La Familia
Military Park will be buzzing with action June 20! Festivities will take place between noon and 11 p.m. The festival offers the Hispanic community a day of music from national, regional and local entertainers. Visitors can sample cuisine from Mexico, Peru, the Caribbean and various other places. A family area with pony rides, food and activities will also be available. Call 317.924.1071 for details or check out www.wedjfm.com.
#pro tip: The music here can't be beat. The food is amazing and if you wear the little ones out enough they just might lay down on a blanket in the grass and you can all just watch the people parade...

Let’s Meet PBS KIDS in the Park
Gather the family and spend quality time together with fun activities for the entire family! Meet Arthur, Clifford, Curious George and other favorites! On June 27, American Legion Mall & Veterans Memorial Plaza will be the site of the WFYI Public Broadcasting’s 16th annual Let’s Meet PBS Kids in the Park, a fun afternoon ideal for families looking to get out in the summer sunshine. The festival boasts live entertainment on two stages, hands-on educational activities and a scrumptious selection of festival foods from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. For more information, log on to www.wfyi.org or call 317.715.2006.
#pro tip: Keep little ones AWAAAY from the bouncehouse orgy at the north end of the ALM unless you enjoy standing in lines for over 40 minutes. Do map out which characters your kids want to meet/get their picture taken with. Don't stand in line for 25 minutes before realizing your kids are scared to death of a 7 foot Curious George. Do bring a bookbag or satchel to haul home all the free treats, stickers, coloring pages, crafts, and logo pencils, frisbees, hats that the kids will collect.

Phoenix Theatre Brew-Ha-Ha
Brew-Ha-Ha is an annual benefit for the Phoenix Theatre – a professional, non-profit theatre presenting contemporary, issue-oriented plays and musicals. The outdoor block party features samples of the best brews from local, regional and national microbreweries, as well as entertainment from the hottest local bands. This year’s event will take place June 27 from 3 – 7 p.m. in the 700 block of North Park Avenue between Massachusetts Avenue and St. Clair Street. Tickets are $25 at the gate and $20 in advance through the Phoenix Theatre box office. Call 317.635.PLAY (635.7529) for tickets. http://www.phoenixtheatre.org/
#pro tip: Pure awesomeness. This annual event has the feel of a neighborhood block party, with the panache that only the Phoenix can bring to things. Get advance tickets. Spend the day. Bring friends. The End.

17th Annual Indian Market
Indianapolis welcomes approximately 140 Native American artists from 60 tribes around the United States June 27 & 28. Dive into the artwork, food and traditions of Native American cultures at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art. Participants will showcase some of the finest traditional and contemporary pottery, painting, sculpture, jewelry and cultural items. Admission is $10; $8 in advance & members; children 17 and under are FREE. For more information, log on to
www.eiteljorg.org or call 317.636.9378.

Regions Bank Freedom Blast
Celebrate Independence Day with a bang … or a blast! On July 4 see Indy's largest fireworks display, shooting from the top of the Region’s Bank Tower! This fantastic fireworks show is a local tradition and favorite activity! Bring the entire family Downtown for food, music and fun that lasts all day and ends in an amazing fireworks display after dusk.

Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration
The Indiana Black Expo presents the 39th annual Summer Celebration July 9 – 19 at the Indiana Convention Center and various Downtown venues. Enjoy everything from live music at the Music Heritage Festivals to exciting youth activities. Also take advantage of business workshops, employment opportunities, health fairs, cultural pavilions, various exhibits and more! Special guests include Eric Benet, SWV, the Sugarhill Gang, Whodini, Doug E. Fresh and Alex Bugnon. The Whitlies.tv Free Concert will showcase Maze featuring Frankie Beverly and Musiq Soulchild. For more information, log on to

Allstate 400 at the Brickyard
Indianapolis is the perfect place for race-lovers! Cheer on your favorite driver at the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard July 26. Downtown will celebrate with several special events for the whole family. Check out
www.brickyard.com for more information.

Taste of Downtown
Don’t miss the Taste of Downtown, a FREE Downtown street festival on Aug. 8 from 4 - 10 p.m. The festival takes place on College Avenue between Ohio and New York streets. Enjoy delicious wine, specialties from numerous Downtown restaurants and live music featuring Tastes Like Chicken, The Late Show and The Tides. Families can enjoy the Kid’s Zone and the celebrity dunk tank benefiting various local charities. For more information call 636.4516 or visit www.easleywinery.com
#pro tip: I live a block from Easley - hit me up if you need a place to park. We usually wander down for this every year and Mom picks up a few bottles of wine and the kids dance to the live music. If you haven't taken the tour, their guides are all pretty decent!

Mass Ave Theatre and IndyFringe Festival
IndyFringe Festival offers 10 days of splashy spectacle, provocative pageantry and outrageous outbursts of off-beat theatrical fun on Mass Ave! The festival takes place Aug. 21 – 30. Enjoy 53 performers/groups in more than 270 live theatre performances in six theatres featuring dance, drama, comedy, music, magic and cabaret. Ticket prices for IndyFringe are $10 per person, per show. A $3 one-time festival badge is required onsite during the festival, good for all 10 days. For more Fringe fun, visit www.indyfringe.org.
#pro tip: Theatre lovers do NOT miss this. It's multi-venue, multiple days and there's something for everyone. For $10 bucks a pop you can't beat the ticket prices, and you can pick and choose from some of the best traveling troupes int he country.

14th annual Rib America Festival
Stop by and smell the barbeque … and taste it while you are there! Award-winning vendors, including Smokin' Joe's Hog Wild BBQ, Sgt. Oink's BBQ, Pigfoot BBQ, Chicago BBQ, Squealer's BBQ and more will offer the best-of-the-best ribs! Be sure to head to Military Park Sept. 4 – 7 for a fulfilling weekend. Don’t miss Night Ranger, Candlebox, Loverboy, Billy Squier, Morris Day & The Time and other performances all weekend long. Admission is FREE before 5 p.m. A $5 admission charge will apply after 5 p.m. Children 12 and under receive FREE admission at all times. For more information, log on to
#pro tip: Yum. Yum. Yum. I suggest going BEFORE 5pm to take advantage of the free admission! There's usually decent music, and no better opportunity to gorge yourself on overpriced BBQ & take in the humanity show than here. This tends to round out my summer festival run... weather is usually nice. Bring a blanket and some folding chairs. It's easier to smuggle bottled water and other prohibited necessities in a folding chair case!

Red Bull GP
The second annual Red Bull Indianapolis GP is a sight you won’t want to miss! Check out one of the most advanced racing series held on one of the most famous race tracks in the world! Race day is Aug. 30 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. For more race information, log on to www.redbullindianapolisgp.com.

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