Posts Tagged ‘Arcadia’

Spend September 6-12, 2009 by “Going Local” in Hamilton County’s 8 Great Towns.

I found out from the Going Local blog that it is “Going Local Week,” which is a time to celebrate and enjoy Indiana’s wide array of fresh, locally grown foods, spices and treats.  Sounds good to me!


Here are a few ways to “Go Local” in Hamilton County:

-Visit one of the four great Farmers Markets (click for details)

-Stop by the Apple Store at Conner Prairie for fresh Indiana apples

-Quench your thirst with fresh artesian water at The Flowing Well Park

-Sip wine at Ferrin’s Fruit Winery or Grape Inspirations, both in Carmel

-Satisfy your sweet tooth with a pie from Lisa’s Pie Shop or candy from Uncle Henry’s Candies

-Visit a Hamilton County Farm or U-Pick: Gatewood Vegetable Farm or Spencer’s You-Pick in Noblesville, Wilson Farm Market in Arcadia, or Sheridan’s Stuckey Farm

For more Indiana food ideas, restaurants and recipes go to the Indiana Foodways Alliance website: IndianaFoodways.com


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Pumpkins from the Stonycreek Farm Pumpkin Festival

Fall in Hamilton County, Indiana is ushered in with the leaves changing to bright colors, crisp air and weekends filled with train rides, haunted hayrides, tasty treats and of course festivals and fairs.  Below is a guide to some of the festivals this season, pick just one or come to them all – you surely won’t be disappointed!

Enjoy your 8 Great Towns weekend escape…

The Apple Store at Conner Prairie September 1- November 1 – Conner Prairie’s 18th annual Apple Store is filled with fresh, hand-dipped caramel covered apples, cider slushies, apple butter, candy and seasonal home decorations.  Take the treat with you or if you can’t wait relax outside on one of the picnic tables – I can’t think of a better way to enjoy a fall afternoon…

23rd Annual Tour of Historic Homes September 12 Enjoy a September stroll through the storied structures & residences of Noblesville.

Art in the Park September 19 – Visit the Municipal Center of Fishers where musicians, dancers and other performers will entertain you while you browse and shop through the one of a kind jewelry, pottery, paintings and more on display.

Art in the Park - Photo from FishersArtCouncil.org

Art in the Park - Photo from FishersArtCouncil.org

Country Fair September 19-20 – Country Fair is all about celebrating Indiana’s Farm Heritage!  The 1886 Agricultural Fair has been re-created so that visitors can see a bearded lady, have their fortune read and play a historic game of base ball.

Stonycreek Farm Pumpkin Harvest Festival September 26-October 31 It is a local tradition to kick off fall at Stonycreek Farm!  Hayrides, a pumpkin patch, farm animals and beautiful fall colors will greet you when you arrive at the Pumpkin Harvest.

Carmel International Arts Festival September 26-27This free event offers artists exhibiting in watercolor, oil, 2D, 3D, jewelry, photography, wood, sculpture, pottery and more.  The art is then coupled with tempting food vendors, outstanding restaurants and local shops within the Arts and Design District.

Carmel International Arts Festival

Carmel International Arts Festival

Atlanta New Earth Festival (take the Earthfest train!) September 26-27 Visit the small town of Atlanta for the 36th Annual New Earth Festival.  Over 80,000 people come for the fine arts, food and crafts.  Start the day at Forest Park in Noblesville, where you can hop aboard the Earthfest train to make the journey to Atlanta.

10th Annual Potter’s Bridge Festival October 3 More than 40 arts & crafts booths plus a climbing wall, food, live music and kid’s activities will be featured at this free, fun annual event!

Fishers Renaissance Faire October 3-4 Held on the grounds of historic Conner Prairie, the 5th Annual Fishers Renfaire offers visitors the opportunity to experience: jousting, archery, sword fighting, period music, Shakespeare vignettes, pirates, Queen Elizabeth’s court, demonstrations of period craftsman, falconry, parades, AND provides for a unique food and shopping experience. There is also a dedicated children’s game area and much, much more!

Princess - Rich

Fishers Renaissance Faire

Sheridan Harvest Moon Festival October 3-4 This weekend long event kicks off with a classic car show and is non stop entertainment of food, music, arts and a “Pumpkin Chuck” contest.

Autumnfest October 10 This free fall celebration is held in the quaint downtown of Arcadia.  Join in for a festival of arts, crafts, food, pumpkin decorating, antiques, collectibles and more!

Headless Horseman at Conner Prairie October 16-18, 21-25, 28-30 Hop on a haunted hayride tour of Conner Prairie, but be on the lookout for ghosts as they warn you about the Headless Horseman….  Stick around for ghost stories, campfires and music.


Headless Horseman

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If you are already planning a weekend getaway to Hamilton County’s 8 Great Towns or are looking to take a last minute Indiana vacation, here are 8 Great Things to do in Hamilton County, Indiana this weekend:

Explore fire trucks, police cars, dump trucks and more at "Things That Go Rodeo" Image from www.ci.carmel.in.us

Explore fire trucks, police cars, dump trucks and more at "Things That Go Rodeo" Image from http://www.ci.carmel.in.us

1. Learn about Chinese landscapes at Chen Hao’s Chinese Art Exhibit: Urban Landscape– Friday, August 28 – Saturday, August 29.

2. Check out cool cars from all eras at the Fishers Community Car Show (all profits will go to benefit Prevail, Inc). – Saturday, August 29.

3. Check out Carmel’s “Things That Go Rodeo” for a fun, free way to entertain the kids. – Saturday, August 29.

4. Wrap up summer in Arcadia with the “Summer Windup” celebration. – Saturday, August 29.

5. While in Arcadia on Saturday night, visit the Hedgehog Music Showcase and watch a variety show that features a wide variety of entertainers and musical genres.

6. Take your taste buds to another time at Conner Prairie’s “Taste the Past” event.  Come hungry because you will be feasting on authentic food from 1816, 1836 and 1886. – Saturday, August 29 – Sunday, August 30.

7. Choo! Choo!  Ride the caboose shuttle to and from Forest Park.  While there, take a walk in the park, spin around on their carousel or enjoy a picnic lunch. – Sunday, August 29.

8. Close out the weekend with a free concert in Noblesville’s Seminary Park.  – Sunday, August 30.

*Visit us online at 8GreatTowns.com for more details on the activities above and other weekend fun ideas!

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These past few weeks I have been driving around the county interviewing artisans for the new Nickel Plate Arts Trail. Along my way I have not only discovered some cool places, but I have also met really interesting people.  First I traveled to Fishers to learn all about the art of soap making at Herbal Art, then I went up to Tabby Tree Weaver in Arcadia and got a look at how wool becomes cloth. Finally I went north again to Cicero and discovered the cutest coffee shop, complete with a Native American Flutist.

Photo from TabbyTreeWeaver.com

Photo from TabbyTreeWeaver.com

In Fishers I stopped by the Wedding Event Design Offices (WE DO) for handmade soaps and lotions at Herbal Art. This complex houses all sorts of wedding-related businesses, from make-up to photography. Convenient, no?  The soaps smelled great and, as I found out while talking to the creator, Brian, they’re good for the environment and for you. He gave me a little sample and I can’t wait to go back and get more.


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As the end of my time at the Hamilton County CVB approaches, I can’t help but look back at how much I’ve learned, in terms of both job skills and knowledge about this place I’ve called home for the past 13 years. While the former doesn’t have a place here, I can’t help but share just a few things about the latter.

1. That there are music halls in Northern Hamilton County, the Atlanta Music Hall in Atlanta, and the Hedgehog in Arcadia. Quaint towns and local music make for a different kind of evening out!

2. That Hamilton County – Westfield in particular – was a hot bed of Underground Railroad activity (although I may have learned this in fourth grade social studies and since forgotten). In Westfield there are even haunted Underground Railroad walks, a perfect Halloween activity for a history buff like me.

3. How to navigate all of Carmel’s roundabouts. In fact, I’ve come to like them, they actually do make driving easier, go figure!

4. That Hamilton County was named the #1 place to raise a family in 2008 by Forbes magazine. Good choice, mom and dad.

5. That the Atlanta Mercantile, in Northern Hamilton County, sells local and regional artisan goods, from candies and homemade foods to antiques and a wide variety of arts and crafts.

6. Just how many excursions the Indiana Transportation Museum offers. Growing up I always knew about, and even frequented the FairTrain, Polar Bear Express, and Pumpkin Train, but after a summer here, I’m excited to take a go on the Dinner in the Diner or the Dinner or a Movie too!

7. What a wide variety of quaint and unique local restaurants we have here. From an old Carnegie Library and fine Italian to coffee shops and tea rooms.

8. How wonderful a place Hamilton County is, not only for an Indiana getaway, but also somewhere to live, work and play. There’s so much to do here, leaving me ashamed that I ever spent a weekend lamenting boredom.

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These past couple weeks I’ve been driving around Hamilton County’s 8 Great Towns, both for work and for pleasure.  I’ve learned a lot about the county in my four months at the HCCVB, but it took these seemingly endless miles of driving for me to realize just how many different things this place has to offer.

Having grown up in Noblesville, I always kind of took its historically charming downtown square for granted. Here, old time neighborly camaraderie mixes with modern shopping and urban flair. But, just a few miles away from the square, which houses the county seat, are both bustling cities and a quiet countryside.

The Courthouse at Historic Noblesville Square

The Courthouse at Historic Noblesville Square

Being so close to Indianapolis, the southern part of Hamilton County (Fishers, Noblesville and Carmel) definitely reflects the fact that it is a sprawling suburb. With an outdoor ampitheater, an upscale Arts & Design District, and two open-air shopping malls it’s not difficult to find a city feel in Hamilton County.

The Carmel Arts & Design District at Dusk

The Carmel Arts & Design District at dusk

As I drove northward, however, it struck me just how close the quiet of the country was to all of this hustle and bustle. Driving through Atlanta, Arcadia, Sheridan, and even Cicero and Westfield, I was amazed to find a completely different world. With Morse Reservoir, the Atlanta Mercantile, Boxley Cabin, and the Arcadia Arts Initiative, these towns are full of things to do, just perhaps at a slower pace.

Shoppers strolling outside the Atlanta Mercantile

Shoppers strolling outside the Atlanta Mercantile

From upscale art galleries to traditional art and craft workshops, from a local mercantile to an open-air mall, from history to a lazy day on the lake – Hamilton County’s 8 great towns, collectively, make it a unique place to be and a unique place for an Indiana family vacation.

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Relaxing at Morse Park and Beach

Relaxing at Morse Park and Beach

1. See animals and livestock, eat great food, dance and gather with family and friends at the Hamilton County 4-H Fair in Noblesville – Thursday, July 16 – Monday, July 20.

2. Volunteer, cheer or participate at IronKids and watch as kids age 6-14 compete in an exciting triathlon at the Carmel Monon Center. – Friday, July 17 – Sunday, July 19.

3. Tour the Children’s Garden at Coxhall Gardens with a naturalist and discover the inspiration behind this magical little spot. Free to parents and children! – Friday, July 17.

4. Celebrate 10 years of business with Ben & Ari’s in Fishers – Live music, mini golf and BBQ only $5 per person. – Saturday, July 18.

5. Tap your toes at the Hedgehog Music Showcase in Arcadia for a variety show featuring local and regional entertainers in an old-fashioned radio show format. – Saturday, July 18.

6. Escape the summer heat at Conner Prairie by relaxing in the shade with a cool glass of lemonade and listen to interpreters tell fantastic folk tales and stories from days gone by.  – Saturday, July 18 – Sunday, July 19.

7. Learn more about the Paleo-Indian and early Archaic people who called central Indiana home thousands of years ago at Strawtown Koteewi Park. – Sunday, July 19.

8.  Build a sandcastle, fish or simply relax at Morse Park and Beach in Noblesville – Any time, any day! – Any time, any day!

*Visit us online at 8GreatTowns.com for more details on the activities above and other weekend fun ideas!

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