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Parke County Covered Bridge Festival October 12-21

It's a Hoosier tradition - the Parke County Covered Bridge Festival! Every October for forty five years Parke County has welcomed visitors to the Midwest's Greatest Festival. It's a celebration of Indiana's historic past and Parke County's 32 World Famous Covered Bridges - that's more covered bridges than any other county!

At this year's Festival from October 12 to 20 nearly two million people will descend on this small rural county, the center of the Covered Bridge Heartland, to tour covered bridges, enjoy entertainment, dine on country cooked food and shop 'til they drop, all framed by Indiana's fabulous fall foliage. Rockville is Festival Headquarters, as a total of nine Festival Communities join together to provide over 800 square miles of Festival fun in Parke County - the Covered Bridge Capital of the World.

Festival guests can tour covered bridges by following five marked Covered Bridge Tour Routes. Free color coded Covered Bridge Route Maps are available or leave the driving to us and join a bus tour of covered bridges. A friendly Parke County tour guide will tell you the legends and lore of Parke County and its covered bridges. Stops are made along the way for covered bridges, food and shopping. Groups are welcome. Just call 765-569-5226 to schedule in advance. We'll make all the arrangements for touring, dining, entertainment and overnights so bring your organization, church group or travel club.

From apple butter to zucchini bread, food abounds. Crisp autumn air carries the aroma of pork chops, barbecued chicken and old-fashioned beans and ham. Or choose a sandwich made with country ham, rib eye steak or sausage. Finish off with homemade ice cream, persimmon pudding or an apple dumpling. You'll want to sample it all, but if you can't there are plenty of opportunities to take some home for later.

The Covered Bridge Festival is a Mecca for shoppers. Variety is the theme, but the focus is on handmade and original arts and crafts. No matter what your taste, you'll find something that fits the bill. Clothing, jewelry, oil paintings, dolls, quilts, and decorative items, many with a covered bridge theme, are all offered. If that's not enough, check out the array of antiques, collectibles and flea market treasures.

There are fun and interesting activities for all ages. Relax and listen to music or see the Parke Players Old Fashioned Melodrama, "Deadwood Dick" (audience participation IS encouraged!) Local churches have gospel music concerts open to the public. Mecca has a unique "Duck Race" on the creek. Purchase that special covered bridge painting at the Covered Bridge Art Gallery, see history come alive at the Parke County Historical Society Museum or Billie Creek Village and browse shops around the Square. Printed Covered Bridge Festival Location Maps and Events Schedules will help you find your way around the Festival.

Be sure and visit all nine Festival Communities, for each has a flavor of its own. Start at Festival Headquarters on the Rockville Square. The choicest of handmade arts and crafts are here. Dine on the country-cooked food offered all around the grounds and stroll brick lined streets surrounding a stately courthouse. Mecca not only has a covered bridge but also a one room schoolhouse, where school will be in session. Kids of all ages will enjoy the horse and wagon ride at Billie Creek Village. The historic Quaker community of Bloomingdale demonstrates apple butter making and guests are invited to attend their old style church service Sundays. The Civic Center will be filled with crafts and food in the old mining town of Rosedale. Montezuma offers a pig roast daily with the best tasting barbecue you ever tried while Tangier serves their world famous "buried roast beef" - a delight for the taste buds. Mansfield's Roller Mill will provide walk through tours and grinding demonstrations in addition to myriad of vendors. Bridgeton, famous for its charming covered bridge and Bridgeton Grist Mill, has arts, crafts and food galore. In short, there's something for everyone!

Activities continue throughout the ten days from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm daily, so bring your comfortable walking shoes and plan to have a great time. For information call 765-569-5226 or access


Chris Cagle to Perform Free at Lawrenceburg Fall Fest

Fireworks, car show also on the agenda Fans of up-and-coming country performer Chris Cagle won’t want to miss the upcoming Lawrenceburg Fall Fest, the Dearborn County Convention, Visitor & Tourism Bureau announced today. On September 28th Leroy Ellington & the E-Funk Band will perform at 9pm. The musicians will each perform a free concert during the annual fall festival, which takes place Sept. 27-29 in downtown Lawrenceburg, Indiana.

"We’re very excited that this year’s festivities will feature such talented musical performers," said Debbie Smith, Director of the Dearborn County Convention, Visitor & Tourism Bureau. "The fact that the event is free and offers such a high level of entertainment makes it even more attractive for visitors coming into our community."

Formerly known as Octoberfest, the Lawrenceburg Fall Fest is organized by the I Love Lawrenceburg committee of the Lawrenceburg Main Street Association, and is sponsored by the Dearborn County Convention, Visitor & Tourism Bureau. This year marks the third year for the festival.

In addition to the musical performances the Lawrenceburg Fall Fest and will also feature craft and food booths, games, Murray Brothers midway rides, entertainment, a car show, activities and additional musical performances. It will run from 4:00pm-9:00pm Thursday and Friday, and from 10:00am-11:00pm on Saturday, with a fireworks display over the Ohio River scheduled for Saturday evening.

Dearborn County, Indiana is situated along the Ohio River where Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky meet. The Dearborn County Convention, Visitor & Tourism Bureau works to enhance the tourism business in Southeastern Indiana by promoting local attractions, commerce, and events occurring in the county. Through partnerships with our local business community, as well as with other nearby Convention and Visitor Bureaus, including Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, we seek to establish Dearborn County as Southeastern Indiana’s premier tourism destination.

For more information on the Lawrenceburg Fall Fest, please refer to the following schedule or contact the Dearborn County Convention, Visitor & Tourism Bureau at 800-322-8198. Or, visit their website at


Visitors Invited to Discover Boating on the Ohio River at Blue Ribbon Marina’s "Discover Boating" Event

If you’ve ever considered buying a boat, you know that navigating the waters involved in purchasing the right boat for you can be a complicated and time-consuming process. That’s why Blue Ribbon Marina, one of the Tri-State’s leading full-service marinas, has teamed up with a variety of sponsors to hold Discover Boating, a free event full of fun and entertainment designed to allow current and prospective boat owners the opportunity to explore life on the water.

Information about the Discover Boating event is as follows:

    WHAT: Discover Boating
    WHEN: Sat., Sept. 29, 2001
    TIME: 10am-4pm, EDST (Cincinnati time)
    WHERE: Blue Ribbon Marina
    State Road 350 at U.S. 50
    Aurora, Indiana
    COST: Free

Discover Boating is a free event where visitors can try boating for a day, talk to Blue Ribbon Marina members, go for a ride on the river, or browse for a boat. The event, which takes place in the charming Ohio River town of Aurora, Indiana, will also feature free pontoon rides, free boater education, free food, music and a boater flea market.

Located on fourteen scenic acres in a protected harbor with quick access to the beautiful Ohio River, Blue Ribbon Marina offers a playground, shower house, pavilion, RV sites, and boat slips—all with a view. For more information on the Discover Boating seminar, call Blue Ribbon Marina at 812-926-0830 or visit

Dearborn County, Indiana is situated along the Ohio River where Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky meet. Throughout the month of September, a wide variety of festivals and events will be held in the county. For more information on the Discover Boating event, or any other upcoming Dearborn County festival or event, contact the Dearborn County Convention, Visitor & Tourism Bureau at 800-322-8198 or visit us online at


New State Museum Will Look at Indiana Art...Inside and Out
By Megan Jones

When people think of Indiana, many first think of basketball, corn and auto racing. But the state's rich and diverse art history doesn't usually come to mind.

Indiana State Museum officials hope to change that when the new State Museum opens next May in White River State Park. In fact, they've dedicated exhibit space inside and outside the new museum to teach people about art and the role Hoosiers have played in the world's art history.

New Gallery Documents Indiana's Rich Art History
The Indiana State Museum has a collection of more than 8,000 pieces of art. But because of space limitations in its current building, the museum only has been able to display art exhibitions every two or three years. Often, these exhibitions are limited to a 1,300-square-foot gallery - a space about the size of an average two-bedroom apartment. Museum officials have tried to display more artwork by using the staircase walls in the current building where they can showcase about 35 paintings, but that still leaves no room for sculpture displays.

Happily, all this will change with the museum's new facility. The NiSource Inc. Gallery of Indiana Art, on the third level of the new building, will provide 3,700 square feet of permanent exhibition space, allowing museum curators to display a comprehensive exhibit of Indiana art and sculpture. And across the hall from the NiSource Gallery, a temporary exhibition space will be available to house traveling art and sculpture shows.

"We already hold the largest collection of works by Indiana's artists, ranging from Hoosier pioneer painters to challenging works of contemporary art," said Jim May, curator of fine arts for the museum. "With the NiSource Gallery, we can showcase Indiana's art history, from the first drawing done in Indiana to paintings by contemporary artist John Domont."

May also said that the museum's collection is by no means complete. "In order to plan for future rotations of work, we hope to acquire or borrow works by more than 100 Indiana artists such as Robert Berkshire, Edmund Brucker, John Mellencamp and C.W. Mundy," he said. "With a more complete collection, we can paint a clearer picture of our past."

In the spring of 2001, the museum and the Indiana State Museum Foundation began seeking help to find works by Indiana artists currently missing from the collection. Officials from the museum and the foundation also began a campaign to raise money for the new museum's Fine Arts Endowment Fund, to help the museum preserve the artwork in its collection and make future purchases.

For more information on the types of artwork the state museum is looking for, or for information on donating to the Fine Arts Fund at the Indiana State Museum Foundation, please call the museum at 317.232.1637 or the Foundation at 317.632.5010.

The Indiana "Obelisk"
Before visitors reach the NiSource Gallery of Indiana Art on the new museum's third floor, they will have already seen another of the museum's artistic treasures - the Indiana "obelisk" designed by famous Hoosier artist Robert Indiana. The 55-foot metal sculpture spelling the word "Indiana" will greet visitors as they enter the museum's grand hall. Each of the blue and yellow letters of the sculpture is seven feet tall.

"This will be the largest sculpture of my entire life, and a spectacular and recognizable centerpiece to the building," Indiana said of the three-story sculpture. Indiana, a New Castle, Ind. native who became famous for his "LOVE" image, chose this format to bring what he describes as "monumentality" to the piece.

"The bigger the letters are, the more weight they carry," he added. "I have worked closely with the architects to make sure the sculpture is harmonious with the whole building."

Metalworkers in New York already are busy fabricating pieces of the sculpture. While the base of the sculpture is now in place, the rest of the piece won't arrive until next spring.

Sculptures Lead Visitors on a Walk Through 92 Counties
While most museums keep their art exhibitions indoors, the new Indiana State Museum also will use the exterior of the building to teach visitors about art. Sculptures embedded in the building's facade will make up the 92 County Walk, artistically representing each of Indiana's counties and their histories.

"Museum visitors will be able to see artists' interpretations of the people, places and folklore that make each county of Indiana so special," said Gov. Frank O'Bannon at a new museum construction event in April. "One of the best things about the museum is that it will reflect the stories, issues and dreams of all Hoosiers - from Gary to Evansville, Angola to New Albany."

Museum project officials contacted county councils, community foundations, county tourism offices and historians in each of the state's 92 counties to identify sources of pride within each community, whether it be a product grown or manufactured there, a famous person from the area or a notable landmark from a city located within the county. David Jemerson Young and Jeff Laramore of 2nd Globe Sculptures of Indianapolis designed each of the sculptures, incorporating two or three notable characteristics of each county. Because each county sculpture is an abstract collection of these features, the 92 County Walk is designed to engage visitors in discussions about Indiana's counties and the state's history.

More than 20 Hoosier artisans working with limestone, iron, glass and other materials are sculpting the pieces based on 2nd Globe Sculpture's designs. As the limestone installation progresses, workers are beginning to place the sculptures on the building's exterior.

Whether through a painting by an 18th Century artist, a sculpture by world-famous artist Robert Indiana or a limestone carving by an artisan in Ellettsville, Ind., the new Indiana State Museum hopes to show its visitors that art can be found in everything around us. Art is part of us, and part of what made Indiana the state that it is today.


October Fun in Jackson County!
By Bonnye R Busbice, Jackson County Visitor Center

Jackson County offers a wide variety of things to do both indoors and outside in October. Enjoy special cultural exhibits or breathe in the rich smells of ethnic foods and hear the excitement of the crowds.

The Southern Indiana Center for the Arts will host "Stitching Showcase: A Needlework Exhibition" until October 20. The exhibit will feature the impressive handiwork of the White River Chapter of the Embroiderers' Guild of America. The Center for the Arts will also have its permanent collections on display. The Center for the Arts will also take interested parties to the Indianapolis' Museum of Art to see the rare exhibit, "Gifts to the Tsars", on October 3. For more information, please call the Center for the Arts at 812-522-2278.

The annual Oktoberfest will take place on the main streets of historic downtown Seymour. Visitors will find plenty of food booths, handmade crafts vendors, and a sense of fun and whimsy in the suddenly germanic downtown. The entire area is transformed; even the streets are renamed in German! The Oktoberfest also features the traditional bier garden (for those 21 years of age and older) and a root bier garden for those who prefer a little lighter drink. There's also a hot air balloon race and a parade with marching bands, clowns, Shriners, VFW Color Guards, American Legion Color Guards, dancers, dogs and much more. The official start of the Oktoberfest is 5:00 p.m. on October 4, 2001 with greetings from the Mayor and the presentation of the booth awards. Booths will be open from 11:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. October 4, 5, and 6, 2001. We hope to see you there!

The Houston Fall Fest will be on October 13 from 8 am to 6 pm at the Old Houston School. There will be food booths and entertainment. The community of Houston holds this event every year in an effort to raise money to renovate the treasured historic schoolhouse. This year's event includes a huge craft fair, raffles, games, and live bluegrass and gospel music.

October 20 - 21, 2001 will be the date for the 33rd Fort Vallonia Days. Vallonia, established by French missionaries in the 1800s, was named "Vallon", or "little valley". Vallonia residents used historical records to construct a replica of the fort according to the description logged there. Fort Vallonia Days features a model steam and old gas engine display, handmade articles and crafts, free entertainment, homemade food, a flea market and booths. Inside of the fort, guests can find traditional crafts and re-enactors. Activities start at 9:00 a.m. and ends around 5:30 p.m. on October 20. On October 21, there will be a Community Church service at the Vallonia Gym at 10:00 a.m. Events for the day start after the church service and the day ends at 4:30 p.m.

Visit James Whitcomb O'Riley at the Southern Indiana Center for the Arts on October 30 for a special Halloween treat at 6:00 pm. The famous Hoosier poet, personified by local legend Don Hill, will recite rapturous tales and mesmerizing poetry. There will be delicious old-fashioned treats and lots of fun.

For more information on these events, please call the Jackson County Visitor Center at (888) 524-1914 or visit our website


Expect the Unexpected at the Féte Noire October 27th, West Baden Springs

The first costume ball of its kind will be held at the West Baden Springs National Historic Landmark in southern Indiana on Saturday, Oct. 27. Strange and mysterious happenings will combine with delectable dining and entertainment in an awesome setting at the Féte Noire.

The evening will include many surprises, including surreal and suitably spooky elements, unusual entertainment, dancing and an elegant dinner in the candlelit atrium. Fire-eaters and sword-swallowers will mingle with the crowd, while other entertainments will take advantage of the immense volume of space under the 100-foot tall dome.

When Historic Landmarks Foundation hosted the last West Baden Springs ball in October 1998, the event sold out, so partygoers are encouraged to reserve their seats early. The 1998 ball -- not a masquerade -- celebrated the restoration of the nationally renowned landmark.

"The last ball was so popular, and many people have asked us to repeat it," said Tina Connor, West Baden Springs Project Director for Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, "but we didn't want to repeat ourselves, so we decided to hold a costume ball. "We've already sold about 300 tickets just through word of mouth."

Tickets for the ball are $150 per person or $250 at the patron level, which includes VIP seating, recognition in the event's program book and a casual reception on Friday night at Mt. Aire, the hilltop mansion overlooking the Springs Valley that is now home to Jerry and Carolyn Fuhs. To order tickets, call 317-453-0021 or e-mail

"Partygoers are encouraged to come in costume or disguise. Though black tie is acceptable, guests may feel conspicuous without a costume," says Historic Landmarks' president Reid Williamson. A grand prize will be given for the costume judged to be the best of the evening.

For Féte Noire guests, hotel rooms at French Lick Springs Resort & Spa are $79 per room on Friday, Oct. 26, and $89 per room on Saturday, Oct. 27. Motor coaches will be available to transport guests to and from the ball. To book a room, call the Resort at 1-800-457-4042 (only those with Féte Noire tickets can secure the special rate).

The West Baden Springs Hotel restoration began in 1996, when Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana purchased the endangered property and teamed with Bloomington, Indiana-based Cook Group Incorporated to save it and prepare it for resale. After $34 million in restoration work directed by Cook Group, Historic Landmarks Foundation is seeking a buyer for the incomparable landmark. Additional restoration will depend on the new owner's plan. The property will remain a tourist attraction until it is sold.

Approximately 200,000 people have toured West Baden Springs since tours began in 1996. Daily tours run through Jan. 6, 2002, Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sundays, noon to 4 p.m. Tours begin on the hour and last approximately one hour. A mini-museum and shop, the West Baden Springs Emporium, is open to those who tour the property.

West Baden Springs and French Lick are located on Indiana 56 in Southern Indiana approximately 100 miles south of Indianapolis, 70 miles north of Louisville and 140 miles southwest of Cincinnati.

Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, the largest statewide preservation group in the U.S., saves and protects buildings and places of architectural and historical significance. From its network of eight regional offices, Historic Landmarks leads and assists individuals, organizations and communities in preserving and revitalizing endangered landmarks through education, advocacy, and financial support. A private, not-for-profit organization, Historic Landmarks seeks to enrich contemporary life and leave a legacy of landmarks.