Friday, August 2, 2013

Broad Ripple Gazette vol 10 no 15

First published in the Broad Ripple Gazette

This might be my favorite two weeks of the year. The Indiana State Fair is in full swing, plus there will be great music at the Indy Folk Festival and SausageFest. Food and music, what more do you need? 

Indiana State Fair
August 2 – 18, 2013
Indiana State Fairgrounds
1202 E. 38th Street
all-ages, general admission $7 presale (CVS, Walmart, State Fair ticket office), check for more discount options. 

I have an unnatural affection for the Indiana State Fair. And popcorn. Seriously, rarely a day goes by that I don’t eat popcorn.  The 2013 agricultural theme is Year of Popcorn! I haven’t missed a day of the Fair in the last decade, even with the addition of more days and I hope to make all seventeen days this year too. I hope to see you there – you can usually find around the Pioneer Village or the Home and Family Arts building with a big grin on my face and most likely some form of popcorn in my hand. 

There is no way that I can list all of the great things happening each day of the Fair; here are some highlights and I promise that you can find fun whatever days you happen to be there. 

Pioneer Village is in the northeast corner of the Fairgrounds. You’ll find old-timey farming demonstrations, antique tractors, barns, and Dick Reel.  Dick is one of the many volunteers who use their vacation time to sleep on the Fairgrounds at night and recreate home and farm skills by day.  Dick has demonstrated woodworking and carving for almost 20 years. Even more fascinating, he has worked on the fairgrounds every August since he was 14 and has wonderful stories about working at the grandstand and taking tickets at the entrance gates. You can see vintage farm machinery in action most days at 10:00, 2:00, and 4:00 (time vary on Sundays and a few other days). 

The Glass Barn is brand newest addition to the Fairgrounds and can be found on the north side of the Fairgrounds next to the MacReynolds barn. The new venue promises a clear look into the farming experience. I can’t wait to see it.
The Coliseum is being renovated and you can tour the progress each day between 10:00 – 6:00. I can’t wait for a peek. 

Historic and Vintage Pianos will be on display each day, from 9:00 to 9:00 on the third floor (wind your way up the stairs after you check out the open show photographs) of the Home and Family Arts Building. 

The Big Cheese Sculpture is in the DuPont Pavilion. You can watch the carving in the early days of the Fair and gawk at the sculpture.    

World’s Largest Ball of Popcorn. You read that right! The world’s largest ball of popcorn will be a mere mile from my house. It’s almost too much to think about. You can find it (and mostly likely me) in the Ag/Hort building each day from 9:00 – 9:00. 

The Daily Parade takes place each day – hence the name – although if I were in charge I would call it the Tractor Parade at 6:30, except for Friday, August 16.  

Souvenirs: The State Fair Gift Shop (across the entryway to the Midway) on Main Street always has fun State Fair hats, tees, and other goodies. In Pioneer Village you can purchase a freshly cut cedar shingle stamped Indiana State Fair with the year. The last two years there has been a die stamping machine making brass key chains before your eyes and ears. My favorite place to purchase a tee shirt is the MacReynolds Barn. Not only do they sell John Deere toys and goodies, but they generally have a shirt unique for the State Fair. 

Music: With the renovation of the Coliseum and lack of stage at the Grandstand all of the music at the State Fair this year is free once you’re in the gate. I can’t list all of it, but here is a sampling. 

Marsh Free Stage (northwest corner of Fairgrounds, in front of the 4-H buildings), all times listed are in the evening.
Friday, August 2, 7:30 – Karmin
Saturday, August 3, noon and 2:00 – Coco Jones, 7:30 – Matt Nathanson
Monday, August 4, 7:00 – Vertical Horizon and Blind Melon
Wednesday, August 7, 7:30 – Parmalee & Rachel Farley
Thursday, August 8, 7:30 – Kevin Costner and Modern West Band (and yes, it is that Kevin Costner)
Friday, August 9, 7:30 – Theory of a Deadman
Monday, August 12, 7:00 – Styx
Tuesday, August 13, 7:00 – Joe Nichols
Wednesday, August 14, 7:00 – Sail Rock Tour, featuring Christopher Cross (I still have my ticket stub from when I saw Christopher Cross in 1980 at Purdue), Orleans, Gary Wright, Firefall, John Ford Coley, Robbie Dupree & Player
Thursday, August 15, 7:30 – Montgomery Gentry
Friday, August 16, 6:30 – Jennie Devoe, 8:00 – Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band (if I was in charge of labeling this lineup I’d call it “Indiana’s Most Beloved Musicians.” Both acts are diverse on the surface, but have a good dose of the blues running through them. 
Saturday, August 17, 7:00 – Blood, Sweat, & Tears

Main Street Stage (and you thought these streets had no name; on the south side of the of the infield track, across from the draft horse barn), the music typically starts at 11:30 and the last show ends at 8:00 PM. There is plenty of shade and picnic tables by the stage and it is strategically placed between the Dairy Bar, Pork Tent, and Cattleman’s Tent for a handy place to eat and enjoy the music. 

I don’t have enough room to list all of the shows but that stage tends to feature Indiana musicians. In fact on Saturday, August 3 from 10:00 AM – 1:30 the show will be a spotlight of Indianapolis musicians. 

Pioneer Village (in the north side of the red barn on the northeast side of the Fairgrounds – I sound like my dad with those directions), the music features old-time, apron-wearin’ music. The music typically starts at 10:00 AM and lasts until about 6:30 PM when the parade starts. There are church pews for sitting to listen to the music. Make sure to have your program handy or something to fan yourself with, those pioneers were hardy stock, no air conditioning. Be sure and find Bill Baily – he’ll be wearing overalls – not that that narrows it down, but if you’re lucky he’ll be playing the washboard and spoons. Thank him for organizing the music in Pioneer Village, it’s always a treat. 

I suggest downloading the Indiana State Fair app, checking out the website, or grabbing a program to have a rough idea of what you want to do while you’re at the Fair. It’s easy to get caught up in one area and not make it around the Fairgrounds. We’re lucky enough to live close enough to make it feasible to visit the Fair several times and the Fair offers same-day pass outs if you want to break up the day. I suggest that you plan on picking up an Indianapolis Star on Monday, August 5 for the free ticket to use on Wednesday, August 7.
I’ll see you there, for sure. 

Indy Hostel Folk Festival and Anniversary Celebration
Saturday, August 10, 2013
Indy Hostel
4903 Winthrop Ave
all-ages (under 13 free), $13 advance, $15 day of

The tag line for the Indy Hostel anniversary festival is “10 Years of Bringing the World to Our Neighborhood,” which is true and awesome, but I think of Indy Hostel’s anniversary as “10 years of getting touring musicians off of Nora’s sofa.” I can’t believe that it has been almost a decade since my couch was a stop on the underground railroad of touring musicians! Not only is the hostel a good spot for musicians, but they have housed hundreds of international travelers, tourists, students, and other fascinating folks during that time.
This year’s folk fest is spilling out to the street. A stretch of Winthrop Avenue from 49th Street to the north will be closed to make way for the stage and crafts people, food trucks and Upland beer. 
The day will start with a parade of kiddos and adults (me at least!) on bikes at 10:00. Feel free to decorate your bikes; there will be prizes for the children.
Here is the schedule:
Kids’ Bike Parade: 10-10:45
Stasia Demos: 11:00-11:45 Street Stage
Dave Duvall: 12:00-12:45 Backyard Stage
John Barney & The Passengers: 1:00-1:45 Street Stage
Cara Jean Marcy: 2:00-2:45 Backyard Stage
Stella Luna & The Satellites: 3:00-4:30 Street Stage
Shiny & The Spoon: 5:00-6:30 Backyard stage
Flea Bitten Dawgs: 6:30-8:00 Street Stage
Sacred Circles (fire arts): 8:00-9:00 Backyard Stag
The Spud Puppies: 9:00-10:45 Street Stage
If you’d like to volunteer contact, it will be a fun gig. You can hear the music while you’re volunteering, get an official tee shirt, and a ticket to stay (or come early) for the rest of the event. 

Friday and Saturday, August 16 & 17, 2013
Saint Thomas Aquinas
4600 Kenwood Ave (46th and Illinois)
free, all-ages 

Not only does SausageFest feature sausage and beer – it’s nearly a law that you can’t have one without the other – there is a fine lineup of music. 

Friday, August 16
5:30 – SausageKings (a group of St. Thomas men, folk-rock)
6:15 – Jon Martin and Gary Wasson (country-rock with a side of Merle)
7:15 – 3:1 (psychedelic goodness)
8:15 – Bill Rumley & Class Trip (fun summer rock classics)
9:30 – Streaker (don’t worry, they keep their clothes on. Led by parishioner Don McMahon  and they are a crowd favorite with kiddos and adults alike)

Saturday, August 17
4:30 Mass (indoors)
 5:30 Stella Luna and the Satellites (big party fun)  
6:30 Dugan Brothers (bluegrassy goodness)
7:30 Chad Mills and The Upright Willies (a personal favorite of mine, talented sing-songwriter with a fabulous band)
8:30 Mars or the Moon (they always play a lovely mix of tunes
9:45 Hip Sindicate (making their festival debut,  the band is fronted by St. Thomas member, Paul Souza of the East Coast-based Velveteen Playboys and an excellent lineup of Indianapolis musicians)
The festival features plenty of games for the kiddos – I think my niece and nephew spent their allowance and mine on the nickel pitch last year – games for the adults, food and beer. 

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