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Fourth of July weekend is coming up fast! Are you already planning for a fun long weekend?
Bloomington is a busy place in the summer, with loads of events, performances and activities happening around town, on campus and at the lake. Of course, don't forget about all the great hiking, biking and boating opportunities available throughout the season as well! With more than 10,000 acres of water and hundreds of miles of trails, Bloomington is the perfect summertime playground. An extra-long weekend is the perfect way to pack in everything you want to see and do while here!
Here's a quick run down of some specific fun activities and events scheduled between July 4-7 to hlep you plan your Fourth of July weekend! See our complete calendar of events for more information on these and other events.
Bloomington 4th of July Parade & Festivities
July 4, downtown Bloomington
A traditional, small-town style parade with live music, fun floats and more! Music starts on the courthouse lawn at 9 pm; parade begins at 10 pm.
Ellettsville Annual Fireworks Show
July 4, Ellettsville
Hosted by the Ellettsville Fire Department at the Edgewood High School Football Field. Completely funded by donations.
Jazz in July: Craig & the Crawdads
July 5, IU Art Museum
This year's annual Jazz in July music series kicks off with Craig & the Crawdads at the IU Art Museum. Music begins at 6:30 pm and the event is free.
Rubens Quartet with Chih-Yi Chen
July 5, Auer Hall in the Simon Music Library
Relax with some classical music from the Rubens Quartet and pianist Chih-Yi Chen, part of the Summer Music Festival Series from the IU Jacobs School of Music, this concerft begins at 8 pm.
Friday Concert at Third Street Park
July 5, Third Street Park
Every Friday evening in June and July, Third Street Park is home to live music from some of the area's favorite artists beginning at 6:30 pm. The July 5 performance will feature Curtis Cantwell Jackson & Janiece Jaffe. Be sure to bring a blanket or lawn chair for seating!
First Friday Science of Art: Hoop Dancing
July 5, WonderLab
Watch the Hudsucker Posse use centripetal force to defy gravity during spectacular hoop danceing performances at 6 and 7 pm. Related activities include the physics of hooping, spin art and making a wooden spinning top. Museum admission is half price from 5-8:30 pm.
Much Ado About Nothing
July 5-7, Lee Norvelle Theatre & Drama Center
Enjoy one of Shakespeare's most famous comedies featuring mistaken identities, misheard conversations and misguided decisions from the Indiana Festival Theatre, beginning at 7:30 pm Friday and Saturday and 2 pm Sunday.
Indiana Festival Theatre: Arnie the Doughnut
July 5-7, Lee Norvelle Theatre & Drama Center
Grab the kids and enjoy this fun musical production about a loveable chocolate-covered doughnut... with sprinkles! Arnie hits the stage at 11 am.
Manahem Perssler & Friends
July 6-7, Auer Hall in the Simon Music Library
Enjoy music from acclaimed musician Menahem Pressler and his friends, Simin Ganatra, Sibbi Bernhardsson and Brandon Vamos. part of the Summer Music Festival Series from the IU Jacobs School of Music, this concerft begins at 8 pm on Saturday and 4 pm on Sunday.
Fireworks at Fourwinds Resort & Marina
July 6, Fairfax State Recreation Area, Lake Monroe
A fun fireworks show over the water! The show begins at 10 pm. Come early for dinner at the resort and enjoy the beauty of the lake.
Bryan Park Concert: Bloomington Symphony Orchestra
July 7, Bryan Park
The Bloomington Symphony Orchestra kicks off this year's Bryan Park Concert Series. Catch live music in the park every Sunday through August 25, beginning at 6:30 pm. Bring a blanket or lawn chair!
If you are lucky enough to be visiting beautiful Bloomington this summer, Indiana Festival Theatre can offer you a cool seat to a hot show! This season, IFT has a fun and fabulous slate of classic comedies and musicals that are perfect summer entertainment. If you're staying for the weekend, you can settle in at The Grant Street Inn on 7th Street or the Biddle Hotel in the Indiana Memorial Union on campus. Grab a bite at Mother Bear's or Short Stop Barbeque (Thursdays only) for a casual pre-show nosh, or find fine farm-to-table fare at Finch's Brasserie. If you're new to Bloomington, you can't miss the moose! The Chocolate Moose serves up homemade (even some vegan!) ice cream flavors like Brown County Coffee, Sweet Cinnamon, and Good Time Key Lime.
SWING! The Musical
June 12-June 30 in the Ruth N. Halls Theatre
Ruth N. Halls Theater will be rockin', 40's style, starting June 12th when the band starts swingin' and the dancers kick up their heels to songs from that Golden Age of American music and dance. This Tony-nominated show is busting at the seams with classic songs performed by IU's celebrated musical theater, ballet, and modern dance programs. If you've got a girl in Kalamazoo, you've stomped at the Savoy, or you just want to Sing, Sing, Sing!, then they'll be seeing you!
Remember, it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that...well, you know.
Arnie the Doughnut
June 22-July 13 in the Studio Theatre
If you and your family have a sweet tooth, you might want to join Arnie, the lovable chocolate-covered doughnut, along with his doughnut hole back-up singers, and a cast of pastries on a hilarious musical quest to redefine human/doughnut relations. And when will you have another chance to see a guy dressed up as singing doughnut?
Much Ado About Nothing and The Matchmaker
July 5-27 and July 12-28 in the Wells-Metz Theatre
"Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more..." begins one of Shakespeare's most beloved comedies, but men are not the only deceivers among these misguided lovers and mismatched couples. Just like Dolly Levi, whose trained eye creates perfect romantic pairings, IFT has created a perfect pairing with these two quick-witted classics that are running concurrently in July. You can enjoy fun and romance as you travel from Sicily to Yonkers, all in a weekend!
"Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps."
Island Song - Premiere Musical
August 22-25 in the Wells-Metz Theatre
The summer season wraps up in August with the IFT signature Premiere Musical. IFT is glad to welcome director Chad Rabinovitz of Bloominton Playwrights Project, the only professional theater in Indiana focused solely on new plays. This unique musical anthology follows five New Yorkers through their poignant and hilarious journeys to realize their own potential and the possibilities the City dangles before them. Driven by its kinetic and eclectic score featuring three MAC nominated songs, ISLAND SONG captures every urbanite's triumphs, disappointments, and ever-tested perspective. You'll only have four days to catch this new work, so don't dilly-dally!
Special thanks to our guest blogger, Amy Osajima. Amy is the Marketing Director for Indiana University Theater & Drama and has recently relocated to Bloomington from California. Amy is passionate about bringing the Arts to appreciative and enthusiastic audiences and is still discovering all the wonderful things about Bloomington. (She adds that for anywone who thinks she can't handle a typical Indiana winter - she attended graduate school at the University of Minnesota, so she says "bring it on!")Posted on: Tuesday, Jun 11, 2013 1:44 PM by: Tosha Daugherty
Special thanks to Bloomington local Mark Cady for this run down of the toughest golf holes in town. Mark is the business manager for the Bloomington Brewing Company and when he's not hard at work, you just might find him on one of the golf courses listed below!
When Assembly Hall closes its doors and the flowers, leaves, dandelions and any other sort of weed found in my garden in need of pulling start popping up, I know it's time to dust off the old irons and head out to the golf course. The smell of new cut fairways, the feel of crisp dewed greens and the audible groan I make as a drive rolls into the dense, deciduous forest are just a few of my favorite rites of golf season. From Cascades to The Pointe, there are many difficult and fun challenges I face, but here is a rundown of a few that I lose sleep, and more than a few sleeves of Titleists, on.
Cascades Quarry #9:
So, you are having a good front 9 at the Cascades Golf Course. Had a nice drive on the par 4 8th and feeling good about your round. Maybe you are also feeling good about the Dog and Gatorade your playing partner owes you for the 20 ft. birdie you made on the par 3 5th. That's until you step up to the Quarry course 9th. This par 3 travels 240 yards from the back tees over not so friendly low areas without real bailout area and a green guarded by bunkers on both sides. If you finish with a par, you are more than happy entering the turn.
Indiana University #12:
This hole on the Indiana University Golf Course starts off innocently enough, until you hit your tee shot. A deceptively long 441 yard par 4, the fairway tilts right to left making it difficult to keep your drive in the fairway. You need it to be, because you look uphill at a green you really can't see. My advice - add at least a club to get where you need to be.
Eagle Pointe #10:
The signature hole of the Quarry Course at Eagle Pointe Golf Resort, this 150 yard par 3 is beautiful to the eye yet imposing to your golf game. The green seems easy enough to reach. That is if you don't mind the waterfall traveling in front of the green, or the pond to the left. Take a good whack at an 8 iron and you should stay dry but the green is slightly more uphill than one may think.
Many more holes, bunkers, rocky points and trees await me this summer in Bloomington and I can't wait for them! If I'm not in the mood for a long day at the links, I really enjoy stopping at Taylor's Par 3 to spruce up my short iron game. Many of the holes are a pitching wedge or less, and the greens are tricky enough to keep you sharp. Whatever my mood, I know each time I pack my bag into the trunk I know I am in for not only a challenge, but a fun day. That is, at least, until I get to the first tee...
Don't forget to sign up here to win free golf passes (and food) from Eagle Pointe Golf Resort and Visit Bloomington! The contest ends on June 17, 2013.Posted on: Tuesday, Jun 4, 2013 6:09 AM by: Tosha Daugherty
If you only make it to Bloomington for one Gallery Walk event this year, this is the one you need to attend. The Downtown Bloomington Gallery Walk is celebrating its 10th anniversary, and they're pulling out all the stops to celebrate during the June Gallery Walk event on June 7!
In 2002, four downtown galleries including John Waldron Arts Center, By Hand, The Gallery, and Fossil Rain all held holiday open houses on the same evening. With an exceptional turnout of patrons going from opening to opening, the galleries decided to begin hosting simultaneous events on the first Friday of every other month, and the Downtown Bloomington Gallery Walk was born.
Ten years later, Gallery Walk has grown to include eleven galleries and has become a staple of the Bloomington arts scene. Join this year's participating galleries on June 7 from 5 - 8 pm to celebrate this momentous occasion! As always, all eleven Gallery Walk galleries will be exhibiting new work, including:
This very special 10th Anniversary Celebration of Bloomington's Downtown Gallery Walk will feature live music along the route, food from local Bloomington area food trucks, fun photobooths, refreshments, door prizes and more!
Gallery Walk is also launching a newly redesigned website to keep you up to date with all the upcoming Gallery Walk happenings - look for the new site to be up and running by June 7, as well.
The eleven particpating galleries represent a wide variety of works and artists, so there's usually something to fit just about every taste. We'll see you there!Posted on: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 8:30 AM by: Tosha Daugherty
There is no better time to "rock out" and explore the limestone heritage of Monroe and Lawrence County than in June, which is Limestone Month. It's a time to celebrate the history, industry, artistry and architecture of limestone in our area. This year, there are numerous activities planned to showcase the beautiful stone that permeates the region. You can find a list of all the events on LimestoneMonth.com, but here are a few highlights I'm especially excited about.
On Saturday, June 8th you can take a guided tour
through the Victor Oolitic quarry.
Quarries are typically off-limits (no, you can't go swimming in a
quarry, that's trespassing) so this is a unique opportunity to see a working
quarry up close. You have to register in
advance and there is a $20 fee but it's worth it.
There's another tour, this time at the Empire Quarry, on Thursday, June 13th. This tour is only $5, but you still have to register in advance.
The IU Campus is full of beautiful limestone architecture, and on Friday, June 14th, local limestone expert Brian Keith with the Indiana Geological Survey will take guests on a guided tour of the campus. It's free, but you need to sign up in advance.
If you want to learn to carve stone or watch the experts, or if you just want to get all dusty, check out the Indiana Limestone Symposium, which runs from June 9th through the 29th. They have daily hand carving sessions for beginners, or you can go during open house hours (Wednesday afternoons) to see the experts in action.
Limestone is an integral part of our history, and it's fascinating to see it from various perspectives so log on to LimestoneMonth.com to learn more about these events and rock on!Posted on: Monday, May 20, 2013 5:52 AM by: Julie Warren
Indiana has a lot of great fishing spots, but one of the most popular (and the biggest!) is located just southeast of Bloomington.
With over 10,000 acres of water to explore, every angler can find their "perfect fishing spot" at Monroe Lake. Experienced anglers often aim for the lake's bass and walleye, but beginners can find lots of easy-to-catch bluegill and crappie.
Several upcoming events at Monroe Lake's Paynetown State Recreation Area (4850 S. State Road 446, Bloomington) make it easy for new people, particularly kids, to try out the sport of fishing.
The summer recreation season at the lake kicks off with a special evening reception, "Fish, Food, and Friends," on Friday, May 24 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Activity Center, located inside Paynetown SRA.
Visitors can see which fish made the staff's "Top 5" list, view plaster fish that were hand-painted by local elementary students, pick up a copy of the 2013 Fishing Guide, and "swim" over to the snack table for special fish-themed treats - and kids can enjoy "fishy" games, crafts, and activities.
The Paynetown Activity Center staff will also highlight a new, FREE fishing equipment rental program, which will debut on Saturday, May 25. So if you don't have your own equipment, or forget to bring it with you, you can still enjoy some fishing at Monroe Lake this summer!
The following weekend, June 1 and 2, is Free Fishing Weekend at Monroe Lake. A kids' fishing derby is scheduled at Paynetown SRA on Saturday morning, plus a variety of family-friendly fish-themed programs on both days.
While a fishing license is never required for kids under age 18, the best part of Free Fishing Weekend is that ALL Indiana residents can fish without a license - regardless of age. What a great opportunity to give fishing a try, or introduce someone new to the sport!
Jill Vance is the Interpretive Naturalist for Monroe Lake, based out of the Activity Center at Paynetown State Recreation Area. She has been with the Indiana Division of State Parks and Reservoirs since 2004, previously working as the Interpretive Manager at Spring Mill State Park and as a seasonal naturalist at McCormick's Creek State Park. Jill is a 2004 (M.P.A.) and 2003 (B.S.P.A.) graduate of Indiana University - Bloomington.
Each year, we celebrate the impact of tourism in the Bloomington community with awards for outstanding members of the local tourism industry. As we wrap up National Travel and Tourism Week, we once again gather to recognize and reward the many professionals that make up the local tourism industry.
The Bloomington Tourism Awards celebrate the individuals, organizations and businesses that help make this a diverse, exciting and friendly community to visit (and live in). Congratulations to all of this year's Bloomington Tourism Award Winners - these individuals and organizations are a tremendous asset to Bloomington and Monroe County and we appreciate their contributions. Thank you to each and every one of the hard-working people that make up our local tourism industry!
2013 Bloomington Tourism Award Winners:
Posted on: Thursday, May 9, 2013 1:47 PM by: Tosha Daugherty
Blog contributed by Alicia Blatz, a local resident and part of the Circle Initiative. The Circles Initiative is part of the South Central Community Action Program, and helps connect people and families living in poverty with volunteer allies. These individuals and families are called leaders, as they are leading the way to a better life. The circle of allies will provide the leader with support and guide them to resources that will help them in the quest to move out of poverty.
Alicia is a leader within the Circles Initiative, and she was chosen to participate in the Visit Bloomington "Be a Tourist in Your Own Town" activity. She, along with her ally Jennifer, were given $350 (the approximate amount that two average visitors would spend on a trip to Bloomington) to explore the community as if they were a tourist. Below is a summary of Alicia and Jennifer's experience.
We have gotten to do so many things with $350. I didn't realize that with that amount of money you could have so much fun!
First, we visited the WonderLab Museum with my two children. It was the first time they've been to WonderLab. My three-year old daughter's favorite part was the water activity. She got to feel the water, see how it reacts after putting different objects over the water stream that that goes shooting up in the air. There were blocks in a different stream of the water too. She learned that when you put blocks in front of a water stream, it made the water go different directions. My five year old son liked the whole place. He learned about how magnets work he liked the bubble section, all the different building areas. The WonderLab is a fun way to teach children about how things work.
Then the four of us (Jennifer, me and the kids) went to the Bloomington Bagel Company for lunch, and took it with us on the B-Line Trail. The kids liked looking at the mural and animal sculptures along the way. After lunch we played hide and seek under the big limestone table and chairs sculpture and took pictures while we tried to stay out of the way of the joggers and bicyclists.
On another day outing, Jennifer and I ate lunch at a restaurant called Bub's. They have wonderful cheeseburgers and fries. It's right downtown so you can see all the people outside while having a great meal. After lunch, we walked around downtown Bloomington. They have lots of different specialty shops and restaurants. We browsed around at the Game Preserve and By Hand Gallery, which was fun. Then we bought souvenirs at Cactus Flower and at Global Gifts, and treats from Blu Boy Chocolates. They had amazingly tasty chocolates! It had been a long time since I was downtown and quite a few things had changed. There is a lot to see and do, and we had a great time walking around the square.
The children got cute shirts from the Indiana Shop, and they also got quite a few toys from the WonderLab gift store. These are great toys that are fun to play with and help them learn - a bank that has optical illusions, a boat that teaches them about air, a catapult that teaches about gravity, a bear that teaches about reactions and gravity, and magnets they can build with. They are great new toys that help their minds grow. It's wonderful!
Our last outing started with lunch at Smokin' Jack's Rib Shack. The food was wonderful! The kids ate for free and the environment was definitely kid friendly. Then we took the kids to Jump-N-Joeys. It was also their first time going to this fun bounce house and arcade. It's a great place for kids to be safe and have fun. There are lots of games and prizes, great big slides and areas for little kids to jump too. We all had a blast. My son played a game and won 500 tickets! Then my daughter played the same game and also won 500 tickets! They had a hard time deciding what all to get with that many tickets. It was so exciting for me just to see them have fun.
There are so many great places you can go in Bloomington, my hometown. I hadn't realized that you could do so much for little amounts of money. I am so glad and thankful to have the opportunity to enjoy our town!Posted on: Monday, May 6, 2013 6:39 AM by: Tosha Daugherty
Each year in May, along with other tourism organizations around the country, we celebrate National Travel & Tourism Week. This year, that's May 4-12, but we've decided to celebrate all month long with a fun photo sharing challenge for our friends on Instagram. If you're not on Instagram, feel free to post your photos to our Facebook Timeline or send them to @VisitBtown on Twitter!
We get to show the world our favorite things about Bloomington every day. During the month of May we'd like to see the things you love about Bloomington! The #VisitBtown Photo a Day Challenge asks residents and visitors alike to share their favorite things around Bloomington, based on a list of 31 words or phrases - one for each day of the month. Participate all month, or only the weekend you're in town - it's up to you. Photos do not have to be taken in Bloomington to be eligible to win, but they should make us think of Bloomington in some way.
We've created a fun list of words or phrases that remind us in some way of Bloomington. On the designated date for each phrase, post your photographic interpretation on Instagram using the hashtag #visitbtown and the speific word or phrase for that day.
We'll award a minimum of one prize for each day and regram those winners, based on our favorite interpretations of each word or phrase, so please be creative!
Here's the official list. Good luck and have fun!
Posted on: Thursday, Apr 18, 2013 8:17 AM by: Tosha Daugherty
The Acoustic Roots Festival is an annual live music event presented by Bloomington's community radio station, WFHB. It's held outdoors on the grounds of Upland Brewing Company and features some of the area's very best musicians in the Americana, Roots and Folk genres. This year's event will be held on Saturday, May 11 from 3-11 pm.
This family-friendly, laid-back musical celebration is a great way to experience live music in Bloomington and sample some great food and drink from one of our local brew pubs.
The schedule for this year's event is is below:
|Front Stage||Back Stage|
|3:00 pm||The 123s||3:30 pm||Payton-Purnell|
|4:15 pm||Lexi Minnich||4:45 pm||Merrie Sloan|
|5:30 pm||The Underhills||6:00 pm||Indiana Boys|
|6:45 pm||Entwyned||7:15 pm||Tim Grimm & Jan Lucas|
|8:00 pm||Kade Puckett||8:30 pm||White Lightning Boys|
|9:15 pm||Jacob Latham||10:00 pm||Jason Wilber|
Tickets will be available at the gate; admission is $15 per person at the gate. Advance sale tickets are available for $10 per person at WFHB, all Bloomingfoods locations, Landlocked Music, the Buskirk-Chumley Box Office and Upland Brewing Company, beginning April 22.Posted on: Tuesday, Apr 9, 2013 8:07 AM by: Tosha Daugherty