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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
Hopefully, you already know about the Bloomington Craft Beer Fest, coming up on April 13 at the historic Woolery Limestone Mill. If not, here's the scoop - Live music will be provided by the Secret B-Sides, from Asheville, North Carolina and 220 Breakers, a Bloomington band. Indiana brewers will be joined by a select group of out-of-state breweries to bring you the best in regional craft beer. Doors open to VIPs at 3 pm. General Admission at 4 pm. Tickets are $35 in advance (get them here) or $45 at the gate.
If you're traveling to Bloomington to attend the Craft Beer Fest, here are a few good reasons to come early, also known as the very first Bloomington Craft Beer Week. That's right, we said WEEK! Bloomington Craft Beer Week was created by residents who are lovers of craft - especially local - beer. Local breweries, restaurants, bars and retail establishments will be hosting events all week long, celebrating the very best of locally brewed beverages in Bloomington and leading up to the festival on the 13th.
Here's a list of Bloomington Craft Beer Week events:
$8 Thgr3e Wise Men Growler FIlls - Scotty's Brewhouse
All week, except Sunday, April 7.
BBC & Upland Kill the Keg - House Bar
Brewery swag goes to the lucky beer lover whose pour empties the keg.
Saturday, April 6
Brewer's Workshop - The Tap
Featuring brwers from Sun King, Flat 12, Black Acre & Brugge.
Tuesday, April 9, 6:30
Beer School - Yogi's Grill & Bar
Yogi's will feature Indiana Craft Beer on all 55 taps.
Beginning Tuesday, April 9, 7 pm, throughout the week.
Indiana Beer Specials - The Bishop
$3 pint night featuring local breweries.
Tuesday, Apri 9
BBC & Upland Pint Night - Malibu Grill
Wednesday, April 10
Triton Brewery Tap Takeover - Max's Place
Wednesday, April 10, 6 pm
BBC Dinner - Restaurant Tallent
Wednesday, April 10, 6 pm
Girls Pint Out - The Tap
Featuring Cutters Brewing
Wednesday, April 10, 6;30 pm
Cutters Meet the Brewer Event - Nick's English Hut
Wednesday, April 10, 7 pm
Bloomington Champaign Velvet Release Party - The Tap
Wednesday, April 10
BBC Tap Takeover - Nick's English Hut
Thursday, April 11, 7 pm
Fountain Square Brewery Tap Takeover - The Owlery
Thursday, April 11, 8:30 pm
Daredevil Brewery - The Root Cellar at FARMbloomington
Friday, April 12, 6 pm
Flat12 Tap Takeover - Max's Place
Friday, April 12, 6 pm
BBC & New Albanian Tap Takeover - The Tap
Friday, April 12, 7 pm
Flat 12 & People's Collaboration Tap Takeover - Nick's English Hut
Friday, April 12, 7 pm
Cutters Tap Takeover - Atlas Bar
Friday, April 12
BFest After party: Flat12 & Sun King Tap Takeover - The Tap
Saturday, April 13, 7 pm
We have an amazing schedule of upcoming concerts on the calendar here in Bloomington. From the weekly Bloomington Songwriter's Showcase at The Players Pub to special shows happening at The Bluebird, The Bishop and more, B-town is your destination for a fun night on the town featuring live musical entertainment and we're going to make sure two lucky winners have that experience!
Of course, you already know about The Bluebird, Players Pub and The Bishop, but there are live shows happening at literally dozens of venues across town and the IU campus. Here's a selected list of places to add to your list of musical venues to check out the next time you're in town:
- IU Musical Arts Center
- Max's Place
- IU Ford-Crawford Hall
- Dunn Meadow
- Rachael's Cafe
- John Waldron Arts Center
- IU Auer Hall
- Bear's Place
- Buskirk-Chumley Theater
- IU Art Museum
- Peoples Park
- Mathers Museum of World Cultures
- Russian Recording
- Rhino's All Ages Club
The list could literally go on and on...
We don't want you to miss an opportunity to enjoy a single live show in Bloomington, so performances at these venues (and more) are conveniently listed on our Visit Bloomington Events Calendar. Be sure to check it out when planning a visit to B-town so you don't miss out on anything!
So, I mentioned a giveaway, didn't I? For a chance to win a set of Bluebird concert tickets to see either JJ Grey & Mofro (Apr. 12) or Clayton Anderson (Apr. 20), along with some Grazie! Italian Eatery gift certificates, tell us about your favorite live music venues in Bloomington! Do you love the iconic venues, or do you have fond memories of performances in unexpected places?
Winners will be chosen on Friday, April 5 and posted here in the comments section.Posted on: Monday, Apr 1, 2013 1:04 PM by: Tosha Daugherty
Planning a special dinner for the Easter holiday? If you're looking for dining options with special Easter menus, here's a quick rundown of what's available in Bloomington this year!
Bobby's Colorado Steakhouse
11 am - 4 pm, 19.50 Adults/$9.75 Kids 5-10
Eagle Pointe Golf Resort
10 am - 2 pm, $16 Adults/$8.99 Kids
Brunch - 4 pm; Dinner - 4 - 8 pm
Varies, $7 - $12; No buffet
10 am - 3 pm, a la cart menu specials
10 am - 3 pm, $21.95 Adults/$11 Kids 10 & Under
11 am - 3 pm, menu items vary: $5 - $10
Grazie! Italian Eatery
10 am - 3 pm, menu items vary; $4 mimosas
Updated - Mar. 28.Posted on: Wednesday, Mar 27, 2013 12:41 PM by: Tosha Daugherty
I am no theater expert by any means. I barely know the difference between Paul Simon and Neil Simon. I catch maybe two or three productions a year, simply because there are so many shows, festivals and events offered in this fine city, and also because I have two young children who limit my interactions with the social world. But I am excited about the theater productions that round out this year's season. There are so many great options! Here's a quick recap.
At the Bloomington Playwrights Project (BPP), they're getting ready to open Ampersand, by Vincent Delaney, April 5-20. This play, the winner of the Reva Shiner Comedy Award, is about a couple and their clones. Well it's more than that-it's about marriage and relationships and change, but it's got clones too, so it's insightful and comical. Next on the BPP schedule is Spun: A Comedic Rock Musical with music and lyrics by Jeremy Schonfeld and book by Emily Goodson, May 17-June 1. This rocking musical is about mending the relationship between two band members (who are also brother and sister-doubly difficult), and doing it with wit, humor and rock. As with all BPP productions, these are world premieres, brand new plays that have never been seen before but will surely be seen across the country soon enough.
Cardinal Stage Company next show is Next to Normal with music by Tom Kitt and book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, March 22-April 7. This is also a rock musical (is this town rocking or what?) about a family (more family drama too!) fighting through mental illness to get back to "normal". Then Cardinal presents Underneath the Lintel by Glen Berger, May 3-19. This story follows a librarian turned detective after a book is returned 113 years overdue. Rounding out the season is the family friendly classic Charlotte's Web by E.B. White, June 8-23. This sweet story about a friendship between a pig and spider, and their barnyard friends, is a great chance for kids to experience professional theater.
IU Theater has two dramatic presentations to round out the season. First up is their new series At First Sight, which features plays written by IU students, March 22-30. This year they feature two plays: (a love story) by Kelly P. Lusk, and Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea by Nathan Alan Davis. The last play of the season is Sunday in the Park with George with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine, April 12-20. This story is inspired a painting and the authors interpretation of what is happening in that painting and with the painter when he created it. It's a sophisticated and challenging piece for the student performers and crew, and a great chance for us to support their educational experience.
So many great shows, so little time! It will be difficult to choose which show to see, but we'll make it easy on some of you. We've got tickets to giveaway to each of these productions, along with some restaurant gift certificates so you can make an evening of it. To enter the drawing, leave a comment on this post describing a great theater performance you saw in Bloomington. We will pick several winners next Thursday the 21st and contact you via Facebook message (so keep an eye on your inbox). Good luck, and enjoy the show!
Posted on: Friday, Mar 15, 2013 5:59 AM by: Julie Warren