The days are getting shorter, the breeze getting cooler, and every store within a hundred-mile radius has shelves stocked with fall and Halloween décor. Dare I say, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Autumn in the Midwest is a beautiful sight and one that everyone should have the chance to see. Autumn in West Central Indiana is a unique experience and one we invite everyone to take part in. So, that being said, pull on your coziest flannel and grab a pumpkin flavored coffee. It’s time to explore.
Autumn is a gorgeous season; it has something for everyone. For 11 months out of the year, a series of gems in Parke County lay untouched, just waiting for the excitement to begin. Every October, people from all over the country flock to the county’s 31 covered bridges. The Covered Bridge Festival brings in over 2 million people a year to celebrate Indiana’s largest festival. They come for the food, for the crafts, for the vendors, for the history. There is no better feeling than walking through the Covered Bridge Festival. The crisp fall air, the charming red and yellow leaves on the billowing trees, and the smells, oh the smells of fried food! What more could you ask for? The festival will begin on October 8th and will end on October 17th. I suggest arriving early in the morning, this way you beat the traffic and have first dibs on the hot and ready breakfast food. For more information, I invite you to check out Parke County’s website. There you will find the history of the festival, directions to the different festivals and bridges and even plan your trip! While you’re browsing the internet planning your trip, keep in mind that Terre Haute is just a 30-to-40-minute drive from the Covered Bridge Festival. We have tons of lodging options if you’d like to make a weekend out of the fall festivities, and lots of delish restaurants to treat yourself to while you’re here!
West Central Indiana is a region steeped in history. On October 2nd and 3rd, the Vigo County Parks Department hosted their annual Pioneer Days. Visitors were encouraged to use their imagination, letting the park become a portal to the past as they stepped back in time, witnessing the lives of our Hoosier ancestors. Visitors wandered around the 19th Century cabins, interacted with local artists and musicians and engaged with re-enactors. The best part? There was a pie auction. Go ahead, tell me that doesn’t sound absolutely amazing. Personally, I could have spent all my money on the pies, especially pies made with love and history.
These cozy events all took place in the warm light of day, but once the sun goes down, Fowler Park will become Frightening Park! On October 29th, the park will begin its spooky activities with a hayride at 4 p.m. Tickets are $3 and the festivities will end at exactly 6:30 p.m. Why so you ask? Because at 7:30 p.m., the real fun begins. Park goers ages 13 and up will have a unique chance to explore Fowler Park after dark. Those who are brave enough to hear and witness the haunted tales of the pioneer village should meet at the Log Barn before 7:30 p.m. to register.
Does anyone else have goosebumps? I feel spooked just thinking about what’s in store for anyone crazy enough to meander around an eerie village after dark. Tales of the dearly departed are not for everyone, perhaps you would rather get into the Halloween spirit by carving a pumpkin! Hawthorne Park will host a Pumpkin Carving Contest on October 15th from 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. at the Dogwood Shelter. Registration is $5 and carvers are encouraged to register early online or at the Vigo County Parks Department administrative office. You may call the office at 812-462-3392, or email the Recreational Coordinator at Rec.Coordinator@VigoCounty.IN.gov. Pumpkin carving tools will be provided, so no need to bring your knife. The evening will be full of classic Halloween fun, and all are encouraged to have a ‘gourd’ time! (Get it?)
Unfortunately, Halloween is on a Sunday this year, which means little ghosts and ghouls will only have so much time to Trick-or-Treat before it’s off to bed! The Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce is making sure little goblins have as much time as possible to play all their tricks, and collect all their treats. Haunted Haute will take place on October 29th in Downtown from 6-8 p.m. There will be dancing, music, lots of treats and plenty of tricks. This is an event for all ages! Come in costume and be ready for a night of mischief and memories.
If Halloween activities don’t peak your interest, perhaps fall sporting events will! Spend All Hallows-Eve at the legendary LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course for the 2021 IHSAA State Championships. The event will be held on October 30th and hosted by the Vigo County School Corporation. The Boys meet will begin at 12:00 p.m., Girls at 3:00 p.m., both will be followed by awards ceremonies. Tickets to the event are $10 a person and can be bought digitally via GoFan ticketing, officials encourage you to buy tickets in advance and have your ticket ready upon entry to the course.
Dear friends, it seems our Autumnal time together has come to an end. I will leave you with these extra sweet seasonal sips from a few local coffee shops. We will begin Federal Coffee Company. Baristas have been hard at work tweaking classic recipes and creating instant local favorites, beginning with their hot Chai’der drink. This seasonal twist on a Chai Tea Latte mixes local apple cider with house-made Chai Tea and cinnamon sugar, yum! Maybe you fancy a Flower Child Latte from Java Haute? This eccentric Chai Tea latte starts with a Chai Tea base and is blended with house-made chamomile-cinnamon sugar and topped with a pinch of cinnamon. Little Bear Coffee Company has many a tasty treat on their menu, including the ice cold Pumpkin Juice drink. This refreshing concoction begins with a pumpkin juice base, blended with butter pecan cold foam, and topped with cinnamon. It’s the perfect blend for anyone who can’t choose between favorite fall flavors. If the three drinks I mentioned earlier aren’t enough, below you’ll find a guide to all the seasonal sips from Federal Coffee Co., Java Haute and Little Bear Coffee Co. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have got to get me one of those Chai’ders.
The LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course is constantly making improvements to enhance the experience of race days at the course. By doing this, La Vern Gibson continues to uphold a legacy bestowed upon us to be the best course in the nation. A legacy which makes us Cross Country Town, USA.
Named after a local businessman with a passion for the sport, Mr. Gibson took 240 acres of land and turned it into a runner’s paradise. With the help of his son Max, grandson Greg, and two accomplished cross-country coaches, John McNichols of Indiana State University and Bill Welch of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, the phenomenal, nationally recognized course was born.
Recently, a new medical building was built on site and completed for the 2021 season. This addition to the course reaffirms our commitment to the health and progress of our runners. There are medical tables, chairs and coolers inside, along with air conditioning and an ice machine. Runners can go to the building for medical attention or just to cool down after beating their personal record at one of the many races held at the course. This new addition is not only a physical improvement to the grounds but an asset to our athletes, present and future.
This season, nine races have been scheduled which include: Valley Kick-Off August 14, Terre Haute Savings Bank State Preview September 4, John McNichols Invitational September 18, Vigo County Middle School Championship September 29, Indiana Middle School State Championship October 2, Valley Twilight Night Race October 2, IHSAA Sectionals October 9, IHSAA State Championships October 30. The season will come to an exciting end with the Nike Cross Regional Midwest Championships on November 14, 2021.
LaVern Gibson is a unique course, a course that invites spectators to engage in every second of the race. Our 250-acre complex is designed specifically with our athletes and spectators in mind. Fenced in running trails allow for family and friends to cheer on athletes as they make their way from start to finish. Cross country is a sport based on camaraderie and the achievement of personal goals; this course builds friendships, memories and personal records.
If you have not been to the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course, this is a great opportunity to come out and see the course during this beautiful Midwest Autumn.
If you’re like me, you have made a bad habit of eating terribly during fall, winter and spring, and then try your darndest to eat healthier during the summer. As if eating well for one season will completely abscond me of the meal sins committed three out of the four seasons of the year. I tell myself I’ll eat better and try new recipes due to the increased access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Here is the problem: I don’t want to cook. Let me rephrase that. I don’t cook. And I’m guessing, some of you are in the same boat.
Do you know what that means? Going out to eat! Going out to eat! Woo! Who doesn’t love trying new restaurants and being served after a long day? While we’re out, we want to keep this healthy momentum, or maybe we want to include our friends and family who adhere to a specific diet. The following restaurants have the perfect menu for your gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan needs.
But before we deep dive into all this yumminess, I do want to offer a disclaimer. While these restaurants offer gluten free alternatives, they may not be Celiac Disease friendly. Just something to keep in mind when planning your diet friendly night out.
For your convenience, I have categorized each restaurant by their ability to meet a specific diet. So, if you would please, refer to the brightly colored graphic below!
This comprehensive guide could help you plan any upcoming brunch outings, business meetings or nights out with friends and family! But, let’s face it, this list doesn’t exactly make your mouth water. Once I toss out a few yummy examples, you’ll find yourself craving a gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan snack!
Snacks. Let’s talk about snacks. In fact, I’m currently craving a gluten-free Peanut Butter Stack Cookie with Chocolate Ganache from Federal Coffee Co. See mouthwatering photo below!
In the mood for something vegetarian, and a little hardier than a simple snack? Bar Bosco offers an array of pizzas, including this, olive oil, nepetella mushrooms, caramelized leeks and house made mozzarella creation. Take all my money Bar Bosco, take all my money.
Do you know what sounds absolutely divine? The vegan falafel platter from Oy Vey Deli. Homemade flatbread topped with whipped hummus, olives, Israeli salad and falafel? Sign me up, Oy Vey!
Over the last few years, restaurants have opened their menus to those with a gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan diet. This increased diet friendly awareness makes it possible for everyone to enjoy the dining out experience in Terre Haute. Many of us may see these specific diets as ‘fashionable’ or ‘popular’ but for some, these diets are imperative to their physical health. The more diet friendly options local restaurants offer, the more business they drum up. More business, more food, more fun!
If you have a favorite diet friendly restaurant or meal, share this blog with these hashtags: #glutenfreeTH, #vegetarianTH, or #veganTH
Planes aren’t all that’s taking off at the Terre Haute Regional Airport! This bustling hub of aviation and ingenuity has several upcoming events which encapsulate the history and future of Terre Haute.
“The planning starts almost a year in advance,” said Nikki Brown, co-owner of Hoosier Aviation, the Fixed-Base Operator (FBO) of the airport. “We surely encourage people to keep up to date with the happenings and look at the aircraft.”
Guest aircrafts include Maid in the Shade, a B-25J Mitchell Bomber, which will be at THRA through July 25th. Onlookers can take ground tours and even ride in the historic aircraft. For more information on the Maid in the Shade event click here!
“B-25s are one of the aircrafts that made a turning point in WWII with the raid over Tokyo,” said Brown. “It’s a beautiful piece of history.”
This particular craft was named after General Billy Mitchell, a famous Army Air Corps general from the 1920s and 1930s. Maid in the Shade was a heavily armed aircraft used for high and low-level bombing, strafing, photo reconnaissance and submarine patrol. She flew 15 combat missions over Italy and Yugoslavia between November 4th and December 31st of 1944. Only a few hundred B-25s still remain today, Brown and her staff make sure these last hundred crafts are not forgotten.
“It’s a passion. It’s a love. We thoroughly enjoy having the aircraft here. We love being around airplanes,” explained Brown.
This passion for aircrafts and history led to Hoosier Aviation, and the FBO will soon be celebrating 10 years at the airport. Birds, Brews and Birthdays will be held in October, and the team has already been preparing for the big anniversary.
“The planning starts almost a year in advance,” said Brown. “We surely encourage people to keep up to date with the happenings.”
According to Brown, Hoosier Aviation will be teaming up with local brew houses in Terre Haute for the event, “We love working with the Terre Haute brewing company and Afterburner.” Afterburner Brewing Company, a new veteran owned business, plans to open this year.
“We try to support the military guys the best way we can,” explained Brown. This support will extend through November when THRA hosts a celebration for local veterans.
When the big events are over, and the large holidays have been celebrated, THRA continues to be a hub of activity, “There is so much more that happens on a daily basis that a lot of people don’t fully know.” said Brown, “We have the fourth largest runway in the state of Indiana. It’s a sizable airport and usually there’s a lot of things going on. It’s a gateway to the community.”
Terre Haute Regional Airport is a staple, providing business opportunities and welcoming professionals from all over the nation.
“We love welcoming people into our community that are here to establish business or bring their business to Terre Haute,” explained Brown. “We love bringing Hoosier Hospitality the second they step off that plane.”
Guests aren’t the only people who visit the airport. Residents from all over Terre Haute flock to the Corsair Café. Customers can sit and enjoy all day breakfast, or a scrumptious lunch, while watching planes take off and land, from the comfort of the café atmosphere.
Whether you’re flying in for business, driving in for food, or visiting for an aircraft event, the Terre Haute Regional Airport has exactly what you’re looking for.
Ahh, July, the most patriotic month of the year. A month that begins with the celebration of freedom and ends with daunting back-to-school shopping, much to the kiddo’s chagrin. But we won’t focus on the upcoming school year, instead we’ll live in the now and enjoy the celebration.
Everyone looks forward to the Fourth of July. A sacred holiday which has turned into the longest running party in our nation’s history. And why wouldn’t it be a party? On this day, we celebrate the birth of our great nation. So, grab your family and friends, turn up the music, light the grill and cannon ball into a pool yelling, “God Bless America!” I double dog dare you.
Use this time to get creative with your outdoor party recipes. Of course, burgers, hot dogs, mac and cheese and baked beans are a must, but what about something new? Something themed? Add a splash of fresh fruit with a star-spangled fruit platter! What you’ll need: a plastic platter, a small bowl to fit in the upper left corner of the platter, blueberries, watermelon and white chocolate covered pretzels. The perfect combination of sweet and salty, with just a hint of healthy! And what about an easy to make sweet treat? What you’ll need: white chocolate, Rice Krispie Treats, festive Fourth of July sprinkles. Simply melt the white chocolate, dunk the Rice Krispie Treats and sprinkle the sprinkles. Taa-daa! You have a patriotic plate of sweet treats.
But the Fourth isn’t just about deck parties and people donning their flag fashion, it’s about the fireworks! Last year, Fourth of July festivities were confined to backyards as citywide fireworks were cancelled. This year, the fireworks show must go on! Celebration at Fairbanks Park will begin at 6:00 p.m. on the Fourth. There, onlookers are encouraged to set up chairs, order yummy snacks from local food trucks and buy glow stick products sold from the Terre Haute Parks Department. Music will entertain from 8:00 p.m. until the fireworks begin at 10:00 p.m. Now, I’m not trying to jinx the celebration, trust me, but if it happens to rain, the rain date is set for July 5th. In addition to fireworks at Fairbanks, Terre Haute’s own drive-in movie theater will be hosting a party! Moon Lite Drive-In will launch fireworks at 10:00 p.m. followed by a double feature of F9 the Fast Saga and Top Gun. Because nothing says Happy Fourth of July quite like Tom Cruise’s iconic volleyball scene. Yeah, you know the one.
If your Fourth of July spirit is just bursting out, and you can’t wait any longer for the city fireworks display, several other venues plan to light up the sky a few days early! On July 2nd, New Life Fellowship Church will host a Freedom Celebration on their campus at 7:00 p.m. complete with food trucks, fun and fireworks. On July 3rd at 6:00 p.m., The Bridge Church will begin their freedom festivities with free hot dogs, lemonade, sno cones and even a pie-eating contest! Now that, sounds patriotic.
When July 5th inevitably rolls around, you better keep those star-spangled shades on, because we aren’t done celebrating yet. REX Baseball has three patriot packed nights lined up for spectators of America’s game. The REX will shoot off fireworks during their games on July 6th, 7th and 8th for Military night in honor of our country and all who defend it.
If you would rather host your own fireworks display, be sure to do so legally. Fireworks are not allowed within Terre Haute city limits. Outside of city limits, keep safety a priority. Be sure to buy quality fireworks from reputable retailers. Keep your onlookers at a safe distance from your makeshift launch pad, and count your fingers before and after every lighting. While you may focus more on the bigger fireworks, don’t forget the charming little sparklers. Sparklers are perfect for creating unique photos and making memories.
However you so choose to celebrate the Fourth of July, do so safely, with lots of good food and good company. Enjoy the fireworks, enjoy the parties and enjoy our day of freedom.
The building is unlike any other in town. Red brick captures your attention immediately, your eyes follow the trail of gold detail to evergreen doors which feed into black brick and gold painted letters. Floor to ceiling windows invite onlookers in with the reflections of cozy lighting and vivacious guests. Alimentari Da Pesavento, Bar Bosco. To step through Bar Bosco’s front door is to step through a time portal.
The aroma of fresh bread and herbs wraps itself around guests like a warm blanket. Bartenders smile as they pour brightly colored concoctions into intricately detailed crystal glasses.
The hostess greets you before taking you through the bar and into the Prim donna Room. 17th century paintings line the walls and ceiling. Mosaic tables filled with lively guests dot the room.
"This room means a lot to us,” said co-owner Joe Everhart. “We wanted to design something more intimate.”
Owners Joe Everhart and Ken Ramsey hand-picked the furniture and artwork in each room. Every piece is meant to invoke a sense of dining in an old Italian relative’s home.
“The art we have been collecting for a long time, two paintings are 17th century Luca, another is a 16th century painting from Rome,” he said. “To me, it’s like ancestral portraits, especially the religious ones. That resonates with a lot of the people who come here.”
If the artwork doesn’t speak to you, the food certainly will. Lasagna, pear ravioli, fettuccine, gnocchi ala romana, pappardelle bolognese, these meals are prepared to order with an array of fresh ingredients and pay homage to Everhart’s ancestral home. “A lot of the food I grew up with was based in Asiago, Italy. The food we offer is more like what our Nona would make,” he said. “We wanted to be able to hand-craft the pastas. We traveled around and looked at different ways of making the pasta; we went all the way to the culinary institute of Bologna.”
The entire menu honors his family and the tiny town north of Terre Haute, he called home – Clinton. “It was a fairly exotic place to grow up,” he recalled. “At the grocery stores, some folks would speak in Italian, even some of the signs were in Italian.”
These childhood memories inspired the Alimentari Da Pesavento side of the restaurant. Alimentari is Italian for market, Pesavento’s Market. Everhart and Ramsey sell pasta, bread, bakery items and wines to hungry customers who wish to experiment with Italian cuisine at home. The shop is adorned with family photos, cabinets original to the building itself and a bakery counter filled to the brim with dreamy desserts. But the crown jewel, is the pasta machine, located behind a glass window so guests can watch the magic happen. “The pasta machine, we searched for the absolute best,” explained Everhart. “This one was made in Florence, Italy. This model hasn’t changed in decades.”
Something else that hasn’t changed in decades, Ramsey and Everhart’s love for Terre Haute. While the two have lived primarily in Indianapolis for 30 years, family keeps them firmly planted in Terre Haute. While visiting family a few years ago, the two heard the unfortunate news – Simrell's, a favorite tavern in town was closing for good. Like many other residents, they strolled into Simrell’s for the last time, unaware of what fate had in store for them. “We wanted to take a trip down memory lane. It was such a shame that this incredible building wasn’t living
up to its full potential,” said Everhart. “Within a year of its closing, we bought it.”
The couple had taken on renovations before, and this was no small task. “The renovation was a lot more in depth than we had planned,” Everhart recalled. “It has been through a lot and anyone who ever went to Simrell’s knew exactly how much it went through in its heyday.” The northside of the building, which is now home to the Alimentari, once served the community as a grocer and then a pharmacy. In fact, residents may recognize the iconic ceiling tiles and back bar cabinets original to the building from its pharmacy days.
During renovations, Everhart went down the rabbit hole of the building’s history and was amazed at what he found. “It was an Italian restaurant, which I had no idea. It blew my mind. My cousins had a first date there years ago. It’s interesting to continue that history and give it a different take on it.”
The two could have taken their restaurant to Indianapolis, but their hearts aren’t in Indianapolis. Their hearts are here in Terre Haute. The ticket to exquisite Italian food, is heart, soul. Something the couple wanted so badly to bring to the community. “Terre Haute is a great place to live, and we intentionally came back because of the people,” said Everhart. “We wanted to give an environment evocative of the travel and experiences we have had.”
Dining at Bar Bosco is an experience, from the food to the atmosphere. Guests are quickly transported to a corner bistro in Asiago, Italy. “This is not like anything else you’d find in Terre Haute,” said Everhart. Who needs to book a vacation away when you can dine in Terre Haute’s own Little Italy.
Oh, and be sure to order the pear ravioli. Fresh pear raviolis smothered in a creamy taleggio cheese sauce, topped with asparagus, you won’t regret it.
We have five very important senses. Sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell. Each sense serves a distinct purpose. Not many things can evoke each sense, but an ice cold Coca-Cola can.
Think about it, we touch the bottle, hear the crack of a bottle opener, see the bubbles fizzing, smell the syrup and taste the addictively sweet liquid. I bet you didn’t know two of these senses have the ability to take you back in time. Taste and smell are closely linked to memories. Let me quickly take you on a trip down Terre Haute’s memory lane. It just might make that Coke you’re drinking taste even better.
Okay, take a sip of your Coke and close your eyes as we travel through time. Colors are blurring, dates are being ripped from calendars, clocks are spinning backward. Whew, 106 years into the past, we made it.
On the corner of 3rd Street and Voorhees sits a local glass company, completely unknown to the nation. That is, until it won Coca-Cola’s national bottle design competition. On November 16, 1915, Chapman Root, founder of the Root Glass Company, patented his contoured glass bottle design. This design set Coca-Cola apart from other soda companies as every unique soda came in the same bottle. Root acquired bottling franchises to form the Associated Coca-Cola Bottlers in 1939, making his company the largest independent Coca-Cola bottler for 30 years.
Take another sip, it’s time to come home. Colors blurring, calendar dates fluttering, clocks moving forward, you know the drill. Take a look around Terre Haute in 2021. Coca-Cola bottle sculptures dot the town, each one with a story as unique as the bottle itself. These sculptures represent businesses and organizations that, like the Coca-Cola bottle, are important to Terre Haute’s history.
By seeking out these pieces of art, residents and visitors learn the history of each sponsor. In front of the Vigo County Historical Museum sits a bottle sponsored by the Root family. The City of Terre Haute proudly boasts their bottle outside City Hall. Each bottle is painted with details catered to the sponsor, and some even contain Easter Eggs and hidden secrets. But I won’t tell you where all the bottles are. You’ll have to explore town and find the other 25 yourself. So, grab your friends, go on an adventure, take lots of pictures and post them using the hashtags #SeeYouInTerreHaute and #FindACokeTH and share a Coke with Terre Haute.
If you spend any amount of time in downtown Terre Haute, you will have noticed the construction spanning from Wabash Avenue to Cherry Street. If you look closely enough, small changes are visible on the construction site. Take a step back, but do so carefully because, you know traffic, and you can marvel at the significant progress being made on Terre Haute’s new Convention Center.
The Capital Improvement Board broke ground on the Terre Haute Convention Center in the Spring of 2020. We can all agree, 2020 was a difficult year. While COVID-19 tried it’s best to put construction plans on hold, the CIB pressed on. As of today, the budget and construction of the center is right on schedule. Terre Haute will have a shiny new Convention Center on April 27, 2022.
In the world of word association, convention center suggests many different things, concerts, conventions, competitions. CIB officials want Terre Haute residents to experience all those exciting events, and more. The two-story center will house a ballroom, conference rooms on both floors and the much-anticipated Larry Bird Museum.
You may be thinking to yourself, a ballroom? How fancy. And indeed, it will be fancy. The ballroom maybe used for all sorts of formal events. According to blueprints, it will hold 900 people for dinner and 1,000 people in a theater seating format. When the ballroom isn’t being used for black-tie affairs, it will play host to planes, trains and automobiles. But, no planes, maybe trains, this is Terre Haute. Officials hope to bring boat, farm equipment and automobile shows to the center.
A year ago, conferences and meetings were held exclusively on virtual platforms, and some may continue for a while. As our community returns to pre-COVID-19 normalcy, more companies and businesses will embrace the ability to meet in person. For those who need a space to convene, Terre Haute has just the place. The Convention Center will house two ground floor conference spaces and six conference rooms on the second floor. One room CIB officials are particularly excited about is the iconic Board Conference Room overlooking Wabash Avenue.
If you don’t know who Larry Bird is, I’m sorry, but you must live under a rock. Or, perhaps you know of him, but only enough to recognize his statue in front of Hulman Civics Center. Bird is responsible for lighting a fire under basketball fans all over the Wabash Valley. He played for Indiana State University from 1976-1979. Sports fans consider the ’78-’79 team to be the greatest in ISU history, and it was led by none other than Bird. ISU diploma in hand and college career behind him, Bird was the Round 1 Pick 6 in the NBA draft for the Boston Celtics. In his 16-year career, he accrued lots and lots of memorabilia, and some of it will be on display in the Larry Bird Museum at the Convention Center. CIB officials hope to use this museum to honor Bird and Hoosier sports. After all, it’s not every day an ISU alum makes it to the NBA.
Alright, now that we’ve touched on all the major Terre Haute Convention Center points, what are your thoughts? Do you see your small business hosting a retreat in one of the many conference rooms? Does your non-profit need a space to hold a charity ball? Are you ready to travel back in time to 1979 and meet the iconic Sycamore basketball team? Come Spring 2022 all your convention center needs will be met. We’ll see you...in Terre Haute!
Winter is over and couples are coming out of their long hibernation. Gone are the cold nights spent snuggled under a blanket watching Netflix and sipping hot chocolate. No, it’s time to spend time outside the nest making new memories.
Half the fun of a relationship is exploring the unknown. The idea that we are constantly learning new things about our partners and ourselves. With each new experience we have a unique opportunity to form new hobbies. That being said, have you ever considered a pottery lesson for date night?
You don’t have to be an expert. My boyfriend, Kurt, and I certainly weren’t. But, we took a chance, masked up and stepped through the doors of the Deming Park Torner Center for our first Date Night Pottery class.
Ceramics Instructor Hayley Bean greeted us with warm eyes and a calming voice. She had this unique ability to make every new student feel at peace, as if we were meant to be there. She certainly gave me the confidence to tackle the very intimidating potter’s wheel that beckoned in the corner. We took our positions behind the wheels and glued our eyes to Hayley, watching her every move.
Hayley carved a plump piece of clay from a crinkly bag set atop the counter in the middle of the room. Her eyes smiled as she smooshed the clump into the wheel. The wheel began to move beneath her as she pushed the clay down and forced it back up. Repeating the motion, she crafted a mountain of clay, then destroyed it with her tiny hands. Within minutes her shapeless pile was a smooth and hearty bowl. Okay, this looks easy enough, I thought to myself.
Kurt turned to me and said, “I think we can do this.” I smiled at his positivity. He was a bit skeptical of my date night idea but seemed to be taking it all in stride. It is just clay. How difficult could it be? Minutes later I found myself staring intently at my own gray clump. I took a deep breathe, wet my hands in the water bowl and went to work.
I used muscles in my forearms I didn’t even know existed, pushed the clay down, then forced it upward. Once I reached my desired height, I dug my thumbs into the top to begin sculpting what I hoped would turn into a bowl. The wet clay found its way underneath my fingernails. Frantically, I moved my hands in and around the clump, loose clay flying everywhere. “Hey, I think I’ve got it!” I yelled.
I turned to look at Kurt’s progress. And in that tiny second, all my hard work fell in on itself. A tragedy. He laughed and continued to work magic on his own wheel. For someone with absolutely no pottery experience, he made the act look effortless. He was able to throw two magnificent pieces, a bowl and a mug, all before I had even finished my own creation.
He smiled reassuringly at me as Hayley made her way over. She offered much needed tips and encouragement, and I got back to work. Something must have clicked because my hands and mind began to work as one. Suddenly, my clump was taking shape. My hands slipped around the clay as I applied pressure inside the clump. I was making a bowl. Kurt leaned down and marveled at my piece. Our fellow students craned their necks to get a view of my work. Positive accolades rained down between us. Compliment after compliment filled the room as we looked at each other’s pieces.
In that moment, I began taking mental pictures; Kurt smiling to himself as he began to master a craft he never imagined doing, the laughter between the couple seated next to us, our ceramics instructor who beamed watching her students. I listened intently to the couple as they considered where to place these new pieces in their home. Kurt and I discussed meals we could cook together, and simultaneously decided our bowls would be perfect for chili.
Before we knew it, our two-hour session was up. We left the Torner Center two bowls and two mugs richer, and with new memories. I looked up at Kurt and smiled, “We may have to invest in a pottery wheel.” He laughed and put his arm around me.
If you’re ready for a creative date that will force you out of your comfort zone, check out the Deming Pottery website or Facebook page for class prices and times. Who knows, you might just be a pottery prodigy.
With all the changes in 2020, it makes the slow return of events that much more exciting. Communities are ready to integrate social activities into daily life again and understand that changes have been made, and they might not look quite the same as before. Terre Haute is no exception, and Special Olympics Indiana will be making its return to both in person and virtual events this year.
Special Olympics Indiana is a nonprofit organization that is a part of the global Special Olympics movement. They use sports, health, education and leadership programs every day around the world to end discrimination against and empower people with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics Indiana has grown to more than 18,000 athletes and partners across almost every county in the State of Indiana. With the support of over 10,000 coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics Indiana provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in more than 20 Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities at no cost to the participants.
Each summer, Terre Haute has the amazing opportunity to host the Summer Games. The event is not only a community event of goodwill, but also a tourism surge for local businesses. Special Olympics Indiana has been coming to Terre Haute for the last 50 years and President and CEO, Jeff Mohler, says that, “In 2021, for our 52nd anniversary, the message will be even more heightened because it will be a message of reunion when we are all back together again in Terre Haute at summer games.” After going virtual in 2020, Mohler says they are incredibly appreciative of the support shown by the Terre Haute community and is hoping for a huge crowd coming back for the reunion.
Although the 2020 games were virtual, they were very distinctive. They shifted the usual week-long event into a five-week-long virtual Special Olympics Sport and Fitness Challenge. All athletes, coaches and volunteers from across the state were challenged to participate. Local county Special Olympics programs accumulated points and competed against each other. The opening ceremonies took place virtually, and the challenge concluded with virtual closing ceremonies and awards.
The 2021 Summer Games will take place June 11th-13th and additional details will be announced in the coming months. If you are looking to get involved now, the Special Olympics Indiana 2021 Polar Plunge – Freezing for a Reason, is currently accepting registrations. The 2020 Polar Plunge was a record-breaking year and was able to bring in $920,000 to support year-round programs and events. The Polar Plunge is a series of exhilarating events held each winter where individuals and teams brave the elements by taking an icy dip to demonstrate their commitment to the cause.
Each plunge has its own unique personality, and this year Terre Haute is going shark themed. On Saturday, March 20, at the Moon Lite Drive-In Theater, Plungers will take a quick dip into a pool of freezing water before being treated to a screening of JAWS on the big screen. Spectators and others can watch the plunge, the movie or both! Gates and registration will open at 6:00 PM, followed by the plunge from 6:30-7:30 PM and the movie showtime at 8:15 PM.
Learn more and register today by visiting PolarPlungeIN.org.