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.
a guest blog by Haley Braker, a student at Rose-Hulman, for RHIT and prospective students
As a student the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, there is a stigma that surrounds us that we don’t go out much due to the “immense amounts of homework that we have” … which is only somewhat true. However, as I am continuing through my third year here at Rose, I have encountered plenty of opportunities to explore the Terre Haute community and all that it offers during my many study breaks.
Terre Haute provides a multitude of locations to take a break from whatever you are doing and relax. Maggie & Moe’s Poplar Flowers is a plant shop I recently discovered that exudes beauty and life the second you walk in. Covered floor to ceiling in all sorts of different plants, pots and flowers, I easily find myself forgetting about any homework assignments I have yet to finish. I recently just bought a beautiful Golden Pothos plant during their 25% off specialty sale and I am already excited to return to enjoy the environment to purchase new décor.
Towards the north end of Terre Haute about 12 minutes away from Rose-Hulman’s campus lies the Moon Lite Drive-In Theater. I have many fond memories of this location. One of them is watching the movie, It and its sequel with a small group of friends before the start of the fall semester. I find the perfect time to go there is in late August, as classes have not yet started and the weather at night is just right for you and your friends to be able to pack a bunch of pillows and blankets to enjoy the outdoor movie theater.
One of the perks of being a student athlete at Rose-Hulman is the beautiful park that sits right behind campus – Hawthorne park. As a cross country runner, my team and I train in the park every day, usually training on the 3.5-mile loop that it provides or we create a new course through the various paths that the trail can lead you towards. It is not unusual for us to see families camping in this massive park. In the heart of the park, you can find people taking a casual stroll throughout the trail or even fishing at the large pond. My cross country team and I utilized the shelters around the park for our socially-distanced bonding events like a team gift exchange. Ultimately, whether you’d like to attend Hawthorne park for an event, a walk or a run, I highly suggest you make use of all the land it has to offer.
My Golden Pothos and I!
Terre Haute is stocked with all your favorite restaurant chains: Chick-Fil-A, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, as well as many others. However, what has really grabbed my attention is how good the local restaurants are in town. Let’s just say, if you’re visiting Terre Haute, make sure you stop at Cackleberries, AKA the best breakfast and lunch restaurant ever. The service is amazing, the food is superb and you basically have a 100% chance of finding someone you know enjoying a delicious meal. It’s definitely a spot that I frequent on the weekends to order the Italian skillet and have leftovers for the rest of the day.
For lunch, I enjoy going to the Royal Mandarin Express located in the Meadows Shopping Center down on Ohio Street. I swear, they give you the most fried rice and amazing Mongolian chicken that does not hurt my fragile college budget. Along the lines of Asian cuisine, Zeng’s sushi is some of the best I’ve ever had. Located farther downtown, I love grabbing some lo mein or edamame if I’m feeling a little more extravagant with my taste palette.
Around dinner time, a hot spot for some sit-down Mexican food is Taco Tequila’s. The food is incredibly tasty and the staff there is amazing – they always end up cracking jokes with the customer and creating such a fun atmosphere in the restaurant. Plus, their salsa is TO DIE for! I find myself nearly full after filling myself up with two rounds of their complimentary chips and dip. As far as entrees go, you really cannot go wrong – from fajitas, to wet burritos, to steak tacos, it is all amazing and affordable cuisine.
Photo provided by Cackleberries Facebook
Being a student athlete is exciting, as it gives me reason to explore different trails and locations around Terre Haute. Deming park is a large, nearby outdoor space that offers seasonal activities. People in Terre Haute can see the annual Christmas light in the winter or just enjoy a casual picnic in the park on a spring day. For more hiking action, located on Wabash street near Brown Avenue, you’ll also find the ISU stadium loop in the shape of the state of Indiana, located on the perimeter of the Indiana State University football stadium.
One of the biggest advantages to having two other universities so close nearby also calls for lots of sports activities going on nearly every week of the year. It’s always exciting when Saint Mary of the Woods’ students visit Rose’s campus for the annual Crosstown Classic or when we have our annual cross country invitational where we, a Division III school, are able to race against Indiana State University’s team, a Division I school.
When finalizing my college decision, I not only chose Rose-Hulman for its outstanding programs but for the city of Terre Haute that I could envision myself living in during my academic career. I have been fulfilled with so many great memories with friends and amazing food and beverages locations to celebrate my college years. Terre Haute has exceeded my expectations for a city and I am very grateful that I am able to live here!
Happy Valentine’s Day, Terre Haute! Love is in the air and so are unique date ideas. If you’re looking for something a little different than dinner, try out one of these experiences to delight in with your Valentine.
Did you know Terre Haute offers pottery classes? Deming Park Pottery has a variety of classes that anyone can attend, even couples. Embarking on a pottery making date will give you a meaningful outing and something to take home!
But maybe you don’t want to make the pottery, you just want to paint it! At Shewey’s Paint Your Own Pottery at Haute City Center, couples can pick out a piece of pottery and paint it however they please. It can be fun painting something for one another or creating matching items such as mugs, plates or vases.
Cooking classes are always fun and can now be right in your home! You and your partner are guaranteed to have a good time while making sourdough bread in a virtual workshop hosted by the White Violet Center on February 11th. Participants will get to learn something new and have something delicious to eat!
Clabber Girl, located in downtown Terre Haute, has a full array of recipes that anyone can try! Cooking lessons can be done right at home with nothing but a recipe and the right ingredients. We suggest having you and your Valentine cook something new so that you can bond and give your tastebuds something new to try.
Terre Haute, Indiana has become known in the Midwest under a few names. Considered the crossroads of America and a prominent college town, it has a reputation as a staple in West Central Indiana. However, on the National Stage, Terre Haute is best known for the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course.
The LaVern Gibson Championship Course started as a passion project for the Terre Haute community. In the 1990s, the area the course is located served as a sanitary landfill and before that, a coal mine. The race track came to be through the work of two prominent cross country coaches and a man dedicated to his family. In the early 1980’s, Lavern Gibson endowed 240 acres of land to become the now famous course. Inspired from watching his grandson compete in cross country, Gibson worked to make this course what it is today. He worked alongside John McNichols; Head Coach for Indiana State’s track and field and cross country programs from 1983 – 2016, and William M. Welch; a legendary track and field coach who saw the beginnings of his career right in Terre Haute, to create a nationally recognized cross country course. His own family also assisted in the process. His son, Max, and his grandson Greg; an accomplished runner himself, both worked to create the impressive cross country course. Construction began in 1995. (laverngibson.com)
In October of 1997, the course officially opened as it hosted the Indiana Intercollegiate race. The course quickly became favorable due to its varying mileage options and diverse terrains. With loops and curves galore, it also has many uphill and downhill moments that challenge its runners. Those who succeed on the course truly show their talents and prove themselves as the best. The first kilometer of the course is a complete straightaway. The clear stretch makes it easy for spectators and press to line the barriers and cheer on the runners. But perhaps the most favorable aspect of the course is the 90% visibility of the course for runners and spectators. LaVern wanted a course with visibility due to his own frustration of only seeing his grandson Greg for the first five minutes of his races. The course was designed with care and intention so that the needs of both the runners and spectators can be catered to. (laverngibson.com)
The LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course and the town of Terre Haute have been able to host many famous races for both high school and collegiate competitions. The course annually hosts the IHSAA State Championship Cross Country Race as well as invitationals such as the Nike Valley Twilight meet and the Nike NXR Midwest Regional. The course has also provided a setting to the Great Lakes Region Meet, the Missouri Valley Conference Championship and the Indiana Intercollegiate numerous times. The course and Indiana State University have even been honored to be chosen to host the NCAA Division I Men and Women’s Cross Country National Championship a total of 13 times since 2002. (xctownusa.com)
Since it’s opening, the community has been able to continue improving the course and cement its relevance in the cross country world. Features such as a finish line building, press box, fencing, concession stand, bathrooms and bleachers have all been added to the course since its opening to enhance the experience of those who visit. The front straightaway is irrigated and future plans are in works to irrigate the entire course. But, perhaps the most exciting edition is the awards stand area. Using pillars from the historic Terre Haute House, the stand now gives an Olympic feel to all runners who are fortunate enough to stand on it. (gosycamores.com)
On a busy day, the course is lined with spectators bundled in their school affiliated sweatshirts and hot chocolate in their hands. Parents have looks of pride as they hope their child will come out victorious. There is often a nervous feeling that fills the air as runners prepare to confront the famous course. Spectators can see them jumping and stretching at the finish line before putting on the game face and plunging forward as the starter points his start gun in the air to begin the race. Once they take off there is nothing but anticipation as people wait to see who will cross the finish line first.
It is these moments in which many can reflect on Terre Haute’s rich cross country history and appreciate the endowments given to us by LaVern Gibson, John McNichols and William M. Welch that have made Terre Haute’s LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course so important so important to its community.
To learn more able how Terre Haute embraces the name, Cross Country Town USA, check out our blog written about the John McNichols Invitational.
Rejoice, the holidays are here! As 2020 comes to an end, it’s important to take time and enjoy the coming holidays to relax, celebrate and spend time with your loved ones. While many annual events in Terre Haute such as parades, concerts and community gatherings have been cancelled, there are still plenty of ways to bring holiday enjoyment and cheer during this winter month.
1. Visit Santa
Like every year, Santa is a busy guy! He will be present in multiple locations throughout Terre Haute to visit kids and deliver their Christmas wishes. While we still want everyone to enjoy their Christmas and their Santa visits, the COVID-19 pandemic will make it look a little different this year. To visit with Santa at the Haute City Center, families must sign up for designated time slots that give participants a Santa meet-and-greet and picture! Deming Park will also be keeping up with their yearly tradition by hosting Santa at Deming Park, but in a new socially-distanced manner. Santa will be at the park during designated times to take socially-distanced pictures with people while he watches individuals drop off their letters to the North Pole. To learn more, visit Terre Haute Parks and Recreation’s Facebook page.
2. Go Sightseeing
Explore the beautiful holiday decorations on Wabash Avenue and around Terre Haute. While there will not be the annual Light Your Way Parade due to COVID-19 restrictions, individuals can still see Terre Haute’s beautiful street decorations. When taking a drive down Wabash Avenue, especially at night, you’ll be able to see string lights throughout the downtown and fun holiday themed decorations hanging from streetlights. There are also plenty of beautiful displays that can be found in the historic Terre Haute neighborhoods. Enjoy lights, inflatables and displays that local Hoosiers exhibit.
Photos provided by the Tribune Star
3. Embrace Nature
Reward yourself in 2020 by purchasing some holiday greenery! Filling a home with poinsettias is a gorgeous way to get into the holiday spirit while embracing the natural holiday decorations nature gives us. Local florists like The Apple House Home and Garden Center, which most Hoosiers will refer to as “Bloom Brothers,” Maggie and Moe’s Poplar Flower and Décor or The Station Floral and Hair Design can supply you with all the flowers needed to celebrate holiday cheer. You can also take this year to splurge on a real Christmas tree to fill your home with the wonderful smell of pine and bring some greenery into your home. Visiting popular Christmas tree farms such as the Star Tree Farm will surely get you in the gleeful holiday spirit.
4. Christmas in the Park
Deming Park will be hosting their annual Christmas in the Park event with adapted formats to keep participants safe. The Holiday Express, Reindeer Romp and visits with Santa will continue on throughout the month of December to give all those in Terre Haute plenty of time to enjoy these yearly traditions. We encourage you to participate in this season of giving by enjoying holiday themed events that give back to the community. Both the Reindeer Romp and the Holiday Express give back to organizations within the Wabash Valley community. To learn more about registration, times and charity organizations associated with these events, visit Terre Haute Parks and Recreation’s Facebook page.
Photo provided by mywabashvalley.com
5. Celebrate Through Music
While many holiday concerts have been cancelled, there are still virtual options being offered! The Terre Haute symphony will be presenting their concert, Joyful Holidays. The symphony will be hosting this concert virtually so viewers can enjoy the sounds of holiday cheer at their own home. This year, the symphony welcomes Cathy Berns to share her beautiful singing talent with the Wabash Valley. Those wanting to hear this exquisite annual event can purchase tickets by signing up at the Terre Haute Symphony’s website.
Photos provided by the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra's website