The holidays are sneaking up on us! Have you decorated your home yet? Are your stockings hung by the chimney with care? Have you participated in any fun holiday activities yet? If not, boy, do I have a blog for you.
Every December, Terre Haute comes to life. Bright red and green lights take over Downtown, Christmas decorations fill every storefront and the spirit of the season flows throughout the entire city.
The Twelve Points area is ready to welcome visitors into their cozy shops for the season. Ferm Fresh will be hosting an Ugly Christmas Sweater party on December 18th from 3pm-6pm. Visitors are encouraged to wear their ugliest Christmas sweater and take part in crafts, yummy food and delectable drinks! A contest will decide which little elf has the ugliest sweater and the winner will receive a $20 gift card!
The Terre Haute Parks and Recreation Department is definitely in the Christmas spirit! The department will host their annual ornament decorating event on December 20th from 2pm-3:30pm. Residents from near and far are invited to decorate an extra special ornament for their extra special Christmas trees. You will find more details in their flyer below!
If big public events aren’t your ideal place for holiday cheer, don’t fret. I have a few ideas for you. Downtown Terre Haute is beautiful this time of year, and you should definitely check it out. Take this time to call up family and friends and arrange a fun night of shopping and food in our Downtown. Take a picture next to the giant Christmas tree and marvel at the festive street decorations.
Speaking of decorations, have you visited Deming Park yet? Every year, organizations all over Terre Haute put their best creative feet forward and contribute beautifully designed displays to the park. Rumor has it, the line to get into Christmas in the Park has been outrageous! How amazing is that? Community members all over the city are itching to see the festive lights and creative displays. Call your honey up, grab a seasonal sip, and drive through the park blasting Christmas music. Now that is the ideal holiday season date night!
The holidays are a wonderful time to make memories with family and friends. This is a season for togetherness. No matter where you decide to spend your time together, do so with the intention that any event, any place, can be special, as long as you are with the right people. We’ll See You in Terre Haute this holiday season.
Imagine if you will, spending the evening with loved ones, in a cozy sweater, listening to Christmas music. A beautifully wrapped gift in one hand, and, what’s this? A seasonal sip from one of Terre Haute’s many coffee shops in the other hand? It’s a Christmas Miracle!
Nothing jump starts the Christmas spirit faster than a belly full of warm sweet treats and caffeinated beverages.
Each coffee shop has specially curated a list of original and classic drinks. Each sip delivers the rich taste only coffee from a Terre Haute barista can offer!
Below you will find a comprehensive list of each shop’s delectable menu. Might I suggest pairing your coffee choice with a fun day of shopping? It is much easier to spend money on gifts when you have a warm drink in your hand.
Nothing kicks off the Christmas season quite like a living room full of family and a belly full of turkey and mashed potatoes. As we know very well, the Thanksgiving feast is basically carbo-loading for Black Friday shopping. But, before you raise yourself from your turkey coma to be first in line at Best Buy, consider this, don’t spend all your money on Black Friday.
Okay, I’ll further explain before the hate mail comes in. Save your Christmas money for local businesses! Enjoy the Friday after Thanksgiving with family and gear up for a marathon of shopping on Small Business Saturday! Think of it this way, small businesses offer unique gifts for everyone on your list. The money spent at a small business stays local, which will in turn help your community.
What does it mean to shop small? Shopping small supports artisans in your community. Think about it, these business owners have put everything into their shops. They do so with care and with a vision to improve the place they call home. Take a moment to consider who you make a purchase from. The CEO of Walmart isn't going to cheer on your kiddo at a baseball game. Amazon isn’t going to buy Girl Scout Cookies from your daughter. You know who will? Small business owners. We owe it to them to support their livelihood, because they support ours. Below you will find a complete list of small businesses in Terre Haute who are offering Small Business Saturday deals you simply cannot miss.
2021 Small Business Saturday Deals
Click the banners above for more amazing deals in West Central Indiana!
The year 2020 was tough on everyone. Tourism and travel took a backseat as residents all over were encouraged to stay home. For cross country athletes, the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course offered a much-needed source of normalcy during a time of uncertainty. While the season was shortened due to COVID-19, it did still happen and made a world of difference for athletes’ morale. As the season came to an end, there was so much hope for the next year. A complete season full of sportsmanship, personal records and spectators.
On August 14, 2021, runners from all over the state gathered on the course for the 2021 Valley Kickoff hosted by Terre Haute South Vigo High School. The grass was greener. The excitement in the air was palpable. Family and friends crowded around the course, cheering on their runners. Terre Haute was once again, Cross Country Town USA.
The Course took this last year of uncertainty to further improve the facilities. This is, after all, the greatest cross country course in the nation. A new medical building was built on site in preparation for the 2021 season. This addition to the course emphasizes the Course’s commitment to the health and progress of their athletes.
So, what makes LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course so special, besides the love for their athletes and impressive resume of national meets? The Course was responsible for giving Terre Haute the coveted title of Cross Country Town USA in 2009 after hosting six successful seasons. It has since held the title for over 10 years and has become a destination for athletes of all ages and skills.
The Course gained popularity and recognition due to its unique geography. A simple straightaway, twice the size of an average cross country straightaway, at the start feeds into rolling hills, offering a welcome challenge to athletes. No other course in the country matches LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course’s ability to showcase the action for spectators. Spectators who came back in full force to witness legendary meets at the course, including the IHSAA Sectionals on October 9, the IHSAA Cross Country State Meet on October 30, and looking ahead to the Nike Cross Regional Midwest Championships which will take place on November 14.
LaVern Gibson will host the Nike Cross Regional Midwest Championships as the season comes to an incredible end. The Course is proud to have hosted the last 14 meets of the season and looks forward to welcoming athletes from all over the country to this last meet. What better way to close out a historic return to cross country than with the Nike Cross Regional Midwest Championships. Gates open up at 8:00 am and tickets are $5 a person. For more information on this meet, visit the Course website. Pull on your team’s sweatshirt, grab a hot chocolate and cheer your heart out. We’ll be seeing you in Cross Country Town USA.
Southern Vigo County is home to a phenomenal trail system. But you may be surprised to know this trail system isn’t for walking or hiking, it’s for biking. The Griffin Bike Park has attracted biking enthusiasts, professionals and novices from all over the world. The Park hosts several series and races each year and is recognized by famous athletes, including world-class mountain biker Jeff Lenosky.
Lenosky explored Griffin’s trail system in 2019 and instantly fell for the park’s community and mission. Inspired by the geography, Lenosky has spent the last year creating a new trail.
“I’ve done a lot of trail designs for different competitions,” Lenosky explained, “But to be able to build something that is permanent, something that will make an impact, it’s just really cool.”
Lenosky worked carefully with the Griffin family and the park community to design the Black Diamond level, AWOL Trail. The mile-and-a-half trail is made of 10 features, three of which are signature to Lenosky. Features range from Intermediate to Expert and the ramps, bridges and drop offs will leave riders breathless.
“The terrain is unique,” stated Lenosky, “Wherever you ride, it’s like a giant roller coaster.”
Shepherds of Griffin, a 501C3 foundation born of the park, is currently working on fundraising efforts and grant opportunities. Friends of Griffin, a second foundation focused on park maintenance, has since broke ground on phase 1 of the expansion plan. Park officials hope to revitalize and bring lighting to the pump track and host ribbon cuttings for new tracks every six months.
“We’re just blown away. It’s a God thing,” stated Owner Gene Griffin.
The Griffins, a family of avid trail riders, created the park in honor of their son Dale, a US Army Sergeant who gave his life in Afghanistan in 2009 during Operation Enduring Freedom. Since its opening in 2016, the park has become an international phenomenon of hope, gratitude, service and adventure.
Griffin Bike Park hosts athletes from all over Indiana and even the world. It’s hard to ride through the trails without thinking of the sacrifices our servicemen and women give every day.
“At Griffin Bike Park, every day is Memorial Day,” Griffin said.
A popular trail, the Warrior Trail, offers riders a unique trail experience. Indiana is one of eight states in the U.S. with an American with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible trail. Griffin Bike Park is the only park in Indiana open to riders of all abilities. Both sides of the ADA compliant trail are adorned with the names and photos of those brave service members, ending with a memorial for Sgt. Griffin.
“This Park is not for the money. It’s not for the gain or recognition,” explained Griffin, “It’s for the men and women who have given everything.”
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! But don’t fret! The City of Terre Haute will have two nights of Trick-or-Treat fun. Trick-or-Treaters are free to hunt for their goodies on Saturday, October 30th and Sunday, October 31st. 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.