On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 19, White River State Park will celebrate the beginning of its 30th year anniversary with a special and exciting offer for visitors. In addition to free admission to Park attractions with a canned good donation to Gleaners Food Bank, and free parking, guests on MLK Jr. Day can register to win a trip for four to Washington, D.C.

Be sure to check out the Indianapolis Zoo’s new hours for January and February and new exhibits! (www.indyzoo.com)

As the new year begins, visitors to the Hilbert Conservatory at White River Gardens will find not only an oasis from the winter chill, but a whole new look during this year’s Tropical Adventure show. The show itself runs from January 17 to March 15 and will include all those wonderful elements that brighten spirits on cold gray days, including tropical temperatures, some new additions from the Australian plant collection we used at the Koala exhibit, plus colorful and exotic flowers. Tropical Adventure is free for members and included with regular Zoo admission.

Visit the lovable newly adopted brown bear cubs!
The latest word on the two brown bear cubs is that they are doing extremely well and gaining weight fast. As of January 8, K’etnu weighs in at 206 pounds, and sister Kiak is slightly behind at 184 pounds. Forests Biome Area Manager Cheryl Lent also reports that the cubs are loving the winter weather! Their favorite new game is to lie on their backs and slide on the ice and snow! Be sure and check that out in the Forests area between the tigers and bald eagle aviary.

And don’t forget, all the attractions in White River State Park will be open on Martin Luther King Day. Visitors will receive free admission with a canned good donation and an opportunity to win a trip to Washington, D.C.

500 Festival Announces Location for the 50th Anniversary Legacy Art Project

Site development on project begins today

The 500 Festival, with a project supported by the 500 Festival Foundation, announced today its 50th Anniversary Legacy Art Project will be located in Celebration Plaza in White River State Park in downtown Indianapolis. Site development begins today on this major public art piece.

The 500 Festival Legacy Art Project celebrates the impact the 500 Festival has had on the community. The sculpture is the Festival’s gift to the community and pays tribute to community and volunteer spirit during the Festival’s first 50 impactful years. The 500 Festival has chosen internationally renowned artist Donald Lipski to create the significant art piece, which will be dedicated in a public ceremony on December 2 at 5:00 p.m.

Lipski was chosen by the 500 Festival’s 50th Anniversary Artist Selection Committee, which was organized by the Arts Council of Indianapolis and is comprised of representatives from the 500 Festival, the 500 Festival Foundation as well as representatives from the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Herron School of Art and Design, Expo Design and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Don’t miss the Quebe Sisters Band: A WestFest Celebration Concert on Friday, September 26 at 5:00pm in the White River State Park. This is the final performance of the ARTFUL Impact award winning, Family Arts Series. Texas’ favorite western swing group, The Quebe Sisters Band, will treat fans to a FREE performance before taking the stage as part of Eiteljorg Museum’s WestFest.

Audiences will be blown away as Grace, Sophia and Hulda Quebe (pronounced kway-bee) show off their vintage-style three-part harmony fiddling and vocal talents to White River State Park. These national fiddle champions deliver a unique sound that will delight music lovers. Whether it’s a Western swing classic, a swing standard, vintage country shuffle or a Western anthem, the sisters and their band will leave audiences begging for more.

Families are invited to bring blankets, picnic baskets, and lawn chairs to enjoy the show. Food will also be available for purchase on-site. So come out and enjoy the fresh air, fun activities and of course, FREE music.

Don’t miss the Quebe Sisters Band: A WestFest Celebration Concert on Friday, September 26 at 5:00pm in the White River State Park. This is the final performance of the ARTFUL Impact award winning, Family Arts Series. Texas’ favorite western swing group, The Quebe Sisters Band, will treat fans to a FREE performance before taking the stage as part of Eiteljorg Museum’s WestFest.

Audiences will be blown away as Grace, Sophia and Hulda Quebe (pronounced kway-bee) show off their vintage-style three-part harmony fiddling and vocal talents to White River State Park. These national fiddle champions deliver a unique sound that will delight music lovers. Whether it’s a Western swing classic, a swing standard, vintage country shuffle or a Western anthem, the sisters and their band will leave audiences begging for more.

Families are invited to bring blankets, picnic baskets, and lawn chairs to enjoy the show. Food will also be available for purchase on-site. So come out and enjoy the fresh air, fun activities and of course, FREE music.

Head down to WestFest from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, September 27, at the Eiteljorg Museum for some gol-darned family fun! See the sights, hear the sounds and experience the excitement of the American West.

* Take a ride on the Wells Fargo stagecoach.
* The Quebe Sisters Band is one of the most exciting new groups to come to the music scene in years. Formed in 2000, the Quebe Sisters Band (pronounced Kway-bee) performs a refreshing blend of western swing (Bob Wills & Texas Playboys), hot jazz and swing standards (Benny Goodman), western (Sons of the Pioneers), vintage country and traditional Texas style fiddle tunes. The band features the voices and the fiddling talents of three sisters, Grace, Sophia, and Hulda Quebe.
* Sourdough Slim, Swingin’ tunes! Cowboy crooning! Award winning yodeling! Laughs galore! Yes folks, all this and more can be yours at the only show on the planet where you can witness a man in a ten gallon hat, yodel, play accordion, dance a jig and twirl a lariat – all at the same time. Sagebrush artist, Sourdough Slim, transport us to a whimsical, infectious world where vaudevillian camp and cowboy lore intermingle. With a repertoire of classic western songs and an exuberant, animated, crowd pleasing delivery, Sourdough Slim has become one of the most popular cowboy entertainers of our time.
* See world-champion trick roper Joan Wells.
* Enjoy the stories of cowboys from Michael Smith as “Bones Hooks” and Hopalong Cassidy.
* Step up on the chuck wagon for Western hospitality courtesy of cook, “Big Boy.”
* Try your hand at creating a cattle brand, panning for gold, rope making, cow chip tossing, roping, leather stamping, banadanna decorating, talking like a cowboy… you might even find your face on a wanted poster or be thrown in the hoosegow!

Dust off your boots, wrangle up the family and head to WestFest for a bang-up, good time. tickets are $9 for adults and $5 for kids. Save $1 when you buy advance sale tickets at Central Indiana March stores or the Eiteljorg Museum (317)636-9378.

Join us in enjoying the beauty of fall and Indiana’s agrarian heritage by visiting the

Congratulations are in order for the 2008 Family Arts Series at White River State Park! The Park was honored last Thursday when it received this year’s ARTFUL Impact Award. It is an award given to an individual, an event, or an institution that made a significant impact and lasting contribution to the arts in central Indiana in the past 12 months.

Orson Mason, an Arts Council board member, said, “This summer series provided a number of arts organizations with additional performance opportunities and an unprecedented opportunity to reach new audiences.”

Thanks to the Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation and Lilly Endowment, the Family Arts Series has turned out to be a huge success. It has reached more than 3,000 audience members and there is still two more performances in September.

So come out and celebrate with us this Sunday, September 14 when Indianapolis Opera performs in the Park. The show is set to begin at 2:30pm at the outdoor Celebration Amphitheater in White River State Park. Indianapolis Opera in the Park will include familiar opera hits, the best of Broadway, as well as musical highlights of Indianapolis Opera’s upcoming season. A FREE community event for all ages!

Don’t miss the last concert of the summer at The WhiteLies Lawn in White River State Park. Alice Cooper will perform with Cinder Road on Friday, August 22. The concert starts at 7:30 PM. Tickets $27.50-$50.00 and available in person at The Murat Centre Box Office (502 N. New Jersey Street) or at any Ticketmaster outlet location, On-line at www.livenation.com, By phone at (317) 239-5151 (Ticketmaster) or The Lawn Box Office on the day of the show 2hours before show time.

This Saturday (August 23rd) at the White River State Park, Asante Children’s Theatre will be performing in the FREE Family Arts Series. This Zimbabwe tale titled Strange Creature focuses on family relationships. African drums and dance are used by the young talented professionals ranging in age from 12 to 21. ACT commits itself to bringing community theater back to the community in this family-friendly performance.

The entire event is FREE. It is held outdoors at the Celebration Amphitheater of the White River State Park. Food will be available for purchase. Guests can bring blankets, lawn chairs, and picnic baskets.

Have a fabulous week and we will see you at the Park!

You may be going back or sending a child to school soon, but White River State Park isn’t ready to let go of summer yet! There is plenty good fun things to do in and around the downtown Indy Park.

Join us on Tuesday night for Groovin’ In The Gardens at Easley Winery. Guests can enjoy free live music by Sharlee Davis, weekly wine specials and food. Order carry-out from several local restaurants for delivery right to your wine garden table, including Bazbeaux, Santorini’s greek food, Circle City Pizza, and a new addition this year: Fair Oaks Dairy offering fresh baked breads and artisan cheeses. Also new in ’08 are Easley Kid Cups with sparkling grape juice, nuts, dried fruit, coloring book and crayons. Groovin’ is a blast for the whole family! Enjoy your summer with Easley Winery. May 20th thru Sept. 30th. Tuesdays from 5-7pm and Saturdays 2-5pm. For more information visit www.easleywinery.com/groovin/

Animals and All That Jazz “Sing the Night Away” brings music to the most distinctive venue in the city, the middle of Zoo grounds. The concert series runs from 5:30-8:30pm, offering a rare chance to experience the ambiance of the Zoo after hours. This event is free for members and included with regular Zoo admission. This weeks performer is Brenda Williams and Cold Fusion. For more information visit www.indyzoo.com

Join us on Friday night for one of the last concerts at the WhiteLies Lawn for the 2008 summer series. O.A.R. (…of a Revolution) with special guest, Ozamatli will rock the stage starting at 7pm. Tickets are $30 in advance and $33 on the day of the show. Tickets are still available at the Murat Centre Box Office or the WhiteLies Lawn Box Office which will open 2 hours prior to show time. The following items are permitted at concerts on The Lawn:
* Sealed Plastic Bottled Water (1 per person)
* The Lawn will provide lawn chairs (as available on a first-come, first-served basis) for the event to be turned in after the show. [Unless otherwise permitted by artist management] Visit www.inwhiteriver.com/lawn for more information.

Have a fabulous week and we will see you at the Park!