Mass Ave Criterium is one of my favorite events of the year. No surprise, right, given the fact it’s bicycle-related, but this all-day event (Saturday, 11 a.m. — 9 p.m.) is super-special, because entire city blocks are shut down, and bicycles take over, just like my utopian vision. While the races are going to be amazing — some of the top bicycle racers in the nation are here — there’s plenty of other bicycle events, polo, fixed gear racing, fun for the kids, plus plenty of New Belgium Beer on hand for those 21 and older. Really, truly, this is a one-of-a-kind show! Check out Laura McPhee’s story on the key race.
Same day (good luck fitting everything in) I’m pumped about Taste of the Trucks in Broadway Park. I LOVE the foodtruck movement which not only transforms the culinary landscape of Indianapolis, it’s also friggin’ essential, since in February a certain sporting event is going to REQUIRE we have a bunch of extra food options for fans, or else they will chewing on their thumbs instead.
As I said in last week’s blog, I love August because it’s Fringe and State Fair time. Fringe is still one week away, so now is the time to get to the State Fair. My recommended destination: my old friends, the Blue Monkey Sideshow. I wrote a cover story about them, oh jeez, 12 years ago maybe? And have loved them ever since. With feats involving juggling, sword swallowing, bullwhip mastery, beds of nails and more, the family-friendly entertainment is a nice change of pace from the pastoral spectacles typical of the fair. Shows at 3:30, 5:30, 7:30, and 9 p.m. Free with State Fair admission.
Speaking of friends, my bud Charlie Wiles put this one together: Journey Through the Middle East at the IMCPL. He included in this programming the amazing Bill Foley, photographer extraordinaire (and winner of the Pulitzer Prize). This is a wide-ranging series of programs that celebrate the diversity of Middle Eastern cultures, languages and people begins in August and continues throughout the fall at the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library. A variety of free programs for all ages are available featuring arts and crafts, dance, music, food, storytelling and Middle Eastern history. Check it out!
Friday and Saturday you can enjoy the 2011 Drum Corps International World Championships at Lucas Oil Stadium will highlight the unique artistry and talents that set it apart from other musical performances. With members from more than 15 countries, the diversity of music and background shows through as the best drummers, buglers and color guards compete for the title. Even better, the preliminaries take on an "all-skate" as members of the World, Open and International class will all perform. Tickets prices vary. Starts 9 a.m.
Opening Friday at Herron: Multiple Propositions, featuring nine artists who bring complexity and beauty to this raw art form. The exhibit will fill three galleries at the Herron School. Gallery director Paula Katz describes the artists and their work, “Each of these artists work very differently. Some use traditional media… Others use very non-traditional media, creating 3-D drawings and working on industrially made materials.”
Also on Friday, Deb Mullins and an evening of soulful blues t the Cabaret in the Columbia Club. Backed by some of Indiana’s finest musicians, Mullins’ delivery underlines the influence of the blues on decades of American jazz and other popular music styles. Showtimes are both August 12 and 13 starting at 8 p.m. Ticket prices range from $25 to $45. $12 food or beverage minimum.
Celebrate the launch of Airmail from the Airpoets with the authors on Friday at 6 p.m. The poets Joe Heithaus, Norbert Krapf, Ruthelen Burns and Joyce Brinkman will share some of their poems, autograph copies of their newly published book and join all the attendees in conversation and refreshments. Launch reading and party are free so be sure to attend and bring a friend!
The Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre, known for their unique style and impressive choreography, will present Happily Ever After as the conclusion to their 2010-2011 season and their final performance at the Pike Center. With their humorous twists and alternate endings to classic fairy tales, the performance will include Once Upon a Time, Hansel and Gretl, and Pinocchio. With characters of Snow White, the Wolf, Little Red Riding Hood and more, these twists on childhood classics are creative and nostalgic. 8:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. $25 adults, $20 students and seniors.
For you people who believe in ghosts, which does NOT include myself (that is until I have my own true ghost experience), you can attend the 5th Annual Paranormal Meet and Greet at Hannah House, Saturday, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. (really, not that great a ghost-heavy time, I’m thinkin’). Come meet experts in things that go bump in the night. Special guests include the host of Spooked, Keith Age, paranormal show veteran Chris Dedman and many more. Take this great opportunity to network with leading voices in the field. Admission is Free.
The first-ever Celebrate Indy Arts! Parade will bring together over 30 of the world’s finest marching music ensembles with members of the local Indianapolis arts community in the most musical, creative and fun-filled parade to ever hit the streets of the Circle City. As a part of the 2011 Drum Corps International World Championships, the parade will kickoff from North and Pennsylvania and end at the American Legion War Memorial Mall. At the end of the parade, more than 2,000 brass musicians will assemble to play a musical tribute to America. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Spend the day outdoors with local and regional artists as they leave their natural habitat — the studio — to paint, sketch and draw in a new environment. The 6th Annual Zionsville Paint Out kicks off at noon ending at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Artists will be focusing on historic homes, lush gardens and local landmarks. This annual event also offers an opportunity for attendees to combine architectural sightseeing with a chance to see artists work and acquire works of art.
Huge draws of summer in Indy are Fever basketball games and Indians baseball games. As if these organizations weren’t fantastic enough on their own, both of them are helping Indy Reads this summer. You have the chance to “Catch the Fever” and support Indy Reads adult literacy programs at the same time. Buy tickets for Saturday night’s game versus the N.Y. Liberty and help support the fight to end adult illiteracy. Go to www.fevergroups.com/tickets/250/ (using the password READ) and order tickets to the game for $15 each. You can’t beat that price, and you definitely can’t beat helping out this great cause.
The Indiana Recycling Coalition and the National Recycling Coalition invite you to attend a picnic reception Tuesday night from 7:00-9:00 p.m. Great company, great food and great brew in the cool setting is sure to make for the perfect relaxing summer evening. Held before the National Resource Recycling Conference, the picnic at Victory Field will draw a national group of recycling stakeholders. A fee of $25 includes a game ticket, a full picnic dinner and drinks. Note: you do not have to be registered for the conference to attend the picnic reception.
See you out there!