IN Travel Guide
We’re right in the middle of theme park season, so it seems a little unusual for a park to start building excitement over some future rides and attractions. We’d think they would still be focusing on this year. However, we’ll just assume that the folks over at Holiday World know what they’re doing, as they just announced that they will be spending $22 million to construct a new roller coaster.
It will be the country’s first launched winged coaster, and it will be known as Thunderbird once the final bits and pieces are assembled in 2015. The details are still coming out, and we’ll know more as the construction progresses; however, we do know that the ride will hit 60 miles per hour in just over three seconds—hang on. There’s the usual twists, turns, and whatnot as well as 14-story version of something called an Immelmann loop.
If you’re feeling fortunate on your way to or through Indianapolis you might be in luck, as the airport is thinking about adding a few games of chance to the terminals and concourses. It certainly won’t be the Las Vegas of the Midwest, but officials are indeed thinking about allowing gaming at the airport.
Don’t book a trip to Indianapolis just for the chance to take a spin at the slots or to toss some dice, though, as the gambling plans at the airport are all electronic in nature. That said, you won’t be able to just start playing poker on your iPad at the gate, as the proposal indicates that travelers would have to file into lounges within the airport where games—on handheld devices—would be connected to a central server. The lounges would only be accessible for those with tickets since they'll be located in the terminals, but we’re sure you could get a refundable ticket to get through security if you really needed to get your fix (but if that's the case, you might want to consider calling 1-800 "I have a problem").
Are you ready for some football?! There’s still a few months before the first official kickoff, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t time for a sneak peek. Training camps are set to do their thing later this month, so if you’ve always wanted to check out the scrimmages and practices now’s the time to start planning:
One of the surprise performances—and feel good stories—of last season has to be the Indianapolis Colts. After a terrible season during 2011 and the loss of the future hall of fame quarterback, there was quite a rebound and recovery during 2012.
In case you missed it, there was a whole bunch of racing last weekend, as Formula One, NASCAR, and IndyCar all held some pretty major events. For race fans it might be a little bit of a letdown as we move into June, but don’t worry—there’s always museums.
In this case, we focus on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum, dedicated to all things racing, as it does its best to illustrate the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and specifically the Indianapolis 500. There’s 30,000 square feet of artifacts, memorabilia, and other racing goodies to check out, and of course there’s a couple gift shops too. In total, 75 cars sit on display all year long, but of course it’s strictly a look but don’t touch situation.
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So yesterday we were just talking about an airport farm over at Chicago-O’Hare, and now we discover that there’s a different kind of farm right at Indianapolis International Airport. Unfortunately the farm in Indy isn’t offering any produce, but it does certainly offer up a little slice of green travel.
Airport officials are hard at work figuring out how to engineer and install one of the biggest and baddest solar farms in the country—and definitely one of the largest at an airport. There’s three companies being tasked with figuring out all the technical and science stuff, but it sounds like there's going to be at least 41,000 solar panels involved.
May is a big month for racing of all kinds. The Kentucky Derby is only a few weeks away, and at the end of the month is when a slightly faster race arrives to rev its engines. The Indianapolis 500 is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year—it's crazy to think that race-fast cars have been around that long—so if you’ve ever wanted join the crowds this might be the best year to do so.
There’s a lot of room for a lot of fans, so don’t worry if you haven’t gotten your seat just yet. Some of the fancy seats, vistas, and penthouses are no longer available through the general box office, but that’s fine with us because anyone waiting this long for a spot probably wont' want to spend in the triple digits or more for a seat.
You may think of maple syrup as a fall comfort food staple to drizzle on pancakes, but maple-sugaring season is now. Celebrate the nectar of the season at the National Maple Syrup Festival, the "first and only National Maple Syrup Festival in America" dedicated to the gooey goodness.
Surprisingly, the fest, set for March 5 to 6 and 12 to 13, isn't in Vermont. It goes down in Medora, Indiana, a small town about 80 miles north of Louisville. Producers from syrup-making states all over the country attend to showcase their tasty product. It has some seemingly unrelated events to look forward to, like a man-eating chicken (wha?) and chainsaw-carving demonstrations. But we want to go for the sweet stuff. And it offers plenty, dishing out more than 6,000 flapjacks with 100 percent pure maple syrup—none of that imitation Aunt Jemima stuff—and maple-barbecue pork chops with maple baked beans.
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Dear airports: it's about time you started exploring the possibilities of alternative energy, like solar energy via solar panel farms, for instance. The Indianapolis Star reports that, like Fresno-Yosemite Airport and Denver International Airport, the Indianapolis Airport is outfitting itself with the latest in solar power in a bid to generate "10 megawatts of electricity an hour -- enough to power up to 6,000 homes." There's just one problem here; the airports aren't using the energy to power themselves, but selling it to the grid in a bid to make cold, hard cash. it's estimated to pull in some $190 million just at Indianapolis over the next 30 years. That better become one bangin' airport with all that moolah.
It's actually a pretty genius ideathat the fancy airport Sbarro's from which you're ordering was partially funded by the sunand empty lots of land or unused runways are now being given a somewhat altruistic purpose. Homes get energy, airport gets money, and fossil fuels are eliminated from the equation. Rah! Rah! Sis-boom-bah.
If there's one food that doesn't get enough play, it's those small Eastern European pasta pockets full of potatoes. But they get their due once a year at Pierogi Fest, which honors the comfort food and the land from whence it came today through July 25.
More than 200,000 pierogi-loving peeps come out to Whiting, Indiana, for the free festival. There, you can partake in food-filled activities, from a pierogi toss that tests how far you can chuck the doughy dumplings to a pierogi-eating contest.
This year has not been good for our sports gambling habit, and the men’s NCAA basketball tournament is not making things any better. We’re surprised our bracket hasn’t just been totally canceled, because at this point there’s no point in wasting the effort to tally up our final score. Despite our misfortunes, we’d still like to go check out the tournament’s last few games, and even though we didn’t plan anything in advance there are options. Here’s a few Final Four Indianapolis vacation packages in case you have some extra cash hanging around the house.
PrimeSport is offering up several packages that include accommodations and tickets, and none of them are really affordable. However, if you think you can siphon a little cash from the checking account without your significant other finding out, there is one option. For $1,695 per person—assuming two people—you’ll be resting up at the Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Airport. It’s not that close to the action, but you’ll get transportation to Lucas Oil Stadium for the games. The price of the package includes five nights accommodations and Terrace Level Side Court tickets. It’s not the best vantage point, but it’s cooler than watching on TV.
MJ's Neverland Ranch, which will inspire the park
Some shocking news from the LA Times today, something which we oddly expected but truly hoped would never happen. That's rightsomeone is building a Michael Jackson Theme Park.
Although the obvious location for the King of Pop's playland would be his already theme park-ish Neverland Rand in Santa Barbara County, California. But no...this whole new development is landing in the singer's hometown of Gary, Indiana. They expect to break ground this year, and plan for a full decade-long buildout, to cost approximately $1 billion. Apparently they think that we'll be more ready for an MJ theme park in ten years, but they are wrong.
After the jump, more on a 'Thriller' roller coaster...
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It’s hard to compete with the Dallas Cowboys’ new shrine dedicated to all things football, but the Indianapolis Colts are trying their best. The Colts haven’t lost one game this season, and thanks to solid play throughout the decade, they were rewarded with their own brand new stadium.
Lucas Oil Stadium sits just outside of downtown Indianapolis and swung its gates open for the first time in 2008—it might even still have that new stadium smell. The architects went with a retro design to the outside of the facility, taking inspiration from traditional stadiums. However, there’s nothing old about the inside of the place, especially when they decide to crack open the huge retraceable roof. They’ve also got a huge wall of windows that can be opened when the weather outside isn’t frightful, and it even allows for a pretty decent shot of the downtown skyline. It was the world’s largest installation of moveable glass, but the Cowboys stole that title from the place with their new home.