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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.
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Okay—so it’s finally happened, summer has faded into the distance and now it’s time for autumn. The weather is getting cooler, the leaves are changing color, and it’s time to enjoy some seasonal selection—like apples. Here are a few festivals coming up the next couple of weekends dedicated to all things Macintosh, Red Delicious, and Granny Smith:
Cory Apple Festival – Cory, Indiana
They’ve been doing things here for over forty years, and this weekend is the 44th Annual Cory Apple Festival. Things begin on Friday and run through Sunday as fish frys, hog roasts, and chicken noodle dinners will ensure you’re well fed. Arts and craft vendors will be on hand, as well as plenty of antiques and other flea market finds. As for the apples, expect plenty of opportunities to enjoy some fresh fruit and pressed cider. Just be sure to stick around for the Redneck Riding Lawnmower Demolition Derby—hilarious. This certainly is a small town festival, as organizers are quick to point out that the town lacks an ATM, which means you better BYOCash.
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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A slice of Michigan ABC pie
Happy National Pie Day! Yes, this is a real thing and yes, it totally warrants a cheer of "America, f*ck yeah!" Pie is awesome, having a day just to celebrate it is awesome, so go get you some awesome pie.
Or let pie come to you...
Michigan kinda feels sad for everyone who doesn't live in their state, a state where bakeries average 30 fresh pie varieties daily. So, just for today, Michigan will ship out Grand Traverse pies every hour to people who share their pie love on Twitter. Here's how it works:
· Follow both @PureMichigan & @GTPie on Twitter.
· Between 10am & 5pm EST on January 23 (today!), tweet your favorite type of pie at them.
· Include the hashtag #puremichiganpie when you do
· Wait for pie* (*if you're one of the hourly winners)
Speaking of state allegiances, here's Five States Known for Specialty Pies:
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While we we've busy enjoying the warmer weather it’s been all work for those responsible for tending to this year’s blueberry crop. Thankfully things must have gone according to plan, as it’s time to harvest. Before August slips into September it’s time to celebrate blueberry season, and here’s three of the best festivals where you can do exactly that:
National Blueberry Festival – South Haven, Michigan
Running August 9-12, this festival has everything and anything involved with the berries that are little and blue. All the events go down right on the shores of Lake Michigan at the town’s Riverfront Park. Blueberry Pie Socials, Lawn Tractor Pulls, Pie Eating Contests, and a Blueberry Cookout round out the weekend’s events.
Organizers are expecting at least 40,000 hungry visitors as the event celebrates its 49th year filled with live entertainment and way too many blueberry pancakes. If you need a blueberry break—like that’s even possible—just swing by the Sand Sculpture Contest scheduled to do its thing at North Beach on Sunday afternoon.
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After a busy Sunday we now know that there’s going to be a Super Bowl rematch between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants. Fans from the Northeast—and the rest of the country—are already submitting vacation request paperwork as they roll into the office. We took a quick look at the flight situation, and here are some ideas on how to get to Indianapolis for this year’s big game on February 5.
You’ve only got two weeks to finalize your travel plans, but figuring things out sooner rather than later is the best plan. If you’re looking to fly from Boston for the weekend, expect to pay around $1100 for a nonstop option on Delta that gets you in on Friday and sends you home—hopefully with a championship t-shirt—on Monday. Staying a little longer and making a connection can save some serious coin, as leaving on Thursday and coming home on Tuesday will set you back around $500 instead. Flights from other parts of New England like Hartford and Providence are just as pricey—with must-do connections—so the smaller airports won’t save you any cash.
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.
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.