Friday, December 20

Goodbye Bluebeard

Tables still empty when we left.
Dear Bluebeard, I fell in love with you the minute I set foot in your place: the ambiance, the food, the eclectic typewriter collection in the urban industrial setting.

In fact, I liked it so much I reviewed it for my food and wine column, Destination Dining, in M magazine. I told everyone I could about you ~ friends, family; even strangers heard how fabulous you were.

I am not certain when things changed, or perhaps I was just infatuated and didn’t see you for what you truly are ~ they do say love is blind…

In late September I arrived to meet someone on a Monday evening. He met me outside and we went into the bar area. I assumed he had a table since he had arrived first. We got inside and he let me know he hadn’t. As there was only one table with four businessmen at it, and a two-top with a couple at it, we took a seat at the farthest point away from the others for privacy’s sake. It was a table for three-four under the windows with better lighting.

We were given menus and water and told to enjoy our evening. Then all Hell broke loose. A clearly agitated and uptight young man came briskly to our table and stated we “have to move” to a two-top table unless we were expecting more people.

I explained politely that as we were already with menus, tableware and water, and the fact that we wanted privacy and there was no one waiting for this table, we would like to stay where we were already comfortable. He explained he was the host and we “must” move. I clearly stated we would rather not; besides, where did he want us to sit?

We were instructed we were to follow him as he grabbed up our menus out of our hands (yes, out of our hands) and pointed to a two-top immediately next to the four businessmen. Once again, I stated we did not wish to move and we wanted privacy and we absolutely did not wish to sit right next to other people.

He told us we “must” as “no one” is allowed to sit at a four-top table unless there were at least three people and it is “company policy.” So we reluctantly followed him to the undesired spot, feeling reprimanded and unwelcome.

A woman came along, gave us water and asked if we were having a good evening. I explained that, actually, we would rather sit at the table over there (pointing where we had been sitting) and was told quickly, “Oh no, you can’t. That’s a four-top and there are only two of you; it’s company policy and only the host has the authority to change it.”

Our server came to the table, recognizing me from numerous previous visits and asked how we were doing this evening. I explained the situation, that we truly wanted to sit away from the few others there were in the nearly vacant room and could we please return to the table by the far wall of windows. “No, afraid not,” she said. “It’s company policy. You have to sit here.”

Okay, I was starting to get perturbed ~ my date was already past that point. A lousy start to a first date I might add. I was there on personal time and it was quickly becoming an embarrassment as I recommended this place highly, as was my norm with Bluebeard. He wanted to go “Corleone” on them, which I found amusing, but deferred to my preference of giving them another chance.

Okay, why didn't I give in, shut up like a good little girl and sit where the mean people told me I must?

Seriously??? Have we met? There is no way I am going to put up with poor customer service, particularly when it is a ridiculous mandate. With the prices Bluebeard charges (and they are considered by many overpriced), customer pleasing should be at the top of the scale.

When I recommend a place, performance or item, it’s because I have received great service and product, and believe my readers, viewers and followers will enjoy it also. If they were treating me this shabbily, I must assume they would treat all of you the same way and I am not happy with that fact.

The manager walked to our table and demanded, “Is there a problem here?”

“Well,” I said quietly, "if you consider the fact we were ousted from our seats and forced to sit crowded up against another table without good reason a problem, then yes we do. If you believe your customers being treated badly is a problem, then we have a big one.”

“You can’t sit there,” she said bluntly. “That’s for four people.” I looked at the near-empty room and asked if she was expecting a rush for four-top tables on this Monday evening in the next hour we would be there.
Again we were told it is company policy. (I was tired of that excuse and decided to get to the bottom of things.)

“When you have a ‘no reservations’ policy, why is it that you are intent on reserving those tables?” I asked.
“Well,” she admitted rather less than pleasantly, “We have to keep those open in case Eli Lily or Exact Target employees come in and want them.”

“You what?” I asked in disbelief. “You are making us sit over here uncomfortably just in case someone from Eli Lilly or Exact Target might show up and want those seats? Please tell me you are joking.”

“No,” she stated testily. “They like to sit there.”

“What about your ‘no reservations’ policy,” I asked.

“Well, we have a ‘soft reservation’ for them,” she explained. “If you want a four-seat table so bad, you can sit outside on our patio area.”

“It’s 49 degrees outside,” I yelped as my date hooted out loud at the idea.

“We have the heater on,” she told us.

“Then let Eli Lilly and Exact Target sit out there,” I countered.

“No, they like these seats,” she pointed at the still-unoccupied tables. “If you want to eat inside, you have to sit here.” And away she walked.

I was in disbelief. My infatuation was shattered, humiliatingly, right in front of a first-timer to the restaurant. Horrifying to me to have my eyes opened to the true ~ and hidden ~ policies of the eatery.

Our server returned, saying in a slightly snarky manner, “I know who you are,” waving her hands in the air in mock quotation marks. “You’re some kind of big foodie blogger critic or something.”

“Apparently she doesn’t care who you are,” commented my date, “or they wouldn’t have put you in the cheap seats.”

“It shouldn’t matter,” I remarked to both of them. “If they know who I am and treat me this badly, what will they do to non media customers? I don’t want to get royal treatment. I want everyone who walks through that door to get royal treatment.”

“Or at least the treatment they give corporations like Eli Lilly and Exact Target,” quipped my date accurately.

Needless to say we didn’t stay too long, although we did eat a little, as I explained to my date, “I must enjoy this as it will be the last time I ever set foot in this hypocritical place again.”

Why, you may ask, did I wait so long to write about the situation? Because, when I am upset over something I like to cool off. This took a longer time than normal due to how angry I was. Also, I researched to see if I was unreasonable in what I requested. I asked around to other restaurant managers about a customer wanting to take up a four-top table when there are only two people, and the answer was the pretty much the same across the board: Give the customer what they want or they will stop being a customer.

Sucking up to corporations to the extent of treating regular customers like third-class citizens, while pretending to be a “we’re all equal” establishment, is not a great company policy.

Perhaps they should have remembered the old adage: A regular bird in the hand is worth two Lilly or ET birds in the bush as those tables remained unneeded by the corporate possible-shows.

Bottom Line: Unless you want to be told to sit at the back of the bus, with all us other non Lilly and ET folks, avoid Bluebeard.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel, food, wine and spirits columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Personal Lifestyle Adviser on Indy Style, WISH8 (CBS). Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, and in magazines. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Monday, December 16

America's Got Talent Auditions Held in Indianapolis

Well, looks like we hit the big time ~ again. Indy 500, Super Bowl 46 and now, "America's Got Talent." Or, at least the auditions. Residents of the Hoosier state can join in to compete for the chance to... compete. Talented Indiana singers, dancers and magicians (just to name a few) will be able to audition at the Indiana Convention Center.

Performers will showcase their particular talent at the downtown Indianapolis location for the opportunity to appear on telelvision for the final $1 million prize top award. NBC's modern-day variety show features animal trainers, contortionists and, well, pretty much any talent. Auditions are 90-seconds and performed in front of the show's producers. Don't expect to see the big names show up for the beginning rounds of qualifications. Those making the cut get the chance to take the stage in front of “America’s Got Talent” celebrity judges: Howie Mandel, Mel B, Heidi Klum and Howard Stern, and host Nick Cannon.

The event takes place from 8 am-7 pm, January 25-26, 2014.

Everry type of talent is welcome. Those interested in registration, full details and requirements, should visit AmericasGotTalentAuditions.com.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel, food, wine and spirits columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Personal Lifestyle Adviser on Indy Style, WISH8 (CBS). Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, and in magazines. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Saturday, December 14

6th Annual Gotta Go Ultimate Gift Guide 2013 Winners Announced

It's time for the 6th annual Gotta Go Ultimate Gift Guide 2013, giving you the best ideas accumulated
through personal experience, referrals and submissions. The handy list is gift-wrapped with links and recipient suggestions making it easier to find a perfect gift for just about everyone.

This year's new categories include Stocking Stuffers and Children/Toys. Twitter links and websites are included (as made available), so you can shop or follow the items you like.


Click here for 2011 Gotta Go Ultimate Gift Guide Winners.

2013 Ultimate Gift Guide Winners

JUDGES' FAVORITE AWARD
(image above)
Company: Romotive
Gift: Romo
What: Personalized robot
Who: Anyone with iPhone, iPad, iPod, iPad
Website: Romotive.com
Twitter: @Romotive
*********************

Scentsational Soap
Gift: Handcrafted soap (Pure Glycerin)
What: Frosted cranberry scent
Who: Stocking Stuffer
Twitter: N/A

Toy State
Gift: Road Ripppers
What: Maximum Boost motorized car
Who: Kids 3+
Website: ToyState.com
Twitter: @ToyState

Stoneware Art Factory
Gift: Stoneware, hand-crafted coffee cup

What: Inscribed, "I'd rather be drinking bourbon"
Who: Bourbon lovers, cup collectors
Twitter: @LouStoneware

Company: Ulysses Press
Gift: Cookbook
What: "Homemade Condiments"
Who: Culinary savvy, hostess
Twitter: @UlyssesPress

Toy State
Gift: Road Ripppers
What: Street Beatz motorized car
Who: Kids 3+
Website: ToyState.com
Twitter: @ToyState

Company: Ulysses Press
Gift: Cookbook

What: "The Southern Po' Boy"
Who: Cajun food lovers
Website: UlyssesPress.com
Twitter:  @UlyssesPress

The Wine Check
Gift: Wine luggage
What: Check-elegible luggage for wine
Who: Wine enthusiasts
Twitter: N/A

Endangered Species Chocolate
Gift: Chocolate bars
What: Holiday flavors: pumpkin seed, peppermint, vanilla chai
Who: Chocolate lovers, Stocking Stuffer
Website: Chocolatebar.com
Twitter: @ESC_Chocolate

 Integral Design
Gift: Keyprop
What: Cell phone holder
Who: Stocking stuffer
Website: Integrald.com
Twitter: @Integrald

Sterling Vineyards
Gift: Carneros Pinot Noir
What: California wine
Who: Wine lovers, hostess gift
Twitter: N/A

littleBits
Gift: 18 pack-littleBits
What: Electronic building set
Who: Kids, Science geeks
Website: littleBits.cc
Twitter: @littlebits

Sterling Vineyards
Gift: Aromatic White
What: California wine
Who: Wine lovers, hostess gift
Twitter: N/A

Columbus Tourism
Gift: Modernist Meca
What: Coffee table book
Who: Fans of archetecural or Indiana history
Website: Columbus.in.us
Twitter: N/A

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel, food, wine and spirits columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Personal Lifestyle Adviser on Indy Style, WISH8 (CBS). Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, and in magazines. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Friday, December 13

The Cabaret at The Columbia Club 2014 Winter-Spring Schedule


Indianapolis' posh nightspot, The Cabaret at The Columbia Club ~ overlooking Monument Circle, has released its 2014 Winter-Spring Season Schedule and it looks good. Check back for reviews.

Known for bringing divalicioush, devilish and delightful entertainers to the Indy stage, The Cabaret has built such a reputation top performers from the stages of Broadway, television and film are lining up to step on our stage. This season brings back audience favorites and those who might become a new favorite.







2014 Schedule

AN EVENING WITH MEGAN HILTY
January 18, 7:00 PM & 9:30 PM
BELTING BLONDE BOMBSHELL
The Cabaret’s Fifth Anniversary Season opens with Broadway and television star, Megan
Hilty. Megan gives an evening of Broadway showstoppers, along with selections from her brand
new album It Happens all the Time. On stage, Hilty starred in Broadway’s Wicked and 9 To 5: The Musical, as well as City Center Encores: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Audiences also know her as Marilyn Monroe/Ivy Lynn on NBC's SMASH, earning her a Grammy nomination for "Let Me Be Your Star." Hilty can currently be seen alongside Sean Hayes in NBC’s Sean Saves the World.
Tickets: $65, $75, $86, $95

CHESTER GREGORY: THE EVE OF JACKIE, A TRIBUTE TO JACKIE WILSON
February 14 &15, 8:00 PM
The Cabaret celebrates Black History Month with Broadway star Chester Gregory in his award-winning show: The Eve of Jackie. Gregory reveals the sometimes tragic side of the man who recorded more than 50 hit singles from 1957-'75 with “Lonely Teardrops” to “(Your Love Keeps Liftin’ Me) Higher and Higher." Gregory’s Broadway credits include Sister Act, Hairspray, and Dreamgirls. Other credits include The Jackie Wilson Story, Hairspray the Movie and performing for Michael Jackson.
Tickets: $25, $35, $45, $55

STEPHANIE J. BLOCK: THIS PLACE I KNOW
March 7 & 8, 8:00 PM
VOTED BY THE AUDIENCE AS THEIR #1 FAVORITE SHOW OVER THE LAST 5 YEARS!
Stephanie J. Block has established herself as one of the most relevant and versatile voices in contemporary musical theatre. She starred on Broadway in Wicked, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Anything Goes, 9 To 5: The Musical, The Pirate Queen and The Boy From Oz (opposite Hugh Jackman).
Most recently, Block starred in the Off-Broadway musical, Little Miss Sunshine. The Tony-nominated performer shares songs from a vast Broadway career and from her solo album, This Place I Know.
Tickets: $35, $45, $55, $65

TIERNEY SUTTON: AFTER BLUE, THE JONI MITCHELL PROJECT
March 19, 8:00 PM
JONI MITCHELL REIMAGINED
FEATURING MARK SUMMER AND SERGE MERLAUD
In her most daring and revealing project to date, five-time Grammy nominee, Tierney Sutton, pays homage to the revered pop singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell. Sutton puts her unique stamp on Joni Mitchell tunes going back to “Both Sides Now” and “Big Yellow Taxi” to more recent numbers like “The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines,” “Be Cool,” and “Don’t Go to Strangers.”
Tickets: $25, $35, $45, $55

MEOW MEOW: FELINE INTIMATE
(Image at top)
April 11 & 12, 8:00 PM
a lesson in performance art exotica
The bustier-clad, vampy, sexy and slightly deranged chanteuse “drags cabaret kicking and screaming into the 21st century” (Time Out NY). Her purr-fectly unique, post-post-modern brand of kamikaze cabaret has hypnotized, inspired and terrified audiences worldwide. Expect nothing less than sequins and satire; witty wicked Weimar; 60’s French pop; Brel, Brecht and Kitt; mayhem and magnificence.
Price: $25, $35, $45, $55

CYRILL AIMÉE
April 23, 8:00 PM
A MODERN SERVING OF GYPSY JAZZ
Internationally renowned, Cyrille’s vocal stylings are synonymous with musical genius. Her culturally rich background has supplied her with the driving force of Dominican rhythm and the incredible swing of the French Gypsies. Born in Fontainebleau, France, Aimée’s introduction to jazz was the result of the fortuitous location of her upbringing in Samois-sur-Seine, where the legendary gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt once lived. At the young age of 27, Aimée has already released five CDs internationally, was winner of the Montreux Jazz Festival Competition and a finalist in the prestigious Thelonious Monk Vocal Competition.
Price: $25, $35, $45, $55

KARRIN ALLYSON: ROUND MIDNIGHT
May 2 & 3, 8:00 PM
A SMOKY AFTERGLOW AFFAIR
After a dozen releases on Concord Jazz over the course of two decades, and three Grammy nominations for Best Jazz Vocal Album along the way, the versatile vocalist/pianist still believes that the emotional connection that takes place in a small, quiet club during the late hours is one of the best parts of the jazz experience. Explore the warmth and depth of an artist who engages with a range of music from Gershwin and Porter to Duke and Thelonious. The evening will feature songs from Karrin’s vast career as well as from her newest release, Round Midnight.
Price: $25, $35, $45, $55

JAMES TORMÉ: LOVE FOR SALE
May 16, 8:00PM
NOT YOUR MAMA’S TORMÉ
The Cabaret celebrates Jazz History month with the son of the legendary entertainer Mel Tormé. James Tormé brings classic jazz to a new generation, infusing older classics with contemporary influences, and haunting newer songs with his timeless throwback renditions. Having grown up hanging out with jazz legends such as Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Buddy Rich, and more, it is no surprise that his debut jazz album Love For Sale reached #2 on iTunes Jazz and #3 on Amazon Jazz. Come find out why Jazz FM says, “If you get a chance to see James Tormé you should beg, borrow, even steal a ticket.”
Tormé brings classic jazz to a new generation, infusing older classics with contemporary influences, and
Price: $25, $35, $45, $55

LAURA BENANTI: IN CONSTANT SEARCH OF THE RIGHT KIND OF ATTENTION
June 6 & 7, 8:00 PM
QUIRKY STAR OF STAGE AND SCREEN
Celebrating the release of her brand new CD, Live at 54 Below, Tony-Award winner Laura Benanti, bares all in an evening filled with amusing stories, mesmerizing melodies and self-deprecating humor. This kooky and sexy Broadway and TV star will feature an eclectic range of music from the Great American Songbook to popular songs of today.
Price: $35, $45, $55, $65

SUSAN WERNER
June 27, 8:00PM
THE QUINTESSENTIAL STORYTELLER
Critically acclaimed singer/songwriter Susan Werner and her music defy category. She has cultivated a reputation as a daring and innovative songwriter who boldly endeavors to weave old with new to create altogether new genres of music. She has recorded sixteen albums with projects ranging from jazz to country, and even gospel. With her grace, wit, and pure genius in capturing the human experience in music, Werner delivers it all.
Tickets: $25, $35, $45, $55

ABOUT THE CABARET
The Cabaret is a professional, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The mission of The Cabaret is to elevate the cabaret art form; attract, develop and retain high-quality local performance talent; and provide a unique and important contribution to the city’s artistic and cultural life.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel, food, wine and spirits columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Personal Lifestyle Adviser on Indy Style, WISH8 (CBS). Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, and in magazines. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Tuesday, December 10

Theater Review: Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre: A Beef and Boards Christmas 2013

Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre, Indianapolis, ends its 40th year with the annual Christmas proffering, Kenny Shepard and Deb Wims cohost the traditional holiday production A Beef and Boards Christmas.

With a few changes in the regular cast, Beef & Boards Orchestra takes the stage throughout the entire production bringing them the attention well-deserved. “Winter Wonderland” and “Carol of the Bells” stand out as they are performed by the seven-piece orchestra, led by Kristy Templet. It would be simpler to say the orchestra was the narrator of the production, performing 30 numbers during the holiday show, never leaving the stage.
New this year is the best Santa Claus I have witnessed on the B&B ~ or any Indianapolis ~ stage. I like to go into these things without too much prior knowledge, in keeping with the rest of the audience. Once I took note of the stage presence and voice of this particular Kris Kringle, I looked up the performer's name.

Jeff Angel.

Seriously, Angel is his last name and he is playing the angel of good children throughout the world. And doing it extremely well. His booming voice and bouncy nature draw the adults and children forward in their seats to catch every word he speaks. During intermission Santa captures the wonderland moment with children at a 'photo with Santa' area. When not donning red velvet and whiskers, Angel can also be found at TOTS, Footlite Musicals and other area stages. Hopefully he will return to this stage sans the Christmas gear in the Beef and Boards 2014 season schedule.

Well known carols are included again this year with notables including, "I'll Be Home for Christmas," reminding us that everyone isn't  home this year.

Peter Scharbrough (Les Mis) is delightful mixing it up with The Grinch. Frosty dances across the brand-new setting, complete with a cozy home feeling, designed by Michael Layton.

Bottom Line: A Beef and Boards Christmas offers family friendly holiday fun, flying reindeer and an unbeatable Santa Claus.

Images: JulieCurryPhotography.com

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel, food, wine and spirits columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Personal Lifestyle Adviser on Indy Style, WISH8 (CBS). Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, and in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Review: Mary Poppins 50th Anniversary DVD


I still remember when I attempted to "fly" like Mary Poppins with my trusty Mary Poppins umbrella ~ off the shed's roof at my parent's house. I was about 9 years old, I believe.

To this day, I wonder how I made it through childhood with my adventures constantly putting me in dangerous paths. I can only assume that the dear nanny was looking out for me that windy day.

We all have films we grew up watching and revisiting them bring that warm wave of nostalgia. Walt Disney, M. L. Travers and the new film, Saving Mr. Banks, brings the Disney classic Mary Poppins, back around as well with its 50th anniversary DVD. It's no surprise that the film comes out during the 50th anniversary year. The release of the two-pack special edition gives a few things the original did not contain.

As a fan of the nanny who flies in to take care of the family in 1910, I looked forward to the release of the DVD. Julie Andrews and Dick van Dyke are still enjoyable after all these years. This is a perfect example of how a movie becomes a classic. A story that spans time, values worth applying tour own lives, and extreme talent in the form of actors, lyricists, directors and choreographers, among others. The story, based on the works of P.L. Travers, is strong, flows seamlessly and stands the test of time.

The modern take on the movie consists of the other extras. The disc has a great sing-along, karaoke style for kids, bringing them into the story even more. The making of the film extra is enlightening with the behind-the-scenes-look. Blu Ray is also included in the two-pack, as well as a code so you can watch it on a smartphone.

Special commentary, interviews and conversations with and between costars, and song creators make the DVD a fun way to find out about the making of the movie. Deleted scenes are included, and it is digitally restored.

Bottom Line: Bringing Mary Poppins out of the vault to share with the nest generation can only be described as a scrumpdilicious idea.

For more information on the 50th anniversary edition, visit Disney.com.
Images: Disney

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel, food, wine and spirits columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Catch her as Indy’s Personal Lifestyle Adviser on Indy Style, WISH8 (CBS). Read Infused, a spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com Gotta Go is published at www.Gottago.us, and in magazines. Elizabeth writes food and dining magazine columns: Destination Dining and Cork & Fork. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Tuesday, December 3

Indiana's French Lick Resort Named Best Historic Resort 2013 by Historic Hotels of America

One of Indiana's own has received a distinguished honor ~ French Lick Resort, with its two grand hotels,
has been named the “Best Historic Resort ” after being awarded the distinction at Historic Hotels of America’s Annual Awards Program.

The Historic Hotels of America Annual Awards recognize and celebrate the finest historic hotels and hoteliers. The 2013 awards ceremony and gala took place at the historic Pfister Hotel, Milwaukee, November 21, where the final award winners were announced and presented awards.


Other Finalists

French Lick Resort, with its signature West Baden and French Lick Springs Hotels, has often been called “The Save of the Century.” Local residents teamed with the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana and Indiana philanthropists and entrepreneurs, Bill and Gayle Cook, to restore the West Baden Springs Hotel, a National Historic Landmark, after an exterior wall had collapsed.

One of the largest private historic restorations in the history of the United States, the $500 million restoration and development project also included the meticulous restoration of the French Lick Springs Hotel, development of the French Lick Casino, restoration of the Donald Ross Course, creation of the award-winning Pete Dye Course and upgrade of the Valley Links Course.

About French Lick Resort
French Lick Resort is a $500 million historic restoration and casino development project that includes the West Baden Springs Hotel, French Lick Springs Hotel and the French Lick Casino. This premier resort and casino destination in Southern Indiana features 686 guest rooms and suites; a 51,000-square-foot, single-level casino; 63 holes of golf, including the fully restored 1917-designed Donald Ross Course at French Lick and the new, 18-hole Pete Dye Course at French Lick; two full-service spas with a combined 36 treatment rooms totaling 42,000 square feet; meeting and event space totaling 115,000 square feet (with an additional 56,000 square feet in development) and an array of dining and entertainment options. Visit FrenchLick.com.
About Historic Hotels of America
Historic Hotels of America is the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest Historic Hotels. Historic Hotels of America was founded in 1989 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation with 32 charter members. In 2007, Preferred Hotel Group partnered with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to grow and enhance Historic Hotels of America. Historic Hotels of America has more than 240 historic hotels. These historic hotels have all faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity in the United States of America, including the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. To be nominated and selected for membership, a hotel must be at least 50 years old, listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places or recognized as having historic significance. Visit HistoricHotels.org.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel, food, wine and spirits columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Personal Lifestyle Adviser on Indy Style, WISH8 (CBS). Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, and in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Monday, December 2

It's A Wonderful Life on Big Screen and Silent Auction at IMAX December 5 for $6

Some things mean Christmas more than others. It's A Wonderful Life is one those thigns. Annually an original Christmas movie is shown in Indianapolis the first week of December. Benefiting Indianapolis Downtown Beautification, the film and silent auction beforehand will be held at Indiana State Museum's IMAX, 650 W. Washington St., Indianapolis.

Tickets ($6) are available by clicking here or at the door the evening of the event, Thursday, Dec. 5. The silent auction begins at 5 p.m. and runs through 6:15 p.m. Cash and checks are accepted for the items. Silent auction items include gift certificates to some of downtown's best restaurants, hotels, attractions and more. 

 The classic film begins screening at 6:30 p.m. Seating is limited and expected to sell out. All contributions go to Indianapolis Downtown Beautification.

About Downtown Beautification
A clean, attractive downtown pleases visitors and residents, spurs economic development, improves the quality of life and enhances customer perceptions of safety. Downtown is a gateway for our visitors and its beauty and cleanliness are dependent on your cooperation.

Keeping Downtown vibrant includes a number of projects from planting trees and gardens to forming cleaning committees, recruiting volunteers and raising funds. IDI also works with partners to install the holiday lights that decorate the Soldiers and Sailors Monument known as: Circle of Lights presented by the Contractors of Quality Connection and Electrical Workers of IBEW #481.
Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel, food, wine and spirits columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Personal Lifestyle Adviser on Indy Style, WISH8 (CBS). Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, and in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

12 Free Days of Christmas 2013

I love finding new free things to do in Indianapolis (and other cities), especially at Chrismtas time. Guests are in town, kids are on school break and you want to check out something holiday-themed. Here are 12 places in downtown Indy, opening up for free this year and compiled by IndyDowntown.

Friday, Dec. 13
Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, open noon – 6 p.m.
Get a glimpse into Kurt Vonnegut’s personal items and artwork or pull a book off the library shelves and relax with it in a comfy chair. All guests will receive a FREE bumper sticker.

Saturday, Dec. 14
Pan Am Pavilion, open noon – 8 p.m.
Skate for FREE in the same arena where the Indiana Ice play! Note: skate rental is extra or you can bring your own. Enjoy the festivities on Georgia Street during the FREE City Sidewalks.

Sunday, Dec. 15
Elevator rides to the top of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Monument Circle and Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum, open 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. 
 Take an elevator ride to the top of the Monument. The observatory at the top offers views of Downtown Indianapolis. Also visit the Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum in the basement of the Monument.

Monday, Dec. 16
Indiana State Museum, open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Experience Celebration Crossing and the L.S. Ayres Santa Claus Express train. Santa and Mrs. Claus will entertain visitors in their home on level 3 of the museum.

Tuesday, Dec. 17
James Whitcomb Riley Museum, open 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

 Step back to the beginning of the 20th century – just as the Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley experienced it for 23 years of his life.

Wednesday, Dec. 18
Morris-Butler House, open noon – 3 p.m.
This beautiful restored 1865 home showcases the architecture, history and culture. The home also houses a collection of nineteenth-century sculptures, paintings and lithographs from all over the world.

Thursday, Dec. 19
The Indianapolis Museum of Art, open 5 – 8:30 p.m.
Grab some ideas for holiday décor during the IMA’s annual Winter Solstice. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Oldfields, the IMA will be looking to the 1900s and 1910s for decor inspiration. Warm up in the Lilly House with historic holiday decorations and music, then shop at the greenhouse and museum.

Friday, Dec. 20
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum, open 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Check out the impressive display of 75 vehicles, including The Marmon "Wasp," which won the inaugural Indy 500 in 1911 and an exhibit honoring Parnelli Jones, 1963 Indy 500 winner.

Saturday, Dec. 21
Indiana Historical Society, open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Spend the day enjoying the latest offerings – especially Destination Indiana and You Are There. Grab a family photo next to the leg lamp from A Christmas Story.

Sunday, Dec. 22
Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, open 12:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Holiday season at the authentically-restored 1875 Italianate home of President Benjamin Harrison features Victorian holiday adornment. 

Monday, Dec. 23
National Institute of Fitness and Sport (NIFS), open 5:15 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Put in a little time on a treadmill or in a group fitness class and enjoy that holiday eggnog without the guilt. NIFS offers an indoor NBA regulation-sized basketball court, Pilates studio, group fitness studio, 200-meter indoor track, fully-equipped weight room and more than 100 pieces of cardio equipment. Parking is available directly across the facility in the Riverwalk Garage (NIFS will validate.) Children ages 11-17 must be accompanied by an adult. A nursery is available for children under age 11 (see hours on website).

Tuesday, Dec. 24
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, open 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Holidays sparkle at the world’s largest children’s museum. Visit Jolly Days Winter Wonderland and experience the giant Yule Slide. Take part in a number of seasonal favorites including skating in socks on an indoor “pond,” climbing and sliding on the Snow Castle, “ice” fishing and pretend-baking holiday goodies in the Tradition Kitchen.

Images Provided

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel, food, wine and spirits columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Personal Lifestyle Adviser on Indy Style, WISH8 (CBS). Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, and in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Wednesday, November 27

Infused: Now accepting Christmas Holiday Inspired Cocktails 2013

Think you (or your mixologist) has the best recipe for a cocktail inspired by the Christmas holiday season? I will feature Christmas-inspired cocktails in Gotta Go, giving readers the Top Ten Best Cocktails to create in the 3rd annual Top 10 Best Christmas Cocktails 2013.

All recipes, images and contact information for the submission can be sent via email to elizabeth@gottago.us or elizabethjmusgrave@gmail.com by Friday, December 13, 2013.
Posting will occur the week of December 20. This will be a fun way for readers to enjoy cocktails made with great products and inspired by a favorite holiday.


All entries must include images for the cocktail and all of the below information. Please remember to send the Twitter handle/link and website link. This helps the readers go immediately to you and check out how wonderful your company, bar, restaurant, etc., is and follow you.

No stress, just fun!

Those chosen will be featured on GottaGo.us. 

E-mail submissions only are required, no physical attendance needed for this one.

Include (in order and completely) the following information: (Most just copy this for a template)

1) Cocktail's themed name

2) Bar/company/restaurant/mixologist/winery name and location

3) Website and Twitter handle so readers can check you out!

4) Recipe, including measurements, garnish and glassware

**Don't forget**
5) Inspiration for drink-obviously Christmas, but what exactly inspired you to make this particular drink?

6) Image-Please make sure it is a good quality.

This is open to anyone within the spirits/wine/beer company/restaurant realm including mixologists, bars, fine dining, bartenders, sommeliers, hotels, companies, spirit entrepreneurs, et cetera. The idea is to feature cocktails inspired by Christmas and all the nostalgic, fun, spiritual and other feelings about the holiday. Let your imagination run wild with this one...it can go many directions: Santa, sugarplums, Chrismas trees, shopping, misteltoe, candy canes, elves, reindeer, nativity, a particular carol, movies, holiday candy,  ...you get the idea!

***Special Note***
Several cocktails were disqualified for the last Top 10 cocktail lists due to the drink name and/or inspiration missing or not applicable to the theme. Let's see your best themed drink! Sending in a cocktail with a non-themed name and/or inspiration will, unfortunately, be disqualified.

(Ex. sending a chocolate martini with the brand as the name or stating it is inspired by your love of Christmas isn't an inspired-by drink. However, a chocolate martini with a mint liquer flavored Christmas tree-shape floating in it  ~ inspired by dcorating the tree while sipping hot chocolate would work....)

Image: Fleming's Steakhouse_ChristmasCocktails2012

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel, food, wine and spirits columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Personal Lifestyle Adviser on Indy Style, WISH8 (CBS). Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, and in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Tuesday, November 26

L. S. Ayres' Cherub Arrives in Indianapolis for Christmas 2013 Season

Below is the tale of the famous L.S. Ayres cherub, which arrives annually to oversee shoppers during the holiday season. No one ever sees the cherub arrive, but, just like Santa Claus, you can depend on catching sight of him every year.

It was 1946. World War II had just ended and thousands returned home from military service. Among them, Virginia Holmes--a prize-winning commercial artist--came back to Indianapolis and started her career in the advertising department at L.S. Ayres, a downtown department store. When it came time to compose the 1946 holiday catalog, merchandise was still in short supply, so Holmes created whimsical cherubs to fill the somewhat empty pages. The cherubs captured hearts and began an Indianapolis holiday tradition that continues today.

Customer response to the cherubs was so great, Ayres perpetuated their appearance in its 1947 holiday advertising. It was Ayres’ 75th Anniversary, and that called for a special addition to their holiday celebration plans. Ayres commissioned nationally recognized Indianapolis sculptor and Herron School of Art instructor, David Rubins to create a bronze cherub for the store’s landmark clock, located on the outside of their building on the corner of Washington and Meridian streets.

Cherub Keeps WatchAs the story is told, the whimsical Cherub mysteriously appeared atop the clock on Thanksgiving Eve 1947 to keep a watchful eye on the holiday shoppers (beginning Thursday, Nov. 28) until Santa took over on Christmas Eve. In the 66 years since, thousands have had the pleasure of seeing the Cherub perched atop the famous clock each holiday season. This powerful tradition lives in the hearts and minds and memories of a city and its grateful citizens.

The May Department Store Co. purchased L.S. Ayres in 1986 and, in 1992, moved the Cherub to its headquarters in St. Louis. There was tremendous public outcry when the Cherub did not appear that holiday season. So May donated the Cherub to the City of Indianapolis and in 1994 Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. became the Cherub’s legal guardian.

So keep an eye out… the Cherub will be appearing downtown very soon ~

Visit the Indiana State Museum gift shop for replica Cherub pins.


Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel, food, wine and spirits columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Personal Lifestyle Adviser on Indy Style, WISH8 (CBS). Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, and in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Monday, November 25

Pro Ice Hockey Returns to Indianapolis' State Fairgrounds Coliseum

Looks like our professional sports teams ~ Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Fever, Indiana Pacers ~ have another pro ball team to balance things out.

The Indiana State Fair Commission has approved an agreement with Indiana Hockey Club, LLC, an ECHL expansion franchise that will become an anchor tenant for the fairgrounds’ newly renovated Coliseum and begin playing its home games there in October, 2014. The two organizations have signed a five-year deal that also calls for the team to house its administrative offices at the fairgrounds.

Carmel businessman Jim Hallett, the chief executive officer and director of KAR Auction Services, one of North America’s largest automotive remarketing companies, is the chairman of Indiana Hockey Club, LLC and no stranger to hockey, as a lifelong fan, former player and former team owner.

The Coliseum Complex is in the final months of a $63 million renovation that will modernize the entire arena with new lighting, a two-tiered seating bowl, a digital overhead scoreboard, state of the art sound equipment and ample ADA seating. It will accommodate about 6,200 fans for hockey and is scheduled to reopen in April, 2014.

The State Fairgrounds has been the hub of Indianapolis’ long hockey history dating back to 1939 when the Coliseum first opened and the Indianapolis Capitals began the first of their 13 seasons in the International American Hockey League. The building subsequently housed the Indianapolis Chiefs, Racers, Checkers and Ice from a variety of professional leagues from 1955 – 2004.

The Indiana Ice, an amateur team playing in the United States Hockey League, called the Coliseum home from 2004 – 2012 when the renovation began, but ultimately decided not to return to the Coliseum after the renovation is completed.

That decision eventually led the commission to Hallett and the ECHL. Hockey’s premier “AA” league, the ECHL not only offers Ft. Wayne as a natural regional rival, but it also has franchises in nearby Evansville, Cincinnati and Toledo. Overall, it currently has 22 teams located throughout the country and is responsible for sending more than 500 players to the National Hockey League since its inception in 1988.

The hockey club is the second team to announce a deal to play in the renovated Coliseum. Earlier this year, the IUPUI Jaguars announced a five-year agreement to play all its men’s and selected women’s basketball games in the arena. The hockey team will unveil additional details, including information on the lottery process for selecting season tickets for the club’s inaugural season.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel, food, wine and spirits columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Personal Lifestyle Adviser on Indy Style, WISH8 (CBS). Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, and in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Sunday, November 24

Stutz Artists Offers Holiday Open House During First Friday Dec. 6

Sidewalk Symphony
*press release* The Stutz Artists Association is offering a holiday version of its annual open house on Dec. 6 with 30 open artists’ studios, an exhibition featuring art for gift-giving and the second annual bicycle selection for artists participating in an upcoming competition. The Stutz Business Center is located at 212 W. 10th St., Indianapolis (Enter from 10th Street via alley).

For the first time ever on a First Friday in the evening, visitors will be able to roam the massive building to find approximately 30 studios in which artists will be hosting receptions from 6 to 9 p.m.

“Splendid Menagerie” exhibition will be in part of the Raymond James Stutz Art Gallery on the first floor featuring small and large works created with gift-giving in mind. Art will include paintings and graphics, jewelry of many different styles and materials, greeting cards, photography, and fabric arts including quilting and hand dyed wall art.

Another part of the gallery will feature the “IDADA First in Line” show featuring snapshots of the people who bought artwork. IDADA will hold a reception and sale on Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. Visit Idada.org for more details.

The evening will be complete with the second annual bicycle selection for reCYCLE pARTS II, a juried art exhibit and competition in May 2014. One-by-one, participating artists will pick an entire bike starting at 7 p.m. Artists will draw a number at registration that determines the order of bicycle selection. All art in the show will be created including at least three pieces of the selected bicycle.

COST: Free and open to the public
INFO: StutzArtists.com or (317) 503-6420
Image: Julia Zollman Wickes. studio-B335

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel, food, wine and spirits columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Personal Lifestyle Adviser on Indy Style, WISH8 (CBS). Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, and in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Friday, November 22

Hoosier Holidays 2013 Offers Discounts at Downtown Indianapolis Hotels, IRT, Indy Zoo & More

Looking for a way to stay in budget and still have family fun for holiday season 2013? Things to do in Indy can be achieved  ~ if you just believe...

Indiana residents can stay close to home this holiday season with Visit Indy’s ‘Hoosier Holidays’ campaign offering up to 50 percent off on Indianapolis hotel accommodations and significant savings on holiday activities throughout the capital city.

The program invites fellow Hoosiers to shop, dine and be entertained this holiday season. It kicks off Sunday, November 24, and continues through January 4, 2014.


Show your valid Indiana driver’s license, and discounted hotel stays can be booked at any of the participating hotels ~ like the newly renovated Crowne Plaza at Historic Union Station or the Omni Severin which is celebrating its 100th anniversary. (Special rates range from $69 to $149).

After checking in, participants are also provided with additional exclusive discounts to Indy’s holiday events and attractions such as Indiana Repertory Theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol or a Beef and Boards Theatre dinner and show.
Other discounts include admission to Eiteljorg Museum and their annual Jingle Rails exhibit and admission to the Indianapolis Zoo, just in time for Christmas at the Zoo.

To book your Hoosier Holiday stay and receive significant savings at Indy’s best holiday attractions, log on to VisitIndy.com/HoosierHolidays.

Discounted rates are available to overnight stays made 72 hours in advance of the date of stay and a valid Indiana driver’s license or other Indiana photo ID must presented upon check-in. Taxes are additional.
About Visit Indy
Visit Indy's mission is to increase Indianapolis growth by strategically selling the destination to conventions, meetings, events, and leisure travelers. According to a recent study by Vantage Strategy, 22 million people visit Indianapolis annually, generating $3.95 billion in economic impact, and supporting 75,000 full-time employment positions. For more information, VisitIndy.com
Images: provided by Visit Indy

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel, food, wine and spirits columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Personal Lifestyle Adviser on Indy Style, WISH8 (CBS). Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, and in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Thursday, November 21

Brown County Offers Train Rides, Santa, Victorian Carolers for Christmas 2013

Okay, I love Brown County (like most peoplee). However, I had no idea until this year they offer cool Christmas things to do. Normally I head down in the Autumn, hit the neat little shop on the left (as you're coming into town) called Holly Shop, and wander about, sipping cider, traipsing through the trails at the state park and shopping (naturally). After that, I wait until Spring to return. But this year? Maybe it's time to head down in November or December.

The Village of Nashville is going old-fashioned with strolling Victorian-costumed carolers, the Little Nashville Express Train and visits with Santa and his elves, and a live nativity scene. Hot chocolate, cookies, caroling and the official lighting of Santa’s tree happens the first weekend of festivities. After that, every weekend is filled with holiday thappenings.

Things to do include: face painting with Santa, the Christmas Light Parade, gingerbread creations, holiday shows, sing-a-longs and victorian candlelight dinners.

Christmas in Brown County Activities
Kick-off Weekend is November 29 – December 1

Gingerbread Competition & Exhibit

November 24 - December 14
8 am-11 pm daily
This exhibit pays tribute to the log cabins of Brown County while challenging participants to
combine their culinary skills with architectural design to create extraordinary works of art.
Location: Brown County Inn

Little Nashville Express Train Rides
November 23 – December 14
See the Village! Board the Express Train for a fun and free ride.
Nov. 23-24, 29-30: Noon-7 pm; Dec. 1: Noon-5 pm; Dec. 7, 14: Noon-6 pm

Visitors Center Holiday Open House
Nov. 29
Join the Visitors Center as they welcome Santa and kick off the holiday season by lighting up
Santa’s Tree. Free hot chocolate and cookies. Open House and visits with Santa 2 pm-6 pm
Location: Visitors Center Patio

Santa Sightings
Nov. 29-Dec. 1
Bring the family and visit with Santa Thanksgiving weekend.
Friday 2 pm–6 pm; Saturday 11 am-5 pm; Sunday Noon-4 pm. Location: Visitors Center Patio

Strolling Carolers
Nov. 29-Dec. 1
Enjoy a holiday song from strolling carolers in the Village
Friday 2 pm–6 pm; Saturday 11 am-5 pm; Sunday Noon-4 pm.

Live Nativity Scene
Nov. 30
Enjoy live nativity scenes throughout the Village of Nashville from 1 pm-3 pm.
Final scenes will end at the corner of Mound Street and North Van Buren Street by the Holly Shop.

For more information: ChristmasinBrownCounty.com. 

For details about other Brown County events, tourist attractions and lodging: BrownCounty.com.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel, food, wine and spirits columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Personal Lifestyle Adviser on Indy Style, WISH8 (CBS). Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, and in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Wednesday, November 20

Christmas on the Square 2013 Includes Carolers, Roaming Characters, Train Ride & Live Nativity


A storybook window display following the escapades of Clarence the Christmas Camel, will be highlightedChristmas on the Square and will usher in the holiday season for Hendricks County residents and visitors again this year.

Scheduled from 4-6 p.m. November 29, the experience will include a variety of family activities as the town closes all four streets around the Courthouse Square to vehicular traffic.




Christmas on the Square Activities
Storybook Window Display
Beginning with a book reading at 4 p.m. at the Royal Theater, windows around the Square will be unveiled with each representing a page turning the area into the giant storybook, “Clarence the Christmas Camel.”
Live Nativity Scene
As in recent years, a nativity area with live animals will be stationed at the corner of Washington and Marion streets.

Train Rides
This free activity will occur on Jefferson Street.

Childrens’ Activities
A juggler, face painters and balloon artists will be stationed at various locations inside businesses around the Square. Children also will be able to fill a complimentary stocking with candy and prizes as they visit the various merchants around the Square.

Strolling Carolers
A group of jolly singers will provide a bit of ambience harkening back to traditional Christmas celebrations.

Roaming Holiday Characters
Santa, Mrs. Claus, Rudolph, a snowman and Christmas tree will stroll around the square greeting visitors.

Holiday Melodrama
The Danville High School Drama Department will perform at 3 and 5 p.m. inside the Royal Theater.

Tree Lighting
Santa, Mrs. Claus and one child will flip the switch to light up the Downtown Square to end the evening.

For more information about Christmas on the Square, visit VisitDowntownDanville.com.

Images: Hendricks County CVB
Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel, food, wine and spirits columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Personal Lifestyle Adviser on Indy Style, WISH8 (CBS). Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, and in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.