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home : columnists : betsy reason September 24, 2017


Small town, big festival
This weekend, a sleepy little town of "750 friendly residents and a few soreheads," according to the town's welcome sign, has come to life, filled with craft and food vendors, musical acts and thousands of visitors.

The 44nd annual Atlanta New Earth Festival is today and Sunday in Atlanta, Ind., a town on Ind. 19, about 20 minutes north of Noblesville in northern Hamilton County.

The annual festival began in 1974 as a way to revive the town's business district.

Saturday, September 23, 2017
Mystery-comedy kicks off season
Nancy Lafferty wants to sit in the audience and enjoy the show tonight.

The director of The Belfry Theatre's mystery comedy, "Done to Death," said if she does her job well, then there is nothing to do except watch.

"Actors are on their own. They shouldn't need me on opening night. And they don't," Lafferty said Thursday. "It's a solid cast, and they are ready."

Friday, September 22, 2017
Downtown building to celebrate 150th
Rosie Hoistion has a big smile on her face everyday as she welcomes customers to Old Picket Fence.

It will be two years come January that she bought the business from Janet Hatmaker, who was looking to retire.

Hoistion didn't realize the rich history of the 150-year-old property until she settled into the old building on the northwest corner of Logan and Ninth streets in downtown Noblesville.

Thursday, September 21, 2017
Brewfest keeps our pool open
If you get out this weekend, consider attending Noblesville Brewfest.

The eighth annual beer- and wine-tasting festival on Saturday is the one and only fundraiser for Forest Park Aquatic Center in Noblesville.

The pool opens every summer thanks to Brewfest, which annually raises more than $40,000 for operation of the pool.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Great weekend in Noblesville
It was an amazing weekend in downtown Noblesville, as folks were out and about showing their spirit, supporting their schools, their city and their community.

It was perfect weather, warm and sunny, all weekend.

It all started with Noblesville High School Homecoming, including parade, tailgating and football game on Friday.

Folks crowded the streets of downtown Noblesville as Noblesville High School celebrated Homecoming with parade floats, athletes and school organizations during the annual Homecoming Parade.

Monday, September 18, 2017
'Yesterday' with Trooper Marks
Noblesville's Jack Marks always had a story to tell. And he had old photos or memorabilia that went along to prove most of his stories.

One of those tales was about how the retired Indiana State Trooper gave The Beatles' drummer Ringo Starr a sightseeing tour, including a ride back to his farm in Noblesville to meet Marks' family.

Saturday, September 16, 2017
Pioneer Party in Forest Park
If you've been hankering for a lazy afternoon, listening to good old-time country music played by some local folks, then grab your lawn chairs and your straw hat and head for Noblesville's Forest Park on Saturday.

It's all part of the free Pioneer Party in the Park music festival, which kicks off at 11:45 a.m. celebrating old-time country music all afternoon until about 5 p.m. in Shelter No. 5.

Friday, September 15, 2017
Tours, music, history, more
I have an Historic Home Tour sign displayed in my front yard, promoting Noblesville Preservation Alliance's 31st annual Historic Homes Tour.

I chuckled as I accepted the sign from NPA board member Sandy Stewart, who invited me to display the sign as I was out walking in Old Town one evening last week.

My chuckle was because I hope that no one mistook my front-yard sign for my house as being one of the homes on tour.

Thursday, September 14, 2017
Old-time music on Courthouse Square
The northeast lawn of the historic Hamilton County Courthouse has been filling up on select Saturday nights with folks kicked back in lawn chairs while listening to old-time country music.

This Saturday will be the fourth free concert in Legacy Keepers Music 10th Anniversary String-Time Concert Series, which culminates on Sept. 16 with a free Pioneer Party in Forest Park.

Monday, August 28, 2017
The Times intern had good summer
Every year since I've been working for The Times newspaper, we've had high school or college interns getting their feet wet as reporters.

This summer was no different. College intern Sydney Allen eagerly spent her summer with us, learning about what it's like to be a journalist in the real world.
(1 comments)

Saturday, August 26, 2017
Put Blackberry Jam on menu
When we were at the Indiana State Fair on Saturday, we happened upon Blackberry Jam - The Folk Band, performing in the Pioneer Village.

I'd already heard great things about the band, led by Arcadia's Jean Roberts.

Just watching the band on stage Saturday was a treat.

They played all afternoon on a small platform just large enough to fit the six-member band.

Friday, August 25, 2017
For the love of old cars
Now that the Indiana State Fair is behind us, it's time to rev up for the eighth annual Lucky Teter Rebel Run Car and Vintage Bike Show this Saturday at Noblesville's Forest Park.

I always love a good car show. An extra bonus, this show benefits the Noblesville Masonic Lodge's Angel Fund, a charity coordinated with Noblesville Schools for families who need financial assistance for medical and dental needs.

Thursday, August 24, 2017
Options grow at Charter School
Noblesville's Mason Burden said he is able to focus more on his education thanks to a smaller-classroom environment and one-on-one time he receives with his teachers at Options Charter School in Noblesville.

The 15-year-old freshman, a former student at Noblesville East Middle School, was referred to Options during his eighth-grade year because of his need for that one-on-one time.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Gotta have the eclipse glasses
You would have thought that people were in line for Black Friday. Maybe the grand opening of a new store. Or even tickets to a Jimmy Buffett concert.

Folks arrived as early as 1:30 a.m. Friday at Hamilton East Public Library's Noblesville branch, in hopes of scoring special solar eclipse-viewing safety eyeglasses to view today's highly publicized solar eclipse.

Both Noblesville and Fishers branch libraries gave away 100 pairs of eclipse-viewing glasses, first-come, first-served, when the doors opened at 9 a.m.

Monday, August 21, 2017
'90 NHS grad is Fair's 'Mr. Fix it'
Mark Costlow can pet an Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale. He can view the Indiana State Fairgrounds from the roof of the Coliseum. And he can eat ice cream every day of the Indiana State Fair.

While he has lots of perks working at the State Fairgrounds, the 1990 Noblesville High School graduate, who is the Fairgrounds' facilities maintenance superintendent, is one of the busiest employees before, during and after the Indiana State Fair, which runs through Sunday.

The Fairgrounds has 250 acres, 68 buildings and is open year-round.

Saturday, August 19, 2017
Marching Millers, 4-H'ers and more
If you missed Noblesville Marching Millers' winning Indiana State Fair Band Day performance, you can still catch it tonight.

The Indiana State Fair Band Day Champions will present a "stand still" performance of the show during the halftime of Noblesville Millers varsity football season opener at Hare Chevrolet Field. General admission is $5. Game is at 7 p.m. Millers will play Lawrence North Wildcats.

Friday, August 18, 2017
Rediscovering Noblesville ALDI
You would have thought that a new grocery had opened in town.

Shoppers lined up from the front door to the length of the building. They camped out in lawn chairs. They had shopping bags in hand. And quarters ready to unlock and rent a grocery cart.

The Noblesville ALDI on Wednesday reopened for business after a brief closure during the store's remodel.

Thursday, August 17, 2017
Remembering Mary Resler
There will never be another Mary Resler.

I have known her since my early years of covering Noblesville, from the days when she organized Noblesville Cultural Arts Commission's Summer Band Concerts in Seminary Park to the many musical programs she led at Noblesville First United Methodist Church.

She also organized the music for the Noblesville Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Hamilton County Government & Judicial Center.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017
4-H still shaping Alan Burton's life
When we visited the Indiana State Fair on Saturday, we happened onto Hamilton County 10-year 4-H'er Alan Burton, who was working at 4-H Centennial Hall alongside other county 4-H'ers.

Every time that I see Alan, he's busy dedicating his time and efforts to 4-H.

Monday, August 14, 2017
Tour goes behind Riverview doors
Being one of the many guests at Thursday's Noblesville Chamber of Commerce luncheon, I was fortunate to be invited to Riverview Health's behind-the-scenes hospital tour.

Seth Warren, Riverview's CEO, was guest speaker at the luncheon with a crowd that filled the old barn-turned-catering hall at Mustard Seed Gardens in Noblesville.

Guests devoured a lunch catered by Matteo's Ristorante Italiano on the Square, then listened intently as Warren delivered the annual Riverview State of Health in Hamilton County.

Saturday, August 12, 2017
Focus turns to Seminary Park
While Noblesville Deputy Mayor Steve Cooke has received a lot of grief about his controversial idea to build homes at Seminary Park and to turn our Nickel Plate Rail line into trails, I still follow him on Twitter.

That's because his Tweets are usually about promoting Noblesville.

Thursday, his Tweets encouraged folks to come out and donate blood during the Indiana Blood Center drive at the Wastewater Department on Washington Street in Noblesville's Southwest Quadrant neighborhood.

Friday, August 11, 2017
NEMS student singing his way
Young Noblesville actor and singer Maddux Morrison kept track of the time, because he was worried that he wouldn't make it to his final performance when the curtain opened.

He had just competed in the Junior Division of the Indiana State Fair Vocal Solo Male contest on Sunday. Although he was first to go on stage in the competition, when he went to sing, there were microphone issues. This delayed the start, but he handled it well.

Thursday, August 10, 2017
Farmfest serves hearts, horses
Hometown fans will be thrilled to know that Nashville country music recording artist John Riggins will return this weekend to Hamilton County,

Headliner of Peterson Farmfest in Cicero, the former Carmel firefighter has performed at the festival every year since its beginning five years ago. The fundraiser brings in money for Reins of Grace Therapeutic Riding Center in Sheridan, where a dozen special-needs students, ages 2-8, ride horses weekly as therapy.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017
What's it take to costume 57 kids?
When Noblesville's Norma Floyd is asked to be a costumer for a show at The Belfry Theatre, she goes to work figuring out exactly what the director has in mind.

Doing the costumes doesn't mean she makes every one of them. Sometimes, she scrounges for costume pieces, and sometimes actors find their own costumes. But it's her job to make sure that every cast member in the show has a costume for his or her character.
(1 comments)

Monday, August 7, 2017
Our own Olympian inspires archers
Young archers today might not recognize Stephanie Amick as she walks down the field at Grand Park.

The Fishers resident, a 1996 Hamilton Southeastern High School grad and who is 32 weeks pregnant, is a 2004 archery Olympian.

She is volunteering at USA Archery's Outdoor Nationals awards ceremony today at Grand Park in Westfield.

Saturday, August 5, 2017
Sky's the limit On new Fair ride
The Indiana State Fair opens today with a new ride that will allow visitors to see the sights from high above the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to board the new Suburu Skyride on Thursday during State Fair Media Day.

It was a sweet, smooth ride that takes visitors from the former State Fair Gift Shop location near the Midway entrance and travels high above the crowd over Main Street, and behind the Hoosier Lottery Grand Stand and east to the Swine Barn and Kiddie Land Midway, near the Binford Avenue entrance of the State Fairgrounds.

The 90-chair aerial lift is just like a ski lift and has a safety bar for passengers, and it travels 35 feet above the ground over the span of 1,400 feet.

Friday, August 4, 2017
Art is more than Fair on Square
If you think that the Htamilton County Artists' Association is a bunch of creative types painting and doing their own thing, it is, and so much more.

The Artists' Association is one of the county's best-hidden gems.

Juried members make up the group, a nonprofit that is based out of a former First Baptist Church at 195 S. Fifth St., in Noblesville.

Thursday, August 3, 2017
Art is more than Fair on Square
If you think that the Htamilton County Artists' Association is a bunch of creative types painting and doing their own thing, it is, and so much more.

The Artists' Association is one of the county's best-hidden gems.

Juried members make up the group, a nonprofit that is based out of a former First Baptist Church at 195 S. Fifth St., in Noblesville.

Thursday, August 3, 2017
Time to start middle school
Only one more day until I get out the tissues for a good cry. Tuesday will be an emotional one as I put my daughter on the school bus for her first day as a middle-schooler.

Yes, she will be a big sixth-grader at Noblesville East Middle School.

Last Wednesday, we visited the school for the second time, her third. She found her classrooms, got her school schedule, and received her assigned hall locker.

Monday, July 31, 2017
Celebrate end of summer reading
It's hard to believe it's already the last week of July. It means that classes start on Tuesday for Noblesville Schools. It means it's time to stop sleeping in.

And it's also time for the end of Hamilton East Public Library's annual Summer Reading Program, and time for the library's celebration for folks who read books over the summer.

Saturday, July 29, 2017
57 reasons to love 'Little Mermaid'
When The Belfry Theatre's Apprentice Players production of Disney's "The Little Mermaid" opens tonight, I'll be there.

I'll also be there on Saturday at the matinee and evening. And on Sunday. And all of next weekend.

Earlier, I shared that my daughter had auditioned for the youth production and was cast as Ursula, the sea witch. She's among 57 adorable kids, ages 4-13, in the musical.

What I didn't share was that I am a first-time producer for this show.

Friday, July 28, 2017
Shakespeare celebrates 25th at new venue
While audiences of Noblesville Shakespeare in the Park grew to love the intimacy of Seminary Park, they will find it easy to fall in love with the new venue at Federal Hill Commons.

Just ask Shakespeare director, Noblesville's Mark Tumey.

"We feel Federal Hill Commons offers so much more for Shakespeare in the Park, and we are hoping to 'take it to the next level' there," he said.

Thursday, July 27, 2017
4-H Fair was a great time
Every year at this time, I'm sad to see the Hamilton County 4-H Fair come to a close. We've enjoyed five days of food, fun and 4-H projects.

On Thursday, opening day of the Fair, my daughter, in addition to her Blue and Honor ribbons for the 4-H Photography project, she also earned a blue ribbon for her 4-H Health project. It was a poster about first aid for burns.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Harey Hopper loves her rabbit
Noblesville's Gracie Kinnaman removed her rabbit from his cage and sat him on a carpet remnant on top of a rectangular folding table in the Rabbit Barn at the Hamilton County 4-H Fair.

Wearing her light blue Harey Hoppers 4-H Club T-shirt, she couldn't help but have a big smile on her face. What made her so happy?

"Just getting to spend time with the rabbits and helping my club," said the 10-year-old Noblesville girl, a second-year 4-H'er.

Monday, July 24, 2017
Homemakers still cooking at the Fair
I remember years ago, when I worked at The Noblesville Ledger newspaper, and all of us reporters would meet for lunch at the Hamilton County Extension Homemakers Food Stand during the 4-H Fair.

It was in mid- to late 1980s, and the Food Stand was a little building at the Fairgrounds. The dining room was a big screened-in porch with picnic tables, and the kitchen was at the back and wasn't air conditioned. That original and first Food Stand was dedicated on April 25, 1971.

Saturday, July 22, 2017
What should I eat at the Fair?
When I was walking into the Hamilton County 4-H Fair on the first morning, Thursday, I listened as people in front of me were saying how much they enjoy the "smell of the Fair."

The fair really does smell good.

You can smell the horses, the pigs and the cows. It's like going to the farm.

Friday, July 21, 2017
Finding my 4-H Fair chair
It was the first year that I came to The Noblesville Times. And I was told that the newspaper would be renting a booth in the Commercial Tent at the Hamilton County 4-H Fair.

As a booth holder, we got an assigned space in the tent. We brought our own table, chairs, box fan, plus subscription sign-up sheets and daily copies of The Times. And a bowl of candy to entice fairgoers.

Thursday, July 20, 2017
Starting to look like a 4-H Fair
If you've driven by the Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds in Noblesville this week, you've probably noticed that the big tents are set up, barns are open and the parking lot is bustling with 4-H'ers checking in their 4-H Fair projects.

We love the Fair and look forward to it every year. Maybe it's the smell of the horses and cows and pigs that fill the barns. Or the thousands of 4-H'ers projects that are judged and on display to the public

Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Phyllis Davis is a tradition
Noblesville's Phyllis Davis won't ever divulge her age. But she will tell you that she's been playing the piano since she was 3 years old.

And that she has been playing for the Hamilton County 4-H Fair Queen Contest for at least 50 consecutive years.

The Times newspaper archives has her playing at the contest since 1968, a year that I believe she told me one time when I was interviewing her. In fact, she was honored in 2014 for 46 years at a celebration that included presentation of a wristwatch.

Monday, July 17, 2017
Family thankful for dad's legacy
For years, Bobby Mills would be out at his Field of Dreams, everyday, especially during the baseball season.

"It was his therapy," said Michey Mills of her late husband, who created a baseball complex of eight fully equipped diamonds that opened in 1999 next to Hazel Dell Elementary on school property on Indiana 32 in Noblesville.

Saturday, July 15, 2017
Fair Queen looks back
It's been an amazing year for Sheridan's Rachel Adams, who was crowned the 2016 Hamilton County 4-H Fair Queen a year ago.

She joined the pageant competition, following in her sister, Courtney's footsteps, and to gain a "learning" experience.

"I had no idea I had what it took to be Miss Hamilton County, and I think that's why I appreciate it so much. It's a legacy....," said Rachel, whose photo joined pictures of past 4-H Fair queens that line the hallway of the Exhibition Center at the Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds in Noblesville.

Friday, July 14, 2017
String-Time series to debut on Square
You might know Janet Gilray as Miss Melody, a schoolmarm from Possum Holler who plays her old Martin heirloom guitar and sings "Antique Stories in Song" for kids on the second Saturday morning of the month at Old Picket Fence in downtown Noblesville.

Or maybe you've seen Miss Melody teaching school and singing songs in the little one-room schoolhouse in the Pioneer Village at the Indiana State Fair.

Thursday, July 13, 2017
Learning skills at free rec camp
I want to begin by thanking Noblesville Schools and Noblesville Township for partnering to offer free recreational summer day camps again this year.

It's the first year that we've gotten to take advantage of the camps, and we loved them.

Usually, I don't find out about the camps until the offerings are already full, but this year when Facebook friend and fellow mom Tiff Whitaker in March gave us a heads-up that the camps were posted on an eventbrite.com link on the school district's website, I quickly maneuvered my way there.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Meeting tonight about the train
While I don't display a "Save the Train" sign in my front yard, my hope is that we can save the train, that is, our Nickel Plate Road railroad track.

I love to hear the whistle blow as it travels through downtown Noblesville. The train travels down the middle of Eighth Street, from Logan to Division streets. We're one of only five Indiana cities and towns where the train still travels right down the middle of the street, forcing drivers to share the road.
(1 comments)

Monday, July 10, 2017
Hey 4-H'ers, projects done?
It's already July 8, which means the Hamilton County 4-H Fair is right around the corner.

I know that because my 11-year-old daughter is scrambling today to finish up one of her projects, with the help of her Aunt Debbie.

This is our fifth year involved in the county's 4-H program. We spent two years in Mini 4-H, where we took Horse & Pony, Clogging, Collections and other projects. Then when my daughter was old enough, she joined the regular 4-H program.

Saturday, July 8, 2017
It's the zany Bryan Bishop
When Bryan Bishop gets on stage, he owns it.

But it wasn't always that way.

Three years ago before he played the Noblesville Street Dance, he confessed to me that he had always gotten really nervous when he about to perform in front of an audience.

"I did have stage fright when I first started playing guitar and singing in public," Bishop said.

Friday, July 7, 2017
Wafford is guy behind camera, movies in park
On July 4, Jim Wafford was the guy behind the camera filming the stage entertainment at Noblesville Fireworks Festival and driving his company vehicle in the Noblesville Fourth of July Parade.

He is the guy who plays the free Classic Movies on Friday nights at Forest Park. And the guy who annually live streams the Hamilton County 4-H Fair Queen contest and does live coverage throughout the 4-H Fair.
(1 comments)

Thursday, July 6, 2017
Connecting with our neighbors
Judy Poe from Old Town Noblesville wished a Happy 4th to her neighbors. Old Town resident Corinne Piazza invited neighbors to partake in hot dogs, popcorn and water while watching the Fourth of July parade from her house on Wayne Street.
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Love the 4th in Noblesville
I always look forward to the Fourth of July holiday here in Noblesville.

I especially love the parade. I've sat alongside the parade route snapping photos probably only half as many times as I have been in the parade.

Years ago, we used to literally throw handfuls of candy to people along the parade route. Since then, the City banned parade entrants from throwing candy to parade viewers, due to safety concerns, but still allow entrants to hand out candy along the parade route.

Monday, July 3, 2017
A heart attack,but he's back Smiling as he returns to race
On July 4, 2015, Geoff Robinson left the starting line with runners in Carmel's 4.5-mile Freedom Run & Walk. But he didn't make it to the finish line.

He suffered a heart attack, "dropping, on (television) camera," at the 2-mile marker.

Robinson remembers that the race on the Monon Trail started as normal with no symptoms. His wife, Lisa, waved at him at the 1.5-mile marker and told him that he looked good.

Saturday, July 1, 2017
Getting head start on 4th
We are so lucky to have so many activities going on in our county celebrating Independence Day.

While many travelers have already hit the road to take advantage of a long holiday weekend, I will share what's going on here at home for those who plan to stay put.

On Saturday, Lights Over Morse Lake kicks off its four-day festival with food, petting zoo, kids carnival, live music and more at Community Park in Cicero.

Friday, June 30, 2017
Summer Fun Guide is here
While we have found so much to do already this summer, there are so many more things to experience.

During a recent visit to Koteewi Range in Noblesville, I met up during the Visit Indiana Rally for archery with 2004 Olympian Stephanie Amick of Fishers, a 1996 Hamilton Southeastern High School grad, who was offering archery pointers to Midwest Living editor Trevor Meers.

Thursday, June 29, 2017
Loads of fun at NPA picnic
It was Anita Landress' first time making cotton candy. She laughed at herself as she fought the wind making the sweet treat, which ended up more on her than on the cotton candy stick.

"You're the entertainment," I heard more than one parent say as families watched Landress make cotton candy on Sunday during Noblesville Preservation Alliance's annual Summer Picnic at Seminary Park.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017



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