Lots to Do On Our Fall Break

By: Betsy Reason

Photo courtesy of Hamilton County Parks
On the first Saturday in October, Hamilton County Parks’ Potter’s Bridge Festival set a new attendance record, “mostly attributed to the clear skies, crisp fall temperatures and the event’s diverse offering” — 130 vendors, not including activities and entertainment, including The Rock Bottom Boys of Madison County bluegrass band (above) — contributing to its growing popularity, according to parks spokesperson Don Nicholls.

It’s the second week of Noblesville Schools’ fall break. And while I’ve seen tons of photos on friends’ Facebook pages of their fabulous travels, we’ve been having so much fun that we haven’t even traveled out of the area.

Our break kicked off with Noblesville Main Street’s First Friday Fall Festival, watching kids trick-or-treat at the many downtown merchants, who graciously kept open their doors past 5 p.m., and watching Noblesville Lions and other groups prepare and sell food, and eateries offer tastes of their soups in the soup cook-off.

We spent the rest of the evening at Conner Prairie’s Headless Horseman Halloween program, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Our really 17-year-old daughter, Addie, a Conner Prairie youth volunteer, puts on her 1836 costume to sing in the Brom Bones Chorus, which features a musical skit featuring actors/interpreters who warn guests in the hayride cue to “hold onto their heads” when they’re going on the hayride to catch a glimpse of the Headless Horseman. We watched a magic act and our favorite Stephens Puppets show with the very entertaining Dan Raynor and experienced a quick-thinking fortune teller who I bet would be really good at improv comedy The Conner “Scarie” expanded midway is always crazy busy, even without the Scarie-Okie the last couple of years. A family band, Sweet Tunes, is a welcome addition to the Conner Prairie Headless Horseman and plays two sets every night in the Bayt Pavilion next door the Conner Prairie Auxiliary’s Apple Store, which is open nightly until 9 p.m. The band plays just about every Halloween-related song I’ve ever heard.

On the first Saturday in October, we braved the crowds and attended Hamilton County Parks’ Potter’s Bridge Festival, where it’s the crazy busiest that I’ve ever experienced as we parked out in a 25-acre field owned by Indiana American Water Co. Inc.

After the festival, we headed for the Ralph Lehr VFW Post 6246 to hear Battle4Betty’s Battle of the Bands, a fundraiser supporting breast cancer patients and survivors and live music.

On the first Sunday in October, we headed to Lucas Raceway Park to watch my significant other enjoy a Rusty Wallace Racing Experience, a 2022 Father’s Day gift that got rained out and rescheduled for the first Sunday in October. The experience included 10 laps around the track driving a NASCAR-style race car.

Columbus Day, the first Monday of fall break, we trekked up to Wilson Farm Market on U.S. 31, where the market was busy with shoppers ordering their lunch (they were out of liver both times I went there over fall break) at the deli and their desserts at the pastry counter, and heading out to the picnic tables on adjoining property, where there was also a selection of pumpkins in all sizes and straw weaved into the shape of horses. Shoppers filled their grocery carts with all kinds of goodies, from lemon cream almonds and chocolate stars to cinnamon rolls, peanut butter fudge, and fresh fruits and vegetables and fresh baked bread.

The first Tuesday of fall break, we drove downtown Indianapolis to eat dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory, then headed to Gainbridge Fieldhouse to see the Eagles farewell concert tour, featuring opener 80-year-old Steve Miller, who at the last minute filled in for opener Steely Dan due to an illness that hospitalized Donald Fagen. The Eagles concert was one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen, with the sound better than most I’ve ever heard. Fans’ average age was above 60, as is the band’s average age, with Don Henley, 76, Joe Walsh, 75, Vince Gill, 66, Timothy B. Schmit, 75, and Glenn Fry’s son, Deacon Fry, 30. So obviously, it wasn’t a standing concert but a “sit back and relax concert” with all of the Eagles hits and more for two solid hours.

Then the Wednesday and Thursday, Addie met with fellow NHS students to be in a film for another student’s film club project. Then last Friday, we made our second trip to Wilson Farm Market and lunched on the picnic tables on the warm fall day spending the day with the grandparents, and then a family night.

Saturday morning, we went to the final Noblesville Farmers Market on the cold and rainy day, then on to Uptown Cafe for lunch and spent what was left of the afternoon putting up Halloween decorations. Addie volunteered at Conner Prairie Headless Horseman nights and also a daytime youth ag captain shift at the Golden Eagle Inn there. This week, the second week of our fall break, she’s co-music director for a kids fall break theater camp, attended by 26 elementary-age kids, sponsored by Noblesville First United Methodist Church and EnPointe Indiana Ballet, and led by local play director Nancy Lafferty.

So far, it’s been a busy break just staying around Noblesville.

And with only two days left, we’re trying to make the most of it. With a college visit day coming up this weekend, we’ll be busy until the moment school starts again on Monday.

Looking for something to do this weekend near home? Read my column each Friday for things to do in and around Noblesville.

-Betsy Reason writes about people, places and things in Hamilton County. Contact The Times Editor Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com.