DY: In Just a Few Words (#87)
What a great city!
We spent the weekend in Indianapolis. We had been there once before - that time for primo seats very close to the start/finish line of the Indy 500. That was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but this time we took in a lot more of what the city has to offer.
So, why did we go back? We were there to attend the brand new WonderRoad Music and Arts Festival, produced by our son and his associates at Elevation Festivals. But, we also took the time to explore downtown Indianapolis, which has all the amenities of a world-class metropolis in a mid-size market. It’s an amazing place. Super easy to get around. You need to check it out.
Right away, visitors discover the city is walkable. Downtown Indy has it all - or at least a whole lot of it - in close proximity. A riverfront state park that includes walking paths, an outdoor amphitheater for concerts, a bridge leading to the Zoo just on the other side of the river, and several museums. A large mall downtown. A beautiful state capitol building. An impressive maze of over-the-street enclosed bridges to get from one place to another without going outside. Plus, a huge number of great restaurants - especially big-time steak houses. Everywhere you turn, there’s another one. We had dinner Friday night at the legendary St. Elmo Steak House. They actually have a 38 oz. cut of Prime Rib on their menu - and, no, I did not order it. That said, I may never recover from my great meal there....
And then there’s all the sports stuff - Lucas Oil Stadium for their NFL team, complete with a dome (hint-hint); Gainbridge Fieldhouse, where the NBA Indiana Pacers play; and Victory Field for their Triple-A Indianapolis Indians (hint-hint). And, to top it all off, right by the riverfront is the national headquarters of the NCAA, complete with the NCAA Hall of Champions museum. To say the least, having the NCAA there has been a magnet for championship competitions of multiple types.
It’s all so well-organized. One great venue literally feeding into another great venue. Indianapolis is truly all about creating memorable experiences for everyone.
But - what really blew me away was the Indiana War Memorial, a huge and tasteful museum right downtown dedicated entirely to the war-time contributions of Indiana citizens, companies and many other types of organizations. Best thing of its type I have ever seen. It’s worth visiting Indy just to see this.
Which brings me back to the WonderRoad Music and Arts Festival. It’s just like the rest of Indianapolis – well-organized, easy to get around and visitor-friendly to the max. My son and his partners have nailed it. They have a winning formula for these types of festivals. Add Indianapolis to Cleveland, Columbus and Pittsburgh. Could there be more to come?
This was year one for WonderRoad. Some 18,000 people had a great time. Even the weather held out for the most part. After a lengthy downpour early Sunday afternoon - including some thunder - the clouds parted, the sun came out and the full show went on as if it hadn’t rained at all. Being well-organized and lucky is a great combination.
Go see for yourself what Indianapolis is all about. And, keep your eye out for an Elevation festival coming to a community near you. Neither one is to be missed.
DY: In Just a Few Words is a blog that comes out when something needs to be said or every Tuesday - whichever comes first. Davis Young is a communications professional who adds 50+ years of experience and perspective to issues of the day. His emphasis in DY: In Just a Few Words will be humor (a touch of sarcasm here, a pinch of facetiousness there...). Once in a while, he will touch on something a bit more serious - but hopefully not too deep or depressing.
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