It’s Happening in Downtown Indiana

Downtown Indiana kicked off the 2024 event season with its 3rd annual Chili Cookoff, hosted by Noble Stein Brewing Company, on February 24. Twenty chefs, including pro chefs, student chefs, and at-home chefs, competed for chili and cornbread supremacy. Hundreds of guest judges packed the brewery, to eat, drink, and enjoy each other’s company. First time entrant and area newcomer Andreola Groh was declared the overall winner, with her Texas-Style Chili. Ken Arthurs, chef owner of Wolfie’s Pub and Club, earned the pro chef title; Sandy Toy won the at home chef category, and Sophie Winkelman was best among the student chefs. Interestingly, overall winner Andreola, who recently graduated from St. Vincent College, decided to move to Indiana after taking an operations job at a Homer City manufacturing facility.

Next up was the relaunched St. Patrick’s Day Parade, on March 16, co-hosted by The Coney. Nearly 20 units, including three bagpiping troupes, played to a festive Philadelphia Street crowd. The following weekend saw 40 downtown businesses host the Easter Bunny Trail, on March 23. Hundreds of families collected chocolates and other sweet treats from local restaurants, retailers, art shops, and other community stops, sticking around to browse the retailers’ inventory and sample the restaurants’ fare.

April, May, and June continue a busy schedule in downtown, with events primarily focused on arts and music and small businesses. DI’s annual Art’s Walk celebration kicks things off, on Saturday, April 20. Collaborating closely with the Indiana Arts Council, DI places local artists in downtown businesses to display their work and wares. This year’s event includes the Youth Arts Celebration, providing students with the opportunity to have their art featured in public exhibits and selected local artists for awards. The Indiana Theater and its resident artists will also be participating, as will the artists housed at the Fox Clark Gallery and in the Midtown Building. Mural and historical architecture tours will also be featured. IRMC Park will serve as home base for the Walk, with family-oriented activities, such as sidewalk chalk, face painting, and balloon animals. Live music in downtown will also be prominently featured this spring, including the first installments of Third Thursday, on April 18, May 16, and June 20, and the Westsylvania Jazz and Blues Festival, on Saturday, May 25. Finally, the year’s first Ladies Day Out will be held on Saturday, May 4.

For more information about these and other Downtown Indiana initiatives, please write Executive Director, Sam Kenly, at sam.kenly@downtownindianapa.org.