Welcome to Indiana’s Territorial Past, located in Vincennes and Knox County.

Indiana’s first city is the perfect getaway for history enthusiasts.

Two Big Museum Additions

This week Vincennes has two big openings at the local museums.

The Indiana Military Museum opened its Annex exhibit space.  The 22,000 square foot space spans WWI through post Vietnam War.  Exhibits include an authentic WWII homefront and WWII barracks from George Field, military aircraft, vehicles, artillery, uniforms, related artifacts and more.  The annex is included with museum admission.  Visit the museum’s website for more information and hours of operation.

The Red Skelton Museum opened “The Year of the Pledge” exhibit celebrating the 50th anniversary of Red’s recitation of his iconic Pledge of Allegiance on his television show on January 14, 1969.  This new exhibit features items from the collection surrounding Red’s Pledge, including awards, recordings, paintings and letters from various congressmen as well as stories about Mr. Laswell and Red’s inspiration for creating this pledge.  The exhibit will be on display until September 8th and can be viewed during museum operating hours with paid admission.  Visit the museum’s website for more information and hours of operation.

Both museums welcome visitors to come and check out the new offerings as well as existing exhibits.

Ring in the New Year

RING IN THE NEW YEAR by celebrating at the National Watermelon Drop held in downtown Vincennes! Knox County’s own quirky New Year’s event features DJ music from 10pm to 1am in a heated tent (beverages available), food vendor on site and photo opportunities with giant lighted watermelon until 11:45pm. Watch the 500-pound watermelon rise high in the sky as midnight approaches, culminating with 19 Knox County watermelons dropped on the splatform at the stroke of midnight followed by fireworks.

Winter Agenda

Today is the first day of the winter season and there are still plenty of activities to enjoy in Knox County!

Take a drive to view local Christmas light displays including the Giant Christmas Tree downtown, Gregg Park and Ouabache Trails.

Visit 1972 for laser tag, video games, rock climbing, foot darts, and more!  Admission is charged.

Bundle up and take a stroll on the grounds of the George Rogers Clark NHP and Riverwalk or take a hike on the trails at Ouabache Trails Park.

Visit the Red Skelton Museum and you’re sure to leave with a smile.  The fully interactive Museum explores Red’s life and career as well as American Comedy.

Warm up with a coffee drink from Graze, Peafections or I’Mpressed Coffee.

Take a swim at the YMCA during open swim times.  Membership is required, visit their website or app for swim times.

Feed your creative side at one of the downtown art galleries.  Exhibits are changed regularly and many pieces are available for sale.

Check out a new book at the Knox County Public Library.  Stay and read it in the sunroom or cuddle up with the book at home.

Brush up on your Indiana history by touring our local historic sites, George Rogers Clark NHP, Grouseland, and the Vincennes State Historic Sites.  George Rogers Clark has free admission.

Meet a friend at the newly opened Vincennes Brewing Company, Old Chicago Pizza and Tap Room or Windy Knoll Winery for an adult beverage!  Must be 21 to visit the winery or brewing company.

Tour the Indiana Military Museum for look at military artifacts spanning the Civil War through the present day.

Any season is a good time for eating frozen yogurt!  Visit Swirls to satisfy your sweet tooth with their variety of flavors and toppings.

Stop by the Visitors Bureau, 779 South 6th Street, to pick up 2019 Indiana Festival or Travel guides and explore our great state!

 

Weekend Happenings

Old Town Players Theater, Fifth & Broadway Streets will present “The Elves & the Shoemaker” this weekend.  Performances will be held Friday and Saturday evening and a Matinee on Sunday December 14th-16th.  Tickets are available at the door or can be purchased by calling the box office at 812.882.8269.

The Vincennes Civitan Club in collaboration with the Old Town Players is presenting “A Christmas Dinner Theater” on Saturday, December 15 at the Masonic Lodge, 501 Broadway Street. The dinner will precede Old Town Players Christmas production for children, “The Elves and the Shoemaker” at 7:00pm. The dinner is by reservation only and reservations can be made by calling the OTP Ticket Office at 812.882.1639 or Hedden Abstract at 812.882.5273.

Follow in the footsteps of British Lt. Governor Henry Hamilton and his soldiers as they made their march to Vincennes in the fall of 1778 this Saturday December 15th. After a long grueling march, his men arrived in Vincennes on December 17, 1778. The march will begin at the park’s visitor center at 1:00pm, participants will board Van-Go buses and travel to Kimmell Park the spot where it is believed Hamilton’s men disembarked from their boats. Visitors will then travel approximately 2 miles back to the visitor center following the new Riverwalk running from Kimmell Park to the Clark Memorial. Park Ranger Jason Collins will share the story of the British march and the difficult journey that lay ahead for those men along the way. Braving ice-choked rivers, treating with Native Americans, and the uncertain weather conditions, were just some of the risks that these soldiers undertook on their journey to Fort Sackville.

The “Diamonds” musical group will present their holiday show “Silver Bells and Diamonds” on Saturday, December 15 at the Red Skelton Performing Arts Center. The performance begins at 7:30pm with reserved seating $40/person and general admission, $35/person. Call the Red Skelton Museum to purchase tickets at 812.888.4184.

On Sunday, December 16th the Red Skelton Museum will have their “Christmas at the Red” Family Fun Day from 1:30pm – 3:30pm. Enjoy watching The Red Skelton Christmas Show special in the museum theater.  More activities include games with prizes and a visit with Santa. FREE museum admission for Family Day Participants from 1:30pm – 3:30pm.

There are still a few opportunities to see Santa, http://www.vincennescvb.org/blog/2018/11/20/wheres-santa-claus-this-season/

The local Christmas light displays are still burning bright, http://www.vincennescvb.org/blog/2018/11/29/holiday-lights/

Weekend Roundup

This weekend is packed with Holiday themed activities!

“First Friday” Art Walk tonight from 5:00pm – 8:00pm in downtown Vincennes.  Visit Art Space, the Northwest Territory Art Guild and the Open Gallery to view new exhibits in a variety of mediums and enjoy beverages and light refreshments!  Shop for original winter-themed art, one-of-a-kind silver jewelry pieces, hand woven scarves and shawls, ceramics and more!  The Shircliff Gallery, First and Harrison Streets, will be open until 6:00pm and offer a last opportunity to see the exhibition “Verges”, ceramic works by Malcolm Mobutu Smith.

Participating downtown stores will have extended hours for First Friday.  Many new businesses and restaurants have made their home on Main Street in the past year and existing businesses have expanded or added to their merchandise selection.  Bring your Christmas shopping list and shop local.

Christmas at Grouseland will be held tonight, December 7th from 6:30pm to 9:30pm.  Built in 1803, Grouseland is the mansion of the former Indiana Territorial Governor and 9th U.S. President, William Henry Harrison. Come, relax and enjoy a traditional Christmas at the Governor’s mansion by candlelight. This festive living history event features re-enactors from the time of Harrison’s governorship. Enjoy music, decorations, refreshments and carriage rides! There is no admission charge but donations are gratefully accepted.

Old Town Players Theater, Fifth & Broadway Streets will present “The Elves & The Shoemaker” on two weekends in December beginning tonight.  Performances will be held Friday and Saturday evening and a Matinee on Sunday December 7th-9th and 14th-16th.  Tickets are available at the door or can be purchased by calling the box office at 812.882.8269.

The Vincennes Civitan Club in collaboration with the Old Town Players is presenting “A Christmas Dinner Theater” on Saturday, December 8 and again on Saturday, December 15 at the Masonic Lodge, 501 Broadway Street. Both dinners will precede Old Town Players Christmas production for children, “The Elves and the Shoemaker” at 7:00pm. The dinner is by reservation only reservations can be made by calling the OTP Ticket Office at 812.882.1639 or Hedden Abstract at 812.882.5273.

The 18th Annual South Knox Elementary School Craft Show will be held from 9:00am – 4:00pm on Saturday, December 8. An amazing array of craft items from nearly 150 vendors will be on display for your holiday gift giving. There is a $1.00admission fee.  Visit with Santa from 10:00am -2:00pm!

There are 17 more days until Christmas!

Holiday Lights

Load up the family and go for a drive! You won’t want to miss these free community holiday light displays.

The Knox County Park Department’s annual light display at Ouabache Trails Park is open daily from 5:30pm to 9:30pm though the 26th of December.  New displays have been added to everyone’s old favorites!  Donations are appreciated but not required, all proceeds go towards keeping the lights on.

Gregg Park’s annual light pole decorating is now up through January 1st.  Enjoy different themed decorations on each pole provided by local businesses and citizens.  View other decorations throughout the park.

See the giant community tree downtown Vincennes on Gimbel Corner.  The tree arrives at 9:00am this Saturday, December 1! The public is invited to gather at 6:00pm for the tree lighting and enjoy Christmas music being played on the PA system downtown. Santa will be there to greet the children.

Bicknell’s Northside Park on Highway 67 is lit up for the holidays.  The park has added new displays this year and is open daily through January 1st.

Enjoy!

Where’s Santa Claus this Season

Get your Christmas lists ready and plan to visit with Santa this season.  We have put together a list of places and times that you can visit Father Christmas himself.

Indiana Military Museum photos with Santa on Saturday, November 24th from 10:30am to 1:30pm

Vincennes Moose Club Breakfast with Santa Saturday, December 1st at 9am

Oaktown Community Building photos with Santa on Sunday, December 2nd from 4pm to 6pm

South Knox Craft Show at South Knox Elementary on Saturday, December 8th 10am to 2pm

1972 Community Center will have Cookies with Santa on Wednesday, December 12th from 5pm to 8pm. Be sure to purchase your tickets in advance to ensure your child gets a cookie kit.

Blue Jeans Center will have dinner with Santa in Monroe City on Friday, December 14th at 6pm             

Ouabache Trails Park light display on December 14th and 15th 5:30pm to 9:00pm

Red Skelton Museum Family Fun Day on Sunday, December 16th from 1:30pm until 3:30pm

Bicknell French Club on Saturday, December 16th at 1pm

Wishing you and your family a happy holiday season full of joy and cheer!

Christmas Event Roundup

Christmas is in the air!  Kick off the holiday season this weekend at the downtown Christmas Stroll and Parade of Lights.  Friday, November 16th, enjoy the “Parade of Lights” at 6:30pm. Directly after the parade children can visit with Santa at Thursday Church.  Downtown merchants will have extended hours welcoming holiday shoppers with unique gifts and serving refreshments.   On Saturday, Breakfast with Santa will be held at the Old Cathedral Parish Center from 8:00am to 11:00am ($5 at the door).  Enjoy Carriage rides with Santa on Main Street on Saturday from 11:00am to 2:00pm.

The Knox County Public Library will present their annual Polar Express event Tuesday, November 27th at 7pm at the Fortnightly building.  Children can wear their PJ’s, drink hot cocoa, sing Christmas carols, and enjoy some classic holiday stories, read by Randy CrismoreAdmission is FREE but registration and tickets are required.  Visit the Main Library’s Youth Department or call the library at 812-886-4380.

On Friday, November 30th the Vincennes University Community Series presents “Christmas With The Celts“, at the Red Skelton Performing Arts Center. For tickets call 812-888-4354.

Join in the festivities at the Gimbel Corner (2nd & Main Sts.) on Saturday, December 1st when the Community Christmas Tree arrives that morning. Santa will light the Christmas Tree light at 6:00pm.

Wednesday, December 5th, for the first time, the Knox County Public Library will host the Madcap Puppet Company from Cincinnati, Ohio, and their production of “A Madcap Christmas Carol!” This Christmas ghost story into a fantastically funny tale, bringing your favorite Dickens characters to life with giant puppets and exciting new twists!  Admission is FREE but registration and tickets are required.  Visit the Main Library’s Youth Department or call the library at 812-886-4380.

Christmas at Grouseland will be held on Friday, December 7th from 6:30pm to 9:30pm.  Enjoy a traditional Christmas at the Governor’s mansion by candlelight. This festive living history event features re-enactors from the time of Harrison’s governorship. Enjoy music, decorations, refreshments and carriage rides! There is no admission charge but donations are gratefully accepted.

Old Town Players presents The Elves & the Shoemaker musical and family program on December 7th-9th and again on December 14th-16th.  This fast-paced retelling of an old favorite is filled with delightfully wacky characters-including elves Mortz, Schwartz, Hazel, Gracie, and Studebaker. Clever dialogue and toe-tapping music make this a must-see for all ages.  Visit the OTP website for showtimes and ticket information.

Delight in a wonderful holiday performance with the timeless sounds by the “Diamonds” musical group presents their The Silver Bells and Diamonds concert on Saturday, December 15 at the Red Skelton Performing Arts Center. Enjoy a pre-show reception at 6:00pm with heavy hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar for only $10/person.  Call the Red Skelton Museum for tickets and more information at 812.888.4184.

The Red Skelton Museum is hosting “Christmas at the Red” Family Fun Day from 1:30pm to 3:30pm on Sunday, December 16.  Enjoy watching The Red Skelton Christmas Show special featuring: Freddie and the Carolers, Freddie Gets 90 Days, Freddie and the Yuletide Doll, Willie Lump Lump ‘Expert Tree Trimmer’ and The Gift of Giving exhibit.  More activities include games with prizes (ask about the Peppermint Guess Museum Scavenger Hunt) and a visit with Santa.  FREE museum admission for Family Day Participants from 1:30pm – 3:30pm.

 

Fall Foliage

Fall’s beautiful colors are predicted to peak in the coming weeks.  Due to warmer temperatures through October the fall colors are starting to appear in early November.  We have compiled a list of fall foliage viewing spots in Knox County to help you get out and enjoy all the season has to offer.

Ouabache Trails Park is a 54-acre park on the Wabash River featuring 4 miles of marked trails, picnic areas & playgrounds in a beautiful wooded setting on the edge of town.

Gregg Park in Vincennes has many different species of trees making it a great viewing spot for fall colors.  The park has playgrounds, picnic areas and a walking path.

Visit the George Rogers Clark NHP or take a stroll on the Riverwalk in downtown Vincennes to view the foliage along the Wabash River.

Fox Ridge Nature Park offers 95-acre space for passive recreation such as walking and hiking, bicycling, fishing and exploring the natural world that inhabits the park.

Take a drive out Road and Gun Club Road in Bruceville and cruise through the Rod and Gun Club for beautiful fall foliage on your way back.

 

Trick or Treat

Have a howling good time this Halloween season!

Older children and adults can enjoy a classic fall musical, the “Rocky Horror Show” performed by the V.U. Music & Theater Department October 25 – 27.  The production can be seen Thursday at 7pm, Friday at 7pm & 10pm and Saturday at 7pm.  Call the box office for tickets at 812-888-4039.

Also, on October 25 – 27, the Vincennes State Historic Sites will host the annual “Fort Fright” at Fort Knox II 3090 N. Old Ft. Knox Road.  Younger kids can enjoy the “no scare” program from 6pm – 7:30pm, with older kids and adults invited to the “full scare” program with haunted trails from 7:30pm – 11pm.  Tickets:  $5 for 12 yrs. & younger & $8 for 13 yrs. & up.

Bring your ghosts, princesses and super heroes downtown for an afternoon of Trick-or-Treating with the Downtown Merchants! Children are invited to participate on Saturday, October 27 from 2:00pm – 4:00pm.

Have more fun that evening during “Trunk or Treating” at the Uebelhor Dealership 626 Kimmell Road.  Enjoy a local D.J. and free hot dogs from 7pm – 9pm.  FREE event!

Enjoy another FREE Family-Friendly Halloween event at the First Baptist Church “Trunk or Treat” 2625 Wabash Avenue on Saturday, October 28!  The fun starts at 4pm when participants hand out candy from their decorated car trunks. Everyone is invited to enjoy Christian fellowship, a bowl of chili, chips and a hot dog until 6pm. Costumes are encouraged but nothing scary please!!!

City-Wide “Trick or Treating” for children will be held on October 30 & 31 from 5:30pm – 9pm both evenings.  Trick-or-Treaters should only visit homes with front porch lights on. *It is strongly suggested that costumes and candy bags have reflective tape, so trick-or-treaters can be seen more easily by motorists. Parents are also encouraged to see that their child’s costume fits properly to avoid falls and have their child carry a flashlight or glow stick.

The Annual “Halloween Safe Stop” Trick-or-Treating for children will be held on Hart Street Wednesday, October 31 from 5pm – 7pm.  Trick-or-Treaters should look for a lighted pumpkin in the window of participating businesses. *Vincennes City Police Officers will be assisting children cross the street.