Local Farms Offer Fall Family Fun

Local family-owned farms in the Kokomo area provide a great country escape for families that need a break from a busy routine.  You can pick your own pumpkin, take an adventure through a corn maze, shop for crafts in a country store, and ride on a hay wagon!  There is definitely something for all ages at these great fall attractions!  Both farms are open October 1-30, 2010.

Old Sycamore Farm

Old Sycamore Farm – 6702 West 00 North South, Kokomo
Hours: Monday – Friday 12:00-6:30pm, Saturday 10:00am-6:30pm & Sunday 12:00-6:30pm

Farm activities include: U-pick pumpkin patch, petting zoo, pony rides, candle dipping, gold & gem stone panning, animal farm factory (stuff your own farm animal or teddy bear), wagon train, moon walk & slide, country store with primitive crafts, hay bale maze, duck races, hayrides, and playground.  Prices vary based on individual activities and are listed on their website.  Old Sycamore Haunted Barn is also open on Friday & Saturday nights only (more information will be posted soon!)

Barnyard Barrel Train at Guffey Acres

Guffey Acres Farm – 1603 North 400 West, Kokomo
Hours: Thursday 4-8pm, Friday 4-10pm & Saturday 10am-10pm
Admission: $8 per person (includes corn maze & all attractions)
Children 2 & under free

Farm activities include: 2 corn mazes (one more challenging than the other), barnyard barrel train, farm golf, tire mountain, hayrides, jumbo horse shoes, giant checkers, straw jump, tube slide, and U-pick pumpkins.  Families can enjoy concessions, visit with barnyard buddies (where kids can feed and pet the animals), and shop at Guffey’s Gifts gift shop in the Big Red Barn on the farm.  For more information, visit their website.

There are many great haunted houses and Halloween attractions throughout the Kokomo area.  Locations and hours for all will be posted soon!

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Culinary Corner Features Local Foods

Seasonal homegrown fruits and vegetables are offered at Kokomo & Greentown Farmers' Markets

Hello Culinary Corner Family!

Enjoy a Saturday afternoon by visiting one of the local U-pick farms, farmers’ markets, wineries, or agritourism destinations in Howard or surrounding counties.  Nationally, farmers’ markets have grown by more than 18% since 1994.

Agritourism destinations, farmers’ markets, and U-pick farms offer anything from apples, asparagus, vine-ripened tomatoes, blueberries, strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelons, and sweet corn to various varieties of flowers, soaps, honey, and maple syrup, as well as tons of family fun!

The first commercial winery in the United States was established by Swiss settlers in Switzerland County in approximately 1808.  Now there are 36 wineries in Indiana and three wine trails.  Call 800-832-WINE for more information on a wine trail near you.

You’ll find locally grown produce, meats, wines, and a cornucopia of other tasty food products at more than 150 farmers’ markets across Indiana.

The Kokomo Downtown Farmers’ Market is located downtown on the corner of Union Street and Sycamore Street.  We also have the Greentown Farmers’ Market located at the intersection of Main Street (US 22/35) and Green Street in downtown Greentown.  Both markets are open every Saturday through October 30 from 8am – Noon.

Howard County’s premier U-pick farm is Farlow’s Orchard, located at 6850 West 250 South in Russiaville, Indiana.  Call (765) 883-7028 for hours.  They have U-pick strawberries in June and U-pick apples in October.

Support local foods by visiting your local agritourism destination!

Kim Morgan
Kokomo Visitors Bureau

It’s Polka Time – Kokomo Oktoberfest is Coming!

Join the fun (German-style!) in Downtown Kokomo on Friday, September 24, 2010 for the Kokomo Oktoberfest.  Grab your polka partner and head to Kokomo’s Courthouse Square from 4-10 p.m.  Admission is free.  There will be plenty of great music, food, and activities for the entire family! 

Jay Fox & the Bavarian Showtime Band will provide great toe-tapping German music throughout the event.  All ages are encouraged to join in, so wear your dancing shoes!  Elvis will also be there to provide lively entertainment. 

Don’t forget about the food!  The food tent will serve brats, sauerkraut, hot German potato salad, and soft drinks.  Of course, hot dogs and chips will also be available for kids.  The beer garden will serve up German beer, and other vendors will have snacks and desserts available to purchase, such as kettle corn, candies, strawberry shortcakes, and ice cream. 

Another big feature of the festival is the annual Volkswagen Cruise-in.  Over 100 vehicles participated last year.  Colorful VW cars, bugs, buses, and others will line the streets downtown.  The VW Cruise-in has been growing in size and popularity each year, and attracts many visitors from Indiana and throughout the Midwest.  

“Chalk the Block” chalk art contest will be offered this year for the first time.  Artists (ranging from students to professionals) will be given a box of chalk and a specific space on the sidewalk to draw a fall-themed design from 4-6pm.  Category winners will then be announced from the Oktoberfest stage and prizes will be presented.  Festival-goers can stroll and view all the various designs throughout the evening.  Artists must pre-register at Angie Meyers Design Studio to participate or call 765-456-3800.

The food tent will be open for lunch from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., and Rhum Academy of Music will provide music during lunch.  However, all other activities will take place from 4-10 p.m.  Oktoberfest is presented by the Kokomo Downtown Association and Center Township.  For more information, call 765-454-7926.

Experience Living History at Koh-Koh-Mah

The Koh-Koh-Mah & David Foster Living History Encampment will be held in Wildcat Valley this weekend, September 18-19, 2010.  Food, live music, vendors, a variety of demonstrations, strolling fiddler, style show, children’s parade, and a French & Indian battle re-enactment are among some of the features offered during this annual event.  Visitors will also have the chance to hear Chief Koh-Koh-Mah speak about the battles his ancestors fought and will learn more about the history of the Kokomo area.  A full schedule of events is listed at www.KohKohMah.com

Wildcat Valley is located at 1000 West 100 South in western Howard County, approximately 10 miles west of Kokomo.  Hours are Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. & Sunday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Admission is $5 adults & $4 seniors & students.  Kids ages 5 & under are admitted free.  The event is rain or shine, and there is plenty to see and do for the entire family!  For more information, visit their website.

Downtown Kokomo is More Vibrant Than Ever

If you haven’t been to Downtown Kokomo lately, you are definitely missing out!  From function and beautification to new retail and restaurants, Downtown Kokomo has undergone a real transformation over the past several months.  

People have been talking about the beautiful flower baskets in Downtown Kokomo for years now.  The hanging baskets lining the streets are so big and overflowing this year, sometimes I wonder how they even stay up on the posts!  They are truly stunning!  Flower-filled bump outs now frame the courthouse square, decorative crosswalks have been added, and new plantings and ground coverings add vibrant color throughout the downtown.  

Kokomo's Courthouse Square

The list of changes does not stop there!  Convenience and function have also improved.  Several stoplights have been taken out and replaced with 4-way stops.  Sycamore and Walnut were converted into 2-way streets, providing ease when traveling in and out of the downtown.  Parking meters have been removed (although 2-hour parking is still enforced.)  In addition, the recently built Kokomo Arts Pavilion in Foster Park has been the venue for many free concerts this summer and fall, giving downtown another great attraction.   

Beautification is not the only change you will see in downtown.  Twelve new businesses have opened since January, including five restaurants and eateries.  Below is the current list with others planning to open soon.   

Al’s Hot Dogs on the Square
Angie Meyers Design Studio
Baja Burritos
BNB Custom Collision Center
Da Roux House
Hoops on the Square
JoTis Accessories
Host Design
Sweet Poppin’s
The Pointy Pencil
The Vault Coffee & Connections
Timeless Pieces & Treasures

Downtown Kokomo is more vibrant than ever.  Make plans to stop, take a walk, dine, and shop during your next visit!  A special thanks to the Kokomo Downtown Association for sharing these great photos taken this summer!