Summer Sun, Family Fun

Summer is a great time to visit Kokomo!  Check out these family fun activities to plan your summer getaway.

Enjoy fun festivals, food, and fantastic live music during the Kokomo Summer Concert Series with great performers and bands all summer long! Upcoming headliners include The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Robby Krieger of The Doors, and Hotel California “A Salute to The Eagles.” All concerts are free! See full concert schedule on their website.

Kokomo Municipal Stadium aerial

Hit a “home run” with your family with a visit to Kokomo Municipal Stadium to watch the Kokomo Jackrabbits baseball team. Tickets start at only $8. Themed game nights, giveaways, pre-game festivities, and Kid Zone for youngsters create a fun game-day experience. And best of all, it’s all within walking distance to Kokomo’s revitalized downtown, full of unique dining, shopping, art galleries, and adjacent to beautiful walking and biking trails along the Wildcat Creek!

Want to stay active during your visit? Canoe or kayak in the Kokomo Reservoir or down the Wildcat Creek. Kokomo Canoe & Kayak Rentals offer on-site delivery. Or bike, walk, or run on the Wildcat Creek Walk of Excellence or Industrial Heritage Trail. Both trails intersect Downtown Kokomo, and watch for colorful murals painted by local artists!

Kokomo Beach

Check out Kokomo Beach Family Aquatic Center, the perfect place to cool off on a hot summer afternoon, with its large leisure pool, high energy water slides, splash pad, kiddie slides, and relaxing lazy river. Show off your skills at Kokomo Pipeline Skate Park, a world-class facility in Jackson Morrow Park with 9,800 square feet of concrete – open for boards, bikes, and blades.

Other must-see events this summer include the 2016 Kokomo Air Show on Saturday, July 23, thrilling racing action at Kokomo Speedway, weekly Kokomo Park Band concerts in Highland Park, First Fridays (held year-round) in Downtown, the Cole Porter Classic “Kiss Me, Kate” performed by Kokomo Civic Theatre and Kokomo Symphony Orchestra on August 26-27 at the Kokomo Arts Pavilion, and the new Indiana University Kokomo Union Street Gallery.

For more information on Kokomo, go to www.VisitKokomo.org or download the free Visit Kokomo mobile app.

 

2016 Indiana Tour of Honor Motorcycle Ride Includes New Kokomo Memorial

Blue and Gold Star Family Memorial

We are honored to have the new Blue and Gold Star Family Memorial, located next to the Howard County Veterans Memorial, listed on the 2016 Indiana Tour of Honor.  This new memorial was dedicated on September 13, 2015 and is located in Kokomo’s Darrough Chapel Park.

Riders can find more information on the 2016 Indiana Tour of Honor map.

For a list of all Veterans monuments and memorials in Kokomo/Howard County, go to www.VisitKokomo.org/Veterans or call the Greater Kokomo Visitors Bureau at 800-837-0971.

Kokomo Municipal Stadium to host soccer, college baseball in 2016

Kokomo Municipal Stadium aerial

In addition to being the home of the Kokomo Jackrabbits Prospect League baseball team, Kokomo Municipal Stadium will be host to many other sporting events and teams this year.

It was recently announced that the newest USL Premier Development League soccer team is the Kokomo Mantis FC, led by coach and team manager Marcelo Santos. They will play all home games at Kokomo Municipal Stadium starting in June 2016. For more information and to see the team’s schedule, visit uslpdl.com.

The Stadium will also host several college baseball games this spring, all of which will feature a team from an Indiana school. Tickets for the college games are available on the Kokomo Jackrabbits website. These games include:

March 12: Manchester University vs. John Carroll
March 13: Manchester University vs. John Carroll
March 18: Purdue vs. Ohio University
March 19: Purdue vs. Ohio University
March 20: Purdue vs. Ohio University
March 22: Kent St. vs. Evansville
May 17: IPFW vs. Purdue

In addition, the American Legion Baseball 2016 State Finals and the Prospect League’s 2016 All Star Game will both be held at Kokomo Municipal Stadium in July.

The Kokomo Jackrabbits’ 2016 season home game opener is May 26.  Season tickets, 1/2 season tickets, and 7-game packs are on sale now at kokomojackrabbits.com.

Kokomo Municipal Stadium is located within walking distance of the heart of downtown with unique shops, restaurants, and art galleries. Don’t miss a minute of the fun – reserve your tickets now. We look forward to seeing you in Kokomo!

LOVE CHOCOLATE? Don’t miss this sweet event!

2015 Chocolate Celebration 2

Go ahead and indulge during the 14th Annual Chocolate Celebration, an event celebrating all things chocolate!

Double Chocolate Jubilee Cake, Chocolate Mousse Torte, Oreo Cheesecake, Chocolate Cherry Cookies, Chocolate Covered Strawberry Popcorn, Candied Bacon Samoa Cupcakes, and Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie are just a few of the indulgent items that will featured during this year’s event.  My mouth is watering already!  See a full list of items here.

Tickets are 2 for $5, with each ticket redeemable for one delicious chocolate treat of your choice.  You can purchase tickets at the door.  Arrive early for best selection!

Chocolate Celebration will be held at Kokomo’s First Church of the Nazarene, 2734 S. Washington Street, on Friday, February 5, 2016 from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  Proceeds will benefit Samaritan Caregivers.  For more information, visit their website or call (765) 453-7611.

Wild Indiana Outdoors Expo this weekend in Kokomo

WildIndiana

Wild Indiana Outdoors is coming back to Kokomo on January 16-17, 2016 with booths, guest speakers, and exhibitors showcasing camping, biking, hunting, fishing, boating, hiking, canoeing, wildlife education, and many other interests.  If you are an outdoor enthusiast, you definitely won’t want to miss this show!

Wild Indiana Outdoors will be held at the Ivy Tech Kokomo Event & Conference Center, located at 1500 North Reed Road (SR 931), Kokomo. Hours are Saturday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Admission is $5 per person at the door and $1 for kids ages 10 & younger.  To see a list of vendors and speakers or for more information, visit their website or call 765.854.2301.

Kokomo Automotive Museum hosting part of “Hoosier Made: World Driven” event

Hoosier Made World Driven brochure cover

The Kokomo Automotive Heritage Museum is hosting part of “Hoosier Made: World Driven,” a three museum event to celebrate Indiana’s automotive heritage. The event, which is a Legacy Project by the Indiana Bicentennial Commission, is underway and runs until Oct. 3, 2016.

“Hoosier Made: World Driven” examines the heyday of Indiana’s automobile industry when some of the world’s finest motorcars were built in the Hoosier state. The exhibit will be presented at Indiana’s three leading transportation museums: The Kokomo Automotive Heritage Museum, the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend and the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum in Auburn.

The Kokomo Automotive Heritage Museum display will feature five different Haynes and Apperson touring vehicles. The museum is home to more than 100 antique automobiles and offers visitors a glimpse of the nation’s automotive history, with an emphasis on local automotive history.

“This event shines a light on our museum and how it represents our local automotive heritage,” said Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight. “It showcases the role Kokomo played in the development of the American automobile, and our city’s central role in the Indiana economy.”

Kokomo Automotive Heritage Museum director of development Jeff Shively said the event presents a great opportunity.

“This is the perfect chance to see three great museums, travel, and learn about Indiana’s automotive heritage,” Shively said. “And you can save money while doing it.”

Visitors can visit all three museums for the price of two. A passport (available at all three museums) can be stamped at two museums and admission to the third museum for free. Admission to the Kokomo Automotive Heritage Museum is $5.

The Kokomo Automotive Museum is located at 1500 North Reed Road (S.R. 931) and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. For more information, call 765.454.9999.

 

Explore Kokomo’s Holiday Light Displays

WeCarePark

Several Kokomo holiday light displays will open starting on Thanksgiving weekend. A great activity to do with friends, family, and kids!

We Care Park lighting ceremony starts at 5:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving night. The lights will stay on nightly from 5:30-9:30 p.m. through December 27, 2015. Street parking is available to walk through the park or stay in your car and drive through to enjoy over 1,000,000 twinkling lights! We Care Park is located at the corner of Gano and Lafountain Streets (on the northside of Kokomo.)

Highland Park’s “City of Lights” will come alive on Thanksgiving night with nearly 50 holiday light displays. Lights will remain on nightly at dusk through the end of the year.  You can also see Santa at Highland Park until December 24. Another fun holiday tradition!

Christmas at the Seiberling” starts Saturday, November 28, 2015 with a lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. followed by music, visits with Santa, and of course, tours of the stunning (and magnificently decorated) Seiberling Mansion. See thousands of lights and dozens of Christmas trees! Visitors 12 and younger can compete for a prize in the “Count the Trees” contest! “Christmas at the Seiberling” continues through December 31.

Downtown Kokomo’s Lighting Ceremony of the Courthouse Square starts Friday, December 4, 2015 (during FIRST FRIDAY!)  Stroll through the downtown district from 5:30-9:00 p.m. to see holiday lights and local businesses competing in the window decorating contest. Kids can visit with Santa, carriage rides will be available, and local businesses will be open for holiday shopping!

In this busy season of shopping, baking, and holiday errands, take some time to relax and enjoy the lights!

J. Edwards Gourmet & Blondie’s Cookies featured on FOX 59 Hoosier Treats Segment

Fill your table with local foods and treats this holiday season!

Kokomo’s own J. Edwards Gourmet and Blondie’s Cookies were featured last week by Visit Indiana on FOX 59. With Thanksgiving and the holidays right around the corner, the segment highlighted delicious, Indiana made food products perfect for the holiday table. View the segment here.

J. Edwards Gourmet, a local favorite since 2003, specializes in fine chocolates (regular and sugar-free), beautiful gourmet cakes, and housemade cheese dips and spreads.

Here is a sampling of the items you can purchase for your holiday table:

Spinach Artichoke Cheese Dip – A gourmet classic! This 5-cheese blend is packed with spinach, roasted red peppers, and hearty artichoke hearts.

Baby Swiss Cheese Dip – Smooth and savory dip. Garlic, chives, and other spices are paired with this delicious 4-cheese blend.

California Cheese Spread – This one will make your California dreams come true! A 3-cheese cheddar garlic blend that goes perfect with any cracker, pretzel, or baked potato.

cheese dips

Cheese Pinwheel – Can’t decide on which cheese dip is the best to suit your family get together? Satisfy everyone’s taste buds with the Pinwheel, a 4-compartment tray that features all four homemade cheeses.

Cheeseball – A gourmet double chipped beef cheeseball packed with flavor (garlic, chives, and other spices) then rolled in toasted pecan pieces. Sure to satisfy any savory palate!

Spicy Pretzel Balls – A blend of special gourmet spices coated over crunchy pretzel balls, is sure to be a big hit.

Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake – A smooth and creamy cheesecake, with all of the pumpkin spice you can handle! A great way to get your pumpkin fix.

Red Velvet Cheesecake – A bold and creamy combination, this is a red velvet flavored creamy cheesecake topped with J. Edwards’s signature chocolate ganache.

Gourmet Apple – A granny smith apple covered in caramel, rolled in toasted pecans, and then dipped & drizzled in chocolate. Perfect for gifts, celebrations, or devouring the whole thing!

JEdwards Chocolates 2.jpg

 

J. Edwards Gourmet’s homemade fine chocolates are perfect for the holidays – for the dessert table or to give as gifts! Their selection includes caramels, assorted creams, turtles, toffee, and much more.

Orders can be placed on their website at jedwardsgourmet.com or by calling (765) 626-0142.  They also offer a large variety of other unique gifts, gourmet cakes and specialty food products, as well as gluten free items.

Blondie’s Cookies is celebrating 30 years as a locally owned business specializing in freshly baked, handcrafted cookies.  Don’t have time to bake cookies this holiday season? Blondie’s has you covered!

Selections include cookies, brownies, chewies, sprinkles, cookie cakes, party trays, gift tins, gift boxes and towers. They even have take & bake cookie kits (perfect for baking with kids!) and unique items, like Snickers cookies, cheesecake brownies, and peppermint sprinkle cookies.

blondies cookies photo

Consider these indulgent cookies for your holiday table:

Pumpkin Spice Sprinkle cookies – Moist, soft pumpkin shortbread cookie topped with extra creamy cream cheese frosting. Its creamy like a pumpkin pie, moist like a pumpkin bread and oh so decadent like a pumpkin trifle, all wrapped up in a cookie!

KoKo Swirl Sprinkle and KoKo Kream Sprinkle  – The KoKo Sprinkle line is a dark chocolate shortbread cookie topped with dark chocolate ganache frosting or their famous vanilla buttercream icing. KoKo Swirls are soft and very creamy, and may even take the place of your favorite chocolate cake!

To place an order, visit blondiescookies.com or call 1-888-298-6820.

Happy eating this holiday season!

Christmas at the Seiberling: A Kokomo Holiday Tradition

Christmas at the Seiberling outdoor photo

There is a “TREEmendous Christmas” coming to the Seiberling Mansion, and the holiday celebration begins on November 28th.

The Victorian elegance of the Seiberling Mansion is a perfect setting for a stunning collection of holiday trees, wreaths and garlands, and more.

The Seiberling will be closed from November 14-28, 2015 to let the decorators do their magic. In the meantime, you can purchase advance tickets and make plans to start the holidays with your family at the Seiberling Lighting Ceremony on November 28th, sponsored by The Wyman Group.

Witness the official arrival of Santa and join the countdown to 6:00 pm, when the glorious display of outdoor lights is illuminated. After the lighting, enjoy live music from the Kokomo Men of Note and the Kokomo Brass.

Christmas at the Seiberling fireplace

Inside the Seiberling, you’ll tour a vision of holiday beauty. Get some ideas for your tree, and marvel at the dozens of trees in twenty rooms on all three floors of the mansion. Vote for your favorite tree and help pick the People’s Choice. Visit the Elliott House to warm up with cookies and wassail and give the kids and grandkids a chance to chat with Santa. Take a picture with Santa and make some memories – but be sure to bring your camera!

Opening night tickets are available in advance for $7.00 or at the door for $10.00. Kids 12 and under are $3.00 and Howard County Historical Society members are free. Purchase advance tickets online at howardcountymuseum.org.

Christmas at the Seiberling staircase

Along with your tour, you can schedule a carriage ride through the Old Silk Stocking District. Reservations are required by calling 765.452.4314. The price is $50 and includes up to six people. Make it a romantic trip for two – or a great memory for the kids and grandkids. Schedule your ride for November 28th between 6:00 and 9:00 pm, following the lighting ceremony.

Christmas at the Seiberling tours will continue through December 31, 2015 from 1-4 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday (closed Dec. 24-26.) Group tours can be scheduled by appointment.

Thanks to local sponsors, the Seiberling will also be open for special evening hours (and FREE admission) from 4-8 p.m. only on the following dates: December 3-4, 10-11, and 17-18, 2015.

The Seiberling Mansion and Elliott House are located in the 1200 block of West Sycamore Street in Kokomo. Parking lots are accessible via Walnut Street, behind the mansion. For more information, call 765.452.4314 or visit their website and Facebook page.

Kokomo’s Chris Dame presented with 2015 Hoosier Hospitality Award

Hoosier Hospitality Award 2015 - Chris Dame

Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann presented Chris Dame of Kokomo (pictured) with a 2015 Hoosier Hospitality Award for outstanding contributions to the tourism industry during a ceremony at the Indiana State Fair on August 21. Twenty representatives of Indiana’s travel, tourism and hospitality industry earned the 2015 Lieutenant Governor’s Hoosier Hospitality Award for their high level of service in tourism-related jobs at hotels, restaurants, attractions and other destinations.

“These professionals and their Hoosier Hospitality are the vibrant pulse that keeps the tourism industry alive and well in the state of Indiana. It is a great honor to present these awards to such deserving tourism leaders whose work all too often goes unrecognized, but never unappreciated. They live out the Hoosier ideals each and every day as they are out on the front lines showing the public what makes Indiana a great place to visit,” stated Ellspermann.

Chris Dame has worked for the Hampton Inn & Suites in Kokomo for five years and was recently promoted to Guest Experience Ambassador. Hotel guests frequently comment on how Dame’s friendly demeanor and knowledge of the best local destinations makes them feel like “Kokomo is a home away from home.”  His nominator said that he is the “go-to-person” when it comes to encouraging guests to try local attractions, restaurants and other experiences unique to the area. The passion and sincerity he brings to his work makes him an integral component to the success of the tourism industry in Indiana.

Congratulations Chris! Thank you for the excellent service you provide to ensure visitors to Kokomo have a great experience!