By Ken Kosky
Indiana Dunes Tourism
Now that Labor Day weekend is in the rear view mirror, you might be thinking that summer is over and the fun activities are ending.
The fun is actually just beginning.
Saturday is Valparaiso Popcorn Festival in downtown Valparaiso. I’ll be running in the Popcorn Panic 5 mile run, then watching the parade at 10 a.m. I might have to check out the many craft booths before catching the Gin Blossoms performance at 5 p.m. at Central Park Plaza on Lincolnway.
But that’s not all. The next two months are actually my favorite times to visit Indiana Dunes State Park and the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The Labor Day weekend crowds are gone and the weather is generally great for hiking in the woods or enjoying the beach. Lake Michigan remains warm, too.
Oh, and don’t miss the World’s Worst Fairy Godmother, a fun play being performed through Sept. 14 at Chicago Street Theatre in Valparaiso. Don’t forget to grab a bite at a nearby restaurant like Meditrina Market Cafe or Don Quijote Restaurant.
Tags: Central Park Plaza
, Chicago Street Theatre
, Don Quijote
, Gin Blossoms
, Indiana Dunes
, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
, Indiana Dunes State Park
, Lake Michigan
, National Lakeshore
, Popcorn Fest
, Popcorn Festival
, Popcorn Panic
, World's Worst Fairy Godmother
INDIANAPOLIS, IN — Two Porter County restaurants have been chosen to represent the county on the Indiana State Fair food stage.
Industrial Revolution Eatery & Grille in Valparaiso and Tonya’s Patisserie in Chesterton will be showing state fair audiences how to prepare some of the restaurants’ signature menu offerings. The restaurants will also be providing food samples.
The demonstrations are part of the “Indiana Dunes Tourism at Red Gold Culinary Corner” day on Wednesday, Aug. 7.
Industrial Revolution, a restaurant that celebrates our nation’s industrial heritage and its hard-working people, will demonstrate how to make two dishes: pulled barbecue pork sliders and mom’s famous double shift pot roast macaroni and cheese. The audience will get to sample each dish.
“With thousands of restaurants in Indiana, we’re proud that Industrial Revolution is one of only a few to get to take the stage at the Indiana State Fair,” said Industrial Revolution owner Mike Leeson.
“We hope to build additional unique restaurants throughout the state and across the country eventually, so we welcome the chance to share the Industrial Revolution story and food with people from across Indiana.”
Tonya’s will demonstrate how to make bacon corn cheddar quiche, flourless chocolate walnut cookies and berry pavlova. Tonya’s is teaming up with the American Dairy Association of Indiana, which will provide dairy ingredients for the creations. Tonya’s will be handing out cookies to those in the audience.
“I’m totally honored to do it. We’re very excited,” said Tonya Deiotte, owner of Tonya’s.
Tonya’s is the 2013 Indiana Dunes Tourism R.O.S.E. Awards “Partner of the Year” for their role in attracting visitors to their establishment and to the county. Industrial Revolution won R.O.S.E. Awards for “Restaurant of the Year” in 2012 and 2013.
Indiana Dunes Tourism Executive Director Lorelei Weimer said she’s pleased that the Indiana State Fair Commission thought highly enough of Porter County as a culinary destination to open the Culinary Corner to its restaurants for a day.
“Our goal is that people from across the state will recognize that although we are known for the Indiana Dunes, there are many great places to eat and many other reasons to visit this part of the state,” Weimer said.
Brian Blackford, program manager for the Indiana State Fair Commission, said the goal of the DuPont Food Pavilion, where the food preparation demonstrations and other events will take place, is to “showcase Indiana foods, chefs, farmers, artisans and commodity groups.”
Blackford said the Porter County restaurants are two of 15 statewide chosen to participate this year.
Indiana Dunes Country is a resale shopper’s paradise. Photo by Alex Gumm
By Alex Gumm, Indiana Dunes Tourism intern
When I helped my family move recently, I was shocked at the amount of stuff I hadn’t even worn or used in years. Rather than lug a bunch of extra boxes to the new house, I decided it was time to weed through my stuff and donate items I no longer needed to Goodwill.
Settling into the new house, I noticed a few household items left to purchase like a microwave and a few knickknacks. Not wanting to pay full price, I decided to visit a handful of Valparaiso’s resale and consignment shops hoping to find some unique items at bargain prices. What I found surprised me…
New Creation Resale Shop
My first stop was New Creation Resale Shop. Located in an old factory, the resale shop is filled with plenty of things to furnish a house, like furniture, glassware, small appliances and televisions, as well as clothing and knickknacks.
I was impressed by rows of chairs, couches, beds and lamps that filled one side of the shop. With such a large selection, I would definitely recommend anyone looking for used furniture at a reasonable price to stop in.
I’m also happy to report that I found the perfect black Sunbeam microwave for just $15. What a deal!
Bethesda Nifty Thrifty Resale
Next, I rummaged through Bethesda Nifty Thrifty Resale. This shop offers clothing, household goods, books, toys, glassware and small appliances. To be honest, it reminded me of a smaller version of Goodwill. I loved the quaint items and rows of diverse clothing. It’s also home to the 50 cent T-shirt!
As I walked through the aisles, I came across a vintage figurine of Benny the Bull that I knew my boyfriend, an avid Chicago Bulls fan, would just love. It’s one-of-a-kind finds like this that make resale shops so much fun to me.
Goodwill Industries Inc.
After Bethesda, I headed over to Valparaiso’s Goodwill. I’m no stranger to Goodwill. Some might even call me “frequent buyer,” because I’m there at least once a week to see what’s new on the shelves.
The store sells everything from clothes, shoes and housewares to toys, electronics, music, movies and books. My favorite section is the corner where Goodwill sells brand new, clearance merchandise donated by Target.
On this trip, I was able to find a new floor lamp and shower curtain from Target as well as a Brita filtration pitcher for the new house. And with my coupons, I only paid $10. I can’t wait to show everyone!
First Presbyterian Resale Shop
First Presbyterian Resale Shop was next on my list of stops. Situated in downtown Valparaiso, you can find clothing for the whole family, books, toys, jewelry, linens, small household items and seasonal items.
And for those bargain shoppers like me, check out the bins in the back of the store for even more discounted goods.
The Closet Exchange
Then I headed over to The Closet Exchange, an upscale consignment shop that carries name and designer clothing. In my opinion, it’s the perfect place for working women who are looking for quality garments.
While the pricing is a bit steeper than most resale shops, the items are very stylish and trendy. Common brands sold daily in the shop include Coach, Guess, Calvin Klein, Gap, Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger.
I bought this adorable pair of Coach tennis shoes and a couple name brand work blouses for about half of the retail price.
The Hip Exchange
My final place to explore was The Hip Exchange. In regards to resale shopping, this shop is a hidden jewel. I’ve drove down Calumet Avenue time after time and never noticed it sitting behind The Vac Shop.
The store sells and trades new and used items such as clothing, jewelry, purses, DVDs, video games, home décor and shoes. Without a doubt, this is the perfect place for teens and young adults looking for in-style, casual clothing. I can’t wait to go and explore the racks again.
With a successful day of shopping behind me, I realized the local resale and consignment shops had everything I needed for my new house and more! That’s the great thing about resale shopping — you never know what unique items you’re going to find. Every shop holds different treasures that are there one day and gone the next.
On your next shopping trip, make sure to explore not only these resale shops, but others in Porter County, including Duneland Resale and Flashbacks in Chesterton; Estate Collection, Methodist “The Shop,” Once Upon a Child, Pieces and It’s 4 You in Valparaiso; Portage Resale Shop and Twice Is Nice in Portage; and My Style Resale in Kouts.
For more information on shopping in Indiana Dunes Country, visit the Indiana Dunes Tourism website. Under category, click on resale/consignment to see only resale shops.
July is a great time to visit Indiana Dunes State Park, and not just because the cool waters are soothing to those enjoying the hot sand.
There are several programs and events, including:
• Sign-up for their summer camps today. Night at the Nature Center Camp is July 16-18, Dunes Explorer Camp is Aug. 6-8, and Budding Naturalist Day Camp is July 30-Aug. 1. Pick up a registration form at the Nature Center or online.
• The annual Tri-town Fireworks show is fast approaching. Expect another packed park on Tuesday, July 2. Again this year, enjoy live music, great food, and the beach. Get your photos taken with Smokey Bear before watching the big show!
• The Friends of Indiana Dunes 16th Annual Sand Sculpture Contest is coming up on Saturday, July 13. Try your hand at this year’s theme of “Once Upon A Time.” Prizes are awarded in many categories, including the People’s Choice Award.
• Explore the park’s maritime history with a special Shipwreck Stories presentation on July 16 at 4 p.m. The program takes place in the Nature Center Auditorium.
Want to stay even more updated on park happenings, park news, and more? Become a fan of the Indiana Dunes State Park Facebook page. Check out photos and videos from other Indiana Dunes visitors, take part in discussions, or just share your Indiana Dunes experiences. Visit www.facebook.com/INDUNES to become a fan.
The complete July Interpretive Schedule can be found at www.dnr.in.gov/parklake.2980.htm.
To contact the Interpretive Service of Indiana Dunes State Park, call (219) 926-1390 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Lomography Chicago
This may go down in the Lomography Chicago history books as our favorite event so far. We had an amazing day at the Indiana Dunes for World Pinhole Day! The weather was great, and so was the group. Take a look through the photos taken throughout the day, and mark your calenders for next year!
We arrived at the dunes and adventured down to the beach, and up to the eagles point overlook! No matter where you were, there was beauty to be seen and pictures to be taken!
Check out the Pinhole photos we took at the Dunes using the Lomo XR 50-200 film, and Lomo color 100 film with the Diana F+. And if you attended this event be sure to share your photos with us on our Facebook page, and if you haven’t already sign up for a FREE Lomo Home and share your photos with us, and the Lomography community!