The Times (the local rag, i.e., newspaper)
A hundred years ago, it started out as The Messenger and The Vidette. Then less than 50 years ago, it became The Vidette-Messenger. Around 1998, The Times of Hammond, Indiana, bought the V-M and it became The Times, Porter County Edition.
Whatever you want to call it, it's been the local paper for a long time. Many of the smaller towns have a weekly or a shopper, but The Times has remained the primary paper.
Find your Family
The Valparaiso Public Library has the 'second best' Geneological Library in the State according to may geneologist. I think it's the best [I've been the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne]. Located on the second floor, you can find resources and guidance that will add generations to your family tree.
Larry Clark and the team, will guide you through the books and the internet to resources that you thought you'd have to go to Salt Lake City to find. If you're family came from the places that most Hoosiers came from they have it. It they're from other areas of the country or the world, it's better than 50/50 that they can get you to the information you need.
107 East Jefferson Street, a block north of Courthouse Square.
Monday through Friday - 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Valparaiso Crusader Basketball
In a town without much to do at night besides eat, Valparaiso is lucky to have a good college men's basketball team - the Valparaiso University Crusaders. Home games are played from late November to the first week of March. There are about 15 home games every season. Check the schedule on the website below.
The team has been a perennial powerhouse in its conference, the Mid-Continent, for about 10 years, and has some NCAA Tournament appearances and a memorable Sweet 16 appearance in 1998 that captured the whole nation with Bryce Drew's improbable 3-point buzzer-beater - one of the most famous shots in NCAA Tournament history.
The games are played at the 5,100 seat ARC on the campus of VU. The fans are passionate and loud. It is a great atmosphere for basketball. Games are usually 3/4 or more full, and tickets are a good value at $12 for chairback, $10 for bleachers, and $8 for general admission. Subtract another $2 from those prices for seniors/children. Very rarely, there are games against nationally recognized opponents, such as Cincinnati or Purdue. Those games will cost more.
VU has traditionally had many international players on its roster, so chances are you will see some players who have played for their national teams in international competitions. Past and present players have come from Croatia, Lithuania, Puerto Rico, Angola, Mali, Senegal, Czech Republic, and more. Valpo is coached by Homer Drew, who is one of the most respected coaches in the nation. He has been at VU for 15 years and is the most successful coach in school history. Drew is credited with building the program into what it is now. He returned in 2003 after a brief retirement.
Valparaiso's most famous player is Bryce Drew, Homer's son. He grew up in Valparaiso and chose VU over hundreds of other schools recruiting him. As mentioned previously, he brought Valpo national attention with his game-winning 3 pointer in the 1998 NCAA Tourney. He is the only Valpo player ever to play in the NBA, being drafted by the Houston Rockets after his senior season. He has also played for the Chicago Bulls and Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets.
Kout's and farm country
It's great for an afternoon or a leisurely days drive. Head south one way, like through Boone Grove take the back roads to Kouts, maybe stop along the Kankakee River. Head back through the eastern part of Porter County. Farms, fields, PUD's (Planned Unit Development, i.e., sprawl) and various cemetaries mark the land from the people who built this community and are still building.
See my Kouts page for places to eat and things to do.
Sunset Hills County Farm Park
Sunset Hills County Farm Park is the largest County Park in the system. There are trails through the woods, playground and fields all around. Each month, there are special events to add excitement.
International Music Festival
July 14, 2007 - July 15, 2007
Times: Saturday: 2:00 pm- 10:00 pm, Sunday: Noon to 6:00 pm
Location: Sunset Hill Farm County Park, 775 N. Meridian Rd., Valparaiso
Admission: $5.00/person, Children 8 and under free
Music, Dance, Food and crafters, representing many areas of the world.