Local traditions and culture in Indiana

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Most Viewed Local Customs in Indiana

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    Festival---Taste of Broadripple

    by pabertra Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Taste of Broadripple is a fun festival that runs annually in the heart of one of Indianapolis' most exciting nightlife areas. Several local restaurants set up booths selling their food and radio stations sponsor bands ranging from country to rock. The festival is a one night event and is generally packed to the gills, but it is sure to be a good time. This is a great opportunity to try out different restaurants in the area to get a feel for what you like. One thing I noticed is that the festival tends to draw a younger crowd (early to mid 20's). Also sorry about the crappy pic, my camera doesn't work well at night.

    Taste of Broadripple
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    Festival--Bill Monroe Beanblossom Bluegrass Fest

    by pabertra Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Bill Monroe Memorial Beanblossom Bluegrass Festival is the world's oldest, continuous bluegrass festival! Big names in bluegrass travel from all over to participate in a week of live music, food, and fun. The music starts in the early afternoon and carries on until midnight. Many of the stars have made it big performing at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. Friday night the festival even has a sunset jam session where anyone can bring their instrument and join in the musicmaking fun. I would say this festival is a MUST SEE as it takes place in Beanblossom, the Bluegrass capitol of the world and is a really unique look at southern Indiana.

    Bluegrass Festival
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    Indiana Limestone

    by traveldave Updated Oct 22, 2010

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    Indiana limestone, also called Bedford limestone or Salem limestone, is the highest quality of limestone found in the United States. It is a type of rock primarily composed of calcium carbonate that was formed over millions of years as marine life accumulated and decomposed at the bottom of a shallow sea that covered the Midwest during the Mississippian Period.

    Nowadays, the most productive area for quarrying Indiana limestone is between Bloomington and Bedford in Monroe and Lawrence counties. There are currently nine active quarries that take out 2,700,000 cubic feet (76,456 cubic meters) of limestone per year.

    Limestone is mostly used on the exterior of buildings. Indiana limestone is used in construction across the United States, and covers such notable buildings as the Empire State Building, the Flatiron Building, the Rockefeller Center, and Yankee Stadium in New York City; the Pentagon, the United States Holocaust Memorial and Museum, and numerous other public buildings in Washington, D.C.; and the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. It was also used extensively to rebuild Chicago after the Great Chicago Fire in 1871.

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    Parke County Covered Bridges

    by Toughluck Written Mar 27, 2008

    This is one of the largest concentrations of covered bridges in the world. At one time, Pennsylvania and New England had more, by they've lost many. Today, Parke County, Indiana has nearly 20 wooden covered bridges still standing. Many are still open to road traffic.

    While most of Burr Arch designs, there are a sampling of other styles, Kings Post, Queens Post and Howe Truss.

    Narrows Covered Bridge Mansfield Covered Bridge Philips Coverd Bridge
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    the state symbols

    by davecallahan Updated Apr 5, 2007

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    the State Motto is: Crossroads of America

    the state tree is: the tulip tree

    the state bird is: the cardinal

    Indiana has the nickname "The Hoosier State" (hoo is anglo-saxon for hill or large, so a hoozer is a hill person or a large person)

    The State Flag has 19 stars (13 original states and 5 next states and one large star for Indiana) and a torch (enlightenment)

    The State Seal: woodsman chopping a tree; bison on plains; sunset over the hills.... these are all figures of the Northwest Territory of which Indiana was a part

    tulip tree = state tree cardinal = state bird state flag state seal

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    Pork Tenderloin

    by Toughluck Written Oct 30, 2006

    You got it! I never saw Port Tenderloin on a menu (that I could remember) until we came to Indiana. Every restaurant has it. I hear that it is common south of the Ohio River, which means it should be common in southern Indiana, southern Ohio, and southern Illinois. (Central Missouri based on some old friends who said southern Missouri was more nothern and central Missouri was really the south).

    Well, here in Indiana, Pork Tenderloin is everywhere. Try and find a restaurant that doesn't have it. Okay, I do know a few, but I can't afford to eat regularly in those places.

    So If you're in Indiana, have a Port Tenderloin sandwich. Oh, that's right, I've not seen but a few ever ordered. But they're always on the menu.

    The Port (Chesterton, Indiana)
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    Time zones

    by Dabs Updated Apr 23, 2006

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    On April 2nd 2006 many Hoosiers (Indiana residents) had to "spring ahead" and change their clocks for the first time in more than 30 years. Indiana was one of only three U.S. states (Hawaii and Arizona are the others) which did not follow the Spring ahead in April from "standard" to "daylight saving" time or Fall back in October from daylight saving to standard time. Most of Indiana, 77 counties, stayed on Eastern Standard Time (EST) while 10 counties were in the Central Standard Time Zone and observed daylight savings and 5 other counties that were in the Eastern Time Zone and observed daylight savings.

    All this made it very confusing to travel or do business in Indiana and lawmakers, claiming that it hurt commerce, voted to change it so that all counties observe daylight savings. 18 counties are now on Central Standard Time and 74 are on Eastern but all of us observe the rather annoying practice of changing our clocks twice a year.

    Those counties that are on Central Standard time are the ones closest to Chicago in Northwest Indiana and the ones closest to Louisville Kentucky both of which are on Central time.

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    Monument Circle Christmas Tree

    by pabertra Written Dec 29, 2005

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    Every year the Circle City turns the Soldier's and Sailor's Monument in the middle of the circle into a lighted Christmas tree and decorates the circle with toy soldiers and other festivities. This makes for a really romantic setting at which to sip hot chocolate at the South Bend Chocolate Company (on the circle), or catch a carriage ride, or just take a stroll.

    Circle of Lights
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    Restoration of Historic Districts in Indianapolis

    by deecat Updated May 1, 2005

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    One of the most beloved individuals in Indiana's history is the poet, James Whitcomb Riley who is known as the The Indiana Poet. He was inspired by Lockerbie Street in Indianapolis, and even wrote about it in one of his poems. I was also inspired by the historic districts found in Indianapolis, "Lockerbie Square" being one of the finest.

    You are able to take a self-guided tour of the area where you will no doubt marvel at the wonderful restorations of the Queen Anne's, Vernacular Cottages, and Italianate architecture.

    While touring the neighborhood, be sure to visit 528 Lockerbie Street to see the James Whitcomb Riley Home and Museum where you will be able to take a wonderful guided tour of the home and yard.
    His home (where he was a paying guest of a friend for 20 years) was built in 1872 and is an Italianate style brick home.

    The citizens of Indianapolis and the state of Indiana should feel proud of the push for saving the beautiful architecture for the generations to follow.

    James Whitecomb Riley Home and Museum
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    Basketball Rules in the State of Indiana

    by deecat Updated Mar 23, 2005

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    "High school basketball has connected the industrial cities of the northwest to the urban center in Indianapolis to the...farm communities in the southern part of the state." Barry Temkin

    What I've always known since a child was that the state of Indiana is "crazy" about basketball...high school, college, & professional!

    Every small town & country village in the state thinks basketball is king of sports. Indiana rightly calls itself the home of basketball". It's more like a "religion" than a sport.

    Perhaps the "hotbed" of Indiana basketball is at Assembly Hall on the Bloomington campus of Indiana University. It's really a sight to behold with every Indiana fan dressed in red & white; it literally looks like a sea of red!
    Anyone who knows anything about basketball knows who Coach Bob Knight is; even though he no longer coaches the Indiana University team (having left on negative terms), people still associate this fiery-tempered coach with those winning years.

    We people from Illinois always refer to their passion as "Hoosier Hysteria"! It truly is basketball fever that they have, & at tournament time for high school teams, it's beyond belief. I went to one of the state tournament games when Larry Bird was a senior at French Lick High School. He went to college at Indiana State University in Terre Haute (I received my MS from there). While there, he led the team to the 1979 basketball finals. He played professionally for the Boston Celtics & Indiana Pacers (which he also coached).

    I remember as a young teenager listening to the famous game where the small team from Milan High School defeated the large powerhouse of Muncie Central for the state championship. Many years later, I watched the movie, Hoosiers, which immortalized that classic battle.

    My brother Dustin lives in Indianapolis & is a diehard Pacer's fan. He's a typical, passionate Hoosier who becomes hystical concerning basketball.

    Larry Bird as a Boston Celtic
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    "Mother of Vice Presidents": Indiana

    by deecat Written Mar 18, 2005

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    Note: Photo from book

    Although Benjamin Harrison was the only Indianan who was elected president of the United States, there have been 5 men from Indiana who have served as vice presidents; thus, the state nickname is "Mother of Vice Presidents."

    Benjamin Harrison was born in Ohio but spent his adult life in the Hoosier state. He was elected 23rd president of the United States. He was a Republican from a political family with a great-grandfather who signed the Declaration of Independence, a father as a congressman, and his grandfather (William Henry Harrison) was 9th president of our country. He's remembered for helping to pass the Dependent Pension Act that established funds for disabled Civil War veterans.

    Here are the five vice presidents:

    Schuyler Colfax Ulysses S. Grant's vice president. He moved to Indiana in his early youth.

    Thomas A. Hendricks was Grover Cleveland's vice president. Born in Ohio, but began his career in Indiana.

    Charles W. Fairbanks was Theodore Roosevelt's vice president. Again, born in Ohio but began his legal & political career in Indiana.

    Thomas Marshall was Woodrow Wilson's vice president.

    Dan Quayle was vice president in the Republican administration of George Bush, ( the senior Bush).

    So now you know why Indiana has this strange nickname, "Mother of Vice Presidents".

    23rd President, Benjamin Harrison
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    Indiana's Influence on Famous People

    by deecat Updated Mar 18, 2005

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    There are many famous people who lived or spent most of their lives in Indiana.

    Cole Porter: If you love musical theater as I do, surely you know about Cole Porter. Born is Peru, Indiana, he's written such great songs as "Night & Day", "Begin the Beguine", & "I've Got You Under My Skin". He also composed musical comedies for the stage including "Anything Goes" & "Kiss Me Kate".

    John Cougar Mellencamp is a singer & songwriter who was born in Seymore. I saw him in concert & love his songs that often tell of small-town life. My favorite song of his is "Jack & Diane".

    Hoagland "Hoagy" Carmichaelis one of America's best-loved songwriters. He was born in Bloomington & attended Indiana University. Some of his hit songs include "Stardust" & "Georgia on My Mind".

    James Dean was born in Marion & was becoming a major star when he was killed in a tragic car accident in 1955. His most famous movies were East of Eden, Rebel with a Cause, & Giant.

    Red Skelton was born in Vincennes & won fame as a comedian playing a number of zany characters such as "Gertrude the Seagull", "Clem Kadiddlehopper", & "Freddie the Freeloader". Our family used to watch his TV show.

    Larry Bird is one of basketball's all-time great players. He was born in French Lick, & I saw him play in the Indiana State Basketball Tournament when he was a senior in High School. He played pro basketball for 13 years with the Boston Celtics & coached the Indianapolis Pacers.

    David Letterman was born in Indianapolis & went to college at Ball State University. He has his own popular talk show & almost has a "cult" following.

    Tecumseh was a great Shawnee leader who wanted to drive white settlers from the Indiana region. He gathered forces on the Tippecanoe River, but his forces were defeated by an American army while he, himself, was away.

    There are many, many more important people from Indiana; too many to mention here.

    James Dean from Marion, Indiana
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    Feel free to chat, but make sure you've got time.

    by K.C. Updated Apr 4, 2004

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    For the most part, people around my home-town like to talk. Stranger or not, doesn't matter. The downside to this is, they'll want your life history, family history, opinions on politics, and the classic "Aren't you related to..." You can't be very shy in Southern Indiana.

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    Eiteljorg Museum

    by seagoingJLW Updated Mar 2, 2003

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    Visit the Eiteljorg Museum to see Native American Art. It is located at the entrance to White River State Park in Indianapolis. For information phone:

    The photo shows Couse's painting called "The Wedding

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    Dumb Indiana LawsBaths may not...

    by photobf Written Aug 25, 2002

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    Dumb Indiana Laws
    Baths may not be taken between the months of October and March.
    It is illegal to sell cars on Sunday.
    A person who dyes, stains, or otherwise alters the natural coloring of a bird or rabbit commits a Class B misdemeanor. (Ind. Code 15-2.1-21-13(b)
    A man over the age of 18 may be arrested for statutory rape if the passenger in his car is not wearing her socks and shoes, and is under the age of 17.
    It is against the law to pass a horse on the street.
    It is illegal for a liquor store to sell cold soft drinks.
    Liquor stores may not sell milk.
    Grocery stores may not sell any type of cold liquor.
    You can get out of paying for a dependent's medical care by praying for him/her.
    One man may not back into a parking spot becasue it prevents police officers from seeing the license plate.
    Smoking in the state legislature building is banned, except when the legislature is in session.
    Check forgery can be punished with public flogging up to 100 stripes.
    Pedestrians crossing the highway at night are prohibited from wearing tail lights.
    No one may catch a fish with his bare hands.
    Men are prohibited from standing in a bar.
    You are not allowed to carry a cocktail from the bar to a table. The waiter or waitress has to do it.
    Drinks on the house are illegal.
    Drinking from your own bottle in a bar can lead to your arrest.
    You are required to pour your drink into a glass.
    'Spiteful Gossip' and 'talking behind a person's back' are illegal.
    State government officials who engage in private duels can be dismissed from their post.
    All males 18 to 50 years old must work six days a year on public roads.
    Mustaches are illegal if the bearer has a tendency to habitually kiss other humans.
    Hotel sheets must be exactly 99 inches long and 81 inches wide.
    If any person has a puppet show, wire dancing or tumbling act in the state of Indiana and receives money for it, they will be fined $3 under the Act to Prevent Certain Immoral Practices.
    Anyone 14 or older who profanely curses, damns or swears by the name of God, Jesus Christ or the Holy Ghost, shall be fined one to three dollars for each offense, with a maximum fine of ten dollars per day.
    A three dollar fine per pack will be imposed on anyone playing cards in Indiana under the Act for the Prevention of Gaming.
    The value of Pi is 4, and not 3.1415. (Repealed)
    It is illegal to bike, roller-skate, skateboard, or inline skate in a commercially zoned area. For these offesnses, there is a fine of no more than $5 or the impounding of one's bicycle for a period not to exceed 30 days.
    Beech Grove
    It is forbidden to eat watermelon in the park.
    It is illegal for barbers to threaten to cut off kid's ears.
    While driving on Main Street you may not have your lights on.
    Fort Wayne
    You may not sell or play on a radio broadcast, the record 'It's In the Book'.
    Within four hours of eating garlic, a person may not enter a movie house, theater, or ride a public streetcar.
    South Bend
    It is illegal to make a monkey smoke a cigarette.
    Terre Haute
    No one may spit on the sidewalk.

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Indiana Local Customs

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