Summer Near the Square: Downtown events kick off for season this weekend

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This weekend, summer officially begins in Noblesville as students will have their last day of school June 1 and area organizations prepare for events that are staples of summer in the city.

To kick off the season, the Noblesville Lions Club will hold its annual Pork Chop Barbeque and Pancake Breakfast on the square. The pork chop dinner will take place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 1, and the pancake breakfast the following morning is 7 to 11 a.m., June 2.

Noblesville Main Street will continue the Noblesville Farmers Market at Federal Hill Commons each Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon, but also will partner with the City of Noblesville and the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville this weekend to continue its First Friday series with the Eighth Annual Darlington Bed Race, which will begin at 7 p.m. June 1 around the downtown square.

“It is family friendly fun for a good cause,” said Abigail Stutesman-Rinehart, bed race organizer and unit director at the Noblesville Boys & Girls Club. “The race has and continues to provide children with the opportunity to participate in a summer activity, regardless of finances.”

The bed race involves racing custom-designed beds on wheels on Ninth Street and raises money for area youth programming. All proceeds from the race are split evenly for financial need scholarships for summer camp programming at the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville and Noblesville Parks and Recreation.

Other Noblesville Main Street First Friday events throughout the summer include Music and All That Jazz July 6 and Aug. 3. Music and All That Jazz events are every other Friday from 7 to 9 p.m. on the downtown square from June 8 to Sept. 7. September’s First Friday event will include the annual Chocolate Trail, from 5 to 9 p.m., which promotes shopping locally while also offering chocolate treats and prizes to participants. On July 14, Main Street will hold the 27th Annual Noblesville Street Dance from 4 to 11 p.m. on the square. The events draws thousands each year and will include a free kids zone, food vendors and more.

In the city’s parks, Wine Down and Art will be held on the First Fridays of June 1, July and September at Federal Hill Commons from 7 to 9 pm. Wine, food trucks and local art will be on-site. Similar events, Food Truck Fridays, will be held every other Friday from 11 to 1 p.m. at Federal Hill Commons, with area food trucks offering lunch in the park with live music. Dates are June 8 and 22, July 13 and 27 and Aug. 10 and 24. For the second year, the park’s department’s free Foam Party will be from 3 to 5 p.m. June 9 at Federal Hill Commons. Shakespeare in the Park, presented by the Noblesville Arts Commission, will return to Federal Hill Commons in its 26th year over two weekends, July 26-28 and Aug. 2-4. Noblesville’s Shakespeare in the Park is the longest running in central Indiana and is free.

June 16 marks the fifth year for Nickel Plate Arts’ Maker Fair on the downtown square.

MAKER FAIRE RETURNS FOR 5TH YEAR

With its own First Friday and Second Saturday events throughout the summer, Nickel Plate Arts is looking forward to the Fifth Annual Maker Faire around the downtown square.

Held in conjunction each year with the St. Michael’s Episcopal Strawberry Festival – now in its 41st year and taking place across two days (June 15 and 16 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.), the free Maker Faire will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 16.

The family friendly event showcases the works of local artisans and makers and will include nearly 40 vendors.

“One of our studio artists volunteered to manage little pop-up sales in 2013,” Nickel Plate Arts Executive Director Aili McGill said. “We were testing to see if pop-up sales would work, and one of the weekends he picked was the strawberry festival. The artists all did really, really well, so we realized this has legs. There wasn’t really another outlet for the maker community in the summer.”

McGill said many of the products for sale at the Maker Faire are reasonably priced compared to some higher-end art fairs, with an average price of items costing $30 to $50. The goal is to make the event accessible to a variety of people in the community.

“We have a lot of people who make a lot of cool, practical handmade goods that are affordable,” she said.

Items McGill said people should expect at this year’s fair include jewelry, handmade journals, birdhouses, home décor, string art and more.

“I’m really excited about one artist, April Adams. She actually uses electrical current in saltwater to etch images onto metal,” McGill said. “She’ll be exhibiting that in some form. Also, artist Eric O’Dell makes handmade journals. We’ll also have some illustrators and at least one children’s book maker.”

To see more Nickel Plate Arts summer events, including First Friday and Second Saturday events, new exhibits, community classes and more, visit nickelplatearts.org.

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