One year ago, the world came to a halt. We stayed home. Restaurants closed their dining rooms. Our plans for concerts, travel, parties, and anything resembling a gathering were suddenly all canceled. Like many areas that connect with community and audiences, the arts felt the hard impact of this pandemic very keenly. From theaters to galleries, artists across Evansville and the Tri-State found themselves at home with no shows or performances to complete.
March / April 2021
Arts and Events
Home and Garden
Tucked on the edge of First Avenue, a local shop is transporting shoppers and gardeners to a green, jungle-like escape. Stuffed to the brim with house plants and accessories, Kiwi’s Garden Center is every plant lover’s dream.
If you frequent the Dexter neighborhood on the East Side, chances are you’ve seen Evansville native Susan Tromley peeking into yards and strolling through alleyways. But she isn’t a nosy neighbor— Susan Tromley is tracking owls. The unofficial owl-whisperer has tracked three different families of owls across Evansville. An employee in accounts payable at her husband’s practice, Evansville Main Street Family Dental, Tromley saw her first baby owl in Vann Park and has been obsessed ever since.
Considering its size, Evansville has a remarkable record of producing Major League Baseball (MLB) talent. Roughly 50 big leaguers were either born, raised, or chose to reside in the River City. Several became American League (AL) or National League (NL) All-Stars. In addition, Evansville has produced a handful of World Series champions, an MVP, and, quite possibly, two future Baseball Hall of Famers. Few cities of Evansville’s size can make such a boast.
The age-old question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” has never been hard to answer for Henderson, Kentucky, native Casey Todd. Since he bought Nick’s Shaved Ice from his older brother at 14 years old it was clear Todd was built for business. But his entrepreneurial dreams wouldn’t come to full fruition until Aug. 8, 2018, when he opened the southern comfort restaurant Hometown Roots on Henderson’s Main Street.
Connie Stambush’s “Untethered: A Woman’s Search for Self on the Edge of India” is a memoir highlighting the twists and turns of her solo, five-month motorcycle journey on the edge of India as she attempts to face down and overcome her fears and self-doubt. “I was a shy kid and kind of afraid, but I didn’t like that part of me,” she says. “I was always challenging myself to try and be braver and overcome fear.”
An innovator, a trend setter, and a designer with a unique eye. When it comes to interior designer Harry Williams, he was far more than just a trailblazer in his profession — though the steps he took to start his career truly were inspiring. “He was a person who had vision,” says Eula Williams, Harry’s ex-wife who remained close with him even after their divorce. “When I married him, I knew he was a person who was going someplace because he had ambition.”
The queen of chicken salad has come to Evansville. Chicken Salad Chick opened at 1414 Hirschland Road on May 12. Since then, this Southern-based chain has been packed for dine-in, to-go, and drive-thru orders. Of course, we couldn’t miss out on the fun. We took our lunch break at the new spot, which serves 12 original chicken salad flavors in scoops or sandwiches, with a variety of sides and specialty items. With so many delicious options, it was hard to pick just one — so we picked two.
Music and artistic expression are in the air in Evansville this weekend. See art from across the region at the spring art festival in Haynie’s Corner or chill on the rooftop art deck of the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana while listening to some smooth bluegrass. Check out our weekend staff pick events and discover your weekend plans.
A newer addition to the Evansville sports scene, the Thunderbolts hockey team was started by local businessman and avid hockey fan Mike Hall, who secured an expansion team in the Southern Professional Hockey League in 2016. The team is named after the P-47 Thunderbolt planes that were largely manufactured in the city during World War II.
We think every season is margarita season, but the summer months are the perfect time for this light-flavored drink. Evansville serves its fair share of traditional margaritas, but several local bars are also offering delicious twists on this classic.
Whether you’re partying in New Harmony, Indiana, or rocking out in Evansville, here are three events this weekend that will get you in the celebratory mood: River City Rodeo
Evansville is a city of national records — from the most LSTs produced during World War II to the home of Indiana’s first on-land casino, Tropicana. That list of accomplishments includes Evansville’s status as the first city in the nation to operate both a Booker T. Washington Society and Booker T. Washington Club. The National Booker T. Washington Society was founded on April 5, 2006 by Ronald Court (who passed away in 2020). Court, an Essex Junction, Vermont, native, also founded Booker T. Washington clubs as youth programs for local children.
Though rain is likely to strike Evansville this weekend, there are still fun events going on that you can enjoy — rain or shine. Third Annual River City 5 & 10 Miler 7 a.m. May 8 Garvin Park, 23 N. Main St.
What would Evansville be without the Ohio River? Surely not the same — after all, we are nicknamed the River City. Integral to the founding and sustainability of the city, the river is Evansville’s greatest resource. It offers haven to many local businesses, attractions, and community centers — such as the ones below — looking to capitalize on its beauty.
It’s Thursday! — or as I like to call it, pre-Friday. Are you still searching for fun, local events to fill your weekend? Our mini calendar has got your back. Each week, we hand-pick some of the hottest Tri-State events, so you don’t waste your weekend. SWIMGA Plant Sale
Panaderia San Miguel is Evansville’s only Hispanic bakery, offering more than 15 Mexican and Salvadorian pastries at its shop at 2004 Washington Ave. Opened by Miguel Ochoa in 2018, the bakery has Mexican pastries, cookies, Mexican cheesecake, various freshly kneaded white bolillo breads, and much more. Using fewer sugar glazes than American pastries and cooking pastries in the oven instead of a fryer, Panaderia San Miguel produces healthier options for people looking for a morning treat.
Evansville has a long history of famous writers, novelists, and playwrights. From popular novels to hit television shows, here are four Evansville-born writers who embraced the power of the pen. Albion Fellows Bacon
We’re saying “thank you very much” to Domo Japanese Hibachi Grill, Sushi, and Ramen for serving delicious lunch and dinner time specials to the Tri-State for the past two years.
Established in 1935 by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Second New Deal, the Works Progress Administration was a Great Depression-era agency that worked to employ jobless Americans through public works projects. Evansville, like many U.S. cities, owes several of its major infrastructures to the WPA. Evansville WPA workers built the well-known Lincoln Gardens Housing project and the runway at the Evansville Airport, and renovated and managed a community center at the corner of Franklin Street and First Avenue.
Celebrate Earth Day by exploring the 200-acre old growth forest at Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve tomorrow beginning at 9 a.m. Enjoy a full day of events lined up to observe nature and all its beauty with guided hikes, animal encounters, a nature playscape guided activity, musical Earth Day experience with The Melody Garden, and field guides on wildflowers and tree leaves for self-guided tours.
The weather outside is warming up and now is the perfect time to grab some fresh Mediterranean cuisine! From juicy kabobs to refreshing salads and falafels, we’ve rounded up four Mediterranean restaurants you need to visit this summer. After all, a mediterranean diet consistently is rated by health experts as one of the healtiest ways to eat.
P-47 Thunderbolts are synonymous with Evansville. At the height of the World War II home front production effort, Republic Aviation in Evansville was the largest manufacturer of this fighter aircraft in the country, churning out 6,670 planes over the course of about three years. Republic Aviation’s first plane, Hoosier Spirit, flew on Sept. 19, 1942.
The old saying “April showers bring May flowers” could not be truer in Evansville. As we move through the rainy, unpredictable weather of spring, many Evansvillians are prepping their indoor and outdoor gardens for new additions and updated decor. These four local plant paradises are sprouting a variety of products and plants to satisfy every green thumb in the River City.
As we highlighted in the March/April issue of Evansville Living, the arts have felt the hard impact of the pandemic with many artists finding themselves at home with no shows or performances to complete.
The popular 21 and up arcade bar High Score Saloon debuted their sister business on June 26, 2020. High Score Player Two is a blast from the past, all-ages arcade full of games from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Owners Jared Neible and Clint Edward opened the new concept to give everyone in the Tri-State a chance to join in on the nostalgic fun of pinball, arcade, and console games. For $10 you can visit the retro-themed establishment at 2814 Mount Vernon Ave. and play all day long on public days.
For many, warm weather means the return of outdoor concerts and musical festivals. Popular festivals, such as Bonnaroo held in Manchester, Tennessee, are returning in 2021 after being cancelled due to COVID-19 last year. Trying to live up to the infamous Woodstock, the Tri-State was home to its own music festival on Labor Day weekend in 1972 — with much more disastrous results.
In “The Show Will Go On” feature story in the March/April issue of Evansville Living, we met artist and Twymon Art owner Billy Twymon. Through the gallery’s drum circle, Drums for Enlightenment, Twymon has led several new initiatives.
Since 1995, the Otters professional baseball team have called Evansville home. The oldest team playing in the independent Frontier League, the Otters have earned several league honors, including participating in six championship series and winning it all in 2006 and 2016. When the team was founded in 1995, it was the first time the city had its own baseball team since the Evansville Triplets relocated following the 1984 season.
The Thicc Zip has arrived at Azzip Pizza’s North Park location as a full-time menu item! The Sicilian-style dish is a 7-by-7-inch crispy, buttery crust with cheese that runs all the way down the edges. Choose from four square picks including the Sweet Bee (pepperoni, Italian red sauce, zip dust, and hot honey), the CBR (chicken, bacon, zip dust, and ranch), Buff Chick (chicken, banana peppers, buffalo sauce, and ranch), The Classics (pepperoni, sausage, green peppers, mushrooms, onions, red sauce, and zip dust), or choose your own toppings and sauce.
Our pets like to have fun too! Who wouldn’t enjoy a day grabbing a bite to eat, staying at a hotel, or getting some exercise with their furry friends? We’ve found a few pet-friendly places across Evansville that don’t discriminate based on your species — dog or human.
Evansville’s premier wedding event of the season is back! Superbride Sunday will be held April 11, 2021, at the Old National Events Plaza at 715 Locust St. This annual bridal show is every bride’s guide to local vendors. Attendees will see live fashion shows on two runways, live vendor demonstrations in the Exhibit Hall, taste food in VIP tasting areas, and hear disc jockeys and entertainers’ demos.
Spring has arrived in Evansville and that means swimming pool season is right around the corner! While you grab your towels and slap on some sunscreen, we looked back at a time when residents of the River City had access to a unique swim spot. Shown in this late-1800s photograph from the University of Southern Indiana’s David L. Rice Library Archives, the Fritzlar Mineral Springs were a popular saltwater pool on Bismark Avenue (now Buchanan Road).
As COVID-19 restrictions ease across the country with the distribution of the vaccines, Matthew 25 AIDS Services, Inc. is bringing back one of their most popular and successful fundraising events. The Western Kentucky & Southern Indiana Dining Out For Life takes place for the entire month of April, concluding with a virtual auction April 28 to April 30. The best part of this fundraiser? All you have to do is eat!
There are many ways to give back to the Evansville community, but perhaps one of the most rewarding ways is through the Vanderburgh County CASA program. These Court Appointed Special Advocates serve an important role in our community, aiding children in need of support. Learn more about the program and find out how you can sign up to be a CASA volunteer! What is a CASA volunteer?
Nighlife attractions are a key component to any city and in Evansville, there’s lots to enjoy when the city’s bright lights are on. From bars to mini-golf to escape rooms, the River City rocks with plenty of entertaining attractions when the sun goes down.
There are 157 bridges located within Vanderburgh County and many of them have been around for quite some time, dating back to the 19th century. More than just a mode of transportation, bridges in Evansville have a storied history and aesthetic architecture. Here are five bridges in the city with fascinating origins!
The staff of Evansville Living is sad to announce this will be the final story you read from our e-newsletter, Insider, which will be discontinued effective April 2, 2021. April Fool’s! From the most epic pranksters to failed amateurs (yes, we’re the latter), everyone gets in on the joking fun of April Fool’s Day every year on April 1. The city of Evansville is no stranger to the pranks and laughs of this holiday. Here are three of the River City’s most notorious April Fools’ jokes.
Happy Easter! Whether you’re celebrating with delicious food or an overly competitive egg hunt, we hope you enjoy the holiday. Like modern residents, Evansvillians have been enjoying Easter in unique ways for decades. In 1960, the Sears store at the corner of Fourth Street and Sycamore Street celebrated the holiday with a giant Easter Bunny hanging from the side of the building. The attraction brought many visitors Downtown to see the enormous decor shown in this photo from Willard Library.