What’s Fun in 2021

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again — 2020 was a rough year. But, it’s officially 2021 and time to turn over a new leaf. In order to jump start the year with positivity, we picked out some of the anticipated events, updates, and new residents to keep spirits bright for during this new year in Evansville.

1) The Penguin Exhibit at Mesker Park

We can’t wait to meet the new penguins at the upcoming Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden exhibit. The Penguins of Patagonia will be a modern habitat housing the zoo’s newest residents, Humboldt penguins. Announced in 2019, these flappy friends are expected to greet the public in late summer of 2021. 

2) The (hopeful) Return of Fall Fest

Our New Year’s resolution? Eat as much food at Fall Fest 2021 as possible. The West Side Nut Club announced the annual Fall Festival will be held Oct. 4 to Oct. 9, 2021. Much of the year is still unclear, but we’ll be busy dreaming about donut burgers, fried mac n’ cheese, and giant tenderloins for the foreseeable future.

3) New Developments

As the year kicks off, we’re most excited to see the beginning and the end of two major city developments. In spring 2021, the Tri-State will see the demolition of its tallest and most iconic skyscraper — 420 Main. Along with the Sycamore building, the damaged lot at Fifth and Main Street will be replaced with a luxury apartment complex, city park, and underground parking garage. A few months later, the Deaconess Aquatic Center, which began construction in December 2019, will officially open. Residents are expected to be able to enjoy the water this summer by July.

4) Downtown Evansville Events

2020 was the year of cancellations, but on Dec. 28, Downtown Evansville EID made our new year and announced their biggest events of 2021. The full list includes eight major events from Christmas and Halloween celebrations to Dog Day on Sept. 11 and the Wine Walk on Sept. 24, 2021. Drinks, pets, AND shopping local? Count us in!

5) Exploring the Great Outdoors

Our social media profiles were filled with scenes of residents biking, hiking, boating, and floating through Evansville’s many outdoor spaces in 2020. When the warm weather finally hits in 2021 we’re ready to take our cameras out of the city and further into the Tri-State. Downtown New Harmony, Indiana is one big outdoor playground with seasonal golf cart rentals and a trail head on the North End of Main Street. A quick drive across the Ohio River and you can get lost in John James Audubon State Park in Henderson, Kentucky. Back in Indiana, Mount Vernon offers a stunning waterfront, riverside amphitheater and great fishing in the Hovey Lake and Fish Wildlife Area. River City’s neighbors host a plethora of trails and parks to satisfy seasoned and beginner adventurous. 

Photos provided by Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden, Hafer Design, Downtown Evansville EID, and Kentucky State Parks.

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Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen is the managing editor of Evansville Living and Evansville Business magazines.

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