Every day, I find myself talking about how uniquely terrific our community is. This week, I want to share nine of my favorite things!
1. Sugar Creek. I can’t stress enough how fortunate we are to have Sugar Creek in our back yard. I know many who make canoeing on Sugar Creek an annual tradition. Whether you’re canoeing, tubing, walking along the bank looking for crinoids, camping, or kayaking, it’s just a great place to take in and enjoy, especially during the summertime months! Plan an adventure today. Visit https://www.sugarcreekcanoetrips.com/!
2. Shades State Park & Pine Hills Nature Reserve. Located 17 miles southwest of Crawfordsville, people love to visit this nature lover’s paradise. Shades offers many special events throughout the year including car shows, living history, volunteer days, fishing derbies and more! If you haven’t even been to Shades, you need to go! Pine Hills is especially beautiful if you are up for a long hike! Plan your day at Shades now. Call 435.2810 or visit https://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/2970.htm.
3. Our small towns. Montgomery County’s small towns and the active people in them who strive to keep the charm and uniqueness alive deserve a shout out. There is a lot to see in our rural areas. Whether it is Ladoga’s summer fish fry, special events at Lake Waveland, Lake Holiday’s 4th of July celebration, breakfast at Wingate’s Spartan Inn, Linden’s Depot Museum, Darlington’s covered bridge, or Waynetown’s fabulous new Aquatic Center, just a short drive in any direction will offer unique experiences. Each small town and burg are full of fun historical facts.
4. Crawfordsville Regional Airport. How cool is it that we have an airport right here in Montgomery County? Our airport generates an estimated $80 million in economic value to the community each year, supports 255 jobs with a total payroll of $13 million, and it has brought $3 million in grants during the past six years*. It offers a 5,505 ft runway for convenient access to our great county. They offer aircraft rentals and flight instruction too! If you haven’t been there, you REALLY need to check it out. See Lori and her team today or visit https://www.crawfordsville.net/department/index.php?structureid=11 for more info!
5. Amtrak. Speaking of wonderful transit amenities, how fortunate are we to still have a local train depot that can connect with lines to take us coast to coast or merely for a weekend getaway in the Windy City? Learn more about our local depot at https://www.amtrak.com/stations/crf.
6. Strawberry Festival. Car shows, entertainment, kids’ area, local crafts, and oh, lots of great food! That’s what you’ll find at the annual Strawberry Festival which takes place every June at the Lane Place downtown Crawfordsville. There really is something for everyone and this year, it takes place June 14 – 16, so mark your calendars to attend starting this Friday! Visit https://www.facebook.com/CrawfordsvilleStrawberryFestival/.
7. Taste of Montgomery County. Speaking of great events, every August, avid foodies flock to the grounds of General Lew Wallace study to sample some of the best tasting treats and listen to great entertainment. Simply put: The Taste is not to be missed. Mark your calendar for Aug. 24 and visit the website for details https://www.tasteofmontgomerycounty.com/.
8. Crawfordsville Park and Rec. The Park & Rec provides a host of opportunities for fun and fitness. These folks can connect you and your family with swimming, softball, baseball, basketball, volleyball, pickle ball, gymnastics, golf, trails, art classes, day trips, fitness classes, a beautiful park for picnics, and a special place for pooches to run free. They’ll even provide transportation for older and disabled residents. Check out their Facebook page for more information https://m.facebook.com/1CPRD
9. MoCo 4H Fair. What better way to cap off your summer than to attend the Montgomery County 4-H Fair? Our community volunteers have been teaming up with Purdue University for over a century to provide our youth with wonderful skills to enhance their everyday lives and future opportunities. MoCo still boasts one of the largest and most competitive enrollments in the state. Be sure to mark your calendars to attend the fair July 12 through the 18th. Learn more at https://m.facebook.com/pages/category/Government-Organization/Montgomery-County-4-H-1413162078939145/
* (The airport information is based on a survey done in 2012 by organizations concerned with economic development in Indiana: The Indiana Department of Transportation, the Aviation Association of Indiana and Conexus Indiana.)

John Frey is a Montgomery County Commissioner and can be reached at john.frey@montgomerycounty.in.gov. And check out the Commish Facebook page!