This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Visiting the Tourism Commission Meeting

This morning I noticed frost on the roofs of my neighbors. It may be the last frost of the season--warmer weather is in the forecast.

The Tourism Commission had a meeting Thursday morning and I decided to attend because the public was invited and I have not been to one of their meetings. After some preliminary items, the topic of the Indiana Bicentennial came up. There will be a meeting on May 7 at 9:00 in the Commissioners' Room in the Court House that will discuss several aspects of the events tied to the bicentennial. Local festivals will be encouraged to register with the state Bicentennial Committee because that will give them some free publicity (and will also benefit the state in its attempt to promote the bicentennial.) There is a torch relay planned for late in 2016 with the torch passing through all the counties of Indiana. It will only be in Jasper County for an hour and a half and the entry point and exit point will be set. The state will want 20 torch bearers for the Jasper County part of the journey. The way it will probably work is that when the torch enters Jasper County from Lake County, it will be driven to DeMotte and run through DeMotte, then driven to its next city, perhaps Rensselaer or Wheatfield, and run there, etc. until it is time for it to leave.

The Commission considered several funding requests. One was from the SJC Alumni Association and I think it was for Homecoming. It was noted that the event brings in a lot of hotel room nights, and that is one of the criteria by which the Commission decides funding. The next request was from the Rensselaer Farmers Market, and it was noted that it did not generate room nights but that it could enhance the experience of visitors. Finally, there was a request from the basketball coach from SJC for help to get a basketball tournament established on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. This would bring in people from out of town and the hope was that this tournament could develop over time. There would be four teams including SJC for both a men's tournament and a woman's tournament, with four games on Friday and four on Saturday. The teams have already been scheduled, but there were many details to work out. The advisor from the South Shore Visitors Commission said that they have a sport's marketing guy who could help with some of the planning and the public relations.

On the way to and from the meeting I noticed a lot of lawn sales--people were getting a jump on the town-wide yard sales that are scheduled for Saturday.

I arrived at the Utility Department Open House at the gas department a bit after 1:00 and the place was mostly empty, but was told that it had had big crowds earlier. Slightly more than 160 people had attended, up from last year, and there were only a few who came after me. After the tasty lunch I talked to some of the vendors and learned that though the county had switched GIS vendors, the city or Rensselaer had not. Others were packing up as I walked around the room and most were gone by the time I left.

I wish I could get excited about the town-wide garage sale on Saturday, but I have reached the point in life where the goal is to reduce the amount of stuff in the house, not add to it.

Sorry, no pictures again. I have been busy lately, but not with stuff that fits on this blog.

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