Located just 20 minutes away from the east side of Indianapolis, Hancock County, is a collection of wonderful communities that offer some spectacular things to see and do while you are visiting Central Indiana. The Hancock County Tourism and Visitor Center www.visitinhancock.org highlights everything in the county, and where you can find out how to “Create Your Story” while you visit.
GREENFIELD is the home of one of American’s best storytellers, James Whitcomb Riley, also known as the “Hoosier Poet. This county seat offers a collection of wonderful hotels, a variety of delicious restaurants, and lots of activity. Not only can you visit the James Whitcomb Riley Boyhood and see where the real “Little Orphant Annie” came to stay, but you can check out what made Greenfield special. You will find the people friendly, the amenities plentiful, and the place chock full of “Hoosier Hospitality.”
If you plan your visit in early October (3rd – 6th), you will be able to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Riley Festival www.rileyfestival.com One of the only festivals dedicated to a literary figure, the Riley Festival boasts all sorts of fun, food and activities over a four day weekend. There is live entertainment; home arts, photography, and poetry competitions; over 450 craft and commercial booths, a Mayor’s Breakfast, and a 5k run. If you are visiting on Friday, you will get to see the 61st Children’s Flower parade and on Saturday, the Riley Festival parade. And just maybe – if you are lucky – – you will see Mr. Riley himself making an appearance!
The Community of SHIRLEY includes a rare architectural structure known as the Jane Ross Reeves Octagon House www.reevesoctagonhouse.com This building, constructed by the widow Jane Ross Reeves, was built in 1879, and is one of the few remaining octagon houses in the country. The Reeves Octagon House can be toured by appointment or if you schedule your visit during one of Shirley’s many festivals you will get a special treat. Shirley hosts an annual Strawberry Festival, Founder’s Day and Christmas Walk – all events are culminated around the Octagon House.
Fortville is a bustling community in the northwest of Hancock County that offers some unique restaurants and a growing art community. Repurposing the old Carnegie Library, Main Street Arts and Music, opened in 2019 and offers a schedule of exhibits and events. Fortville Action Inc https://fortvilleaction.com/ hosts several events throughout the year including several cruise-ins, a 4th of July Festival, The Art Battle Fortville, and Winterfest.
Be sure to check out all the wonderful things Hancock County has to offer. You will not be disappointed by a visit to the Hoosier Heartland.