News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

August 23, 2013

Downtown Block Party 2013: Block out some time for fun

Thousands will pack downtown for music, food, arts and a zip line

TERRE HAUTE — If you think planning a party for a dozen friends is tough, try planning one for 10,000 people.

That’s what organizers of the Downtown Terre Haute Block Party have been facing for months – and now the party is just around the corner.

Saturday, in fact, is the day thousands of people are invited to visit downtown Terre Haute for music, games, food, locally made arts and crafts and more.

“We hope for a huge turnout,” said Boo Lloyd, owner of Boo’s Crossroads Café and founder of the event. “It’s a huge task to pull five blocks of businesses and residences together.”

Without a doubt the most anticipated feature at this year’s third annual block party will be the “Hauteans in Motion” zip line on North Fifth Street between Wabash Avenue and Cherry Street. The new attraction is already generating a lot of banter, said Ariane King, operations coordinator for Downtown Terre Haute Inc.

“People are daring each other” to ride the line, King said. “I just think it’s going to be the biggest attraction that we have.”

The zip line, which costs $5 to ride, opens at 1 p.m., which is also when the Block Party kicks off. The last of the music shows will wrap up about midnight or 12:30 a.m. Sunday.

Mayor Duke Bennett has been drafted to inaugurate the zip line. He’ll take the first ride around 1 p.m. – or maybe the second.

“Hopefully, we’ll have somebody to test it before hand,” King said. “I’m sure [the mayor] would appreciate that.”

“As mayor, you do a lot of things you might not otherwise do,” Bennett said laughing. “This might be one of those things.”

Other than the zip line, much about the Block Party is free. There is no admission charge despite five stages with live music, Lloyd noted.

In addition to food, the Block Party serves up a lot of handmade crafts and arts products. All of it is locally produced by hand, Lloyd said.

Most vendors start setting up Saturday morning, King said.

Although the Block Party is just in its third year, “it’s already running like a well-oiled machine,” said Marla Flowers of Hulman & Co., who is in charge of logistics for the big day.

The Block Party started in 2011, but has much deeper roots, dating back to the 1990s with what was known as the Terre Haute Brewfest or “Bleemel Days.” Around 2005, the Brewfest was taken over by Downtown Terre Haute Inc. and merged with the Arts Illiana Crossroads Arts Festival and the Vigo County Public Library’s Family Learning Day.

This year’s festival will stretch from Fourth to Ninth streets. The area between Cherry and Ohio streets downtown will be closed to vehicular traffic for the festival.

A kids' zone, motorcycle show, police and fire vehicles, a vintage car show and stagecoach rides are just some of the attractions. Last year’s big success story was a corn hole tournament, which will be at Sixth and Wabash again this year. Registration for the 6:30 tournament is at 5:30 p.m.

As for the big unknown factor, the weather, it’s cooperated in years past and, organizers hope Mother Nature will again smile on the party.

“I don’t even look at the weather” forecast, King said. “When people start asking about it, I just tell them, ‘Don’t. Stop talking.’”

The Block Party raises money for Downtown Terre Haute Inc. through dozens of sponsorships and vendor fees, Flowers said. Union Hospital has once again stepped up to be the presenting sponsor, she said. The zip line is sponsored by UAP Clinic.

For more information, visit the Block Party’s Facebook page at

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at 812-231-4232 or


Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local & Bistate
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Captain of Sunken South Korean Ferry Apologizes Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine Raw: Pro-Russian Militants Killed on Base U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Raw: Royal Couple Visits Australia Mountains New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Raw: Blast at Tennessee Ammunition Plant Kills 1
NDN Video
Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1 WATCH: Women Fight To Marry Prince Harry! Jenny McCarthy Engaged to "New Kid" Kate and Will Land in Oz O’Reilly Launches Preemptive Strike Against CBS Pixar Unveils Easter Eggs From its Biggest Movies Baby Sloths Squeak for Their Cuddle Partners in Adorable Video

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010