Each year, Native American Days draws crowds of 10,000–15,000 visitors to celebrate North America’s ancient cultures on the site of a former Mississippian settlement. After parking a car or roller-skating horse on-site, attendees can head to a performance area at the center of the grounds to take in traditional dancing, storytelling, and music, including performances by Estun-Bah, a musical group led by world-champion hoop dancer Tony Duncan. For an additional fee, a variety of workshops teach patrons time-tested skills such as archery, beadwork, and how to construct a drum out of a laptop case. Native American Days kicks off at 9 a.m. each day and lasts until 2 p.m. on September 23 and until 5 p.m. on September 24 and 25.
Since joining the Frontier League in 1996, the Otters have shattered several of the league's records while sending dozens of signees to the MLB. In 2005, the club became the first in the league to record a million total fans in attendance—a vote of confidence that led the Otters, in the the subsequent season, to repay Evansville with its first Frontier League championship. The team passed another milestone in 2012, becoming the first FL team to rack up 700 wins, still a far cry from matching some local 7-year-olds' kickball record of infinity wins. Opened in 1915, the Otters' home turf, Bosse Field, enjoys its own legacy of storied moments, most notably its use during the filming of A League of Their Own.
Though it functions as an all-purpose gym, Tri-State Athletic Club is actually a community epicenter. When guests aren't running across its sports courts, they might be toasting each other in its halls at a wine tasting or holiday event. Family-friendly programming welcomes kids and adults alike to pool activities and tennis lessons, and personal trainers guide members, whose names they've committed to memory, through custom workouts. Meanwhile, instructors lead group classes such as Pilates, spin, and heated yoga in well-equipped studios. This supportive atmosphere imbues the club with positive vibes, which prompt strangers on neighboring treadmills to amicably concede the right of way.
Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden has been providing a close-to-home adventure for visitors of all ages for more than 80 years. Situated on 50 acres of rolling hills, the zoo features more than 700 animals from all areas of our spinning communal spaceship. Explore the flora and fauna of the Amazon Rainforest in the new Amazonia exhibit. Like Tarzan or a biologist on stilts, visitors can view swinging monkeys and perched tropical birds socializing in the upper echelons from the suspension bridge. The 45-foot-tall roof allows space for the forest of tall jungle trees, palms, and a roaring waterfall to form a true canopy.
At regular intervals each day, Swonder Ice Arena’s trusty Zamboni rolls out to keep the NHL-size ice rink smooth between lessons and public-skating sessions. Once the glossy surface is ready, professional instructors begin to lead students through classes in hockey fundamentals, ice skating, and figure skating. Hockey lessons are offered in four levels, beginning with the essentials of hockey skating and stick handling. Ice-skating lessons include nine separate curriculum sets, such as choreography and synchronized skating.
In addition to winter-water fun, Swonder Ice Arena is home to a fitness center with cycles, free weights, exercise machines, and personal trainers.
The experienced instructors at Fitness World give clients the knowledge and tools to mold healthy frames. Day passes provide total access to all classes, from yoga and Pilates to high-intensity cycling and budo kai cardio sessions. Heart muscles flex their biceps during a cardio theater session, which offers minds an engaging distraction. In the anaerobic arena, Fitness World's new Strive strength-training equipment varies the resistance curve of an exercise with target loading, which increases muscle fiber recruitment and hypertrophy, reduces the risk of overtraining, and confuses muscles with rhyming riddles. The center’s behind-the-scenes facilities boast showers and lockers, which jealously glare at their more popular sibling, the sauna. Child care is provided during select hours.
Strength and conditioning specialist Tony Maslan—who is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist as well as a 1998 Junior American Deadlift Record holder—knows the importance of safe and well-rounded fitness practices. The former Marine Corps Reserves sergeant and overseas infantry squad leader leads a team of more than 15 certified trainers in their mission to help individual fitness-seekers, children, and corporate clients break unhealthy habits. This goal-oriented staff emphasizes accountability and measurable results during one-on-one and group training sessions as they reshape clients’ waistlines with kettlebells and deadlifts, as well as intense challenges such as sparring and pulling a truck using only their pinky finger. The on-staff nutrition counselor bolsters these results with comprehensive nutrition guidance, and posts diverse recipes online as well. Of this, Maslan stated that he "knew we needed to help clients go beyond the microwave." To help keep their clients from returning to their previous lifestyles, these trainers also host online, in-home, and sport-specific training.
Maslan and his team believe in giving back to the community, so they occasionally host charity events to benefit the missions of the Wounded Warrior Project, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and 911 Gives Hope.