It is only October, but already two new tourism-oriented events are being planned for next year in Madison, Ind. – a wine and beer tasting event in June on the riverfront and a mud run event in September on the Heritage Trail.
The Madison Riverfront Development Committee is planning the Riverfront Wine & Stein event for Saturday, June 21, 2014, at the Riverfront Gazebo. The committee envisions this as a fundraiser for its organization and has hired Madison resident Jenny Miller to organize it. Miller, who works as the Learning Center Coordinator at Hanover College, is a relatively newcomer to the area and has prior experience in marketing and trade show planning for a large company when she lived in Chicago. “I am not a member of the Riverfront Development Committee, but they came to me and asked if I would help plan it,” she said.
Miller attended a large wine tasting event held in April at Story Inn at Nashville, Ind., to get some ideas. Since then, she has been talking to wine and craft beer makers throughout the area – as far away as Indianapolis – to generate interest in participating in the new Madison event. She plans for the event to offer wine and beer for sale and by the glass. There will be live music and some food for sale. “Music will not be the focus of the event, however,” she adds. “There may also be some opportunities for local businesses and artists to be a part of it.”
Mark Smith of Carrollton, Ky., negotiates one
of the obstacles
during last year’s Mudathlon, held
at Gen. Butler
State Resort Park.
Madison is planning
a similar event
for 2014 called the
Mad Town Mud Run.
The City of Madison blocked an attempt by a for-profit group from Vevay, “Partners in Wine,” to hold its second annual wine tasting event on the riverfront last May. After the city granted the permit earlier in the year, it later canceled the event after some objections were raised by two local wineries. “Partners in Wine’ was forced to find a new location, so they held their event at Ogle Haus Inn in Vevay.
“The Heritage Trail is just awesome. My wife and I walk it all the time, and I think this will be a great event to help show it off to the community and to visitors.”
City of Madison’s Community Relations Officer Andrew Forrester said the city was concerned about allowing a for-profit group to use publicly owned land on the riverfront. He added that the city needed to develop a policy for its use. No such policy has yet been set to writing, but Forrester said this case is different because it involves a nonprofit group.
“The Riverfront Development Committee is nonprofit, and they plan to use the money to continue to improve our riverfront,” Forrester said. “They have been wanting to do an event like this for years, and if there’s demand for such an event, they’re the perfect group to do it.”
Meantime, Ray Black, executive director of the Madison’s Lide White Boys & Girls Club, is planning the Mad Town Mud Run for Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014. This will be a 3.1K run with obstacles up the steep Heritage Trail. The race will begin at the Lanier-Madison Visitors Center and end at the top of the hill at the Boys & Girls Club, where there will be an awards ceremony and after party, complete with live music, food and adult beverages, Black said.
“The Visitors Center used to be the site of the Boys & Girls Club, so we will be racing from the old club to the new club,” Black said. The event will serve as a fundraiser for the club, he added.
His employees and board members are planning the event and some of them attended a similar event held the past two years at Carrollton’s Gen. Butler State Resort Park to get some ideas. That event is operated by Mudathlon and features up to 40 obstacles. Black said that, like the Mudathlon, the Madison event will be geared mostly toward participants in the 25-40 age range. Entry fees will be $85 in advance and $100 the day of the race. There will also be “buyouts” for sale in which participants can pay a fee to avoid some of the tougher challenges along the course.
Creating the obstacles for the event will also provide some permanent fitness stations along the Heritage Trail, Black said. “The obstacles will be in good taste and fit in with the ambiance of the trail.”
Black said a logo for the event is being developed and he hopes to recruit people from local gyms, firefighters and anyone else interested in helping as a volunteer to put on the event.
Don Ward is the editor, publisher and owner of RoundAbout.
Call him at (812) 273-2259 or email: Don@RoundAbout.bz.