Yesterday, I unveiled our reader's most popular stories on the Hendricks County Insider blog in 2015 based on total page views.
Today, on this first day of 2016, I wanted to share my personal favorites from 2015. These 10 stories may not have had the most page views but were filled with wonderful nuggets of information for our visitors and even our locals. If you are a regular reader or a first-time visitor interested in what makes Hendricks County so special, I would encourage you to follow the links below and read or reread each story that I've listed in chronological order.
- Want Unique Wedding Flowers that Last? - I picked this story that ran last January because not many people realize how active our bridal services market is in Hendricks County or how Visit Hendricks County can help. With this story, Crystal Paschal not only tapped into a segment of our bridal market but our arts and culture community as well. I continue to be floored by the talented artists you can find here.
- Travel the World in Hendricks County - Hendricks County boasts some amazing locally owned ethnic restaurants that simply don't get their due. Think of these as local favorites that our locals would like to keep to themselves. These authentic establishments serve up Greek, Italian, Vietnamese, Thai and much more. Check out Becky Wilson-Lusk's roundup of our favorites and plan to visit all seven soon.
- 9 Things You Might Not Know About the Royal Theater - As the editor of this blog and long-time Hendricks County resident, I love it when our team of writers surprise me with something I didn't even know about one of our attractions. Crystal was able to do this multiple times in this feature story about our historic theater on the courthouse square in Danville.
- Why Hummel Park May Be Hendricks County's Best Park for Runners - As we continue to explore our sports tourism market in Hendricks County, we as a staff decided we needed to tap into the expertise of a runner for our team of writers in 2015. We added Susan Skelton and then Beth Fife and both have done a wonderful job writing about health and fitness. I was particularly impressed with this story that I think would interest any walker or runner living in or visiting our county.
- Building Family Memories in Hendricks County - Our team of writers pride themselves on being the go-to experts when it comes to Hendricks County. This was never more evident than in this piece by Crystal who became a visitor again by sharing her favorite attractions through the eyes of her children and her inner child during Travel and Tourism Week back in May. Take a look at this story and see what memories you and your family can make this year though the giveaway we offered to our readers is long gone.
- Miniature Fine Art Show Packs Big Talent into Small Canvases - As I mentioned above, Hendricks County has an amazing array of talented artists that we showcase on our Rural Routes to Main Street Cultural Trail. Katy Mann tapped into that community in sharing an annual art show/exhibit that is hosted every year at Artistic Designs Gallery in Brownsburg. The uniqueness of this exhibit make it a visitor draw each year. Take a look at Katy's 2015 preview and plan to attend the show or experience our cultural trail in 2016.
- Experience a Fall Tradition: Beasley's Orchard - You can't celebrate fall in Hendricks County without Beasley's Orchard being part of that conversation. As a result, in the four-year existence of this blog, we have written a lot about one of our top attractions. But I had never read a take quite like Stephanie Porter's glowing review. I don't know how you could read her story and not want to visit Beasley's.
- 7 Spots to Satisfy Your Pumpkin Spice Craving - Probably because pumpkin inspired or flavored treats aren't for every taste, this story wasn't read as much as it probably deserved to be. Kelly Wallace did an outstanding job of finding, tasting and reporting on anything and everything pumpkin in Hendricks County this fall. Many of these treats are seasonal, so they may no longer be available, but if you are a pumpkin lover, you may want to make note of these as next fall approaches.
- Christmas on the Square to Feature Gingerbread Characters - This may have been my favorite story of the year based solely on the unique angle and entertainment value Eric Ivie provided. Because it is a big annual event in Hendricks County, we have covered this festival many times making it hard sometimes to keep this preview story fresh. Eric accomplished that and more. But please don't tell him that I told you.
- Winterland Light Show Creates Generational Memories - I can't think of a better way to relate to visitors than recalling a time when you were a visitor. That is exactly what Meghan Stritar did in this story recalling her family's holiday tradition of visiting Ellis Park as a child in Illinois before later moving her and becoming a Hendricks County resident as an adult. A true story showcasing the impact of tourism.