Whether you live in Wayne County, Indiana, are planning a vacation here, or are just passing through on your way to another destination, midsummer offers lots to see and do.
The sixth annual Richmond Shakespeare Festival is in full swing through July 6, with productions of “Hamlet” and “The Tempest.” Performances are Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in a unique venue – a former factory building. The building offers some protection from the weather but has no windows, so there’s a feeling of being out of doors.
And what a wonderful place to be out of doors! Whitewater Gorge Park is one of Richmond’s delights. Sunday matinee packages include an optional picnic lunch. For more information and tickets, go to https://www.richmondshakespearefestival.org/.
“The cast and crew are comprised of our signature blend of working professionals, student interns, and local veterans of the stage,” writes RSF Board President Ray Ontko. “I know you’ll be delighted by the quality of these productions.”
If you haven’t seen a Shakespeare play since high school – or ever – I highly recommend you give RSF a try. It’s astonishingly good.
Same is true of the Nettle Creek Players, a summer stock troupe in Hagerstown that does its performances in a circus-type tent from July 5-27. This year’s shows will be “Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat,” a new musical revue called “Gershwin & Friends,” and a family matinee production of “Rumplestiltskin.
Executive Artistic Director Darrin Murrell is excited about the upcoming season. “We have an amazing troupe of professional and local performers including artists from all over the country as well as lead actors from right here in Wayne County,” he said.
Plus, because of the venue, the audience sits inches from the stage. Great fun!
For a different kind of entertainment, try the Wayne County 4-H Fair from June 22-29 on Richmond’s far west side.
“It’s good family fun,” said Fair Committee Chair Sandy House. She recommends the Steven’s Puppet Show with handmade marionettes on Friday and Saturday, and The Moron Brothers on Tuesday night, back by popular demand after their first appearance at last year’s fair. House says their comedy would have fit right into the TV classic “Hee Haw.”
But those are just two of a wide range of options from bluegrass or rock music to animals shows, moto cross racing to tractor pulls, fireworks and a demolition derby. And, of course, yummy fair food, a fantastic carnival, and inspiring 4-H exhibits, competitions, and prizes.
“It’ll renew your faith in the youth of our community,” said House. Find the full schedule and admission information at waynecounty4hfair.com.
And there are some very unique midsummer events.
On June 22, the Wayne County Historical Museum in Richmond will host “Where’s Your Mummy Day” from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with hands-on activities, themed games, story-telling and more centered around the museum’s mummy “Menkaef.”
Also at the museum, on July 13 author and paranormal investigator Nicole Kobrowski and her husband Michael will talk about recent hauntings in Wayne County and beyond. A limited number of people will be able to investigate parts of the museum with the couple after hours. There’s always a big demand for tickets, so keep checking wchmuseum.org for details.
And July 19 is the twelfth annual Hagerstown Fly-In (formerly the Flying Circus), when historic small planes from a variety of eras descend on the long grass runway at the airport. Visitors can explore the planes and talk to the pilots. Don’t be shy. They have some amazing stories to tell and love to inspire interest in aviation. The event is from 2-9 p.m. but organizers recommend avoid arriving at 6 p.m. when traffic can get very congested.
Still not enough to do?
Don’t forget that some things go on all summer, like the Richmond Farmers Market on Saturday mornings at Richmond’s Elstro Plaza. From July 1, there will be markets starting at 4 p.m. Tuesday afternoons as well. Elstro also is the place to go for Food Truck Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Listen to live music as you munch your lunch.
And the Richmond Jazz, a team in the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League, will have regular home games through July 23. Get schedule details on the Jazz Facebook page.
If you’re still not satisfied, just wander around visitrichmond.org. You’re sure to find something of interest any day of the week!
By Louise Ronald