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9 May 2013 - 6:32pm
Did you know the highest honor in Indiana's tourism industry is the Will Koch Indiana Tourism Leadership Award?
This award was established in 2011, in memory of our late president, who passed away suddenly in 2010. Will had been a leader in the tourism industry for so many years that our state's Lieutenant Governor's office and the Indiana Office of Tourism Development decided to create a special award.
And this year's recipient is John Livengood. He's pictured below (from left) with his wife, Leslie, daughter Kat, Lori Koch and Indiana Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann.
Quoting from a news release: He currently serves as president of the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association, the Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers and the Indiana Hospitality and Tourism Foundation. Continuing the spirit of the award’s namesake, he has been a top advocate for the Indiana hospitality and tourism industry throughout his career.
I joked that it looks like they gave John a flatscreen TV for his upcoming retirement. Indeed, if you look closely you'll see one of Will's signatures - a roller coaster - etched in the "screen."
And John kidded that although he greatly enjoyed working with Will over the years, "the only time I told him 'no' was when he asked me to ride his roller coasters with him."
Here's the video that was shown at the award presentation:
Thank you, John, for your dedication to Indiana Tourism. We're all better because of it.
9 May 2013 - 4:28pm
As our Dispatch called "park is clear" on our two-way radios this afternoon, the first clap of thunder boomed.
All the darling children we saw today were returning to school safe in their buses and dry as a bone.
Well, almost all ...
Maddy, from Boonville, and some friends took advantage of the sunny weather and played in the fountains at Holidog's FunTown.
Today is Play Day - our twenty-first annual. Each year, our friends at Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center in Evansville invite 2,500 children with disabilities along with their teachers and chaperones. And we all have one heck of a good time together.
We donate the discounted admissions proceeds to the Rehab Center - this year to benefit the Milestones Child Development Center and to underwrite children's therapy. Over the past two decades, that donation has topped $300,000.
It was a beautiful day filled with beautiful laughter and smiles.
It's our favorite day all season.
8 May 2013 - 4:52pm
Surely you've heard that old chestnut: "He who laughs last, laughs best."
Well, we're not concerned with who goes last, we want to know which one of these four finalists amuses you the most.
That's right, we chose four finalists, instead of three, for our "Laugh Like A Hyena" contest.
Let's start with where we go from here. Because you can help determine who wins the grand prize of two nights in a cozy Christmas Cabin at Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort plus tickets for a family of four to visit Holiday World & Splashin' Safari for two days! Second place receives four tickets to Holiday World & Splashin' Safari and third- and fourth-place winners will each get a pair of tickets.
We had hundreds and hundreds of great entries - thanks to everyone who had so much fun with this.
It wasn't easy for our panel of judges to choose our favorites, but we agreed on these as our Funny Final Four.
Let's drop in our poll right here, so after you check out the finalists, you can come back and vote:
You can vote more than once if you like (on different browsers and different computers, phones, tablets, etc.). Just be sure to vote by Monday, May 13, at 2pm CT.
Here they are, in no particular order:
Googly Eyes Video
Hyena Falls Tickles My Belly
Hyena Laugh Video
Hyena Falls Drawing
Now that you've reviewed the finalists, please be sure to scroll back up and vote.
And may the best laughter win!
7 May 2013 - 5:24pm
When an editor from the Indiana State University Magazine contacted us with an interest to write a feature about our park president, we started wondering about how many other ISU grads we had on staff full-time.
It turns our we have five "Sycamores" here: from left, that's Brandon, Lori, Matt, Ashley and Jennifer.
According to this article, all five enjoyed their time at ISU and feel their education prepared them for success here at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari.
Do you know a recent grad who's pounding the pavement? We have several full-time openings posted right now, plus we've still got some seasonal availability for this year. It's a fun job, but somebody's got to do it, right?
6 May 2013 - 6:41pm
This is one of those Good News/Not-So-Good News stories.
Let's start with the good news:
Holidog has his own train coming to Holidog’s FunTown!
We hope you’ll enjoy making memories with your family as Holidog Express takes you through Mother Goose Land, starting in early June.
This is the photo of what the train will look like.
So what's going on with the Freedom Train?
Since our very first season as Santa Claus Land, the Freedom Train has provided countless rides for children of all ages. It started out as the Santa Claus Land Railroad and became the Mother Goose Land Train when the nursery rhyme statues were added in the 1950s.
When Santa Claus Land was re-named Holiday World in 1984, the train also received a new name. To match the theme in its new location – the 4th of July section – it became the Freedom Train.
During off-season maintenance this past year, it was discovered that the Freedom Train needed restoration work. When that is completed, it will be on display in the park.
We realize quite a few families enjoy the tradition of riding the Freedom Train together each year, and want to thank you in advance for your understanding.
Meanwhile, we hope you enjoy riding Holidog Express this season!