Ripley County Tourism promotes five new events

Cindy DiFazio, Staff Writer

At a recent meeting of the Ripley County Tourism Bureau, Director Katherine Taul, told the board that five new events have been added to Ripley County’s schedule this year.

The Ripley County Scenic Road Rally will take place on Saturday, April 28. The 60-mile rally features a scavenger hunt. It will begin and end at the Versailles Courthouse Square. Participants will wind through back roads featuring covered, iron and stone arch bridges. There will be three pit stops including one in Osgood for the “Jazz & Beyond Festival.” (Details and registration forms are at

Also that weekend, April 28-29, the First Annual National Women’s Weekend sponsored by the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association will take place on the NMLRA’s grounds in Friendship. The event will host activities for female shooters and non-shooters alike. More information is available from Karen Longstreth at (937) 277-2692 or check out the NMLRA’s website and click on “Shooting opportunities.”

On Saturday and Sunday, May 12-13, the Napoleon Civil War Encampment & Living History Weekend will take over in Napoleon. Hours for the public are Saturday from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Union headquarters will be in the Historic Central House while the Elias Conwell House will serve as Confederate headquarters. There will be a Fancy Dress Ball on Saturday evening from 7-11:00 p.m. Details are available from Samantha Hickle at (812) 852-1780.

Saturday, May 12 will bring the MISSION Adventure & Beginner Race to Ripley County for the first time. Sponsored by DINO (Do INdiana Off-road), the 18-hour event is for extreme teams of 2 or 3 traveling on foot, bicycle, canoe and with rope challenges throughout the county beginning at 6:00 a.m. and ending at midnight. There is also a four-hour event for beginners for teams of 2 or 3 using trail and topographical maps through Versailles State Park while mountain biking, hiking/running, and canoeing. Board member and park manager, Ted Tapp, quipped, “I’ve signed us all up for the beginners’ leg.” Contact Brian Holzhausen at (317) 336-7553 for more details or visit

Another new addition to the events schedule is the F.A.R.M. Club Antique Tractor Show being held Friday, June 22 through Sunday, June 24 at the Ripley County Fairgrounds Park in Osgood. The event will feature a swap meet area, trading post, flea market and craft show, the Midwest Farm Toy Show, and tractor pulls. Call Chuck Heck at (812) 926-3654 for details.

Taul reported that Underground Railroad brochures detailing routes in Ripley County are almost complete. The brochures will include six driving trails, four with mileage-marked posts. A 4-color map will be included. The Rising Sun Regional Foundation provided funding.

Another brochure project featuring Ripley County bridges has been put on hold until later this month.
Taul also told the board about the Glamour Group Tour, a group that sets up tours catering to specific groups of people. She said that they are interested in working with Ripley, Decatur, Jennings and Jackson counties to put together an inclusive four-county tour with an emphasis on outdoor activities, agritours and the underground railroad.

Taul said that she recently attended the Hoosier Hospitality Conference. The conference draws restaurant, hotel and tourism professionals to share resources.

She also reported that the Midwest Travel Writers Association is coming to Indianapolis. A reception will be hosted by Indiana State Tourism providing an opportunity to meet with travel writers. Taul said she is compiling a profile sheet for the event promoting new businesses like the Stonebridge Inn spa in Batesville and the Ertel Cellars Winery. It will also highlight things like the NMLRA shoots, Lore of the Laughery and the Morgan Trail. “The big push is to draw them to the website,” explained Taul.

The board will meet again on Tuesday, April 24.