A number of the many places of interest in the state are located in the Indianapolis area. Among them is the former home of the famous poet James Whitcomb Riley. Riley’s birthplace is preserved at Greenfield, just east of Indianapolis. In southern Indiana is the small village of Santa Claus. Its postmark appears on millions of letters remailed from there to children all over the country at Christmastime. At Madison, in the southeast, are a large number of fine antebellum homes. Southern Indiana is also the site of one of the largest caves in North America, Wyandotte Cave, which has more than 55 km (35 mi) of underground passageways. Another notable cave, Marengo Cave, lies north of Wyandotte Cave. Lincoln Pioneer Village, at Rockport, with its rustic log structures and two museums, commemorates the early years Abraham Lincoln spent in Indiana. Conner Prairie Frontier Village, northeast of Indianapolis, is a reconstructed wilderness trading post. Also in Indiana is a section of the Lincoln Heritage Trail, a route that links cities and other places in Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky associated with the life of Lincoln. The town of Columbus is famous for its many buildings designed by some of the world’s leading modern architects.
The best-known annual event in Indiana is the Indianapolis 500 automobile race that is held on Memorial Day weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, held since 1911. Other annual events in Indiana are as nearly long standing, such as the Marion Easter Pageant, which has been telling the story of Easter since 1937. Spring begins the season of festivals across Indiana, beginning with Tulipfest in Bloomington and the Mushroom Festival in Mansfield, both in April. The Evansville Freedom Festival runs for two weeks of parades, dances, and food and culminates with fireworks on the Fourth of July.
Summer events also include the Ethnic Festival in South Bend, the Three Rivers Festival in Fort Wayne, and the hydroplane boat races during the Madison Regatta. An October event is the Covered Bridge Festival, held in Parke County, which claims to have more covered bridges than any other U.S. county. The state’s admission to the Union is celebrated on December 11, which is known as Indiana Day.
Indiana is known for the quality of its high school and college basketball and wrestling competition, and the state is often chosen as the site of national sporting events. Indianapolis is the home of a professional basketball team, the Indiana Pacers, as well as a professional football team, the Indianapolis Colts. The Indianapolis Indians, a member of the Class AAA International League and a farm team for the Cincinnati Reds, also play in the city. "Indiana" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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