Tiny Rising Sun in southeast Indiana boasts history with a view – and a festival dedicated to beans. Located on the Ohio River Scenic Byway and the Indiana Wine Trail, the town’s historic downtown features a variety of shops from antiques to a locally-owned drug store—even a harp maker—housed in restored nineteenth-century storefronts.
Rising Sun packs a lot more into a small space, including the interesting Ohio County Historical Museum, located in the former Clore-Whitlock plow factory. Exhibits cover local history, industry, and a natural oddity — a stuffed two-headed calf born on an Ohio County farm in the 1980s. The museum also offers workshops and seminars, and it boasts a robust genealogy library. Heritage Hall, in the restored 1832 First Presbyterian Church, hosts town and rental events. Obviously, history means a lot to Rising Sun.
Each October, the city celebrates its annual Navy Bean Festival, drawing visitors from across the region for fall foliage and entertainment along the Ohio River. The two-day event in Rising Sun’s historic downtown features a 5k run, art displays, craft vendors, stage shows, rides and games for kids, and — of course — lots and lots of homemade bean soup and cornbread. After more than 30 years, festival cooks have perfected the signature bean soup recipe. Lucky for the rest of us, they’re willing to share.
This year’s festival on October 12 and 13 also features a Seaplane Splash-In, with flights over the Ohio for an additional fee. Heritage Hall will be open 1-4pm Saturday for a fashion show by local crafters.
While you explore the festival be sure to take a look at the Courtyard Inn, an entry on Indiana Landmarks’ 10 Most Endangered list. Located along the river at Front and Fourth Streets, the historic property dates back to 1827 and needs a new owner to reopen it or give it a new use.
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