Lafayette Tradition: The 4th Annual 12 Pubs of Christmas!

Give yourself a gift during the holidays and go to every bar in Downtown Lafayette in one day! The best day to do it would be this Saturday, December 19th. Why? Because it’s the 4th annual “12 Pubs of Christmas” of course!

Sorry, sorry, all of these holiday advertisements are getting to me.

12 Pubs of Christmas started in 2012 with a couple of friends touring Hop’s Shawnee Tavern, Varsity Clubhouse and DT Kirby’s. Since then, it has become, arguably (but factually), the greatest bar crawl to ever take place in the Lafayette area.

The idea is simple. Founder of the event and birthday boy, Dan Somers says, “There is no cause. There is no charity.  We are just visiting with old friends, making new friends, and supporting the Downtown bars and taverns in our great city. There is no RSVP.  We don’t play games and we don’t give out prizes, but games are encouraged.  Costumes are encouraged but not required, as is the “official” t-shirt from The Shirt Shoppe in West Lafayette. “

Other founder, Michael Dudgeon, says, “The stated goal of 12 Pubs is just to have fun. Meet some new people. There is no requirement to drink or to go to every stop. Come for some of it or all of it. Just take an evening to enjoy the company of other people and live for a few hours.”

The schedule is below. For live updates the day of the event, follow @MADattheword2.


EVENT: Happy Cranksgiving!

Join the everyday bicycling community for a casual ride and lunch. The occasion is Bicycle Lafayette’s 4th annual Cranksgiving, this Saturday, November 14th.

What is this “Cranksgiving?”

Cranksgiving is a seasonal food drive and bike ride. This year, we are cranking our pedals and giving thanks by delivering food to Food Finders Food Bank. The event begins at Pay Less Supermarket on Greenbush. A donation of $10 is requested the day of the ride, cash or check will go directly to Food Finders for the purchase of food to distribute. According to their website just $1.00 can provide 3 meals!

But what about the bikes? The big fun begins when we start packing our bikes with groceries donated by Payless. Cranksgiving is great way to learn about loading your bike for an errand like grocery shopping. Participants are also welcome to purchase food to pack for the ride from a list of needed items. Then the group will set off on an urban commute-style ride to Food Finders on Olympia Court. The pace will be casual and family-friendly, an opportunity to traverse the streets of Greater Lafayette in a group of like-minded pedal power enthusiasts. An added bonus: there will be a modest prizes for heaviest load carried by bike. Two divisions are set, Cargo (includes using trailers) and Normal-wheelbase bicycles.

Finally, after hauling a load and cycling south, everyone is welcome to go to lunch at Arni’s 350 S. where from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, 15% of food sales will go to Food Finders. Continue the camaraderie and expand the enjoyment by letting your non-cycling friends know about lunch. They can meet us there, where we can all literally or figuratively talk turkey and fuel up for the ride back downtown.

To find out more about the tradition of Cranksgiving across the country check out the NYC website. Organizers recognized the value of sharing the event concept, providing a measure of community autonomy, and especially celebrating cycling while we help each other.

See you Saturday! Ride on~~

Celtic Woman dazzles Elliott Hall with song

Words by Megan Pettry

Photos and video by Tim Brouk


“Sing yourself to where the singing comes from” is Celtic Woman’s Mairead Carlins’ inspirational motto and an underlying sense of the show’s feel.

Celtic Woman’s 10th Anniversary, 80-city North American tour made one of its stops at Purdue’s Elliot Hall of Music on Oct. 3 following their shows in Evansville and Muncie. The all female, Irish singing ensemble was created by the musical directors of “Riverdance” back in 2004. The original group consisted of four female singers and a fiddler but has grown to include a 15-castmember ensemble with band and backup dancers and singers. While the group’s lineup has changed over the years to consist of Susan McFadden,  Mairead Carlin, Eabha McMahon and the original fiddler, Mairead Nesbitt, they have maintained their sound and feel from their earlier days.

What is most impressive about Celtic Woman is while the three principal singers and fiddler are still the focal point and foundation of the group, they have created a sense of community among the supporting musicians and dancers.  The group has developed a sense of sharing the spotlight to allow for each artist to present their talent and grace to the audience that sense of unity and tradition. The women not only extended the limelight to those on the stage, they extended the opportunity to the audience to singing along to popular songs and invited them into their community.

The rhythmic drums, the sprightly footed dancers and formal gowns worn by the women added to the show that gave this small Indiana town a sense of old Ireland. However the show also provided an upbeat, modern sound backed up by a driving group of percussionists and Uillean bagpipes.

Plainly said, this show was one to be seen and remembered.  The tour features a career-spanning set encompassing such Irish classics as “Mo Ghile Mhear,” and an a capella version of “Danny Boy” alongside contemporary compositions like “Scarborough Fair” and “You Raise Me Up” and an a capella version of “Over the Rainbow.” At the announcement of the classical, Celtic Woman favorite song, “You Raise Me Up”, the energy and anticipation from the crowd was palpable and an obvious crowd-pleaser when the song ended with a full-house standing ovation. McFadden, Carlin and McMahon’s voices were clearly showcased in this song with their wide-ranging octaves and soft yet full-bodied sounds went together like a perfect cocktail.  The energy, the exuberance, and the gracefulness of the group was rewarded by the audience with a long, loud standing ovation following the final song. Carlin and the other Celtic Women held up to the inspiration of “singing yourself to where the singing comes from.”


Hands On Trucks

Few things in life can excite children and adults equally, but big trucks are in that exclusive club. For the 14th year, Imagination Station will be holding its “Hands on Trucks” event in its parking lot at 600 North Fourth Street in Lafayette. Imagination Station board member Brian Bettag said “we informally grade ourselves as seeing how many kids are upset at the end of their visit because they want to stay for more!”

The event has certainly proven popular over the years. Kids of all ages enjoy exploring construction equipment, fire trucks, school buses, and much more. Time and equipment are provided by local businesses and first reponder organizations. Last year, a PHI Air Medical helicopter made an appearance. Both the landing and the takeoff delighted the crowd. Bettag is working on new surprises for this year.

Hands On Trucks is a key funding source for Imagination Station, a volunteer-run science and technology museum. Through partnerships with local businesses and community organizations, Imagination Station provides a year-round opportunity for play and learning. Hands On Trucks compliments this mission by giving children and adults a chance to learn about the technology and engineering of modern machinery. Imagination Station volunteers prepare pamphlets with open-ended prompts designed to spark conversation about the vehicles on display.

“We want the Lafayette community to know that this event, and Imagination Station itself, would not be possible without the great partnerships that the local community have created with us over the years,” Bettag told Think Lafayette.  “Everyone from businesses that donated their resources and the individuals that donate their time, we appreciate everything they have done for us. We hope the Imagination Station can return that investment by providing a great resource for our youth to continue pushing the community forward and being an asset for future generations.”

If you go
Hands On Trucks is at Imagination Station, 600 N 4th St, Lafayette from 10 AM – 2 PM on Saturday, August 29. Tickets are $5 at the gate. Advance tickets may be purchased for $4. Children two and under are free. Refreshments will be available for purchase during the event.

New exhibit to feature Purdue’s pop culture icons

Folks concerned with diversity in this group, take note: The 10 subjects already selected are much more diverse in just about every way. We are holding the top-10 secret until a later date.


Purdue University hasn’t been home to only quarterbacks and astronauts, as many marketing materials will lead you to believe.

Future actors, comedians, writers, cartoonists, punk rock icons, popcorn magnates and even professional wrestlers walked West Lafayette campus at some point.

A proposed art exhibit and ad campaign by the West Lafayette Public Arts team will look at former Purdue students that have gone on to interesting careers, which have left a pop cultural impact on the nation. Some graduated and stayed in their fields they cultivated here. Others turned a 180. All are awesome.

Pegged for summer of 2016, this exhibit will be displayed at Purdue and consist of 15 pieces. Ten names have already been selected and will be revealed later.

This is where ThinkLafayetters’ insights come in. Below are 10 names that attended Purdue as a student for at least a semester. Again, no astronauts or names that made their mark in athletics are included in this mix.

Be sure to comment below on who you think should make the cut, or write in a name that isn’t here. Remember, we have selected 10 already, but help your favorite one, two, three, four or five get into this exciting tribute exhibit.

from Warner Brothers

Monte Blue — Credited in almost 300 films and early television shows, Blue’s career began in the silent era before moving into a plethora of talkies, from Westerns (where his quarter Native American blood helped gain him many roles) to romance, comedies to war pictures. Blue attended Purdue in the early 1900s.

From Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.

George Ade — Legendary writer, humorist, journalist and illustrator got his start at Purdue in the late 1800s.


Dow Jones and the Industrials — West Lafayette’s first punk rock band and arguably the best band to come out of Purdue, Dow Jones and the Industrials ruled Purdue in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Original pressings of the band’s recordings go for hundreds online and their songs are still covered by Indiana bands and national acts like Yo La Tengo.


John T. McCutcheon — Known as the “Dean of American Cartoonists,” McCutcheon is an 1889 Science graduate from Purdue but during his time in West Lafayette, cartooning took over his life. The namesake for McCutcheon Hall and McCutcheon High School, he won a Pulitzer Prize in 1932.


Chris Bauermeister — Bassist for popular post punk act Jawbreaker, Bauermeister was a graduate student in the Department of History in the late ’90s and early ’00s.


Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger — In 2009, US Airways flight captain Sullenberger was a national name and hero for successfully landing a disabled flight in the Hudson River, saving more than 150 lives. He earned a masters in Industrial Psychology from Purdue in the 1970s.

From Pixar

Bob Peterson — An animator, screenwriter, director and voice actor for Pixar Animation Studios, Peterson has put in work on 11 full length, animated films, including all of the Toy Story’s, both “Monsters” movies, “Up” and “Finding Nemo,” where he voiced Mr. Ray. Peterson earned a masters degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1986.


Brian Lamb — Journalist and founder of C-SPAN, Lamb received a bachelor of arts degree in Speech in 1963 from Purdue. Purdue recently announced the Brian Lamb School of Communication within the College of Liberal Arts.

From Comicpalooza

Mercedes Lackey — A ’72 Purdue graduate, Lackey has published more than 140 science fiction and fantasy novels. That averages to about five a year.


Dave “Blood” Schulthise — Before helping form the Dead Milkmen (“Punk Rock Girl,” “Stewart”), Schulthise — also known as Dave Blood — was a PhD student in Economics in the early ’80s. He was a fixture at Dow Jones and the Industrials shows while a Purdue student.

SATURDAY: Psychadelic Spectacle with Lee Gallagher, THC, and the Mad Alchemy Liquid Light Show

11751469_10204062269509402_3103131590554018810_nThis Saturday, locals have the opportunity to bliss out on psychedelic grooves at Spot Tavern in Lafayette, with a double header of bands and a liquid light show from one of the old masters.

Having recently been named one of the Top 5 best up-and-coming San Franciso Bay area bands by CBS, Lee Gallagher and the Hallelujah (pictured above) weave a sonic tapestry framed by wailing guitars, churning organ and more than a slight nod to the southern gospel music of their past. The band spent 2014 recording their self-titled debut record and touring a good swath of the US. And, for the new kids on the block, the band has had the incredible good fortune of sharing the stage with such acts as The Doobie Brothers, Boston, and Living Colour.


Mad Alchemy is an analog liquid light show in the great San Francisco tradition of Bill Hamm, Glen Mckay and Brotherhood of Light from the heyday of the Bay’s psychedelic ballrooms. Principal Lance Gordon has been involved with this art form since 1971 and learned the essence of liquid projections from a former member of the Brotherhood of Light at 17. With a team of 3 to 4 people, Mad Alchemy typically blends 6 to 9 projections (all overhead), together creating a dramatic montage of color always moving and changing. Sensing a renewed interest in this kind of projection 6 years ago, Lance has devoted all of his attention to reviving this analog style and taken Mad Alchemy on the road, completing seven US and two European tours.

[Think Lafayette’s Tim Brouk covered Mad Alchemy at the Lafayette Brewing Company in 2013.]


And local favorite, The Heavy Co., has been steadily working on writing, recording, and performing new, distinctive psychedelic rock music that combines the vibe of classic rock, the acid flashbacks of Haight-Ashbury and Swinging London, and the improvisational driven live experience of the jam band scene. The band was formed by members of Indiana’s burgeoning doom/stoner rock scene seeking a subtler approach to getting spaced and fuzzy, musically speaking.

When and Where:

10:00 PM at Spot Tavern, 409 S 4th St, Lafayette, Indiana 47901.

For questions and additional details, see the event page on Facebook.

Dear Crabby: Smoke, fire, and tar

Dear Crabby, I walked into a smoky apartment again thanks to my neighbor. How rude is too rude when confronting someone about this? — Empha Zeema, West Lafayette

Empha, it really depends on what kind of smoke. If your neighbor is smoking a nice brisket, you make a side dish and get your happy butt over there to thank them for making your life a little bit better. If it’s because they’re burning the building down, stop emailing me and call the fire department, you idiot. For anything else, you should take a less direct approach. Start by sliding some pamphlets from the American Lung Association under the door. Maybe escalate to wearing an oxygen mask around them. You could also schedule a carpet cleaning — for their apartment. When they send the cleaning service away, you can conveniently appear and say “oh, well since you’re here, my apartment smells pretty smoky, too.”

Dear Crabby, A house in my neighborhood is flying a Confederate flag. What can I do? — A Concerned Citizen, Lafayette

Look, Citizen, your neighbor has every right to advertise how terrible they are.  A free society necessarily means that people can be loud and proud about indefensible things. But that doesn’t mean you have to accept it quietly. Here’s my advice: you and your friends should grow out (or glue on) some serious 19th-century beardage, dress in blue, and sit outside their house demanding they surrender to General Grant’s army.  If the rebels refuse to surrender, call up General Sherman. He knows what to do.

Dear Crabby, The road construction in West Lafayette is awful. I can’t get anywhere without it being an ordeal. How can I cope? — Need A Zip Line, West Lafayette

Dear Zippy, do you have a shovel? Get to work! Those roads won’t construct themselves. The zip line thing ain’t going to happen. Trust me on this, I’ve been kicked out of Mayor Dennis’ office enough to know it’s a non-starter in this two-bit town.


Purdue, Lafayette & West Lafayette, Indiana: All things Weird, Wild, and Interesting in the Arts, Music, Food & Culture.