The 11th Annual Rib America Festival returns to Military Park in downtown Indianapolis this weekend, Sept. 1-4. Besides top musical acts such as Reo Speedwagon, The Charlie Daniels Band and Hootie and the Blowfish, the festival will highlight award-winning barbecue from such vendors as Fat Daddy’s BBQ, Chicago BBQ, Squealer’s and Sgt. Oink’s. Admission is free before 4 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday and before 3 p.m. on Monday. Tickets in the evenings are $3 with a limited number of VIP tickets available through Ticketmaster or by calling 317-566-2175.
Those of you who are gearing up for one of Indy’s best summer festivals, the Indianapolis Greek Festival, held Sept. 8-9 at Holy Trinity Church, 4011 N. Pennsylvania, will have another reason to be excited by this once-a-year opportunity to party like the Greeks. This year, blood donors will receive a ticket for free admission to the 33rd Annual Indianapolis Greek Festival and a coupon for a free gyro at the festival when they give blood at any Indianapolis IBC branch. Visit www.cirbc.org for locations. Additionally, donors who give blood at the main IBC branch will receive a free gyro sandwich that day. For more details, visit the Indianapolis Blood Center branch at 3450 N. Meridian St., 317-916-5150.
Tune into Too Many Cooks on WICR, 88.7 FM at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 6, when Patti & Gary welcome Ross Faris, of Your Neighbor’s Garden, who will talk about the 2006 farmers’ market season that will continue well into October.
Sign up now for a Dinner with the Winemaker at Chateau Thomas Winery, 6291 Cambridge Way, Plainfield, on Friday, Sept. 8. Enjoy a five-course dinner paired with award-winning wines hosted by Dr. Charles Thomas. Cost is $65 per person. Call 317-837-9463 to reserve your spot.
Make your reservations now for the “Clambake on the Roof,” hosted by The Oceanaire Seafood Room, Sunday, Sept. 17, 4-8 p.m. The end of summer event will take place on the 12th Floor Roof Garden at 30 S. Meridian. Proceeds will benefit United Way of Central Indiana. Guests will sample a fabulous menu of lobster, chicken, clams and mussels with sausage, corn on the cob and cole slaw prepared by Oceanaire Executive Chef Ryan T. Nelson. The cost of the dinner, which includes wine, beer, tax and gratuity, is $100 per person. Seating is limited and reservations can be made by calling Sheryl Parks at 317-955-2277.
Get ready for what will certainly be the most innovative and fun potluck dinner you’ll attend all fall. On Monday, Sept. 18, Chef Neal Brown of L’Explorateur will take your produce — your extra zucchini, those heirloom tomatoes your neighbor gave you — and incorporate it into a menu with things he’s already got in his larders. Participants should bring their produce to L’Explorateur, 6523 Ferguson St., by Saturday, Sept. 16. But bring only what you’ve grown, what’s edible and what’s legal. Cost is $100 per person, which includes wine pairings, and seating is limited to 20. Call 317-726-6906 to make a reservation (but don’t tell what you’re bringing).
Abuelo’s Mexican Food Embassy Restaurants are celebrating Grandparents Day on Sunday, Sept. 10. On Grandparents Day, grandparents who visit Abuelo’s and show a photo of their grandchildren will receive a special Abuelo’s Passport that includes six months of offers such as complimentary entrees and kids meals. The monthly Passports are redeemable from 2 to 6 p.m., any day of the week on subsequent visits. Additionally, abuelos and abuelas who visit the restaurant on Grandparents Day will get the chance to spin the “Dia de los Abuelos Wheel of Fun” for a variety of prizes, including Abuelo’s gift cards, complimentary appetizers and desserts and other specials gifts. Visit the Indianapolis Abuelo’s at 14480 Lowes Way in Carmel and at 5910 W. 86th St. in Indianapolis at Traders Point.