The Village during the Holidays is always such a wonderful time and Jenn and I can’t think of any other place with such a joyful spirit. There is so much going on, parties with friends and family and neighbors, seeing the decorations, and shopping the Main St. merchants, we just love it. Remember that many of your neighbors and fellow VRA members own businesses in the Village that sell unique and special items that you just can’t get at the mall, so please take some time to “keep it local” and shop here in Zionsville for some special gifts!
I am so pleased to hear about how many people came out to further discuss the Walmart development with the developers, attorneys and architects. A number of VRA members are working hard to really see if this is the right development for Zionsville. If it is something that will be here, a lot of Village Residents are committed to continue to make sure that this development is as good as it can be. There will be more meetings in the future, mostly at Town Hall, so if you are interested in being part of this discussion make sure that you attend.

I have asked for the RDC to place a discussion of whether the Walmart development should stay in the TIF District or not on their next regular meeting agenda. I am not certain whether it should or not, but I think it is worthy of discussion. The tax implications for Zionsville if Walmart does come here are many, and may be confusing, so it is important that RDC take some time to look into this matter and see if there might be any immediate, positive tax impact.

The same night of the VRA/Walmart meeting, the Town of Zionsville and Zionsville Community Schools announced a partnership to purchase the Dow property at 106th and Zionsville Road for a School Maintenance Facility and to sell much of the rest to developers. I am sure most of you have already heard about this, so I won’t go into details, but this is a very interesting proposition and I am sure the community leaders are working hard to make sure that all the questions are asked and answered adequately. Check the Town’s Calendar for times and dates of the upcoming RDC meetings as apparently this has a very short timeline.
Have a great Holiday Season!
Chris Bucher

Village New and Events

First Friday – Friday, December 7

First Friday in December will feature local artists, music, refreshments and holiday specials at our restaurants, art galleries and participating merchants along Main Street in the village. Don’t forget to don your holiday sweater and join in on the fun at our restaurants later in December for Zionsville’s Ugliest Christmas Sweater Parties.  

Christmas in the Village – Saturday and Sunday, December 1st and 2nd

Saturday, December 1 and Sunday, December 2 are jam-packed with activities taking place throughout the Village. Santa arrives at 9:30am on Main Street led by the Zionsville High School Marching Band. You can ride the antique trolley and stop off at the library on Saturday for fun-filled holiday crafts and storybook readings, make a stop at Akard True Value in Boone Village and join in on the fun with the Elf Scavenger Hunt. Continue on to the SullivanMunce and pick out a handcrafted bowl and fill it with steaming hot chili, shop at the holiday artisan boutique and head back to Main Street to finish your holiday shopping. Watch for details on our month-long Christmas in the Village festivities. Don’t forget to make a stop at The Hearth at Tudor Gardens for their “Deck the Halls” open house featuring 30+ stylized holiday wreaths that you can bid on during a silent auction. Photos with Santa too!

Join us on Facebook at ZionsvilleChristmas to get a complete listing of events.

SullivanMunce Christmas in the Village Events – Saturday and Sunday, December 1st and 2nd

SullivanMunce Cultural Center will be decked out in holiday splendor for Zionsville’s Christmas in the Village on
December 1 – December 2, 2012.

Holiday Artisan Boutique:
Visitors can shop for a wide variety of gifts in our holiday boutique, featuring work from local and regional artists December 1-22, 2012

Chili bowl Sale: We have enlisted an army of talented artisans to help throw, glaze, and fire over one hundred handmade chili bowls for this year’s annual Chili Bowl sale. Buy a handcrafted ceramic bowl (for just $10) and have it filled with hot, homemade chili for free 11 am-2 pm on Saturday, December 1 and Sunday, December 2.

Bake Sale: SullivanMunce Cultural Center Guild will hold their Annual Bake Sale on Saturday and Sunday.

For more information on events during Christmas in the Village, call 317.873.4900 or visit our website at www.sullivanmunce.org.

Christmas in the Village events begin on Saturday, December 1, 10 am – 4 pm and ends on Sunday, December 2,
1 pm – 4 pm.

Carol of Homes – Saturday, December 1st

Presented by Zionsville Show Choirs
11am – 5pm

The first annual Carol of Homes – Holiday Home Tour is one of several activities being held during Christmas in the Village. This tour will offer patrons the opportunity to tour 6 beautifully decorated homes, including the MapleLawn Farmstead, while being entertained with carols sung by the Zionsville High School Show Choir students. Tickets are $20 per person. All proceeds benefit the Zionsville High School Show Choirs. For more information, please contact Jennifer Luczak at 317.408.0203

Christmas Village Memories 

by Jen Kershner

Two years ago, as new Village residents, we woke up excited to be part of our first Christmas in the Village celebration. The day dawned brisk and as I  walked to the coffee shop with my family through the falling snow, I was filled with a sense of wonder. We sat near the window at Eagle Creek, eating our scones, people watching and waiting for the parade to start. As we wandered back outside it felt like we were in a movie. The scene was perfectly set: charming town, friendly Villagers, Santa arriving on Main Street in his carriage. Can you imagine a scene more perfectly suited to putting you in the Christmas spirit? I could not.

At this time we were renting a house in the Village, after having moved from a characterless home in a characterless suburb in a characterless town outside of Indy. We had sacrificed a lot to make this move all on a hunch that it was the change in lifestyle we were dreaming about. While walking the snowy streets that morning we knew we were home. We knew we would stay. Walking through the streets of this Village, our Village, feeling the sense of community and belonging that accompanied our walk, I felt like I was home.  I had finally found the place where I was meant to be.

Two years later I am still struck by the same feelings when I walk through town, only now I own a home here. I have put down roots. I am now proudly a member of this community. I have met many neighbors and made many new friends that I cherish. I can’t imagine any place in the world I would rather be.

We would love to hear about your favorite Village memory. Please send your story to editor@zvra.com.

Village Voice Arts

By Sarah Zack / Zionsville Resident and Certified K-12 Art Teacher

Handmade Holiday Ornament/Decorative Keepsake

Approximate Time:  1 hour

Materials needed:

*Model Magic

– Red, Yellow,  Blue,  Black

8X10 Paper




Bell Rolling Pin (optional)

Googly  Eye

                                         Brown /Black Pipe Cleaner

                                         Hot melt glue

Trace child’s hand on a piece of paper. Cut it out carefully creating a positive stencil.
Take yellow, blue, red model magic. Knead the model magic colors together to make a brown solid color – this will take time, be patient. 
Flatten out the brown model magic with hand or rolling pin until the clay is approximately ½ Inch thick and larger than your hand stencil.
Place your hand stencil on the brown model magic (it will stay in place because the model magic is slightly sticky). Use scissors to cut the model magic into the exact shape of the hand stencil. Smooth out any jagged edges finger prints and add a small tail near the pinky. Set aside.
Add the details:
To create the collar. Roll a coil with red model magic. Then flatten and shape it to create the collar. Knead a small amount of the yellow blue model magic to create green model magic and form into small balls. Flatten and add the green balls to the red collar  for  decoration Attach the collar to the neck of the reindeer.  model magic will stick to itself. 
Add a red nose and black hooves for the feet. 
Add one  googly  eye by pressing it directly into the clay.
Lastly take a pencil and poke the pencil through the top of your reindeer, making sure there is enough  on  all sides so it does not easily break.
Allow  yo ur   art work to dry for 24-48 hours on a hard plastic surface. Flip it frequently to assist in the drying process. String a piece of yarn/ribbon through the hole and add a bell, if wanted.
Antlers: Fold the brown/black pipe cleaner in half and wrap around a pencil to get a curl.  Using hot melt glue adhere the antlers to the top of your reindeer.
Hang on your tree, to a door knob, or give away as gift. This is a wonderful holiday keepsake that will keep for years and remind you of how tiny your child’s hand once was.

Art Elements and Principles:  Form, Color, Unity Functionality

Art Skill:  Clay modeling

Art Theme:  Holiday
* Model Magic is a  Crayola  Product available at most craft/general stores. It is an air dry based  modeling clay.

Bonnie Knoll is 150 years old!

By Beth Bugbee

On Saturday, November 10, Marianne and Guinn Doyle hosted the 150th birthday celebration of their home at 635 E. Pine.  The home has had 13 owners since it was built in 1862.  The Doyles bought it in 1999 and have faithfully researched the history and former owners.  Originally the house was built on four acres and referred to as the house of the hill.   It is located on the southwest corner of 6th and Pine.  Today, many of us have noticed it for its newly constructed garage.

From 1922 to 1963 the home was owned by Charles and Grace Monroe.  They made several changes to the home including a sunroom on the south side, a new porch and veranda on the north side and several interior changes.  They took down the wall between the two parlors and made it a large living room, built a new fireplace with adjoining bookshelves and added glass doors and corner cabinets to the dining room.  As they made these changes over the years, fellow villagers referred to it as the pretty house on the hill.  Mr. Monroe, being of Scottish heritage, named the home “Bonnie Knoll.”  This is all documented in a story written by Grace Monroe.  There are even actual samples of the wallpaper they used.

In addition to the journal, there is correspondence between Mr. Monroe and Eli Lilly.  Charles was commissioned to sculpt several metal creations for the Lillys.   He also created much of the metalwork on his home which is still in excellent condition today.

The Monroes employed a caretaker, Mrs. Bratton, who helped them over the years.  She and her family lived in the small house on Laurel Street, adjacent to their home.    As the family expanded, they grew out of the one-bedroom cottage.  The Monroes then built another home for them on Laurel Street.  Mrs. Bratton had a son and daughter, Lynnetta, who was born in 1951.  In 1962, Lynetta was with Mr. Monroe when he died only three days after his wife.  The Monroes didn’t have children and treated the Bratton kids as grandchildren.  The Doyles, who have kept in contact with Lynnetta,  invited her to the celebration.   A week before the party, she told them that she and her daughter, Emily, would be attending the party and travelling to Zionsville from their home in Seattle.

Lynnetta, Emily and forty-five of the Doyles’ friends had a wonderful evening on November 10th.  Many memories, stories and histories were shared that night.  The only regret was that Bonnie Knoll couldn’t tell all of her stories.


By Beth Bugbee

As you are reading this, I am experiencing or have experienced my first time as a home tour hostess.  Carol of Homes, a fundraiser for our school show choirs, is on December 1st as part of Christmas in the Village.  When I learned about the event, it was in the formative stage.  The plan was that people would pay to tour Zionsville homes as talented students sang holiday songs.  For some unexplainable reason,  I was so moved that I immediately called to volunteer my home for the tour.  As I recall, it was my vision of our town coming together in the holiday spirit to help our wonderfully talented vocalists that caused me to sign up.  In reality, I think it was because I am an elderly show choir wannabe.    It is pathetic, but if I don’t clearly pronounce the lyrics, you wouldn’t know I was singing “Happy Birthday to You.”

A week later, I’m looking around my home gloating about what a good person I am to offer up my little home when it hits me—WHAT WAS I THINKNG!  People are spending their hard earned money to see this!  Suddenly I hear their comments as they leave my house.  “Well that wasn’t that great” and “I was really expecting a little more.”  Paranoia had set in.

Now I wouldn’t consider myself a hoarder, but I do have alot of stuff in my home that is there only because of the good memories they bring.  Very little is anything one would actually want to replicate in their home.  Trust me, I haven’t gotten the call from Midwest Living to schedule an interior decorating shoot.  My only hope is that Martha Stewart will have an answer for my panic on her website.  I log on  and quickly learn that I’m not starting with a quaint, ocean-front, Cape Cod cottage and I don’t have the money it takes to turn my home into one.

I turn to Plan B.  I contact Mike Perkins at Rails to Trails to see if he can help.  He tells me not to worry; it will be beautiful.  But is there enough pine roping in the world for a miraculous transformation?  I am now in full-blown preparation panic for the high expectations of the TOUR.

Crash!  I have finally reached anxiety exhaustion.  Sanity returns and I recall that I am but a speck in the universe.  People will be in my home about 3 minutes and the reason they are there is to support the kids.  Life is good and I will survive my first home tour hostessing gig.  I am back to gloating about what a good person I am.

Green Gifts for a Happier Holiday

By Beth Bugbee

Would you like to make your holiday season a little less stressful and turn it a brighter shade of green? Would you like a season that focuses more on your relationships than your stuff? We have some advice that might help.

Making a List and Checking It Twice: Write down all of the names of people for whom you normally buy gifts. Is there someone on the list that you’d like to see more often? Instead of giving a gift, make arrangements to get together. Could someone on your list use company throughout the year? Avoid buying a gift and, instead, promise a monthly visit. Do you have adult family members on the list? Suggest a dinner together in lieu of gifts, donate to a charity that you select as a group, have a “white elephant” gift exchange, or draw names and buy for just one person. Remember, in most relationships, gift-giving is a two-way street. If you want to change the rules this year, communicate with friends and family members about your ideas and suggestions. They will probably be glad that you were brave enough to bring it up!

Don’t Break the Bank: Decide how much you plan to spend on holiday giving. Once you have a total, estimate a budget for each person on your list. Remember that the little extras, such as stocking stuffers and accessories, can add up. As you begin to shop, keep track of your receipts. Periodically evaluate how much you’re spending compared to the budget that you developed.

Priceless: Consider gifts of yourself and your time. These gifts improve your relationships, cost nothing, and create no waste. For example, you could offer to visit a friend and bring all the fixings for a homemade dinner—and then make it together. You might schedule a game or movie night for family or friends. You could offer to babysit for an evening or even a weekend. No children in the family? Offer to pet sit or house sit. Volunteer to clean up the yard in the spring or mow the lawn. The possibilities are endless.

Made With Love: Another way to give of yourself is to put your skills to work by making homemade gifts. If you preserve food or jams, give some away as gifts. Record a CD or DVD of a child’s performance or an “interview” that gets the child talking about friends, school, and activities, and send the recording to a far-off relative. Refresh a family memory by making your brother the cookies that Grandma used to bake. Decorate an old picture frame with fishing lures and add a photo of you and your grandpa fishing together. Put your old jewelry, clothes, and hats into an unneeded suitcase to create the perfect dress-up chest for a child. We’re sure you can think of many other ideas that reflect your own hobbies or honor the skills that a family member or friend passed along to you.

Experience the Drama: Do you have friends or relatives who love a certain sports team but don’t go to games very often? Give them tickets! Not a sports fan? Give tickets to a concert or play, a movie gift card, a membership to the Sullivan Munce Museum , or park passes. If you have a friend who is interested in learning  something new or becoming an expert on a favorite hobby, offer to pay for a class.

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