2015 in Alexandria "Small Town USA" has been an exciting year. The Madison County 4-H Fair was once again held in Alexandria. This yearly event has been hosted by the Alexandria Kiwanis Organization since 1942. It brings over 12,000 visitors to Beulah Park on the third week of July. The week is filled with food, rides, entertainment, 4-H animals and exhibits. The Madison County 4-H Fair will be back in 2016 from July 17-23.
The Alexandria Grand Prix was held in August on the downtown streets. This has become one of the largest go-kart street racing events in the state of Indiana. Sanctioned by the Southern Indiana Racing Association, the Grand Prix brings over 100 drivers from all over the Midwest along with over 4000 spectators. In 2016, the Alexandria Grand Prix will be a part of the 2016 Indiana Bicentennial Celebration as a Bicentennial Legacy Project. A special ceremony will be held to celebrate the Bicentennial and our local racing heritage.
The Small Town USA Festival was celebrated in September. This is a festival that honors our namesake of "Small Town USA". In 1943, the United States Department of Defense used Alexandria as an example of the average American community in a wartime propaganda pamphlet that was distributed over western Europe. The festival is filled annually with vendors, car shows, entertainment, fun, and food.
One of the largest draws to the community of 5000 people is the studios and restaurant/store of Bill and Gloria Gaither. Over 62,000 people come to visit the Gaithers throughout the year. In the Fall they hold the Gaither Fall Festival on the ground next to the studios. The festival is filled with concerts, meet and greets, vendors, and some of the finest food around. Bill and Gloria are southern gospel music legends with numerous awards and 7 Grammys.
One of the "Quirky" attraction in Alexandria is the World's Largest Ball of Paint. Starting out as a baseball in the 1970's, this ball now has over 24,000 layers of paint and weighs over 4 tons. This ball has it's own house sponsored by Sherman Williams Paints. The Paint Ball is featured in the Guinness Book of World Records and Ripley's Believe it or Not. Celebrities like Jimmy Kimmel, the Oak Ridge Boys, and Tom Green have painted a layer on the Paint Ball.
As you can see...Alexandria is filled with excitement. From festivals, gospel music, go-kart racing, and the World's Largest Ball of Paint. There is something for everyone in Small Town USA. See you in 2016!
-Jeff Bryan, Executive Director of the Alexandria Monroe Chamber of Commerce