HANCOCK COUNTY — If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to take down the 2017 calendar and put up a brand new blank 2018 calendar. Or, maybe your 2018 calendar already is filling up with work schedules, doctor’s appointments and meetings. But in the new year, be sure to leave time for fun and leisure with family and friends. Here are four seasons of events, activities and entertainment. Mark your calendars now.
There’s no time like February to curl up on the couch with a blanket and a good book. The Hancock County Public Library reading program — Reading is Sweet the whole month — offers reading ideas and incentives for pages read. For more information, visit hcplibrary.org.
And once your heart is warmed by a good book, venture out to the Ricks Centre to enjoy Wilkerson Dance’s Mid-Winter Leap recital on Feb. 18. Visit wilkersondance.com for ticket information.
April 7, the Hancock County Children’s Choir presents two performances of “Reaching for the Stars,” its annual spring concert at the Mt. Vernon High School Auditorium. Visit hancockcountychildrenschoir.org for times and ticket prices.
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“Cinderella” the ballet comes to the Ricks stage from Dance East Ballet Academy April 7 and 8. Go to danceeastballet.com for show times.
The Riley Wranglers Craft Fair sashays into the Hancock County Fairgrounds on May 5. Visit rileywranglers.org for more information.
The first weekend in May is busy with Wilkerson Dance’s spring showcase performing at the Greenfield-Central High School Auditorium May 4 and 5. With a theme of “You Gotta Have Style,” the dancers explore styles in fashion, hair, music and dance. Visit wilkersondance.com for ticket information.
The Greenfield Area Chamber of Commerce has plans for an inaugural tennis tournament, and from May 5 through June 9, Greenfield Main Streets Bikes in Bloom will be popping up all over town. Visit greenfieldcc.org to learn more.
With a guarantee of warmer weather comes the return of outdoor events. The Shirley Strawberry Festival is slated for May 19.
The annual Old National Road Yard Sale starts May 31 and continues through June 3 with bargains to be had from Missouri to Pennsylvania along 823 miles of U.S. Highway 40.
June is the kick-off month for a number of the events of summer. The Hancock County Public Library’s summer reading program, “Libraries Rock,” kicks off in June with reading goal initiatives (and prizes) for children, teens and adults. The program runs through Aug. 1.
The Legacy Nine Cinema’s Family Film Festival will be back with free Wednesday morning matinees for children and families.
Greenfield Banking Company’s Entertainment on the Plaza returns for free weekly Friday night concerts under the stars at the Hancock County Courthouse Plaza.
The North Street Fitness Festival, between Pennsylvania and State Streets, is June 16.
The Hancock County 4-H Fair runs June 22 through 29 at the Hancock County Fairgrounds.
New Palestine hosts a one-day SummerFest on June 29.
The Pennsy Trail Art & Music Festival, sponsored by Mental Health Partners of Hancock County, takes place July 28 in the downtown area. This fair features local arts and craftsmen as well as all-day musical entertainment. Visit Pennsy Trail Art Fair and Music Festival on Facebook for more information.
The annual Greenfield Area Chamber of Commerce Chocolate Walk strolls through town on August 10. Visit greenfieldcc.org for more information.
In late August, Cumberland Arts Goes to Market combines a farmers’ market with arts and entertainment.
Greenfield Main Street’s annual day of remembrance celebrates Hometown Heroes with a community picnic in the North Street Living Alley from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. September 11.
Artists of all ages come out for the public art event, Chalk Fest, on Sept. 15.
“Out to Old Aunt Mary’s” is the theme for the 2018 Riley Festival, Oct. 4 through 7. Visit rileyfestival.com for more information.
Adults can celebrate Halloween throughout Greenfield’s downtown from 4 to 10 p.m. on Oct. 26 with Boos & Brews.
And before we know it, the holidays will roll back around. Have fun before the food with the Greenfield Parks and Recreation Turkey Day 5K on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22. Last year’s race doubled its attendance from 2016. To get in on the fun for 2018, contact greenfieldin.org/parks.
Greenfield Main Streets Shop Small Saturday Passport Kick-off will bring people to Greenfield’s downtown to shop on Nov. 24.
Holiday Flicks at the Ricks screen Nov. 28, Dec. 5 and 12 at the H.J. Ricks Centre for the Arts.
December brings the Greenfield Christmas Festival and Parade of Lights with horse drawn carriage rides Dec. 1 and 8.
Dance East Ballet Company’s annual production of “Little Things” takes the stage at the Ricks on Dec. 8 and 9.
Music lovers can enjoy two performances of the Hancock County Children’s Choir’s Christmas concert Dec. 1 at Mt. Vernon High School.
The year 2018 will be year packed with fairs and festivals, concerts from the Brandywine Wind and the Greenfield Community Choir and live theatre from the CrazyLake Acting Company, Ricks-Weil Theatre group and Ten West. And all of these happenings mark Hancock County as a great place to live, work and play.