Sponsored by the City of Lebanon
They’re scenes taken directly from the pages of Americana.
Floats lovingly decorated with all manner of red, white, and blue, accented by shiny silver streamers. A high school marching band providing a spirited soundtrack. Kids’ bikes decked out in patriotic colors for the Pedal Parade. American flags everywhere you look.
If residents of Lebanon, Indiana, were to rank their favorite community event, it’s likely the city’s Fourth of July celebration would be at the top. All ages have the opportunity to get involved—and they do, whether it’s scooping cold treats in the Tri Kappa ice cream social, gathering a team for silly games in Almost Anything Goes, playing in the Community Band concert, or simply lining the streets to cheer on the Independence Day procession.
Community pride runs high in Lebanon, the Boone County seat, where residents enjoy a significant quality of life. Here are some other contributors to that concept.
A revitalized downtown.
The city is in the final stages of wrapping up a roughly $10 million project to revamp the area surrounding the Boone County Courthouse. Work included new sidewalks, lighting, and brick pavers, and replacement of underground pipes. “It’s generated a lot more foot traffic,” Lebanon’s community development director Joe LePage says of the changes. “The things added were geared toward people walking, biking, and shopping.” That, in turn, has led to more interest in businesses setting up shop in the city center, joining others such as board-game store Friendly City Games, craft-beer pourer People’s Revel Room, butcher shop Saint Adrian Meats & Sausage, and sweet-tooth satisfier Periwinkle’s Soda Pop and Candy Shop. The farmers market now takes place at the courthouse square, too.
Many more community events.
Fourth of July festivities aren’t the only big draws in Lebanon. At Mischief on Meridian, costumed families turn out for “trunk-or-treating” and live music. September’s Back to the Fifties Festival attracts classic-car enthusiasts and those wanting to relive the good old days, and Christmas on the Square rings in the holidays with a parade and tree-lighting.
A trail with room to grow.
LePage refers to it as the “Monon 2.0.” It’s the Big Four Trail, which links downtown Lebanon to Thorntown. Plans call for extending the Big Four east to Whitestown as well, and, eventually, connecting Indianapolis and Lafayette.
Witham Health Services offers an emergency room, surgical services, pediatric and senior care, a women’s center, family medicine, and additional specialized care at its primary location in Lebanon. The nearby Witham Family YMCA boasts an indoor pool, group fitness classes, and a basketball court.
Increased housing stock.
Developers have noticed Lebanon’s growth and are providing quality new communities to meet demand. Right now, LePage says, there are two new neighborhoods in the works, one existing neighborhood is expanding, and one is planned to go up near Lebanon Middle School.
A new splash pad at Abner Longley Park gives kids a water-logged way to cool down, while the Seashore Water Park offers a wave pool and slides. And a new dog park delivers ample space for Fido to do the “zoomies.”
The hashtag encourages residents to share the things they love about their city on social media. It’s also the name of a new podcast that features city employees, as well as a clothing line designed by a local. And it succinctly captures why people are drawn to creating a life for themselves and their families in Lebanon. “When it comes to having what you need, it’s all here,” says LePage. “There’s something about this place that provides that special atmosphere for a lot of people.”