I often get asked if our family is planning to take any summer vacations. We travel plenty during other times of the year, but typically we don’t stray far from Hamilton County in the summer because there is just so much to do here that we enjoy. Atop that list, there are fewer things that make me happier in life than listening to live music at an outdoor venue.  

Although the name of the venue has changed over the years (it will always be Deer Creek to me), my wife and I recently made our annual pilgrimage to Ruoff Music Center to see one of our favorite live acts, Dave Matthews Band. While I have some friends who like to remind me that my 1990s is showing when I attend that concert, the wonderful thing about music is that it is so subjective, and I’ll put the joy of DMB’s opening rendition of “Tripping Billies” on June 30th up against any first song played in central Indiana in 2023. We are so spoiled to live within 30 minutes of a venue that many others drive (or even fly) multiple hours to attend. I’m also fortunate that these events have become a family affair, and that my two teenage sons now join us.  

You also never know who you will see from the community on a night out at Ruoff, whether it be a shout from someone across the lawn, a fellow church member who is working security, friends who are volunteering at the concession stands to support their daughters’ cheer team, or a colleague who is moonlighting as a server for the VIP boxes. I’m also grateful to the countless members of law enforcement who make such big events safe and run smoothly. 

The great thing about Hamilton County is that you don’t even have to go to a concert with 25,000 of your closest friends to hear good music. Specifically, if a smaller venue is more your speed:


Hamilton County Leadership Academy (HCLA) and Invest Hamilton County have launched a new community ambassador program. The partnership, called HAMILTON CONNECTION will highlight personal stories of HCLA alumni and allow those Connectors to help personalize the things that make Hamilton County a great place to live, work, learn and thrive. Meet the Hamilton Connectors HERE.