Evansville

The City in Brief

Founded: 1812 (incorporated, 1847)
Head Official: Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel (since January 2004)
City Population
1980: 130,496
1990: 126,272
2000: 121,582
2003 estimate: 117,881
Percent change, 1990-2000: – 3.6%
U.S. rank in 1980: 121st
U.S. rank in 1990: Not reported
U.S. rank in 2000: 199th (State rank: 4th)
Metropolitan Area Population
1980: 276,000
1990: 278,990
2000: 296,195
Percent change, 1990-2000: 6.2%
U.S. rank in 1980: 114th
U.S. rank in 1990: Not reported
U.S. rank in 2000: 133rd
Area: 41 square miles (2000)
Elevation: 385.5 feet above sea level
Average Annual Temperature: 55° F
Average Annual Precipitation: 42 inches of rain, 13 inches of snow
Major Economic Sectors: Services, wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing
Unemployment Rate: 5.5% (March 2005)
Per Capita Income: $18,388 (1999)
2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 6,154
Major Colleges and Universities: University of Evansville; University of Southern Indiana; Ivy Tech State College
Daily Newspapers: The Evansville Courier & Press
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Introduction

The seat of Vanderburgh County, Evansville is the center of a metropolitan area that includes Warrick, Gibson, and Posey counties in Indiana and Henderson County in Kentucky. Well-positioned in the days of the steamboat, the city occupies a unique prospect on a U-bend of the Ohio River. Today modern architecture mixes with historic structures to make Evansville an effective blend of the present with the past.

Geography and Climate

Evansville lies along the north bank of the Ohio River in a shallow valley at the southwestern tip of Indiana. Low hills surround flat, rolling land to the north, east, and west; the valley opens onto the river to the south. The city’s climate is determined by moisture-bearing low pressure formations that move across the area from the western Gulf of Mexico region northeastward over the Mississippi and Ohio valleys to the Great Lakes and northern Atlantic Coast. These storm systems, which produce considerable variation in seasonal temperatures and precipitation, are especially prevalent during the winter and spring months. The growing season lasts approximately 199 days.
Area: 41 square miles
Elevation: 385.5 feet above sea level
Average Temperatures: January, 31.0° F; July, 78.0° F; annual average, 55° F
Average Annual Precipitation: 42 inches of rain, 13 inches of snow

History

River Location Draws Flatboat Commerce

The identity of the city of Evansville evolved from its location on the Ohio River at the spot where the river makes a dramatic U-bend. Evansville’s founder was Colonel Hugh McGary, who purchased 200 acres from the federal government and built a cabin at the foot of present-day Main Street, where he started a ferry boat service. Hoping the site would become the county seat, McGary sought the advice of General Robert Evans, a member of the territorial legislature. In 1818 McGary sold a section of land above Main Street to General Evans, who replanted the town, which was made the seat of Vanderburgh County and named in honor of Evans.
Evansville prospered from the commerce of Ohio River flatboats that were piloted by colorful frontiersmen who served as both guides and navigators. Theatrical troupes, wandering on the rivers in Ohio, played engagements in Evansville even during its early history, establishing a local theatrical tradition that continues today. But it was the age of the steamboat that brought Evansville economic prosperity.
During the first few decades of the nineteenth century, Evansville experienced a difficult period that jeopardized the physical health of the citizens and the economic stability of the town. First the depression of 1824-1829 hit the city hard and then an epidemic of milk sickness swept through, further weakening an already vulnerable populace. Dr. William Trafton, an Evansville physician, found a cure for the ailment that brought the struggling community national recognition. In the winter of 1831-1832 additional hardship came with the freezing of the Ohio River, which paralyzed river trade, followed by floods that covered the town during the spring thaw. In the summer almost 400 people died of cholera. Then Colonel McGary was charged with horse stealing, and although he explained he had traded horses with a relative, rumors forced him to leave town in disgrace.

Business Growth Brings New Residents

In 1836 Evansville was made the southern terminus of the Wabash & Erie Canal, which was completed in 1853 at the same time the first railroad train arrived in town. Although the canal proved not to be a financial success, it stimulated population growth and business development. European craftsmen immigrated to Evansville to work in the local factories and foundries. By 1890 more than 50,000 people lived in Evans-ville, which had a population of only 4,000 people when it was incorporated as a city in 1847. Serious floods in 1884, 1913, and 1937 finally led to the construction of a giant levee to protect the city, which is now known as ”Plastics Valley” for the many plastics-related companies there.
Today, Evansville continues to grow and thrive, cultivating a community rich in business opportunities, cultural events, educational outlets, and recreational activities. In 2004 the city was named an ”All-America City” by the National Civic League. The award, the nation’s most respected civic recognition award, was given to Evansville because of the city’s progressive economic, educational, and community development initiatives.
Historical Information: Willard Library, 21 First Avenue, Evansville, IN 47710; telephone (812)425-4309. Southwestern Indiana Historical Society, 2205 Lincoln Avenue, Evansville, IN 47714. Vanderburgh County Historical Society, PO Box 2626, Evansville, IN 47728

Population Profile

Metropolitan Area Residents
1980: 276,000
1990: 278,990
2000: 296,195
Percent change, 1990-2000: 6.2%
U.S. rank in 1980: 114th
U.S. rank in 1990: Not reported
U.S. rank in 2000: 133rd
City Residents
1980: 130,496
1990: 126,272
2000: 121,582
2003 estimate: 117,881
Percent change, 1990-2000: -3.6%
U.S. rank in 1980: 121st
U.S. rank in 1990: Not reported
U.S. rank in 2000: 199th (State rank: 4th)
Density: 2,987 people per square mile (2000)
Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)
White: 106,366
Black or African American: 14,192
American Indian and Alaska Native: 736
Asian: 1,131
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 111
Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 1,392
Other: 858
Percent of residents born in state: 69.7% (2000)
Age characteristics (2000)
Population under 5 years old: 7,835
Population 5 to 9 years old: 7,735
Population 10 to 14 years old: 7,533
Population 15 to 19 years old: 8,186
Population 20 to 24 years old: 10,314
Population 25 to 34 years old: 16,665
Population 35 to 44 years old: 18,089
Population 45 to 54 years old: 15,234
Population 55 to 59 years old: 5,519
Population 60 to 64 years old: 4,726
Population 65 to 74 years old: 9,386
Population 75 to 84 years old: 7,578
Population 85 years and older: 2,782
Median age: 36.5 years
Births (2002, Vanderburgh County)
Total number: 2,298
Deaths (2002, Vanderburgh County)
Total number: 1,912
Money Income (1999)
Per capita income: $18,388
Median household income: $31,963
Total households: 52,373
Number of households with income of…
less than $10,000: 6,166
$10,000 to $14,999: 4,733
$15,000 to $24,999: 9,217
$25,000 to $34,999: 8,249
$35,000 to $49,999: 9,549
$50,000 to $74,999: 8,932
$75,000 to $99,999: 2,982
$100,000 to $149,999: 1,553
$150,000 to $199,999: 364
$200,000 or more: 628
Percent of families below poverty level: 10.1% (53.8% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)
2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 6,154

Municipal Government

The city of Evansville is governed by a mayor and nine-member common council, all of whom are elected to a four-year term. The mayor, who is not a member of the council, and appointive boards oversee all municipal operations; the council approves city appropriations.
Head Official: Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel (since January 2004; current term expires December 31, 2008)
Total Number of City Employees: 1,980 (2005)
Municipal Information: City of Evansville, Office of the Mayor, Civic Center Complex, Room 302, 1 N.W. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, Evansville, IN 47708; telephone (812)436-4962

Economy

Major Industries and Commercial Activity

Evansville is the industrial, agricultural, retail, and transportation center for the Tri-State region of Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky. The city is situated in the heart of rich coal fields. Major corporations have established regional operations and corporate headquarters in Evansville, primarily because of the area’s rich natural resources, diverse transportation routes, and productive workforce. Industries in the area produce appliances, pharmaceuticals, aluminum, equipment and machinery, food products, furniture, pottery, textiles, plastics, metals, and chemicals.
A fertile farming region, part of the Midwest agricultural belt, surrounds Evansville. Regional farms yield corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, barley, melons, apples, peaches, pears, small fruits, potatoes, and various other vegetables. Meat, fruit, and vegetable packing plants operate in the city.
Evansville retail and wholesale trade areas rank second in size in the state of Indiana. The city’s financial community also serves the region with a number of major banks, brokerage firms, credit unions, consumer finance companies, and the loan production offices of national and international banks.
Items and goods produced: appliances, nutritional products, pharmaceuticals, aluminum sheet, automobiles, auto glass, coal, oil, plastics, corn, soybeans, wheat

Incentive Programs—New and Existing Companies

Vision-E, the Evansville Regional Economic Development Corporation, works with the Evansville Chamber of Commerce for the economic well-being of the community and is the regional coordinator for economic development. The nonprofit organization assists companies with location studies, building and site searches, and feasibility studies, working closely with state and local economic development groups. One of these programs, the Strategic Development Fund, teams up two or more state businesses in similar markets, offering grants or loans to spur cooperation and creativity between industrial sectors or regions of the state.
Local programs—Two square miles in Evansville are a designated Urban Enterprise Zone, offering inventory tax credits and other tax credits to eligible businesses. More than 400 companies operate within the zone. The nonprofit Evansville Industrial Foundation develops industrial sites to stimulate economic growth in the area, using a revolving fund to purchase land and develop infrastructure. Through the Tax Incremental Financing program, local municipalities are able to fund infrastructure improvements and new construction in areas needing growth or rehabilitation. The increased tax revenues from the valuator increase are used for repayment of the bond issue.
State programs—The State of Indiana provides many programs to help Evansville area businesses. Grants and loans are available for community infrastructure improvements that would add value to company grounds, including funding for roads, rail spurs, water lines, and sewer lines. EDGE, a state tax credit based on payroll, allows Indiana individual income tax withholdings from company employees to be credited against the company’s state corporate income tax liability. Excess withholdings would be refunded to the company.
Job training programs—The Indiana Department of Commerce provides grants to support skills training programs for local businesses. The funds can be used in a variety of ways, including customized training programs in specific skills areas for new employees and skills development training for existing employees. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development also provides labor force recruitment services, including help with the application process, testing, and the assessment and screening of qualified applicants.

Development Projects

Recent development in Evansville has revolved around the creation and improvement of industrial parks and districts, a move that has attracted many new companies to the area. Illinois-based Tenneco Automotive is in the process of building a new 28,000 square foot plant in the Vanderburgh Industrial Park, where the company will manufacture exhaust systems for vehicles. Federal Express is also planning to build a 57,000 square foot ground distribution center in Van-derburgh Industrial Park, employing 72 people. And recently, Evansville received a $280,000 state grant to develop a Downtown Certified Technology Park. Plans include fiberoptic wiring for higher-speed Internet access and the creation of a business incubator to help develop high-tech businesses.
Economic Development Information: Metropolitan Evansville Chamber of Commerce, 100 N.W. 2nd Street, Suite 100, Evansville, IN 47706; telephone (812)425-8147

Commercial Shipping

Three public and several private port facilities receive year-round service from five major barge lines operating on the Ohio River. The river connects Evansville with all river markets in the central United States and on the Great Lakes and with international markets through the port of New Orleans. Evansville has been a U.S. Customs Port of Entry for more than 125 years. Because of this, it is possible to have international cargo shipped to Evansville in bond. The international cargo can then clear Customs in Evansville rather than a coastal port. Linking Evansville’s ports to ground and air transportation networks are express and air freight carriers, three major railroads, and more than 40 motor freight companies that maintain terminals in Evansville. There are also six major highway systems providing access to and from the Evansville area.
A location near the geographic center of the nation and access to inland water transportation contribute to Evans-ville’s position as the second largest warehousing hub in Indiana. Services include modern public warehouses, rail-barge-truck-storage facilities, and storage-in-transit privileges with rail carriers.

Labor Force and Employment Outlook

Evansville boasts a highly productive labor force with a Midwestern work ethic and low absentee rates. Indiana’s workers’ compensation insurance rates and unemployment compensation costs are among the lowest in the country. The city has one of the highest percentages of skilled and semiskilled production workers relative to the total workforce, compared to surrounding states. In addition, the employee turnover rate is less than five percent per year. Because of the close proximity to surrounding counties, and ease of access to the Evans-ville area, companies regularly draw from a labor force that lies within a 30-mile radius of their work site.
The following is a summary of data regarding the Evansville metropolitan area labor force, 2004 annual averages.
Size of non-agricultural labor force: 177,800
Number of workers employed in …
construction and mining: 12,500
manufacturing: 35,300
trade, transportation, and utilities: 36,800
information: 2,900
financial activities: 6,400
professional and business services: 16,700
educational and health services: 25,200
leisure and hospitality: 16,500
other services: 7,500
government: 18,000
Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $18.95
Unemployment rate: 5.5% (March 2005)
Largest employers                                                                                                   Number of employees
Toyota Motor Manufacturing                                                                                                        5,000
Shoe Carnival, Inc.                                                                                                                        4,250
St. Mary’s Medical Center                                                                                                             3,500
Deaconess Hospital                                                                                                                      3,000
Bristol Myers Squibb                                                                                                                    2,500
Whirlpool Corporation                                                                                                                 2,400
ALCOA Warrick Operations                                                                                                          2,294
Vectren                                                                                                                                      1,769
GE Plastics                                                                                                                                  1,700
T.J. Maxx                                                                                                                                    1,500
Cost of Living
The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors for the Evansville area.
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $236,020
2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 101.1 (U.S. average = 100.0)
State income tax rate: 3.4%
State sales tax rate: 6.0%
County optional income tax rate: up to 1.0%
Local sales tax rate: None
Property tax rate: up to 10.4% of assessed value
Economic Information: Metropolitan Evansville Chamber of Commerce, 100 N.W. Second Street, Suite 100, Evansville, IN 47706; telephone (812)425-8147. Vision-E, PO Box 20127, Evansville, IN 47708; telephone (812)423-2020

Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

Education is taken seriously in the Evansville area, and the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation works to make sure the school system runs at or above state standards. On the State Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills and the Indiana Test of Educational Proficiencies, local students typically score above the national average in basic skills and above all Indiana urban school corporations on the proficiency tests. Eighty-three percent of the teaching staff have a master’s degree or higher. The graduation rate is 89 percent, with 65 percent of these students going on to pursue higher education. In 1997, the Southern Indiana Japanese School opened at the request of Japanese companies locating in southwestern Indiana. The school enables the school-age children of Japanese employees to keep up with their peers in Japan and to help these children integrate smoothly into Japanese school life when they return to Japan.
The following is a summary of data regarding Evansville public schools as of the 2004-2005 school year.
Total enrollment: 22,139
Number of facilities
elementary schools: 20
middle schools: 12
senior high schools: 6
other: 3
Student/teacher ratio: 16.6:1
Teacher salaries minimum: $30,294
maximum: $56,811
Funding per pupil: $8,700 (average 2003-2004)
The area also offers a system of private, parochial, and charter school opportunities. Evansville Day School is a privately-operated school on the east side of Evansville offering classes from pre-kindergarten through grade 12 to its more than 300 students. Parochial and other church-affiliated schools and a Montessori Academy offercomplete educational programs for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
Public Schools Information: Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation, 1 S.E. Ninth Street, Evansville, IN 47708; telephone (812)435-8453

Colleges and Universities

Evansville is home to two universities and a technical college. The University of Evansville, founded in 1854, is a private institution granting master’s, baccalaureate, and two-year associate degrees on its 80-acre campus. With five colleges and schools, including a campus at Harlexton College in England, the university provides educational opportunities for 3,300 students in 80 academic areas. For the past 11 years in a row, the school has been named one of the top 10 ”best buys” by US News and World Report.
The University of Southern Indiana, founded in 1965, awards baccalaureate and associate degrees in more than 80 fields, including engineering technology, business, nursing, liberal arts, and education. The school’s 300-acre campus is utilized by 8,415 full and part-time students from all over the world.
Ivy Tech State College is a public, community-based technical college that schedules courses in programs leading to associate degrees in science and applied science as well as technical certificates. Its 3,900 students study five academic areas: business, health and human services, technology, visual technologies, and general education.

Libraries and Research Centers

The Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library, founded in 1911, holds about 800,000 topics, periodicals, CD-ROMs, CDs, audiovisual and audiotapes, films, slides, maps, and federal and state documents. The library operates seven branches in addition to the main library, with special interests including agriculture, business and management, economics, education, and religious studies; the Marcus and Mina Ravdin Memorial Collection is devoted to Judaica. The library also participates in the One topic/One Community program, which encourages residents throughout Southwestern Indiana to read the same topic and participate in events and discussions.
The Willard Library of Evansville, founded in 1885, is the oldest operating library in the state of Indiana. It specializes in local history and genealogy as well as nineteenth-century periodical literature. Native Americans and Mississippi Indians are the focus at Angel Mounds State Historic Site Library. Fourteen other libraries in the city are operated by colleges and universities, corporations, the Evansville Museum of Arts and Science, churches, hospitals, and government agencies.
Public Library Information: Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library, 200 S.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Evansville, IN 47713; telephone (812)428-8200

Health Care

The Evansville medical community provides health care for the metropolitan region with three general hospitals, diagnostic and rehabilitation clinics, and 16 nursing and convalescent homes. Mental health care is a primary specialty offered by several public and private facilities. More than 500 physicians and specialists and more than 100 dentists practice in Evansville.
Deaconess Hospital offers a broad range of inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and diagnostic services in its 360-bed tertiary care center. It is one of the largest hospitals in the region, serving a 26-county area of southwestern Indiana, southeastern Illinois, and northwestern Kentucky. St. Mary’s Medical Center maintains 520 acute-care patient beds, 32 extended care patient beds, and a special care nursery. Services include a laser center, a chemical dependence center, women’s health services, a long-term care program for senior citizens, and a heliport for air transportation. In 1998, St. Mary’s Medical Center acquired Welborn Baptist Hospital, a 407 bed facility general hospital providing medical, surgical, and mental health services.

Recreation

Sightseeing

A visit to Evansville might begin at the Old Vanderburgh County Courthouse, a fine example of Beaux-Arts architecture. Completed in 1891, the courthouse exterior features statuary groups, bas-relief limestone carvings, and a giant clock housed in a bell tower; interior touches include marble floors, wainscoting, oak woodwork, brass handrails, and silverplated hardware. Another building of historic interest is the John Augustus Reitz house and museum, a 17-room French Second Empire style home built in 1871. It gives visitors an intimate look into how one of Indiana’s wealthiest families lived. Also in downtown Evansville, the Old Post Office and Customs House, built in 1869, is a classic example of the Richardsonian Romanesque architectural style, featuring round arches over window and door openings and extensive use of stone masonry and towers.
Locals can test their luck at Casino Aztar, the state’s first gaming riverboat. Named the City of Evansville, the riverboat is a 310-foot-long replica of the racing side wheel steamboat Robert E. Lee, and can accommodate 2,700 passengers. It offers three levels of casino action, including 1,250 slot machines and more than 70 gaming tables, including blackjack, craps, roulette, Caribbean stud, and a big six wheel. The boat is also home to five restaurants and two sports lounges. Adjacent to the boat is the Aztar hotel, with 250 guest rooms, suites, and meeting and convention facilities.
Angel Mounds State Historic Site, one of the best preserved prehistoric Native American towns in the eastern United States, dates from a period as early as 1200 A.D. when the Mississippians—as the inhabitants have been named by archaeologists—lived on the Ohio River. The site features reconstructed houses, a temple, and partial reconstruction of the original stockade wall that surrounded the settlement. An interpretive center has videos and exhibits on Indian culture and excavation at the site. Angel Mounds also features a burial mound, one of the largest prehistoric structures in the eastern United States.
New Harmony, west of Evansville, was founded by the Harmony Society in 1814 as a utopian religious community and sold in 1824 to Robert Owen, who attracted scholars, scientists, and educators to participate in communal living. The 30,000-acre community still has a population of 850 people, and visitors can take self-guided tours through the tree-lined streets of modest clapboard houses and quaint Victorian-style shops. The Atheneum, the visitors’ center designed by architect Richard Meier in 1979, is the starting point in learning about the importance of New Harmony. Nearby, the Workingmen’s Institute, established by William Maclure in 1838, stands today as Indiana’s oldest continuously open public lending library. The town also houses two labyrinths. A traditional shrubbery maze, based on Harmonist design, was reconstructed by the Indiana Department of Conservation in the late 1930s. And the Cathedral Labyrinth is a recreation of the floor labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral located outside of Paris, France.
Mesker Park Zoo and Botanical Garden, a 67-acre zoological park containing lakes, ponds, and wooded hills, houses more than 500 exotic and domestic animals from 200 species. Many animals are free to roam in open areas surrounded by moats. The zoo also features a petting zoo, the Children’s Enchanted Forest, paddle boats, bumper boats, a tram, and the Discovery Center, which focuses on the world’s vanishing rainforests and animals. The Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve is comprised of 200 acres of virgin hardwood forest within the city limits, offering a wide variety of trees, shrubs, and wildflower species. Many trees reach 100 feet tall, and some are estimated to be nearly 300 years old. A Nature Center offers hands-on educational exhibits, a wildlife observation area, gift shop, and special events throughout the year.

Arts and Culture

The Repertory People of Evansville, a local theater group, stages five productions per year, ranging from classical works to one-act shows. Established in 1925, the Evansville Civic Theatre specializes in musicals and comedy, and features local performers in all of its productions. Recent productions have included Come Blow Your Horn and Some Enchanted Evening. Among other local arts organizations are the Philharmonic Chorus, Symphonic Band, Master Chorale, Dance Theatre, and Children’s Theatre. The Evans-ville Philharmonic Orchestra is recognized as one of the finest orchestras in the Midwest. Its two programs per year feature world-renowned guest musicians and an active supporting guild. The orchestra recently moved into the restored and renovated Victory Theatre, a 1921 movie house reopened as a performing arts center.
The Evansville Museum of Arts and Science, located on the Ohio riverfront, offers more than 30 changing artwork exhibits dating from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries. Its Main Street exhibit is a re-creation of a 1900 American community. The Koch Planetarium and Science Center, located within the museum, presents changing and permanent exhibits on science and technology; a steam locomotive, tavern car, and caboose are displayed on the grounds. The planetarium offers regular sky shows in its domed theater. At the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial and State Park, visitors can see the Young Abe Lincoln Outdoor Drama, a living pioneer farm, and the grave of Lincoln’s mother. The site is where Abraham Lincoln lived from age 7 to 21.

Festivals and Holidays

The Evansville Freedom Festival, lasting from mid-June to the Fourth of July, is Evansville’s biggest celebration. It features a variety of activities for the family, including hydroplane racing, concerts, parades, carnival rides, food, and a fireworks display. Evansville’s week-long Fall Festival, sponsored by the West Side Nut Club, is one of the largest street festivals in the country. It features free entertainment, carnival attractions, unique foods, selling booths, amateur talent competitions, and a parade. The annual Ohio River Arts Festival combines art appreciation, food, and family entertainment during the summer, and the First Night Celebration throughout downtown Evansville welcomes in the New Year alcohol-free.

Sports for the Spectator

One of the premier hydroplane races in the Midwest is Thunder on the Ohio, which attracts the fastest unlimited hydroplanes for the main event of Evansville’s Freedom Festival celebration. Ellis Park Horse Track, in operation for more than 75 years, sponsors weekly thoroughbred horse racing July through Labor Day. The park offers both dirt and turf racing, and several top training stables base part of their summer season there. The Evansville Otters, a Frontier League baseball team, plays its home games at Evansville’s Bosse Field.
The University of Evansville and the University of Southern Indiana field several sports teams, including the University of Evansville Aces, a Division I basketball team, and the University of Southern Indiana Eagles, a NCAA Division II basketball team.

Sports for the Participant

Evansville offers a wealth of recreational activities for active residents and visitors. Activities include camping, fishing, boating, water skiing, hiking, swimming, tennis, and youth and adult sports programs. There are also more than 40 golf courses within an hour’s drive of Evansville. Burdette Park features 145 acres of land dedicated to picnic areas, camping facilities, sports facilities, and vacation cottages. It is also home to an aquatic center with water slides, three pools, and a snack bar.

Shopping and Dining

Evansville’s shopping options range from unique specialty stores to malls filled with national chains. The city’s downtown area, or Main Street, has more than 36 shops and restaurants. Antique and gift shops are especially popular, as are the restaurants featuring Italian, Mediterranean, Korean, Chinese, and local cuisine. The area also houses a number of bars and pubs. Shoppers looking for locally grown and fresh produce head to the Evansville Municipal Market. Built in 1918, the open-air market still offers flowers, local produce, and handmade crafts.
Evansville’s dining scene is equally as diverse. Options include everything from fine dining to fast food, and restaurants offer ethnic dishes as well as regional cuisine. Locally-owned favorites, Italian bistros, authentic Mexican, Chinese and Japanese fare, homemade Amish cooking, tasty Indian selections, traditional German restaurants, all-American delis, corner pubs, and terrific barbeque are all available options.
Visitor Information: Evansville Convention and Visitors Bureau, 410 S.E. Riverside Drive, Evansville, IN 47713; telephone (812)421-2200; toll-free (800)433-3025


Convention Facilities

The convention and tourism industry, which brings in millions of dollars annually, is an integral part of the Evansville economy. The Casino Aztar Executive Conference Center offers more than 11,000 square feet of meeting space, with many high-tech amenities. For those looking for larger facilities, the Executive Inn Evansville Hotel and Convention Center provides 33,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space in the heart of Evansville. It also houses 470 guest rooms and suites, and offers full-service catering.
Unique and unusual facilities are also available. The Mesker Amphitheatre offers outdoor seating for 8,500 people, with lush grounds and ample parking. Roberts Stadium, with 12,500 seats, regularly hosts intimate concerts, family shows, sporting events, and trade show exhibits. And the Victory Theatre, in downtown Evansville, recently underwent $20 million in renovations; with nearly 2,000 seats, it is ideal for concerts, shows, and children’s programs. It also offers three meeting rooms and a banquet room. More than 3,800 rooms are available as lodging throughout metropolitan Evansville at 40 hotels and motels.
Convention Information: Evansville Convention and Visitors Bureau, 401 S.E. Riverside Dr., Evansville, IN 47713; telephone (812)421-2200; toll-free (800)433-3025

Transportation

Approaching the City

The Evansville Regional Airport is served by major airlines American, Delta, and Northwest, providing nonstop service to international hubs like Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, Memphis, Dallas, Cincinnati, and Atlanta. The airport handles 30 daily flights and has the capabilities for further expansion and advancement. General aviation facilities are maintained at Evansville Regional Airport and at two smaller area airports.
A system of interstate, federal, state, and local highways provides easy access into the city within the Evansville vicinity and from points throughout the nation. Interstate 64 provides east-west access to Louisville and St. Louis; US 41 provides north-south access to Chicago and Miami; Interstate 69, the planned new NAFTA interstate highway, will extend from Indianapolis to Evansville and connect with several gateways to Mexico. Interstate passenger service is provided by Greyhound Bus Lines.

Traveling in the City

The Metropolitan Evansville Transit System (METS) schedules regular city and suburban bus routes. A motorized trolley also provides transportation along the Downtown Walkway and in the downtown district.

Communications

Newspapers and Magazines

Evansville’s major daily newspaper is the Evansville Courier & Press. Evansville Living is a bi-monthly city magazine showcasing the people, businesses, and community of Evansville.

Television and Radio

Television programming is available from four stations based in Evansville. Radio listeners tune into 12 AM and FM stations that schedule, among other formats, classical, jazz, rock, and contemporary music, religious programs, and news and special interest features.
Media Information: Evansville Courier & Press, 300 E. Walnut St., PO Box 268, Evansville, IN 47702; telephone (812)464-7459

Evansville Online

City of Evansville home page. Available www.evansville gov.org
Evansville Chamber of Commerce. Available www.evans villechamber.com
Evansville Convention and Visitors Bureau. Available www .evansvillecvb.org
Evansville Courier & Press. Available www.courierpress .com
Vision-E, Evansville Regional Economic Development Corporation. Available www.vision2000.org

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