Enjoy Americana this week with bluegrass at Orbit Room; pigs, ponies and food at the fair

·4 min read

If you haven't visited Hoosier Land, if you haven't petted a sheep or a cow, chomped into a salty, buttery corn-on-the-cob, or enjoyed a country singer performing — Now's our chance, since the 2022 Monroe County Fair ends Sunday. If indoor theater is more your cup of flavored water, Indiana University's theater folk are doing an updated — and up-funny'd  — "The 39 Steps." Have you been writing songs? Come to sing them or to hear others' during Orbit Room's Songwriters Club meeting, or, at the same venue, hear a, yes, funny Americana music duo. For the kids, a beautifully enhanced — and free — "Panda! Go, Panda!" is an animated film parents can bear, too.

Kansas City bluegrass is what The Matchsellers will be performing at the 2022 Monroe County Fair.
Kansas City bluegrass is what The Matchsellers will be performing at the 2022 Monroe County Fair.

The Matchsellers, Chris Dollar perform at Orbit Room

The Matchsellers are Warsaw, Indiana's, Andrew Morris and Kansas City, Missouri's, Julie Bates. They offer a plucky, and often funny, show they've improved upon during three years of touring the U.S. and Europe. Their roots are in bluegrass and old-time, and their backgrounds in classical violin and electric blues guitar are energizing.

See The Matchsellers, opened by solo performer Chris Dollar, at 8  p.m. Thursday at the Orbit Room, 107 N. College Ave. Dollar writes, performs and produces Americana folk-grass songs. Get tickets, $10,  at orbit-room.square.site.

More: When are the Fourth of July fireworks in the Bloomington area?

Step into the willies and laughs at IU's "The 39 Steps"

More than 150 characters (played by fewer than that) are stepping up to entertain us in Patrick Barlow's hilarious adaptation of John Buchan's novel and Alfred Hitchcock's scary film (1935) "The 39 Steps." Jenny McKnight directs, and she's using an onstage plane crash, missing fingers and traditional intrigue. Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon stepped up and created this new concept for the production.

See it at the Wells-Metz Theatre, 275 N. Eagleson Ave. Matinees are at 2 p.m., evening shows are at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and $20, at https://bit.ly/3OOsxp. The show runs July 2-30. Go to https://bit.ly/3QU0Z3n for details. A bit of adult language and some gunshot sounds are involved.

Songwriters club coming to Orbit Room: listen, sing or both

At 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 6, come to listen or to sing your own creations at the Orbit Room where the Cosmic Songwriters Club will be meeting downstairs at 107 N. College Ave. The group meets monthly to perform original live music by songwriters from Indiana and beyond. A surprise guest will attend, and the show is free, but you can reserve a table for up to four for $20 at https://orbit-room.square.site/. Go to cosmicsongwriter.com for details.

Other options: Not a fan of fireworks? Try other family-friendly July 4 activities in the Bloomington area

Monroe County Fair is happening now

A pig naps at the Monroe County Fair in 2013.
A pig naps at the Monroe County Fair in 2013.

The 2022 Monroe County Fair continues through Sunday at the Monroe County Fairgrounds, 5700 W. Airport Road. There's a demolition derby at 7 p.m. Saturday and live music, fair food and concerts each day.  There's a Petting Zoo, Pony Rides and on Thursday, Pig Races at 3, 5, 7 and 9 p.m. Friday entertainment includes Micro Wrestling at 7 p.m.Sunday is the fair's final day. The Midway carnival happens every day a Thursday special of all rides for 1 ticket ($2 per ticket/12 tickets for $20) beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday a $30 armband gets you unlimited rides starting at 2 p.m. Sunday it's all rides for 1 ticket from 1 to 5 p.m.

At 8 p.m. Friday at the Farm Bureau Music Stage a performance by No Fences, The Garth Brooks tribute band begins.

A tenderloin sandwich and fries are available at Holt's Cafe at the Monroe County Fair.
A tenderloin sandwich and fries are available at Holt's Cafe at the Monroe County Fair.

Tickets are $3 per person or $10 for a weekly pass for adults; $2 and $5 for ages 6-12; free for age 5 and younger. For a schedule of fair events, go to https://bit.ly/3Nys3Cm.

Cicada Kids presents "Panda! Go Panda!"

What to do when a pot-bellied panda enters your foyer and proclaims, "You have a very nice house ..., and your bamboo is exceptional." Just roll with it, and make another pal. A free screening of Japan's "Panda! Go, Panda!" (1972) has been dubbed in English and technically restored in high-definition. See it Saturday morning at 11 at the FAR Center for Contemporary Arts, 405 W. Fourth St. All ages welcome, children encouraged. No tickets necessary.

This article originally appeared on The Herald-Times: Monroe County Fair wrapping up. Here's what you can still enjoy.