Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with FREE Admissions on Monday January 21st (@WhiteRiverStPrk)!

Posted on January 14th, 2013

For Immediate Release:  January 2013

Contact:  Bob Schultz | bob.schultz@borshoff.biz | (317) 631-6400


White River State Park Celebrates MLK, Jr. Day with Free Admissions on Jan. 21

All Park attractions* will be open for free in exchange for food donations to benefit Gleaners

Free health screenings also to be offered by Wishard Health Services


INDIANAPOLIS – For the 13th year in a row, visitors to White River State Park attractions will receive free admission and free parking on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 21, with a canned good donation (one can per person, per attraction). The Park’s partnership with Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana has resulted in more than 75 tons of non-perishable, canned food donations over the years from this one-day, annual event.  That weight of food is the equivalent of approximately 28 zoo elephants, or 15 mastodons that once roamed Indiana, or 150 western horses, or 468,000 professional baseballs, or 273 full-length IMAX movie reel platters, or 109,000 collegiate-level basketballs.


“We are pleased to once again partner with White River State Park,” said Cindy Hubert, Gleaners’ president & CEO.  ”The drive not only helps Hoosiers in need, but allows families to enjoy these wonderful facilities at no cost.  We’re grateful for the Park’s generosity as well as their patrons!”


*Special activities will take place all throughout the day at the six major attractions that make up White River State Park: Eiteljorg Museum, IMAX® Theater, Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis Zoo, NCAA® Hall of Champions and Victory Field.


Returning this year: The IMAX Theater will host a blood drive. All blood donors will receive free concession items in addition to free admission.


Also returning is free health screenings taking place indoors at Victory Field, courtesy ofWishard Health Services. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., health care professionals from Wishard will offer health assessments and general information about Wishard services. Nurses will be available to discuss the importance of primary and preventive care. Those who participate in the health screenings will each receive two complimentary tickets to Opening Night at Victory Field (scheduled for April 4), courtesy of the Indianapolis Indians.


“We are honored to celebrate this long-standing partnership with Gleaners, as well as our partnership with Wishard Health Services and Indiana Blood Center on such an important holiday,” said Bob Whitt, executive director of White River State Park. “Each year, our visitors rise to the occasion in filling the donation bins to benefit those less fortunate while enjoying plenty of entertainment and healthy activities throughout the day.”


The following FREE activities at Park attractions will be taking place on MLK Day:

  • Indianapolis Zoo: Visitors can walk the grounds and see lots of animals, especially the ones that love the cooler temperatures. Favorite activities will include the 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. dolphin shows, indoor shark petting in the nation’s largest shark touch pool and heating things up with the meerkats in the Deserts Dome, where it’s a comfy 82 degrees.
  • IMAX Theater: Experience one of the thrilling IMAX standard engagement action films where Born To Be Wild and To The Arctic will be shown for free until 5 p.m. With Born To Be Wild, follow young orphaned elephants and orangutans on the trip of a lifetime, from birth to their rebirth into the wild.  This family friendly documentary transports moviegoers around the world to the far stretches of Kenya and Borneo and inspires them to take action and save earth’s precious creatures. To The Arctic is an emotional, kid-friendly story of love, family and hope. Captivating and intimate footage brings moviegoers up close and personal with this family’s struggle to survive in a frigid environment of melting ice, immense glaciers, spectacular waterfalls, and majestic snow-bound peaks.
  • NCAA Hall of Champions: Warm-up with a complimentary cup of hot chocolate or coffee and learn more about what it takes to be an NCAA student-athlete.  Ronald Nored, a former basketball student-athlete from Butler University will be on hand from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will have a storytime for children.  There will be continuous screenings of “Game of Change,” a documentary that reaches far beyond sports, demonstrating the significance of the game of basketball in the struggle for racial equality. There will also be opportunities to win official NCAA merchandise throughout the day.
  • Indiana State Museum: Films, activities, poetry and performance art fill the museum as the life and times of the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are celebrated. “Tragedy, Trains, Truth & Tales” will be performed by Arts for Learning actors as part of the Indiana Affiliate of Young Audiences. And, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, visitors can view original signed copies of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment, which outlawed slavery. The Canal Café and the historic L.S. Ayres Tea Room will be serving lunch; reservations recommended for the Tea Room.
  • Eiteljorg Museum: Visitors can immerse themselves in Native American and Western cultures with the museum’s many exhibits. Don’t miss your chance to visit National GeographicGreatest Photographs of the American West. The exhibit features the best images of the West published by National Geographicover its 125-year history and includes works by nearly 80 photographers including Ansel Adams, Edward S. Curtis and Annie Griffiths. And be sure to check out the lunch specials at the Eiteljorg Museum Cafe.
  • Victory Field: From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., health care professionals from Wishard will offer health screenings and general information about Wishard services. Nurses will also be available to discuss the importance of primary and preventive care. Health screening participants will each receive two free tickets to Opening Day at Victory Field (April 4).  Plus, Rowdie, the Indians mascot, will stop by for autographs.


The Park is also offering complimentary parking on MLK, Jr. Day. Visitors may park in the underground garage located off Washington Street in front of the Indiana State Museum, in the surface parking lots at the Indianapolis Zoo and Victory Field, and in the surface parking lot across from Victory Field next to the Park’s Visitor’s Center.  Parking is not guaranteed and is on a first-come, first-served basis.


For more information about White River State Park, visit www.whiteriverstatepark.org.


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About Gleaners Food Bank

Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana was founded in a three-and-a-half-car garage in 1980 with the purpose of fighting hunger in our community.  Today, Gleaners serves more than 160,900 different individuals who depend on food and other critical grocery products provided by the food bank to over 350 hunger relief agencies throughout 21 counties in central and southeastern Indiana.  To date, the food bank has distributed over 300 million pounds of food and critical grocery products.  In our last fiscal year, Gleaners distributed nearly 21 million pounds of food which is the equivalent of 18 million meals.  Gleaners also provides specialized programs for our most vulnerable populations, children and senior citizens.  Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana is a member of Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network.  In Gleaners’ 21-county service area, more than 287,000 people live in poverty—and 103,000 of them are children.  Learn more atwww.gleaners.org.


About WRSP:

White River State Park is the epicenter of Indianapolis culture, offering unique experiences with a variety of educational and recreational world-class attractions. The Park is home to several attractions, destinations and venues, which provide entertainment for a wide range of audiences, including the Indianapolis Zoo, Indiana State Museum, IMAX® Theater, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, NCAA® Hall of Champions, Indianapolis Indians Baseball at Victory Field, the Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park Concert Series, the Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial and Military Park.  To learn more about the Park and its many happenings, visit www.whiteriverstatepark.org.


#MLKday @WhiteRiverStPrk