Press release: Bloomington Celebrates Black History Month, Adopt-a-Rabbit Month, and Looks Forward to Spring and Summer Events


February 1, 2023

For more information, please contact:

Andrew Krebbs, Communications Director, Office of the Mayor

[email protected] or 812-349-3406 

Bloomington Celebrates Black History Month, Adopt-a-Rabbit Month, and Looks Forward to Spring and Summer Events

Bloomington, Ind. – Bloomington is a vibrant community filled with activity. Each month there are numerous opportunities to enjoy and engage socially and civically. The City will provide monthly updates on what is happening in and within the City, and you will discover that no matter your interests or inclinations, there is something for everyone.

February Events 

Adopt-a-Rabbit Month

February 1- February 28

Cost: Adoption fees waived for shelter rabbits

Location: 3410 S Walnut St, Bloomington, IN 47401

To bring attention to rabbits who live in shelters waiting for their forever homes, February has been proclaimed Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month. With the proper care and attention, rabbits can live 10-12 years. Rabbits are the third most surrendered animal to shelters, which means there are many looking for homes. Adopting a rabbit saves two lives, the one being brought home and the one that will take its place to find its own home. For more information, please visit

Switchyard Park Fitness Classes 

Date & Time: Tuesdays at 7:15 p.m.

ZUMBA: February 7 & February 28 

Dancefit/Poundfit: February 21

Cost: $10/person. For ages 18 years and up.

Location: Switchyard Park Pavilion, 1601 S. Rogers St. 

No pre-registration is required for these indoor, drop-in fitness classes in the Switchyard Park Pavilion. Just show up and pay the $10 per person fee with cash or a credit card.

Black History Month: Black Market

Date & Time: Saturday, February 11, from 10 am – 2 p.m.

Cost: Free and open to the public

Location: City Hall, 401 N. Morton Street

This event will feature a coalition of organizations, black-owned businesses, black creators, and artists and create a space that affirms persons of color in the community and provide a medium for local talent, business owners, and groups to share information and sell goods. The Black History Month “Black Market” pays homage to the original Black Market that was firebombed on December 26, 1968. For more information, visit:

Black History Month: Essay Contest & Reception

Date & Time: Thursday, February 16, Reception at 6:00 p.m. and Program at 6:30 p.m.

Cost: Free

Location: Fairview Elementary School

Deadline for Submissions: February 6, Submit an essay here:

The City of Bloomington Black History Month Committee is seeking submissions from area students for the 2023 Black History Month Essay Contest. The theme for the 2023 Black History Month celebration is “Black Innovation,” which takes a look at how Black inventors, creators, and change agents, and how Black innovators changed the way we live through their contributions. Parents, teachers, siblings, friends, and community members are invited to Fairview Elementary as the winners of the 2023 Black History Month Essay Contest are honored. Awards will be presented in the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Join the community in supporting these budding scholars. Refreshments will be served. For additional information, visit

Adult Winter Recess 

Date & Time: Saturday, February 18, from 7:30-10 p.m.

Cost: $5/person. For ages 21 years and up.

Location: Twin Lakes Recreation Center, 1700 W. Bloomfield Rd.

Grownups need playtime too! Come to the Twin Lakes Recreation Center for fun, throwback games, and music from the 80s, 90s, and 00s, and compete in the adult limbo contest! Beer and wine are available for purchase; ID is required. The Adult Winter Recess is sponsored by Baugh Fine Print & Mailing.

Arctic Adventure 

Date & Time: Saturday, February 18, from 3-5 p.m.

Cost: $3/person.

Location: Switchyard Park, 1601 S. Rogers St.

Brave February’s frigid temperatures like true arctic explorers, and puzzle out the clues throughout Switchyard Park during three epic scavenger hunts! Successfully complete the scavenger hunts to win a prize.

Black History Month Gala

Date & Time: Saturday, February 25, 2023 

Reception at 6:00 p.m.

Program at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets: $60, in advance at

Location: Woolery Mill, 2250 W. Sunstone Dr., Bloomington, IN

Join us for an evening of fine dining, great music, and dancing as we recognize the 2023 Living Legend Recipients and the Commission on the Status of Black Males’ Outstanding Black Leaders of Tomorrow recipients. Reception and Silent Auction will begin at 6:00 p.m., the program will begin at 7: 00 p.m. Tickets: $60 each. Available January 30th at the Buskirk-Chumley Box Office,, or by phone at 812-323-3020.

Pet Expo 

Date & Time: Sunday, February 26, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Cost: Free

Location: Switchyard Park Pavilion, 1601 S. Rogers St. 

Make a trip to the Pet Expo for a shopping experience for pets of all kinds. Visit local vendors who have products and services for the pets in your life, and talk with local experts who will answer your toughest questions about training, food, pet health and wellness, toys, and more! Well-behaved pets on leashes or secured in appropriate carriers are welcome.

February Programs 

Seasonal Soups: A Cozy Cooking Class

Date & Time: Thursday, February 9, from 6-7:30 p.m.

Cost: $10/person; register online by Feb. 7 at

Location: Banneker Community Center, 930 W. 7th St.

In honor of Black History Month and Heart Health month, come learn about cooking traditional African American cuisines with a healthy twist while learning how to take steps to prevent cardiovascular disease.

Planting for a Rainy Day: How to Build Gardens with Stormwater in Mind

Date & Time: Wednesday, February 15, from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Cost: $10/in-city and $12/non-city  

Register online by February 14 at

Location: Allison-Jukebox Community Center, 351 S. Washington St.

Rain gardens add beauty to your home and provide wildlife habitat while reducing the flow of stormwater from your property to storm drains. Rain gardens protect waterways from pollutants washed from roofs and paved areas and may also help reduce water in basements and pooling in yards! Join the City of Bloomington Assistant Director of Environmental Programs Katherine Zaiger to learn how to build effective rain gardens and learn about the City’s Residential Stormwater Grant program. 

Wholesome Heart-Healthy Cooking

Date & Time: Thursday, February 16, from 6-7:30 p.m. 

OR Saturday, February 18, from noon-1:30 p.m.

Cost: Free, but pre-registration is required; register online by February 13 at

Location: Banneker Community Center, 930 W. 7th St.

In honor of Black History Month and Heart Health month, come learn about cooking traditional African American cuisines with a healthy twist while learning how to take steps to prevent cardiovascular disease.

Meet the Media

Date & Time: Wednesday, February 15, from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Free and open to nonprofit organization representatives

Are you a representative of a nonprofit interested in connecting with the local media? Join us for the Nonprofit Alliance of Monroe County’s 14th Annual Meet the Media roundtable event. Members of local media will give and hear one-minute pitches from local nonprofit representatives. Come prepared to present for one minute on the value of your nonprofit by sharing one story, idea, event, or success related to your nonprofit organization. Media panel representatives will provide feedback on each pitch and meet with nonprofit representatives in small groups for more in-depth questions and conversation. Representatives from Bloom Magazine, The Herald-Times, Limestone Post, WFIU-WTIU, and WFHB will be present. Participation is limited to 35 nonprofit pitches (one pitch per nonprofit). Please register at and be sure to include the name of your nonprofit. The Nonprofit Alliance is sponsored by the City of Bloomington, United Way, and the Community Foundation.

February Shoutouts 

Parks and Recreation Asking for Input on New Playground Equipment at Bryan Park

Survey Closes: 

Bloomington Parks and Recreation is asking for community members to fill out an online survey to share ideas about what new play equipment and amenities to include in a new 5- to 12-year-old playground at Bryan Park, scheduled for installation in 2024. Fill out the online survey about the new Bryan Park Playground by February 26 at A public input meeting regarding the new playground design and features is scheduled for Thursday, March 2, at 6 p.m. in the Pavilion at Switchyard Park, 1601 S. Rogers St. 

City Farmers’ Market Accepting Proposals from Food and Beverage Artisans, Applications from Farmers and Growers, for Vending Spaces at 2023 Saturday Market

The proposal deadline for food and beverage artisans and food truck/pushcart vendors is February 24 at 5 p.m. 

The application deadline for farmers is February 24 at 5 p.m. 

Bloomington Parks and Recreation is seeking proposals from local businesses, organizations, and individuals to manage all aspects of food and beverage artisan stands, or food truck/push cart vending stands, at the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings during the 2023 Market season. To select the food and beverage artisans and food truck/pushcart vendors that will best serve the Market, the City uses a request for proposal (RFP) process. Proposals will be evaluated by a review committee that includes Farmers’ Market staff and Farmers’ Market Advisory Council members using the criteria established in the RFP, including menu, price, product balance, customer satisfaction, use of local products, and location of the business, with preference given to businesses located in Bloomington. 
Detailed RFP forms are available at!_nD. RFPs, either hard copies or online submissions, are due by 5 p.m. Feb. 24. Priority consideration will be given to RFPs received by the deadline. The Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market is also accepting applications from small farmers and local growers who would like to sell their products at the Farmers’ Market during the 2023 season. Farm vendors selected and approved to sell at the Farmers’ Market must reside and produce farm goods in Indiana, and are expected to participate substantially in the production of goods offered for sale. Farmers who wish to sell at the Farmers’ Market must submit an application. The online application to sell at the Farmers’ Market is available at or call 812-349-3700 by 5 p.m. February 24. Both online and hard copy applications are available. There is a $20 application fee for farm vendor spaces.

Parks and Recreation Accepting Applications for Vendor Spaces at 2023 Art Fairs

The priority deadline for the 2023 A Fair of the Arts Season is Friday, February 24.

Bloomington Parks and Recreation invites local and regional artists to apply to participate in the 2023 A Fair of the Arts art and fine craft fairs. A Fair of the Arts is held the second Saturdays of the summer season, May through October, downtown at 401 N. Morton St. in conjunction with the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market. Artists may apply to display and sell their original artwork at A Fair of the Arts by submitting an application online. Click here for the A Fair of the Arts website and online application.  Applications must be submitted by February 24 to receive full consideration. There is a non-refundable $20 jury fee per application. The cost for selected artists to participate in A Fair of the Arts is $55 per Fair; commissions are not collected on sales. Criteria for selecting artists for A Fair of the Arts include style of work (divided into ten categories: clay, drawing/painting/photography, fiber arts, glass, jewelry, metalwork/woodwork, natural materials, recycled arts, surface decoration, and personal care); quality of work, price of work, and variety of artists. All work for sale at A Fair of the Arts must be original and made by the applicant. In addition, work must be safe, have a decent life expectancy, and exhibit the quality of craftsmanship. Participating artists are selected by a jury of Parks and Recreation staff, artists, and A Fair of the Arts customers. 

Community Groups, Artists, and Food Vendors Invited to Take Part in the International Festival on April 16 

Applications are open now and accepted until March 24.

The International Festival is a street fair-style festival to take place on Fourth Street between Dunn Street and Grant Street in the Dunkirk Square parking lot. Community groups, entertainers, and artists are invited to join the International Festival by hosting interactive spaces where visitors can learn about and explore other cultures, display and demonstrate works of art, and offer a variety of food from across the globe. The International Festival is scheduled for Sunday, April 16, from 1-4 p.m. on Fourth Street in downtown Bloomington. Fourth Street will be closed that day between Dunn Street and Grant Street. This event is a celebration of Bloomington’s people and an opportunity to use Bloomington’s city streets to meet neighbors, learn more about local businesses and organizations, and experience diverse food and music. Parks and Recreation is seeking community groups, artisans, entertainers, and restaurants or food vendors to participate in the Festival, interact with the community, and bring unique flavors. Interested participants may apply online. Applications are due by March 24. There is no cost to participate. Space for entertainment and activities is limited, and applications are accepted until all available spaces are filled. The online application for vendor space is available at

Black History Month Black Market Registration Opens 

Business Registration Deadline: February 6, 2023 (Registration is open now.) 

Event Date: Saturday, February 11

Event Location: City Hall, 401 North Morton Street

Calling all business owners, creators, groups, and more to join us for the Black History Month Black Market. Highlighting Black-owned businesses, art, and organizations. Non-profits, Greek organizations, social groups, and info tables are also welcome to apply. To apply for admission into the Black History Month Black Market, fill out this form:

Garden Plots at City’s Three Community Gardens Available for Rent

Registration opens February 15 for community gardeners who wish to renew the rental on the same plots they gardened in 2022. Registration for new gardeners, and for gardeners wishing to switch plots, begins March 1.

Garden plots are available for rent in Willie Streeter Community Gardens, 2120 S. Highland Ave.; Rev. Butler Park Community Gardens, 812 W. 9th St.; and Switchyard Park Community Gardens, 1601 S. Rogers St. Garden plots must be rented in person at City Hall, 401 N. Morton St., between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Garden plots are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration will remain open until all garden plots are rented. All three community gardens have plenty of parking available, and all are accessible via Bloomington Transit bus routes. To ensure gardening opportunities are available to all members of the Bloomington community, financial assistance is available for those in need to help cover garden plot rental fees. If you would like more information or to receive an application, you can contact Bloomington Parks and Recreation at 812-349-3700. Garden plot rental fees, and all registration materials needed to rent a garden plot, can be found on the Community Gardening Program website at or obtained from the Parks and Recreation office. 

Neighborhood Cleanup Grants Available

Neighborhood groups are invited to apply for a HAND Neighborhood Cleanup Grant

Application Deadline: Monday, March 6

HAND provides a trash truck, dumpsters, and a wood chipper. Your neighborhood provides volunteers and coordination!  To be eligible to apply in 2023, your neighborhood must be located within the corporate boundaries of the City of Bloomington and may have yet to receive a cleanup grant in either 2021 or 2022. Two Neighborhood Cleanup Grants will be awarded in 2023. Learn more at:

Outstanding Black Leader of Tomorrow Nominations Being Accepted 

Nominations are open now and until February 7, 2023 

Eligible: Black/African American Adults 18-30 and Black/African American High School Students

Nomination Form:

The Commission on the Status of Black Males (CSBM) Outstanding Black Leaders of Tomorrow Award is given annually to two African American men and women, respectively, from the following categories: high school and adult. The Outstanding Black Leaders of Tomorrow Award is presented each year at the Black History Month Gala Celebration in February.

Kid City Break Days

Registration and scholarship applications for March Kid City Break Days are open now. Break Days are for students in grades K through 6 and take place from 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. on scheduled days. Campers engage in outdoor play and other camp activities on-site at the Allison-Jukebox Community Center, 351 S. Washington St. in Bloomington. March dates are Monday, March 13-Friday, March 17. Visit!OSb for registration and full information. 

February Operating Hours 

Animal Shelter Adoption Center

3410 S Walnut Street

Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from noon-4 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday from noon-3 p.m.

Banneker Community Center

930 W 7th Street

Open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m.

City of Bloomington 

401 North Morton Street

City Hall is open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday, except during holidays. Non-holiday City Hall closings are announced on the City’s home page and social media. City services can still be accessed online at

Frank Southern Ice Arena Hours of Operation

2100 S. Henderson Street 

General admission is $6 per person, plus $3 for skate rental.

The ice arena is open daily, with general admission public ice skating available during scheduled times.

The ice arena closes for public skating for the 2023 season on February 18.

General Admission Public Ice Skating Schedule

Monday-Friday, 12-2:30 p.m.

Friday, 7-9 p.m.

Saturday, 1:30-3 p.m., 7-9 p.m., 9:15-11 p.m.

Sunday, 3-5 p.m.

Twin Lakes Recreation Center Hours of Operation

Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.-10 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m.

1700 W. Bloomfield Road

Daily non-member admission is $8

Twin Lakes Recreation Center is a sports, fitness, and recreation facility with a ⅛ mile indoor track, cardio equipment, free weights and weight machines, a functional fitness area, and five hardwood courts. Courts are open for pickleball Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Learn more about TLRC memberships and group exercise classes at

Bloomington is a diverse, active, and vibrant community with many monthly events and programs. This list is only representative of City and city-related happenings. For a more comprehensive list, please visit the events calendar of Visit Bloomington at the news as it happens! Sign up at!di to receive City news delivered to your inbox.


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