NEW PALESTINE (Jan. 23, 2015) - This morning “Your Town Friday” is headed to New Palestine! You’ll find the Hancock County community about 15 miles southeast of downtown Indy.
“It’s a small town and it’s a close knit community. We all look after each other. We’re just one big family,” said Town Council Member Jan Jarson.
The town was founded in 1871, but records show some of the first plots of land were laid out and sectioned off in the 1830s. Today the town is home to about 2,000 people, but visitors are always passing through. Many of them stop to see an old wooden bridge.
“This bridge goes over the railroad. It was originally was built in 1869, it’s a wooden structure, it had a wooden plank deck and it was in use until 2007," Jan says. "In 1937, the WPA came through and renovated the original bridge but to keep a bridge going from 1869 to 2007 is pretty special and it’s a hidden gem of New Palestine."
Jan says this bridge is the only one if its kind in the state of Indiana and in the country!
“It’s just part of our history. Everybody knows the bridge, it’s different, you don’t see a bridge that goes across the railroad tracks and it’s a fully timbered bridge,” said Jarson.
Another New Palestine hidden gem that draws a lot of people into town is Wendy Parish’s annual prom dress giveaway at Doe Creek Middle School. It’s a long standing tradition in town.
“For eight years we’ve been doing a prom dress giveaway. I own a hair salon, Studio 52, and I’ve seen how expensive dresses are over the years. You see all the expense and it’s just unreal how much parents spend,” said Wendy Parish.
So Wendy tries to help with the expense by offering free dresses and tuxes with a suggested donation of $25 for the dresses and $50 for the tuxes. All of the money goes to Doe Creek Middle School and to help build homes in Haiti.
And Wendy also does a wedding gown giveaway.
“Anybody can come get these dresses; I don’t want it to be just about brides. They can be for schools out there, show choirs, horse and carriage business owners get tuxes. We’ve sold $600 worth of tuxedos for the cause which is awesome so it can be for anything!”
The bridal giveaway is at Doe Creek on Feb. 14. The prom dress giveaway is also at Doe Creek on Feb. 28. And if you have a dress or tux you’d like to donate, Wendy is always accepting items at her Studio 52 Salon in New Pal!
Right in town, not matter what the temperature is outside, there is always a line in front of Frosty Boy.
“If they want the best ice cream they’ve ever had, they’ll come here. It’s like a destination, they come from everywhere, like Richmond, Carmel, Geist and Greenwood,” says owner Tim Crooks.
Frosty Boy has been around since 1976 and for the last 16 years Tim and his staff have been serving up cones, sundaes and other creations through a little window.
“It’s a great town and they support us obviously. Opening day is crazy! It could be snowing, 28 degrees and there will be people and they come from everywhere. It’s not just New Pal, it’s everywhere. We have a Reece’s Cup extreme, it’s really good! We do an Oreo avalanche, sundae type stuff, the flurries are better than blizzards. We serve a quality item, people love it, at a decent price so it’s worth it to come here and they come here two to three times a week,” said Tim.
Frosty Boy is open March through October, but Tim came back from winter hibernation to give the town a little mid-winter treat.