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(Nov. 7, 2014)  –  Your Town Friday is headed to Boone County!

We are in the town of Zionsville which is about 18 miles northwest of downtown Indy.  Zionsville is known for its charming downtown shops and restaurants and there’s certainly a little something for everyone.

Just behind Eagle Elementary you’ll find the Zion Nature Center.  It was founded 12 years ago by the Zionsville Parks Department.

“We are that little hidden gem.  We try to pride ourselves that we are showing off the animals and habits you can find in your own backyard here in Zionsville and in Central Indiana.  Right now each room is dedicated to a different type of animal,” said Park Naturalist Mindy Murdock.

You can get up close and personal with once living animals in the bird area and mammal room, check out the live bee exhibit and see how honey is made, or say hello to some turtles, snakes and amphibians.

“It’s not like school, we’re not going to be sitting you down and throwing facts at you. We really want people to take that appreciation and that excitement,” said Murdock.

Most everything you see at the Zion Nature Center is native to Indiana.

Just a few miles away off of 106th street is “Fanimation,” which a fan manufacturing company that also houses the Antique Fan Collector Association Museum.  Tom Frampton is the owner of the company and also a big-time collector.

“You’ll find pulley fans, alcohol driven fans, hand cranked fans, bicycle fans, water powered fans, fans that go on trains…” said Frampton.

He’s into the engineering, design and care that goes into them.

“Every one of these will run on alcohol, lamp oil and in some cases kerosene,” said Frampton.

And his visitors get to enjoy personal tours.

“Anybody that knows about it, loves it.  It’s been well received.  A lot of out of state and out of country visitors,” said Frampton.

“All of these fans are wind up, you stick them on your dining room table and they’ll keep the flies away!” said Frampton.

With about 1,000 fans on display you’re bound to find one that catches your eye.

Zionsville’s village-style downtown area is quite the tourist attraction and home to many small stores and charming restaurants.  When people think of Zionsville, they think of The Friendly Tavern.  Housed in an old carriage factory from the 1870s, it eventually opened as a bar in the 1950s.  Scott Barnes has owned the popular eatery for the last 12 years.

“The Friendly is a place where I think people like to gather, meet their neighbors and friends and family, and celebrate birthdays and anniversaries.  It’s like the Cheers of Zionsville, it’s woven into the fabric of Zionsville and when you think of Zionsville you think of The Friendly,” said Scott.

And when you want really good wings, you go to The Friendly.

“We sell a lot of our wings, Friendly’s famous wings, we do about 500 orders a week right now, carry-out,” said Scott.

A few other favorites: tenderloins, steaks and prime rib.

Just a few blocks away is a new restaurant from the owner of Noah Grant’s which is also in Zionsville.

“The history of The Salty Cowboy is just wanting to find something different for people in this town that we don’t have right now,” said owner Shari Jenkins.

Shari says The Salty Cowboy Tequilaria is a place that’s great for families but also caters to the late night crowd.

“It’s not your typical slop and serve, everything is fresh and unique, there’s a Tex-Mex side to it, we have nachos with smoked pork with BBQ sauce, we also wanted the bar to be fun and laid back, so people can come hang out with the bartenders,” said Shari.

Fresh table side guacamole, a la carte tacos and smoked meats.  Everything at The Salty Cowboy is fresh, nothing frozen!

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