An 11-foot apple, a DJ booth where kids can make announcements and play songs and a real go-kart are among the interactive exhibits in the new Festival Country Indiana visitor center, which opened June 16 in Franklin.
The visitor center, the first in Johnson County, is designed to tell the story of Johnson County’s communities and attractions. It is a collaboration between the city of Franklin, Aspire Economic Development + Chamber Alliance and Festival Country Indiana, which is Johnson County’s tourism agency,
“This visitor center is unique in that it is itself an attraction, with exhibits like an indoor slide, a fun photo booth, a skydiving selfie opportunity, a craft beer and wine exhibit and more,” said Kenneth Kosky, executive director of Festival Country Indiana.
Christian Maslowski, president and CEO of Aspire, said the visitor center is also unique in that it brings tourism, economic development and chamber staffing and programs together under one roof.
“Companies that are looking to locate their businesses are increasingly looking for places that offer a great quality of life for their workforce,” Maslowski said. “When they step into this new visitor center, we will be able to show them – not just tell them – why this is such an attractive place to locate a business.”
The visitor center, in addition to exhibits, will have staff that can answer visitors’ questions and provide free guides to the area. This summer, there will be walking tours and other events at the visitor center.
Festival Country and Aspire are operating the visitor center out of a city-owned space at 66 S. Water St. in downtown Franklin. It is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The center has made physical changes to the building in advance of opening, including adding a plexiglass shield at the front desk, and has instituted advanced cleaning protocols in an effort to keep visitors safe.
Visit festivalcountryindiana.com/visitor-center for more information.