Goodbye 2018, hello 2019! Just like that, another year at Fair Oaks Farms® has come to an end. Below, take a look at the year’s biggest moments on the farm and what we’re looking forward to in 2019!
In June, Fair Oaks Farms held its furriest paw-ty of the year! At Dog-A-Palooza, our four-legged guests and their owners enjoyed FREE tail-wagging entertainment such as Canine in the Clouds, local K-9 Unit demonstrations, an amateur dog show, and numerous contests! This event featured an on-site vet, groomer, and vendors. Also, owners could participate in the 2K Glow Dog Walk through our orchard to benefit the Shelter of the Year! Congratulations to Jasper County Animal Shelter & Control for winning this year’s honor!
Dog-A-Palooza 2019 will take place on Saturday, June 8th! However, your pup can unleash his/her excitement year-round at our dog park, Central Bark, located behind the BP/Dairycatessen!
Over the summer, Fair Oaks Farms added some hardware to our trophy case in the Cowfé! In July, Master Cheesemaker Bruce Workman’s Muenster took home first place honors at the 2018 American Cheese Society Judging and Competition. A month later, Workman’s Smoked Gouda took home first place honors at the 2018 World Dairy Expo Championship Dairy Product Contest. We truly believe that the Magic is in our Milk!
Another eye-catching structure along I-65 is the Holstein-patterned water tower at Fair Oaks Farms! It is owned and operated by Newton County Regional Water and Sewer District (NCRWSD). The NCRWSD built it to provide clean water in an environmentally friendly method that supports business growth at Fair Oaks Farms and the neighboring Advanced Food Processing Park. Neal Niehart of Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V. painted the spots by hand. Newton County chose the Holstein pattern to represent Fair Oaks Farms’ roots in dairy. As a result, the water tower was recognized as a Top 12 Tnemec Tank of the Year for 2018!
In October, Fair Oaks Farms celebrated its 14th annual fall festival, CowtoberFest! This two-day event is one of Northwest Indiana’s best fall festivals! Each year, CowtoberFest features a celebrity pumpkin carving competition starring Food Network’s Jon Neill and David Smith. Across the way, talented musicians from an array of genres entertain the crowd all weekend long. However, the musical performances pause for our popular “Calling All the Monsters” Dance-Off! Local high school dance teams showcase their fancy moves for a chance to win cash prizes. Also, festival-goers can:
- Enjoy make-and-take crafts
- Trick-or-treat with the vendors
- Compete in the annual costume contest
- Watch the Indiana Pumpkin Grower Association (IPGA) Weigh-Off
- Play in the straw maze, corn bin, inflatable kids’ corner, and other fun activities*
*Some activities require wristband purchase at the Information Tent.
CowtoberFest 2019 will take place on Saturday, October 5th and Sunday, October 6th. You don’t want to miss this fall festival!
New Exhibits at the Crop Adventure
At Fair Oaks Farms, we are always looking for exciting ways to enhance our Adventures! This past fall, the Crop Adventure installed a couple of new exhibits. Visit this Adventure to learn about modern farming practices, the importance of our soil, and the future of farming to feed the ever-growing population. A BONUS activity included in ANY Adventure—open all year long!
Notable Farm Guests
Fair Oaks Farms is the nation’s largest agritourism destination, so it’s no surprise that we have special visitors from time to time! In July, news reporter Phil Rogers and his crew from NBC5 Chicago toured Fair Oaks Farms with owner Mike McCloskey. The crew was able to experience the farm up close and personal, as well as learn more about our digesters – poo power! Also, Dr. Michelle Oakley, the star of National Geographics’s Dr. Oakley: Yukon Vet, and her family toured the Dairy Adventure in mid-November. We can’t wait to see which familiar faces will visit the farm next in 2019!
Fairfield by Marriott® Fair Oaks Farms
Perhaps the most exciting addition to our farm is the new hotel, Fairfield by Marriott® Fair Oaks Farms! From I-65, drivers can see the progress that our one-of-a-kind, barn-shaped hotel has made since it’s groundbreaking in November 2017. Fairfield by Marriott Fair Oaks Farms will boast 99 rooms and suites. Furthermore, the hotel will feature 11 “Fair Oaks Farms Suites,” which include:
- 2 Silo Bridal Suites
- 2 Silo Business Suites
- 3 Entertainment Suites
- 4 Silo Family Bunk Suites
Also, Fairfield by Marriott Fair Oaks Farms has an indoor pool, indoor/outdoor hot tub, fitness room, outdoor patio, complimentary hot breakfast, complimentary high-speed internet/WiFi, a 24/7 market, mini-refrigerator, microwave, and 55” LGTV. In addition, the hotel is connected to the existing 17,000 square foot Farmhouse Restaurant! Whether you’re conducting business, celebrating your big day, or simply looking for an overnight stay, Fairfield by Marriott by Fair Oaks Farms is the hotel for you!
Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the grand opening of our new hotel in January 2019!
To book a room for your herd’s stay, click here: Rooms.
Dairy Adventure Renovation
In case you didn’t already know, the Dairy Adventure at Fair Oaks Farms is getting a brand moo face! Since September, construction workers have been flipping our barn to bring new experiences for you and your herd. Recently, Ecolab Inc. donated $500,000 to Fair Oaks Farms in support of the Dairy Adventure! Ecolab’s interactive displays within the Dairy Adventure will provide learning opportunities explaining how healthy cows produce more quality milk. The barn doors to the Dairy Adventure will be re-opening soon!
This past fall, the Fair Oaks Farms U-Pick Orchard enjoyed a successful sneak peek season! Our beautiful 40-acre orchard boasts eight apple varieties. Visitors can pick our delicious Cameo, Crimson Crisp, Gala, Gold Rush, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Pixie Crunch, and Zestar apples. Did we mention that our apple trees are dwarf? Yes, all of our branches are low to the ground so that even the smallest guests can pick apples too! No ladders needed. Also, the orchard produce is harvested by our farmers and delivered to the Farmhouse Restaurant. Then, the chefs incorporate these fresh ingredients into their tasty salads and desserts. The U-Pick Orchard will officially open to the public in Fall 2019!
Celebrate the New Year with Us!
Each year, we invite guests to our house for a one-of-a-kind, all-inclusive New Year’s celebration at the Farmhouse Restaurant! Along with a premium bar and a champagne toast to ring in the New Year, guests can enjoy the following mouthwatering menu items: Carved Prime Rib, Rack of Lamb, Whole Roasted Suckling Pig, Bourbon Glazed Salmon, Crab Legs, Sushi, and much more!
Also, DJ Joe will be keeping the dance floor full. Fire dancers will be on-site entertaining our guests! Don’t forget to take a picture in our photo booth to prove you were there!
Lastly, there will be a live performance by The Crawpuppies, one of the most solid original/cover pop-rock bands you’ll ever come across. Hailing from NWI, these veteran rockers have been entertaining audiences of all ages, sizes, and tastes since 1995.
Click here to ring in the New Year at Fair Oaks Farms! Better hurry because this event will sell out!
Look out, 2019!
It’s safe to say that 2018 was an eventful year on the farm, but we have a feeling 2019 will be our best year yet! From the grand openings of our new hotel and orchard to our specially-themed events, there’s so much to look forward to in the new year. With that being said, we hope your upcoming travels include a trip to Fair Oaks Farms. As always, thank you so much for supporting us!