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White River State Park MLK, Jr. Day Food Drive

For Immediate Release                Contact:    Bob Schultz
January 4, 2011                            

                                                      (317) 631-6400

White River State Park Celebrates MLK, Jr. Day with
Free Admissions on Jan. 17 

All Park attractions* open for free in exchange for food donations
to benefit Gleaners.
Free health screenings also to be offered by Wishard Health Services

INDIANAPOLIS – For the 11th year in a row, visitors to White River State Park attractions will receive free admission and free parking on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 17, with a canned good donation (one can per person, per attraction). The Park’s partnership with Gleaners Food Bank has resulted in approximately 150,000 pounds of non-perishable, canned food donations over the years from this one-day event.   

"We are pleased to partner with White River State Park for the 11th year," said Cindy Hubert, Gleaners' president & CEO.  "The drive not only helps Hoosiers in need, but allows families to enjoy these wonderful facilities at no cost.  We're grateful for the Park's generosity as well as their patrons!"

*Special activities will take place all throughout the day at the six major attractions that make up White River State Park: Eiteljorg Museum, IMAX® Theater, Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis Zoo, NCAA® Hall of Champions and Victory Field.

New this year will be free health screenings indoors at Victory Field, courtesy of Wishard Health Services. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., health care professionals from Wishard will offer blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol screenings. Body Mass Index (BMI) screenings will also be offered, along with healthy advice regarding portion sizes and what folks should eat relative to their weight, etc.   

“We are honored to celebrate this long-standing partnership with Gleaners, as well as our new partnership with Wishard Health Services, on such an important holiday,” said Bob Whitt, executive director of White River State Park. “Each year, our visitors rise to the occasion in filling the donation bins to benefit those less fortunate while enjoying plenty of entertainment and healthy activities throughout the day.” 

The following FREE activities at Park attractions will be taking place on MLK Day:

•    Indianapolis Zoo: Visitors can walk the grounds and see lots of animals (especially the ones that love the cooler temperatures), and enjoy the exhibits with smaller crowds. Favorite activities will include the 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. dolphin shows, shark petting in the nation’s largest shark touch pool and heating things up with the meerkats in the Deserts Dome, where it’s a comfy 82°.

•    IMAX Theater: Experience in IMAX® 3D a wondrous adventure from the dinosaur age with Sea Rex: Journey to a Prehistoric World. Immerse yourself in a lost age, 200 million years back in time, and get ready for a face-to-face encounter with the T-Rex of the seas! Five, free, show times for Sea Rex are 9 a.m., 10:15 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:45 p.m. and 2 p.m. These shows are true pre-screenings of this new film that the downtown IMAX is planning on launching in early February.  

•    NCAA Hall of Champions: Learn more about what it takes to be an NCAA student-athlete.  Several student-athletes from IUPUI will lead fitness clinics at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Throughout the day, there will also be small arts and crafts and opportunities to win official NCAA merchandise.  Also, come learn about what will take place on April 4, 2011 when the NCAA commemorates Senator Robert Kennedy’s historic Indianapolis speech that took place on the evening of Dr. Martin Luther King’s tragic death. Volunteers will distribute information about the April 4 event, the related Dreamkeepers camp and related community April 4 events. Enjoy continuous screenings of “Ripple of Hope,” the documentary about the historical April 4 event itself and sign up for free giveaways.

•    Indiana State Museum: Join the museum's celebration honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with documentary films and performances throughout the day, along with free admission to the museum galleries. ODD Indiana in the new Lincoln Financial Foundation Gallery will be open, along with the core galleries on the first and second floors. The Canal Café will be ready for a big crowd and the L. S. Ayres Tea Room will be open. Reservations are always a good idea for the Tea Room.

•    Eiteljorg Museum: Visitors can immerse themselves in the Native American and Western cultures with the museum's many exhibits. Don't miss your chance to visit the West in the RB Annis Western Family Experience. See how four families live in the West and walk into a Navajo Hogan or climb aboard a true-to-life stagecoach. And be sure to check out the lunch specials at the Eiteljorg’s Sky City Café. 

•    Victory Field: From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., health care professionals from Wishard will offer blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol screenings. Body Mass Index (BMI) screenings will also be offered, along with healthy advice regarding portion sizes and what folks should eat relative to their weight, etc.  Wishard will also have booth to showcase the new Wishard hospital. Plus Rowdie, the Indians’ mascot, will stop by for autographs between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The Park is also offering complimentary parking on MLK, Jr. Day. Visitors may park in the underground garage located off Washington Street in front of the Indiana State Museum, in the parking lots at the Indianapolis Zoo and Victory Field, and in the lot across from Victory Field next to the Visitor’s Center. 

For more information about White River State Park, visit 

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About WRSP:
White River State Park is the center of Indianapolis culture, offering a unique experience with a variety of educational and recreational attractions. The Park is home to several venues, providing entertainment for a wide range of audiences, including the Indianapolis Zoo, Indiana State Museum, IMAX® Theater, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, NCAA Hall of Champions, Victory Field and the Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial. To learn more about the Park and its many happenings, visit