Brian’s picks – September 29

The global village known as the Ethnic Expo international festival makes its annual, celebratory return to First and Washington streets downtown Oct. 7 and 8. The free event highlighting food, entertainment, shopping and a parade ranks among my favorites because Bartholomew County never seems more unified amid the exuberant, colorful sharing of culture among people from a few dozen nations. China and Taiwan are host countries this year. Information:

The Little Hope Opry at Willow Leaves not only offers a cozy space for the area’s country music artists; it also fills a void created by the loss of Brown County’s Little Nashville Opry in 2009. Garry and Nancy Pugh of Columbus will host Jeff Stevenson and Denise Kocur at 7 p.m. Oct. 1 at the family oriented, alcohol-free venue, 326 Jackson St. in Hope. Admission is $10. Concessions available for purchase. Tickets and reservations: 812-546-0640 and

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5672.