Rock ’N Rail Festival returns with car show, 5K run, food, music and much more

2012-08-22T00:00:00Z Rock ’N Rail Festival returns with car show, 5K run, food, music and much more
August 22, 2012 12:00 am

Imagine Griffith…Imagine new streets, new lights, new facades for many downtown businesses and new businesses, too.

“Imagine the 4th Rock-n-Rails Festival being the best we’ve had,” says Richard Cowan, coordinator of this popular salute to Griffith’s past, present and future which won the Indiana Main Street’s “2009 Best Street Festival”.

Rock ‘N Rail returns to the 100 through 300 blocks of South Broad Street for this celebration of “the town that came to the tracks”. And there’s even more to do Aug. 31 through Sept. 2 at the 2012 music and street festival.

The Car Show kicks off the three-day Rock’n Rail Festival weekend from 4 to 11 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 31. Car buffs, come on out to see vintage vehicles, customized rides and everything auto.

Enjoy the food, the beer gardens serving up beer and wine coolers (for those 21 years and older) and great music on two stages.

Among the restaurants offering a smorgasbord of ethnic and carnival favorites during the three-day festival are Griffith-based Bridges (burgers & wings), China Koon (Chinese food), T&S Catering (BBQ pork & chicken), the Griffith Masonic Lodge #735 (hot dogs & tacos) and Griffith Republican Party (hamburgers).

Also serving up popular festival foods are RC Enterprises of Crown Point (carnival cuisine), Sweet & Savory Delights of Crown Point (wraps, pierogies & desserts), B&D Refreshments of Valparaiso (Italian ice), JC Kettle Korn of Kokomo, IN (kettle corn) and

BRRR of Munster (ice cream).

The new Grindhouse Café at 146 N. Broad St. will also have its outdoor café open during the Rock ‘N Rail Festival.

When you return for the pre-Labor Day weekend on Sept. 1, bring your running shoes. The inaugural event at this year’s Rock ‘n Rail Festival is the 5K Run that puts racers’ best foot forward, sponsored by the Griffith Branch YMCA.

Every day the Griffith Branch YMCA gives back to the community, says Phil Mallers, YMCA CEO. The Y provides support to neighbors by offering financial assistance, membership to an active member of the service and his/her family, camps for children who otherwise couldn’t attend and helps those children with special needs to individually socialize and get healthy, he says.

“We help people at many levels of financial need, and we do with the support of people like you,” says Mallers.

“By participating in to sponsoring the Rock ‘N Rail 5K, you help support your community. The goal is to raise $10,000 from this FUNdraiser,” he says.

The first-ever Rock 'N Rail 5K will start and finish at the Griffith YMCA, 201 N. Boulevard, and travel down newly renovated Broad Street., through Central Park and tie into the Bike Trail on Saturday, Sept. 1.

Contestants step off at 9 a.m.

Runners can register online now at

Or print the race registration and mail it with your check to the Griffith YMCA, 201 N. Griffith Blvd, Griffith, IN 46319. Complete instructions are on the application.

Music always gives a festival the right note, and the 2012 Rock ‘N Rail Festival spotlights talented musicians to the two stages, says Rick Ryfa, Griffith Town Council president and chairman of the Griffith Downtown Revitalization Committee.

Bring family and friends to this year’s festivities. Enjoy the camaraderie, the goodies, the activities and support the community, he says.

“All proceeds the town receives from the festival will be put back into the community and will be used for downtown beautification projects,” Ryfa says.

With the site of the festival less than two blocks from bicycle trails, Ryfa says special accommodations for cyclists will be available this year. The Calumet Citizens for Connecting Communities will provide space where people can check in and store their bicycles while they attend the street festival.

For more information, call (219) 924-7500 or log on to

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