Summer often is associated with family adventures to distant destinations.
As valuable as such trips can be, let's not forget the entertainment and recreational gems we have in our own Region backyards.
Warmer weather ushers in a season of special events, fairs and festivals spanning Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties and continuing well into the fall.
Crown Point kicks off its series of Hometown Festival Days at 4 p.m. Saturday with its annual Corn Roast on the square.
Trademark ears of husk-roasted corn and a festival of other foods have been the trademark beginning of the Hub City's summer festival season for many years.
Future weekends will follow on the Crown Point square with food and arts festivals and other festivities, so keep watching The Times for details.
The beginning of summer also means boat-racing spectacles for some Region lakeshore communities.
Tunnel boat racing at speeds of more than 100 mph and antique cars will highlight LaPorte's Maple City Grand Prix at Stone Lake on Saturday.
Beginning at 9 a.m., about 40 boat drivers will open up their throttles on Stone Lake for testing, qualifying and racing. Those events will continue Sunday.
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As many as 15,000 to 20,000 people frequent the Maple City Grand Prix. Stop in and check out the excitement for yourself.
Michigan City also sponsors a massive, annual boat race Aug. 3-6 in the Great Lakes Grand Prix. It's but one of the many great amenities drawing people to this recreational gem of a lakeshore community.
For more details on the Great Lakes Grand Prix, visit http://www.michigancitysuperboat.com/schedule.
Soon we'll have opportunities to hit the midway for fair food and rides at the Lake, Porter and LaPorte county fairs.
Lake County's fair runs from Aug. 4-13, Porter County's from July 20-29 and LaPorte County's from July 9-15.
We're fortunate to live in a Region with three premier county fairs offering an array of carnival staples, livestock competitions, rodeos and big-name music acts.
Visit the respective county fair websites for details and tickets.
Our Region prides itself on a vast offering of summer community and neighborhood festivals every year.
Though it's just beginning, the summer passes quickly. Don't miss out on this homegrown recreation.