With a theater, restaurant, hotel and shopping options, the Blue Gate at 175 N. Van Buren St., Shipshewana, has become a Midwestern household name.
“The Blue Gate was founded in the early ‘80s when the Shipshewana Flea Market was gaining popularity across the Midwest,” says Andy Rohrer, vice president of sales and marketing. “As the town’s shopping district and tourism offerings have grown, the Blue Gate has become a cornerstone of the Shipshewana experience.”
This year, the Blue Gate Theatre is featuring more than 100 performers in over 300 shows, including four musicals.
“We have a little of everything,” Rohrer says. “That said, we’re thrilled to add some new outstanding performers to our list of ‘can’t believe they’re performing in little Shipshewana’ artists.”
Such artists include the Steve Miller Band, Trace Adkins, Styx, the Gaither Vocal Band, Old Crow Medicine Show, Crowder, Marie Osmond and more.
“First and foremost, we love music, and there’s nothing better than seeing a favorite performer live or hearing a song you’ve heard a thousand times on the radio played in the same room, often with a fun story to go along with it,” Rohrer says. “But we also love the experience of welcoming the guests that attend. When people come and leave happy, there’s nothing better than knowing our team helped them have a great time.”
Tickets prices always depend on the artist performing, but guests can attend certain tribute shows for as little as $24.95. Prices extend up to $120-140 for front-row seats for some of the biggest names who are performing, Rohrer adds.
“The best place to buy is always TheBlueGate.com,” he says. “People have to be careful these days, as third-party scalpers are everywhere and can charge two to three times the ticket price sometimes.”
As an Amish town, Shipshewana is known for its hospitality. The Blue Gate Restaurant & Bakery offers Amish homestyle comfort foods and a true taste of the local culture, Rohrer says.
“Guests especially love our pressure-fried chicken and more than 20 varieties of made-from-scratch pies,” he says. “We also serve guests in three different ‘styles,’ including regular menu dining, family-style, and our all-you-can-eat buffet. The in-house bakery provides the breads, pies and pastries that you can get in the restaurant, or you can take a slice of Shipshewana home.”
The Blue Gate Garden Inn is a convenient option for anyone attending a concert, as the performing arts center is located just a short walk from guests’ hotel rooms.
“The Blue Gate Garden Inn is the newest hotel in town, and we work hard to make it the best hotel as well,” Rohrer says. “One of our guests’ favorite amenities is our all-you-can-eat hot breakfast buffet, featuring all your favorites, made-to-order omelets, waffle bar and more. It’ll be one of the best breakfasts you’ve ever had and it’s included with your room.”
In addition to the noteworthy breakfast and convenient location, The Blue Gate offers amenities such as an in-hotel ice cream and pizza parlor, a large patio with a firepit, an arcade, a large sitting area to congregate with family and friends, a basketball court, shuffleboard, a friendly staff, and “one of the biggest hotel pools you’ll find these days,” Rohrer adds.
“The Shipshewana Community as a whole does an amazing job extending hospitality to our guests,” he says. “If there is anything that is added specifically by the Blue Gate, I think over the years it’s been the ability of the Riegsecker family and the Blue Gate team to create new experiences like the Blue Gate Performing Arts Center or the Christmas Parade or even over-the-top photo opportunities with flowers, pumpkins or Christmas lights. We’re always looking for new ways to improve and make the time our guests spend with us just a little better and more meaningful.” ❚
See the full concert schedule, book a hotel room, or learn more at thebluegate.com.