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Life’s Better Here in Steuben County

STEUBEN COUNTY, Ind. (WPTA21) — It’s almost summer and that means it’s time once again to hit the road and explore all the fun that 21Country has to offer.

Our trip took us to a Steuben County campground that’s more than just a campground. What do Buddy Holly, Merle Haggard and Elvis Presley have in common? They all once played on a stage at a place they call “the Nashville of the North.”

“You can’t replace 71 years of history. And so we want to preserve that; carry it on into the future,” Ron Weimer, Operating Manager of Buck Lake Ranch said.

Back in the day, Buck Lake Ranch was a hot music venue, showcasing up-and-comers that would later become country stars. That glory may have faded a bit, but Ron Weimer and his team are working to return the ranch to its former musical prestige.

“We’re excited about the future, and so we’re working hard to rebuild,” Weimer said.

The Legend’s stage has an impressive resume of past performers. The ranch already has a long list of concerts lined up for the summer, some of which will be in their bowl venue.

You’ll find some great camping grounds here too, and don’t forget you can have some fun down by the beach or on the lake. It’s a charming place to pitch a tent, but music is definitely the focal point of the ranch.

“If you’re any kind of a music lover, this is where you need to come visit and experience the past and the future,” Weimer said.

Just down the road, there is another establishment offering summer relaxation. For our 21 and over crowd, this one comes in the form of a nice cold beverage. Chapman’s Brewing has a reputation for offering some fantastic craft beers.

“I think to set ourselves apart from other people, we just try to think outside the box and just be ourselves really,” Casey Dazey, assistant brewer at Chapman’s Brewing said.

Chapman’s is rolling out some new brews this season that are sure to whet your taste buds. The first of these, a blueberry blond ale, will be celebrated with a release party.

“Saturday June 23rd we’re having a red, white and blueberry party. We’ll um, on that night we’ll have a band, maybe two. There will be a hog roast as well. We will be releasing our blueberry blonde. People love that,” Dazey said.

Every so often you can catch live music at the Angola Taproom. While you’re there, be sure to indulge in some food from the menu provided by lakeside farms. There are a few other taprooms around 21Country, with a new one opening in Fort Wayne on June 29th.

A good drink can be just the thing to take the edge off a hot summer day. And Chapman’s Brewery, well they know a thing or two about that.

Caleb Chevalier

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