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Join the Fun at Lively Indiana Events & Festivals

Make Indiana events & festivals a part of your vacation and enjoy learning about regional foods, wineries, breweries and traditional activities. There are so many fun events scheduled in every region of the Hoosier State, you’ll find it’s easy to fit a festival into your itinerary.

The IPL 500 Festival Parade has been a tradition in downtown Indianapolis since 1957. Held on the day before the Indianapolis 500, the event is ranked as one of the premier parades in the United States. See beautifully decorated floats, marching bands, costumed characters, celebrities, and giant helium balloons.

Northern Indiana Lakes Festival takes place at Center Lake Park in Warsaw over Memorial Day weekend. Celebrating the land of 100 lakes in Kosciusko County, the event features family activities, food, live music, a parade, and fireworks.

The River Bend Film Festival in Goshen draws fans of independent movies for three days in early May. Enjoy wine tastings and receptions, mingle with filmmakers, and attend workshops in-between movie screenings.

Newburgh Wine Art & Jazz Festival in mid-May offers non-stop live jazz, dancing and a beer garden. Sample tasty wines and food and view art work from regional artists at the two-day event with stunning views of the Ohio River.

Yorktown Fourth of July Festival takes place at Morrow’s Meadow. Enjoy carnival rides, canoe races, a rubber duck race, pie baking contests, and fireworks.

Feast of Lanterns has been a tradition in Indianapolis since the late 1800s. Join with local residents as they decorate Spades Park with colorful lanterns. Enjoy live entertainment, craft vendors, and a variety of activities in late August.

Tri-State Bluegrass Festival is held at Noble County 4H-Fairgrounds in Kendallville from late August-early September. Mingle with bluegrass fans from surrounding states and enjoy live concerts, jam sessions, workshops, and a variety of fun activities.

The Orange County Pumpkin Festival is a fun event for all ages in late September. Held at multiple locations in West Baden and French Lick, the annual celebration offers a carnival, parade, flea market, concerts, food booths, and a variety of pumpkin-themed contests.

Jackson County MelonFest in Brownstown is held at Courthouse Square in September. Enjoy a parade, watermelon eating contest, local entertainers, food booths, a flea market, and fireworks.

The Zimmerman Glasstoberfest in Corydon is a Southern Indiana favorite. The event at the Zimmerman Art Glass Factory takes place in mid-October over two days. Enjoy German food, live music, a beer garden, artist booths, and a chance to see glass blowers craft new creations.

Christmas at the Indianapolis Zoo is a magical time when holiday lights and displays transform the attraction into a winter wonderland. The event takes place from mid-November through December.

Winterfest in LaPorte County takes place in late January. View ice sculpture demonstrations, take part in a snowball softball tournament and enjoy horse-drawn wagon rides. Take the polar plunge or enjoy tastings at the chili cook-off.

Join the annual Dunes Geocache Adventure in January. The event is held at Indiana Dunes State Park in Chesterton and includes cross-country skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, bird watching, and geocaching.

The Shelf Ice Brewfest in Michigan City is held at the Uptown Arts District in mid-February. Visit four large tents filled with beers from over 40 local and regional breweries. Enjoy food trucks, fire pits, ice sculptures, and snow activities.

Held over Valentine’s Day weekend, the Chocolate Festival in French Lick is a dream come true for fans of the cocoa bean. See locals dressed up in 1920s attire, enjoy cooking demonstrations, and sample everything from chocolate cake and chocolate pie to hot cocoa, cookies, and endless varieties of candy.

Chellberg Farm at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in Porter features Maple Sugar Time activities on the first two weekends of March. See how maple syrup is made, enjoy maple cooking demonstrations, and sample maple candies made on-site.

Shipshewana Kite Komotion offers a chance to watch international kite teams fly their kites accompanied by music. Held in late April at the Shipshewana Event Center, the festival includes a kite flying clinic, make-your- own kite kits, a candy drop, and a family fly field.

Enjoy these popular events in Indiana

Mississinewa 1812

Experience truly unique and inviting area attraction on your next visit to northern Indiana. Mississinewa 1812 is a living history of the Battle of Mississinewa, a major area campaign during the War of 1812. Originally occurring on December 17th and 18th, 1812, the Battle of Mississinewa is noted as being the first offensive victory for the American Army during the war.

Typically held the second weekend in October, Mississinewa 1812 is a two day, battle re-enactment you won't soon forget. Drive in to LaFontaine from nearby cities like Gas City and Peru to experience a bit of what life was like for the soldiers and nearby families in the area during the War of 1812.

There are military encampments where you'll have a chance to see ongoing demonstrations of field drills, artillery firing and even a staged battlefield surgery. Rivertown is where more than 140 merchants gather to offer art, food, crafts, and wares – there's also live music to entertain.

Johnny Appleseed Festival

Celebrating the life and legacy of John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, the town of Fort Wayne holds the annual Johnny Appleseed Festival in late September. The festival is a great opportunity for the whole family to learn about the man who traveled around planting orchards in Fort Wayne and other nearby parts of northern Indiana in the 1800s.

Over the years Johnny Appleseed has become the subject of folk tale and his gravesite has earned place on the National Register of Historic Places. The Johnny Appleseed Festival features fun for the whole family with activities from crafts and antiques to demonstrations. Of course, what would a farmer’s festival be without a farmers' market? A kid’s area will keep the kids occupied while parents enjoy live entertainment and living history after they pick up some delicious fresh produce.

Three Rivers Festival

Fort Wayne’s biggest summer party since 1969, the Three Rivers Festival packs a punch of excitement and entertainment. This nine-day festival, held in Fort Wayne in northern Indiana truly has something for everyone to enjoy.

The Three Rivers Festival is held at Headwaters Park, and features entertainment ranging from concerts to massive garage sales to a junk food alley and amusement park rides. An antique collectible flea market, corn hole tournament, and many more events comprise the lineup for this action packed nine-day festival.

Many of the activities are to benefit local charities such as the Lutheran Health Network Parade, which has featured over 130 entries in past years. A 5k walk, train exhibit and autocross keep visitors on the move with activities of every sort.

West Side Nut Club Fall Festival

Held annually since 1924 to raise money for philanthropy, the West Side Nut Club Fall Festival is organized by a group of businessmen known as the West Side Nut Club. The Festival has grown to attract crowds of more than 100,000 over the weeklong festivities held in October in Evansville.

This festival in southern Indiana represents the beginning of fall and one of the biggest festivals in the region for those who participate. The West Side Nut Club Fall Festival features a variety of activities including family day, best voice competition, fair rides, and parades. One of the many things that set this festival apart from others is the exotic food offerings.

Northern Indiana's Heritage Trail Festivals!

Northern Indiana, also known as Amish Country, is full of things to do for visitors. You'll especially find a rich assortment of events along the Heritage Trail – located along Indiana State Routes 4, 5, 19, 119, and 120.

Let us introduce you to a few exciting festivals found throughout the region – and throughout the year:

The Quilt Garden Trail
More than a million blooming flowers represent one of Amish Country's signature events, the Quilt Gardens. Explore over 21 ever-changing display of flower patterns made to resemble actual quilts. The gardens are on display from Memorial Day through October 1 and can be found near Elkhart and Goshen.

Shipshewana Auction & Flea Market
Held every Tuesday and Wednesday from the first of May through the end of October, the Shipshewana Auction & Flea Market draws visitors from all over the country. Explore Amish Country's finest auction, which features handcrafted and durable items such as furniture, handwoven baskets, and quilts.

Elkhart Jazz Festival
Northern Indiana's center, downtown Elkhart, throws this weekend-long jazz celebration every year. Join the fun in late June – explore live entertainment, a free Main Street stage or a paid but more intimate performance at one of the city's many venues, including the Lerner Theatre.

Goshen First Fridays
On the first Friday of every month, Goshen's businesses and residents take over and party in the downtown district. In the summertime, visitors can enjoy free concerts on the Courthouse lawn, Chalk the Walk, and a Rain Barrel Auction. In the winter, don't miss the Fire and Ice Festival.

Elkhart County 4-H Fair
Stop by one of the largest county fairs in the country at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair. Held for nine days in July, the fair features rodeo demonstrations, grandstand entertainment, tractor-pull racing, and more.

Annual Amish Acres Arts & Crafts Festival
Held in August, this Amish Acres festival features over 300 artists and crafters and a celebration of their work. Enjoy live entertainment and delicious foods, including the signature apple pie and zucchini bread.

Wakarusa Maple Syrup Fest
Come in April and join this weekend-long event near Elkhart. The event throws a festival parade, musical entertainment, all-you-can-eat pancake and sausage buffet, baking contests, tractor shows, and more.

Heritage Trail Audio Tour
No matter what time of year you visit, explore the hidden secrets of the Heritage Trail with the Heritage Trail Audio Driving Tour. Explore hidden businesses and catch the latest hidden event thanks to this free audio guide, available at the Elkhart County Visitors Center.