Known for its sports-heavy reputation, Indianapolis in Indiana is one of the places that tourists from all over the world go to for some thrill. And while Indianapolis lives up to the title, there is so much more to experience here—from its unique art scene and must-try dining destinations to fun-filled festivals celebrated yearly. There are a lot of things to love about the place. Not only is it home to many famous sceneries, but it’s also one of the cities endorsing a diverse community. It’s the right spot to bond with family and friends. Indulge in an exciting stay by visiting Indianapolis during the local festivities. Check out our list of popular festivals in Indianapolis, Indiana, for a vacation you won’t regret.
1. Indianapolis 500 Festival
Celebrated every May for the past 100 years, Indianapolis 500 Festival brings together people from all over the world. It’s a month-long spectacle promising participants life-enriching activities highlighting the spirit and culture of Indianapolis. Some of the programs to check out are One America 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, 500 Festival Breakfast at the Brickyard, and JPMorgan Chase 500 Festival Kids’ Day. Whether you choose to participate or remain a spectator, this event is sure to give you the best Indianapolis experience during your visit.
Indianapolis 500 Festival
Address: 21 Virginia Ave, Indianapolis, Indiana
Website: Indianapolis 500 Festival
Takes place: May
Price: From 15 USD
2. Annual Eagle Creek Folk Music Festival
Organized by Central Indiana Folk Music & Mountain Dulcimer Society, Eagle Creek Folk Music Festival is one of the top festivities in Indianapolis to witness. It’s an ideal event for both the musically inclined and music lovers. Indianapolis has been celebrating it for the past 45 years, and the locals are ready to celebrate another weekend of free folk music and activities in the new year. Some of the events to expect are stage performances, open-mic opportunities, workshops, and jam sessions. Snacks and drinks are available at Morgan Country Sertoma Club. The fair is open to everyone, requires no admission fee, and is family-friendly. All you need to bring is yourself, a musical instrument if you can, and you’re all set to join the festival.
Annual Eagle Creek Folk Music Festival
Address: Eagle Creek Park, 7840 W 56th St, Indianapolis, Indiana
Takes place: June
3. Penrod Arts Fair
The countdown is on - five more days until Somerset CPAs and Advisors 53rd Annual Penrod Arts Fair®!Posted by Penrod Arts Fair on Monday, 2 September 2019
Dubbed as Indiana’s Nicest Day, Penrod Arts Fair is one of the biggest events in Indianapolis, and it has been happening for the last 52 years. It takes place every September. It’s one of the most important fundraising events of The Penrod Society. The one-day event starts at nine in the morning until five in the evening. Penrod Arts Fair is an opportunity for aspiring artists to showcase their artworks. Some of the activities for your entertainment include live music, art exhibits, and food and drinks. If you are an artist or someone who appreciates the arts, you’ll love participating in this festivity.
Penrod Arts Fair
Address: Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana
Website: Penrod Arts Fair
Takes place: September
Price: From 175 USD
4. Annual Brewers of Indiana Guild Winterfest
Held every last day of January and the first day of February for the past 11 years, Annual Brewers of Indiana Guild Winterfest offers you an opportunity to explore new beer palettes. One of the goals of annually holding this event is to promote the uniqueness and greatness of Indiana craft beer. Also, not only will you have the opportunity to try new breweries, but with just your attendance, you’ll be able to help a local charity. For every ticket that each attendee buys, a part of it goes to a charity partner. Grab the gang, buy your tickets, and find your new beer obsession.
Annual Brewers of Indiana Guild Winterfest
Address: West Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, 1202 E 38th St, Indianapolis, Indiana
Takes place: February
Price: From 30 USD
5. Indianapolis Circle of Lights
Indianapolis Circle of Lights is known to be one of the most stunning holidays in the city—and one of the most-awaited events by both locals and tourists. For the past 56 years, people from different places go to Downtown Indianapolis at Monument Circle just to see a most enchanting scene. Families and groups of friends make it a tradition to see this spectacle unfolding every year. Its features include almost 5,000 lights and garland strands that brighten up the monument. Toy soldiers and sailors roam around the place, making the venue livelier and fun. There’s also fireworks and entertainment to look forward to.
Indianapolis Circle of Lights
Address: Downtown Indy, 111 Monument Cir, Indianapolis, Indiana
Website: Indianapolis Circle of Lights
Takes place: November
6. Indy Festival of Faiths
Started eight years ago, Indy Festival of Faiths is known as the Midwest’s largest one-day event celebrating the importance of religious diversity. Over the years, it has been continuously expanding and growing in terms of the number of organizations and people participating and the plethora of activities offered. It takes place every September at Veterans Memorial Plaza. Some of the programs to expect during the festival are the procession of faiths, a drumming circle, spoken word arts, and kids’ activities. You can also enjoy sampling different food from around the world by stopping by the food trucks.
Indy Festival of Faiths
Address: 1100 W 42nd St, Indianapolis, Indiana
Website: Indy Festival of Faiths
Takes place: September
Price: From 75 USD
7. Annual Strawberry Festival on the Circle
Indulge in everything strawberry during Indianapolis’s Annual Indy Strawberry Festival on the Circle, which takes place every month of June. If you’re one of those people who have a sweet tooth, you’ll love attending this event. Some of the strawberry products you can buy are strawberry shortcakes, jams, and cookies. These goodies are all pocket-friendly and good for your tummy. Also, a fun fact, the money you’ll use for the treats will be a big help to raise funds for the women of Christ Church Cathedral—they are the ones making those strawberry goods.
Annual Strawberry Festival on the Circle
Address: 125 Monument Circle, Indianapolis, Indiana
Takes place: June
Price: From 7 USD
8. Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration
The 50th Annual Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration is an 11-day event in Indianapolis. It will take place at Indiana Convention Center, which can accommodate thousands of people. The festival is for the appreciation of the arts and culture of Indianapolis. During this weeklong celebration, you’ll be able to experience all the programs on offer. Some of the activities to enjoy are film shows, celebrity basketball, and free concerts. Join the biggest summer event of Indianapolis, and create memories that you will tell your friends back home—or better yet, bring them along with you.
Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration
Address: 3145 N Meridian St #100, Indianapolis, Indiana
Takes place: July
Price: From 50 USD
9. IndyFringe Festival
Featuring 400 uncensored shows, Fringe Festival is also celebrated in different countries all over the world. It was introduced way back in 1947 in Scotland as an alternative festival to Edinburgh International Festival. Decades later, Fringe Festival has never been livelier and more rousing. During August every year, Indianapolis holds an 11-day affair showcasing an uncensored live theatre with over 350 shows. Portraying every genre there is, from comedic drama to musical and inspirational, this event will make you experience a rollercoaster of emotions for sure. Be an audience and witness the talents of many aspiring artists.
Address: 719 E St Clair St, Indianapolis, Indiana
Website: IndyFringe Festival
Takes place: August
Price: From 12 USD
10. Indy Jazz Fest
Representing the best of international and local music played by jazz students, Indy Jazz Fest is an opportunity for young musicians of Indianapolis to play their music to a big audience. It’s a fabulous bash of jazz, food, and fun. It’s an annual celebration taking place every September for 10 days at The Jazz Kitchen. It is celebrated all around town, featuring live shows at Phoenix Theatre, Indiana Landmarks Center, and Indianapolis Central Library.
Indy Jazz Fest
Address: The Jazz Kitchen, 5377 N College Ave, Indianapolis, Indiana
Website: Indy Jazz Fest
Takes place: September
Price: From 20 USD
Welcome to Indianapolis, where fun is an everyday thing
If you’re looking for a place to visit that will suit a family or group vacation, Indianapolis is the place to go. Not only is it home to many family-friendly activities, but it’s also a place where colorful festivals occur. In case you decide to give the city a chance, listed above are some of the most popular festivals in Indianapolis, Indiana.
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