James Whitcomb Riley once expressed the wonders of Rensselaer, Indiana with a poem, Little Cousin Jasper. The entire poem is about how great Rensselaer is and how lucky the people who live there are. I wonder what he would have thought if he had known that there would one day be a festival created in honor of it.

Fast forward a bit, and for the past 35 years, this Jasper County town has thrown a fun festival to celebrate. It’s well-known in these parts.

Little Cousin Jasper in Rensselaer, Indiana

Little Cousin Jasper Festival in Rensselaer, Indiana

Little Cousin Jasper Festival in Rensselaer, Indiana

After a year-long hiatus a couple of years back,  this Rensselaer, Indiana festival has returned and it is bigger and better than ever. People are really happy to see it return. I had heard from more than one person that it just didn’t feel the same without the festival. Now, everyone is wondering what the new organizers have in store this time around.

Set on the Jasper County Courthouse Square and occasionally overflowing on the “bricks,” folks mill around checking out vendor booths, eating fair food (of course), and watching  the scheduled activities. They had a slew of fabulous things for people to do.

There were bounce houses for the kids (and at a very reasonable price) and lots of places for people to just sit and hang out and enjoy one of the many musical performances. In fact, there’s even a teen dance and a teen movie night. I think that is really a cute idea. It’s nice to see something scheduled just for that age.

The biggest draw this year? Amanda Overmyer, from Mulberry, Indiana who was on American Idol Season 7, came out and performed right on the street in downtown Rensselaer. Now that was a show–and there will be more about that in a future article.

Rensselaer, Indiana Festival

Things to Do in Rensselaer Indiana

For now, however, check out this unusual drum act featuring Shattered Reality and the faces of people you may recognize from this small Indiana town. Yes, they got plenty of locals to come up onstage and be a part of the fast-paced show. You could tell that residents really enjoyed cheering on their own. It was a joy to watch. Aren’t you lucky that now you, too, can see it?

Looking for Little Cousin Jasper Festival dates? Check out my Indiana Festivals and Events Calendar in the menu above. If I am missing your event, please let me know by sending me an email with the details. I will be sure to add it in as soon as I am able.

Add this festival, and this town, to your Indiana travel list. It’s makes a fabulous day trip.

Watch Sheltered Reality Performing at The Little Cousin Jasper Festival on YouTube or below.

Small Towns: Destinations, not Drive-Thrus! I’m Jessica Nunemaker and THIS is Little Indiana.

Just don’t forget to tell them that Little Indiana sent you.

Rensselaer, Indiana in Jasper County

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