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Greased Pigs or Sheepdogs: Indiana Festival Fun This Weekend

Cheese Fries at Little Cousin Jasper Festival in Rensselaer, Indiana
Cheese Fries at Little Cousin Jasper Festival in Rensselaer, Indiana

The temperatures have dipped to something a bit more bearable lately. Don’t even say the “F” word. No, not THAT “f” word–it can’t be fall! Not yet! I’m not ready! But I suppose the influx of things to do does kind of herald the arrival of a whole new season, doesn’t it. With that said, this weekend has so many things going on. If you haven’t dropped by the Indiana festivals and events calendar, you are really missing out.

There are 59 events on September 13 alone (and more getting added as I receive them)! Yes, that is just ONE day! See, there’s all kinds of stuff to do in Indiana. Now you know where to go to find something fun all week long. You know the fun isn’t only on the weekend, right?  I’m including a small sampling below to motivate you to go out and do something different this weekend.

I will be out and about too. If you see me, say “hi!” I might just have something for you. I only have a limited number of this prize so we will see what happens. I suppose I should walk around with food shoved in my face. It might make it easier for you to recognize me! Yes, my husband and our two boys will be along. Our youngest son turns 6 on Monday. SIX! Oh, that also means I missed the anniversary of Little Indiana. this website also turned six–but back on September 3. The site went  “live” eleven days before the birth of our youngest. That was some kind of crazy!

Anyway, we typically celebrate birthdays in our house in part by letting the birthday boy choose a bed and breakfast to revisit, somewhere where it won’t be “work” the whole time because we’ve already rolled through before but that still gives me a chance to “catch up” and for the boys to just hang out and revisit things they want to spend more time exploring. This time, we did things a bit different–and are staying in a new place but in a town with which we are familiar. But, in Little Indiana fashion, we have scheduled a festival or two into our weekend as well. It could be one of the festivals listed below…

Indiana Festivals and Events for September 11 (and the week ahead)

Three days of fun are waiting! Visit the 31st Annual Monrovia Festival in downtown Monrovia. You know there’s got to be a parade at this one–and you better believe there is! They even have an art show, in addition to live music, food and craft vendors and booths, and pedal tractor pulls. How’s that for a well-rounded event?

You’ve always wanted to see a greased pig contest. Now is your chance! Don’t let it slip away! That’s only one of the funny events at the Montgomery Turkey Trot Festival in Montgomery, Indiana. There’s bingo, turkey races, and crafts, and so much more.

Little Cousin Jasper is a cute fall festival. Of course, I love any festival that takes place around the courthouse square. Vendors set up all around the Jasper County Courthouse grounds. A street or two around the festival is closed to make room for children’s activities and other planned events. Tip: if you don’t want fair food the entire time, Ayda’s Mexican Cuisine has relocated and JUST reopened for business on the southwest side of the Courthouse. The new building looks incredible–and is so much bigger. Super great people and excellent, fresh food.

Have you seen the covered bridge in Matthews, Indiana? Now that’s a wonderful done informational plaque. I am so impressed. You will be as well, especially if you visit this weekend during the 45th Annual Covered Bridge Festival! The whole town turns out for this one. There’s even an antique engine, tractor, and car show.

Roann is another one of those really tiny towns. But they sure pull out all the stops when it comes to the hometown favorite, the Roann Covered Bridge Festival! Car show, hot rod, and farm tractor pulls. Catch the parade at 2 PM. Take a trolley ride to Stockdale Mill (oh, I need to post about that one, too!) and see a working mill. Take my advice: before heading for home, pick up a bag of their freshly made flour or cornmeal. You won’t regret it! We gave some away as a gift.

This is Valparaiso’s huge weekend–it’s the Popcorn Festival! Another annual event, it draws in around 60,000 people. Yes, it is huge! There will be more than 250 craft booths and thirty food booths (mmm!) so all of you fine folks looking for a good deal may want to check this one out. A shuttle is available. Parade begins at 10 AM!

Bring out your inner Scotts(wo)man at the 25th Annual Scottish Festival. The Bartholomew County Fairgrounds in Columbus hold all the uniquely themed fun. Some of these events are really unusual! There’s a sheepdog demonstration, plenty of pipes and drums, a parade of vintage cars at 4:15 on Saturday, a whiskey tasting, activities for kids, and more.

Another courthouse-centered festival. Fair on the Square wraps around the scenic Hendricks County Courthouse in lovely Danville, Indiana. Local vendors will be setting up their goods. Listen to live music while you wander. It is a Saturday and Sunday festival. While there, make sure to pop into “Seize the Night” located right around the square as well. She will be open! I will be sharing all about that incredible shop soon but for anyone nearby, I figured you would appreciate the heads-up.

Where are my history enthusiasts? Richmond, Indiana’s 50th Annual Heritage Festival possesses Civil War re-enactors. They will even have homemade ice cream! Carriage rides, a blacksmith, iron works, and even a silent auction promises a nice variety for everyone. This Saturday and Sunday at the Wayne County Historical Museum.

Head very south and you will find sweet little Scottsburg. This weekend, they are the host of the largest powered para-glider event in the entire United States! To cap it all off, there’s even a fireworks show. Children would love to visit the Scottsburg Airport Powered Para-Glider Fly-In!

Oh, look at all the shiny! It’s the annual Greater Indianapolis Gem, Mineral, and Fossil Show Friday-Sunday at the Hancock County Fairgrounds in Greenfield. Free admission makes it easy to visit this one, especially when there are more than 75 dealers and craftspeople involved. Fossil cleaning, micro mineral displays, and more.

Hop over to Avon for the Avon Balloon Glow! See ten giant, puffy balloons lit up at night. It’s a truly magical sight! Tethered rides (of up to 80 feet in the air) will be given as well. The activities begin at 6 PM but the glow won’t start until dusk–around 8 PM.

Friendship, Indiana. Have you heard of it? There’s a really great stone bridge that-a-way (use the search bar above to see more about that) but when it isn’t the big Fall Friendship Flea Market, it is an otherwise sleepy little place. Hundreds of vendors turn out for this one! It is even a free event.

Indiana Inspired?

I could list so many more. But I suppose that’s what the Little Indiana Festivals and Events Calendar is for! I sure hope this small taste of the fun this weekend has inspired you to seek out something to do near you. Most likely, there is something happening right near you. Get out there and enjoy it!

Please, leave a note in the comments to let us know what you did, what you ate, and where we need to go!

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.

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About Jessica Nunemaker

Jessica Nunemaker is the Owner of Little More than a website, Little Indiana is a PBS segment on the state-wide program "The Weekly Special," a bi-weekly column in a local newspaper, and a book. Look for "Little Indiana: Small Town Destinations" published by Indiana University Press in April 2016--just in time for Indiana's BIG 200th Birthday Celebration.

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