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11 Rootin’ Tootin’ Indiana Festivals and Events

Indiana Festivals and Events: This ADORABLE Kid Tries "Whack-a-Car."
Indiana Festivals and Events: This ADORABLE Kid Tries “Whack-a-Car.”
It’s pumpkin-spiced mania out there. But here, there’s always something unique to see and do. For starters, you should scope out my two giant lists chock full of Indiana fun! These were massive undertakings. The first list holds the contact info, map, and social network links for every pumpkin patch and apple orchard in the state. The second list tackles all of our Hoosier haunted houses. No matter what kind of fun you want, you can find ideas right here on Little Indiana. Tip: the festivals highlighted below don’t hurt either.

So, the festivals listed below are NOT a comprehensive list. My Indiana Festivals and Events Calendar holds far more! I like to think of it as a teaser. Each of the links take you to a more detailed page about the festival. I typically include contact information for each of the events as well. Since my sources can include word of mouth and often arrive to me via email from readers like you, it is extra important that you verify that an event or festival is taking place before you head out.

Sometimes dates can change, things can be cancelled, or someone just got a little mixed up. I do include the specific festival websites in the more detailed profile for each event so hopefully that helps keep anything like that from making it on here. I make every attempt to verify information but it isn’t always easy to tell the year of a festival. Note to festival organizers: please update your webpages to include not only the month and date of an event, but the year!

Now that the warnings are out of the way, please know that I am very grateful for any festival and event additions you may have. I am certainly happy to get them! In the event that I missed one, feel free to send along an email to me using the contact form (the tab is located in the header above) or simply let everyone know in the comments below. I am sure my readers will appreciate the heads-up as well as I do.

Indiana Festivals and Events

Do you remember me telling you all about Shubael Little Pioneer Village in Cannelton? You know, the one that was rustic and actually IN the woods where folks got to go inside of these 1800s cabins? If not, head here and read about it. If you do, then you will be doubly glad to know that this weekend they are celebrating the Shubael Pioneer Village Heritage Weekend! Find food, music, walking tours, and all kinds of interesting things.

Hold on to that pumpkin! The Pumpkin 5K Dash in Burns Harbor is a clever race for ages 9 and up. The last mile of the race will include fall-themed obstacles. Get past them–while holding a pumpkin. I think that is a cute idea!

Maybe you want something to do at your own pace. How about the Route 66 Yard Sale? Stretching from Troy, this massive sale travels through Tell City, Cannelton, Rocky Point, Rome, Derby, Dexter, Magnet and Oriole along SR 66.

New Paris is holding the Gathering at Five Medals, a historical reenactment that spans the years from 1660-1815. It’s an annual event that includes a Merchant Row, a woodland Native American village, and a river camp. Live demonstrations make it extra interesting.

It is also the final weekend of the Parke County Covered Bridge Festival. If you like food, shopping, and bridges (who doesn’t?) then you had better mosey on over to that gorgeous area of Indiana and check it out. Deals are to be had, memories are to be made.

Get your pampered pooch over there for the dog show. It’s all a part of the Autumn on the River celebration in Bethlehem, Indiana. There’s a car show, live and silent auctions, more than sixty booths of food, crafts, and fun, and a parade at 2 PM on Saturday. Did I mention the helicopter or carriage rides? That’s an unusual touch! I like it.

Are you costume ready? Put it on and head to downtown Valparaiso! They have a fun-filled Fall Harvest Festival this evening. Head from door to door at the businesses downtown and enjoy your evening. That shouldn’t be hard, not in this delightful small city.

Need another reenactment? Maybe Fort Vallonia Days is closer to home. Reaching crowds of 30,000 people, it is a weekend event celebrating its roots. This town existed before the state was officially a state! With that kind of attendance, you kind of expect an events list to match–and, boy, does it ever! There’s a ton of scheduled activities in addition to the booths and demonstrations.

This probably isn’t the kind of run that you are thinking! Mainklin Street Beer Run combines 8 bar stops for a mini beer for one different kind of event! Registration may have already ended, but I wanted to put this on any beer lover’s radar for next year (or you could probably get in touch with the organizers and see what happens). Still, you might want to keep tabs on this one.

It is no secret that I love Wabash, Indiana. This Saturday, I’ve got another reason why you need to visit: it’s Family Fun Day at the Wabash County Historical Museum! That means free admission for you and yours, along with special activities. Interactive and engaging, it’s an excellent museum that is hands-on and interactive. If you visit without the kiddos, you can grab a fantastic meal at Market Street Grill. I don’t know why, but I have signed myself up for their food specials email. It is pure torture reading through it!

Jeez. Somehow I almost forgot the Wabash Cannonball Chili Cookoff for Charity! It’s the biggest, tastiest, chili cook-off this side of the Mississippi River. I always thought that that was an exaggeration, probably because fifteen different festivals call themselves the biggest, but in this case, it’s true. It really IS the biggest chili cook-off this side of the Mississippi! And it happens in cute little Wabash at Paradise Springs Park. There’s a ton of chili to taste. Some uses some really strange ingredients. You may want to read more about it here–and then venture to Wabash for plenty of family fun.

What is there to Do in Indiana?

There are so many things to do! What are your plans for the weekend? Pumpkin patches? Apple orchards? Haunted houses? Festivals? Or a combination? I so get that. I’m cramming as much into our weekends as possible before the cold sets in. It isn’t that we won’t be out as often. Okay, that is exactly what it is. Festivals and events kind of move indoors after a certain point.

I know I will miss the sunshine and aromas that come with being outside. Soak it up with me–attend one of the many things to do in Indiana this week (and weekend). See you there!

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

Just don’t forget to tell ’em that  little Indiana sent you!

Map of Indiana Festivals and Events

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About Jessica Nunemaker

Jessica Nunemaker is the Owner of Little Indiana.com. 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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