Resting beneath the southern shore of Lake Michigan, Indiana is a state teeming with natural beauty and rich history. The state's famous limestone forms the backbone of Indiana's diverse natural attractions, including rivers, canyons, gorges, caverns, forests and more. Those who sneeze at the thought of the outdoors needn't avoid Indiana; the state is also home to several dynamic urban centers. Throughout the year, visitors and residents alike can take their pick of an abundance of festivals, attractions, cultural events, musical activities and more.
- Noble County 4-H Fairgrounds 580 North Fair Street Kendallville, IN 46755 in Kendallville, IN.
This four-day festival is held on Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend as well. It kicks off and ends the summer in a musical flurry with round-the-clock jamming. Families love this event from grandparents on down, and bands come from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, England and France as well as the USA. This event is almost a quarter of a century old and quite a success. Come on down and hear some great acoustic music.
- Johnny Appleseed and Archer Parks Fort Wayne, IN 46805 in Fort Wayne, IN.
What are you doing the third Saturday of September? This festival entertains hordes of people with crafts, antiques and food. Find Johnny Appleseed behind one of the trees in the kids' area. The Farmers' Market has dried herbs, fresh vegetables and fruits, and there are old fashioned food booths as well. There also may be a blacksmith and other traditional demonstration artisans. Live entertainment and a living history area really make history come alive.
Theaters and bars and the Jazz Kitchen downtown host jazz, blues, soul and funk bands for the first part of this festival. For about a week in mid-September, people come from far and wide to hear real live jazz. The last three days are especially fun at OptiPark's outdoor stage.
- West Lafayette, Ind. in West lafayette, IN.
Points for originality go to this unique and truly American festival celebrating the annual gathering of the French and Native Americans in the mid-1700s at Fort Ouiatenon. The reenactment of this gathering at the fur-trading post includes authentic food, gunfire and smoke from wood fires; who can resist that? The romantic setting on the banks of the Wabash River southeast of town gives the reenactment a 1700s flavor, and the first weekend of October offers pleasant temperatures. It's a great opportunity to experience something different and historic.
- Elkhart, Ind. in Elkhart, IN.
You have all summer to see this, from the end of May to the beginning of October, and it is well worth a trip. Beautiful blooms create quilts on the ground and hand-painted quilt murals on outdoor walls, all original designs. Follow the Heritage Trail through Amish country on the northern border of Indiana, just about a hundred miles east of Chicago. Along the way, buggy rides and farm tours are nice diversions, and Amish food will fill up anyone. Downtown Elkhart is pretty and clean, and the epitome of fifties, small-town America. Norman Rockwell, anyone?
- Historic Neighborhood Madison, IN 47250 in Madison, IN.
This Southern Indiana juried show for crafts and fine arts is eye-candy-plus. Mediums include: drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, jewelry, weaving, folk art, leather, glass, wood, baskets, fiber, paper, clay and art that you can wear. If that's not enough, try the great food and enjoy the live entertainment. Mark the calendar for the last weekend of September and your viewing pleasure.