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.
- Downtown Indianapolis Indianapolis, IN 46204 in Indianapolis, IN
On the Saturday before the Memorial-Day-weekend race, this giant parade wends through downtown thrilling 300,000 spectators. It's televised and on the level of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade and the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena.
From mid-May through Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, events are scheduled leading up to the legendary Indy 500, auto racing's largest purse. Since 1957, this festival has drawn crowds of half a million people, some attending civic events, kids' festival activities and pre-race races. The 1.5 million TV viewers on top of the 450,000 spectators at the race make this over-a-century-old "greatest race in the world." The big parade caps it off, so come on down.
This juried art fair brings in 270 artists from all over the country for a mid-June weekend. This annual event has run for almost six decades, and showcases fine crafts and fine art in a four-block area along Talbot Street and in the historic Herron-Morton area; it's free to the public.
- Downtown 101 W. Main St. Fort Wayne, IN 46802 in Fort Wayne, IN
About the third week of July, this nine-day art fair draws around 400,000 visitors from northern Indiana and surrounding states. Handmade, original crafts are exhibited and sold in the craft market. Rides, food, karaoke, various competitions and nationally-known performers make this event very popular. Kids' activities and seniors' events provide something for everyone; it's north of Freimann Square downtown.
- Peru, IN, U.S.A. in Peru, IN
This unique festival has celebrated the American tradition of the family-friendly circus annually from 1958. The history, however, would make a great film. Seven major circuses wintered in Peru in the late 1800s, and a local man, Ben Wallace, ended up being the recipient of a few exotic animals when one circus owner defaulted. He started his own circus, blind lion and all. Rides, food and games fill up the downtown area during the middle of July for a week as circus performers wow the crowds. The grand finale is the Saturday parade, one of the largest in the state. Find out more about this interesting circus history and enjoy!
- 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.