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.
- Indianapolis, Ind. in Indianapolis, IN
Over three weekends and two full weeks, beginning after the first few days of May, there is a lot of racetrack activity, including two nerve-wracking days of qualifications. The 500 Festival Mini Marathon kicks off the 12 days of action on the track, and it all culminates in the Indy 500 at the Indianapolis Speedway on Memorial Day weekend. Almost half a million visitors fill up the stands at the Brickyard Oval for the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing." See all the pageantry of the event and scream your lungs out with the rest of the crowd.
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.
For eight days in mid-June, this festival celebrates bluegrass and the legendary Bill Monroe with 50 bands and many visitors. The campground and Festival Park make it easy to stay nearby, but book early. This event could only be held at the Bill Monroe Memorial Music Park & Campground about 40 miles south of Indianapolis. This is the oldest annual bluegrass festival at over 47 years-of-age.
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.