The Indiana Insider Blog

Broad Ripple Art Fair, May 21 & 22, 2011 – Indianapolis, Indiana

One thing I have yet to see is the Broad Ripple Art Fair, and I think this year is going to be my year. The fair plays host to more than 25,000 visitors, 225 artists, food vendors, and four stages of live entertainment, including one just for the kids, and another along the river. There’s even a special preview party on Friday night, from 6 – 8 pm.

I usually can’t make it because of time or because my family doesn’t want to go. But I’m a big arts festival junkie, so it’s surprising that I’ve never made it.

The BRAF is a fundraiser for the Indianapolis Arts Center, and it’s the city’s traditional kick-off to summer festival season. Just like Memorial Day starts the summer, BRAF starts the summer festivals.

The Friday Night Preview Party lets you mingle with the artists and other arties (a food lover is a foodie, why can’t an art lover be an artie?), as well as get a chance to make first purchases and beat the crowd. The price of the ticket also gives you admission on both days of the BRAF, and 3 complimentary drinks tickets. Sorry, this one is for the adults only. You have to be 21 and over to attend.

My office is in Broad Ripple, and I spend a lot of time hanging out there at the different restaurants. And many of them are going to be there with tents and stands — Yats, Ripple Bagle & Deli, and one of my favorite Indy coffee shops, Hubbard & Cravens.

Other highlights of the art fair:

  • Return wristbands are also available for people who want to return Sunday for free. Note: you have to wear the band overnight, so you don’t give it to someone else. They also won’t let you in if the band has been cut and re-taped.
  • There is a drawing for a $250 credit toward an art class or workshop at the Art Center. Just write your name, email address, and phone number on the back of the ticket, and turn it in at the gate.
  • There will be two food courts, as well as two places to buy adult beverages.
  • The Pedal & Park folks will be there so you can ride your bikes or skate to the festival. They’ll even park them for you.
  • There is also free parking and shuttle buses to take you to and from Broad Ripple Park, Broad Ripple High School and Glendale Mall lot at Rural Street.

So this is it. I’ve blocked out the days on the calendar, I’m getting ready to buy my tickets, and I’ll make sure my camera is charged and my hiking shoes are ready to go. I hope to see you there.

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Written by : is a professional blogger and social media consultant. He is also a humor columnist in several weekly papers around Indiana, and on his own blog at ErikDeckers.com. A supporter of the local arts scene, Erik is a rabid fan of the Indy Fringe Theatre Festival in the summer. Erik is married and a father of three, and a Ball State alum. Erik receives compensation from the Indiana Office of Tourism Development — and a warm fuzzy feeling — for blogging. For more information, see our FTC Disclosure page.