Trip Ideas

Central Indiana Summer Festival Tour

Summer festivals showcase the best of Indiana art, wine, ag and sports.

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Trip Idea Summary

Family Fun
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500 Festival, Vintage Indiana Wine and Food Festival, Nickel Plate Arts Weekend, Indian Market and Festival, CarmelFest, Indiana State Fairgrounds
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About this trip idea

Home to Indiana's largest city, Central Indiana is a place of big events and big excitement - but you can also find celebrations with a small town feel. Whether you love art, wine, agriculture or sports, Central Indiana is the place to start your festival tour.

Big city excitement
The greatest spectacle in racing - the Indianapolis 500 - has delighted sports fans for nearly 100 years. The Indiana 500 Festival   celebrates the spirit, heritage and legacy of this renowned race. Join the excitement at more than 50 cultural, educational and social events throughout May, including the REV Your Engines concert and the nation's largest half-marathon. Explore the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with your family and take a lap around the track on Community Day. Held over Memorial Day weekend, racing fun kicks off with the two-mile 500 Festival Parade, featuring spectacular floats and the 33 Indianapolis 500 drivers as honorary grand marshals - you might even see a celebrity! Score a ticket to the glamorous Snakepit Ball for more celebrity sightings, and of course, don't miss the race.

If you're a fan of local wine, head to Indianapolis' Military Park in June for Vintage Indiana Wine and Food Festival  , the state's largest showcase of Hoosier wines. A ticket to the festival earns you unlimited samples of more than 200 award-winning vinos from nearly 30 Hoosier wineries around the state, so you can sip to your heart's content. Bring your lawn chairs or blankets to settle in and enjoy concerts, games, food and wine demonstrations, and food truck vendors as you indulge.

The center of culture
Be part of a multi-community arts extravangaza during the Nickel Plate Arts Weekend   in June. Explore a 30-mile stretch through six historic towns in Hamilton County and choose your favorite arts events to attend. Create your own masterpiece at hands-on exhibits, shop in local galleries, tour incredible public art and watch streetdancers. At the Plein Air Paint-Out in Noblesville Square, watch artists rise to the challenge of painting Hamilton County landscapes on the spot - then purchase your favorite piece!

Native artists from across the country gather at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in June to give you a taste of our nation's roots. During the Indian Market and Festival  , listen to a traditional storyteller weave his tale, join in Native American dances and sway to the beat of singers, guitarists and flutists. Admire the exquisite Indian art, then make your own pottery tiles and sample unique foods like Indian tacos.

Indiana summer traditions
The Fourth of July is the centerpiece of summer, and the people of Carmel celebrate in style with CarmelFest  , the community's largest event. This two-day gala includes everything you want at your Independence Day Celebration - an exciting parade, musical entertainment, pulled pork and other summer foods, and of course, spectacular fireworks! Strut your own musical abilities at CarmelFest Has Talent and enjoy the traditions with your kids in KidZone, featuring family-friendly music and magicians.

Summer isn't complete without an August trip to the Indiana State Fair  , one of Indiana's greatest traditions. Animals are everywhere - witness grace and beauty at the Horse and Pony Show or run your fingers through the soft fur of a calf, rabbit or sheep. Enjoy Youth Catch and Release Fishing daily at the DNR building, or search for the state's largest watermelon and pumpkin in the Ball State Ag/Hort Building. Take a thrilling ride through the night sky in the Midway or immerse yourself in the sights, smells and sounds of Indiana's living history experience in the Pioneer Village. Be sure to munch on plenty of delicious fair foods before you head home!

Like this trip idea? Then you might also like Western Indiana Summer Festival Tour.

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Featured in this Trip Idea

500 Festival
317.927.3378 |
Vintage Indiana Wine and Food Festival
800.832.9463 |
Nickel Plate Arts Weekend
800.776.8687 |
Indian Market and Festival
317.636.9378 |
317.574.1363 |
Indiana State Fairgrounds
317.927.7500 |
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