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by Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance

Let’s get festive!

Young girl with braids holding a cob of corn

The summer sun and warm weather make it the prime time to get outside and enjoy one (or some) of the many festivals Indiana offers. Throughout the year, Indiana has nearly 600 festivals celebrating just about everything. 


It’s festival season in Indiana! 


Though festivals happen all year round, there are so many during the summer months in Indiana. A festival is simply a community event that centers on bringing like-minded people together to celebrate a central theme while welcoming newcomers and exposing them to various aspects of that theme. Those themes can be as broad as a season of the year (summer) or as specific as a food (cornbread), event (9/11 remembrance) or pop culture property (anime). A festival can last a day, a weekend or even weeks. According to the Indiana State Festivals Association, festivals are a perfect chance to create memories with your loved ones all year long. From music and art to food and fun, there is sure to be something for the whole family to enjoy. 


Types of festivals 


There are many types of festivals, but here is a list of the most common. 

  • Music festivals – These boost live music. Often centered on the same genre of music ( Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Festival), there are many that embrace all different types of music encompassing a wide range of genres ( Lotus World Music & Arts Festival

  • Cultural festivals – These celebrate the traditions and heritage of a particular people or place. Examples are the Latino Cultural Festival in Huntingburg, Indiana or the Indy Pride Festival.  

  • Art festivals – Art festivals can showcase local artists, different forms of artistic expression and different mediums. The Taste of the Arts Festival in Fort Wayne celebrates the rich diversity of arts and providing access to art at no cost. 

  • Food/beverage festivals – Be sure to come hungry! Festivals like the Oakland City Sweet Corn Festival and the Harrison County Popcorn Festival highlight some of Indiana’s premiere agricultural products. 

  • Event festivals – Celebrate a specific event like the Fourth of July, Fall or Harvest season at various event festivals. 


Why are festivals important? 


In addition to being a fun thing to do, festivals have many benefits for the attendees and the communities that host them. The Indiana Arts Commission lists several positives of festivals. 

  • Tourism – Many festivals have a significant impact on the local economy. They are also a chance for the community to shine and increase local tourism. 

  • Culture – Most festivals are themed which promotes inclusion and awareness of different cultures you may be unfamiliar with. The festival is a chance to showcase the cultural identity, heritage and traditions of a particular group. For example, the Pierogi Fest in Whiting, Indiana (July 26-28) highlights Eastern European heritage. 

  • Community building – Festivals foster community pride and bring people together which increases interpersonal relationships and social ties making communities stronger. 

  • Education – Exposing attendees to events, cultures, food, traditions and people they are not familiar with helps the community learn and grow together. By providing experiential learning festivals can be very educational. 

  • Inclusion and diversity – People from a wide range of backgrounds will convene for a festival. This is a chance for attendees to expose themselves to people and cultures different from theirs. 

  • Promotes the arts – Festivals provide artists a chance to exhibit their work to an audience they may not normally be able to reach. In turn, patrons are exposed to different types of artistic expression and talent.  

  • Health and well-being – Festivals focusing on mental, spiritual and physical well-being help attendees. For example, the Irvington Halloween Festival Wellness Fair or Spirit Fest are just two options. 


How do I know what festival I would enjoy? 


The first thing to ask yourself is what do you enjoy? Are you a 1950s music fan? Maybe the Cole Porter Festival in Peru, Indiana June 6-9 is for you. Or do lean more towards early English literature? Check out the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival beginning July 1. Or, perhaps you’re more into food and drink? The Swiss Wine Festival is Indiana’s largest four-day wine festival and you can never leave hungry at SausageFest


How do I find a festival to attend? 


Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance is proud to partner with the Indiana State Festivals Association (ISFA) to bring you the Indiana Festival Guide. The guide features nearly 600 festivals and events held throughout Indiana. You may access it online or pick up a copy at any Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance office.  


If you aren’t particular about the type of festival you attend but want to search by date or location, you can use the Find A Festival calendar. If are a bit particular, or are looking for something specific, you can also search by keywords such as “covered bridge,” “motorcycle” or “James Dean.” 



How should I prepare to attend a festival? 


Depending on the festival, there are various ways to prepare. Here is a list of some things to consider. 


  • What is my budget? Don’t forget to factor in the cost of admission and parking.  

  • Where is it? Will it be inside or outside? 

  • What’s the weather? Will I need a jacket, umbrella or sunscreen? 

  • Are they cashless, or do they only take cash? 

  • Be sure to confirm the dates and the times before you attend. 

  • Do I need to bring food, snacks or beverages? 

  • Are pets allowed?  

  • Should I bring a wagon or stroller? 

  • Prepare a safety plan. If you get separated, where and when will your party reconvene? 


What should I do at a festival? 

Things to do at a festival are plentiful but depend on the type of festival and the location. There is usually always good food (especially at barbeque, strawberry, Oktober and Italian festivals, for example). Many times, different genres of live music will play throughout the festival. There are often games, shopping, workshops and rides. You can enjoy some of Indiana’s own craft beer, distilled liquors or wine. Sometimes you can even float down the river, ride in a hot air balloon or watch fireworks. 


In Indiana, we are lucky to have festivals occurring from January through December. Find one near you or plan a weekend away to travel to a different part of the state. Do you think you could attend one every quarter? What about every month? No matter what your cup of tea is, there’s sure to be a fun festival waiting for you to attend.