While there are certainly plenty of things to do in Indianapolis on a day to day basis, there are also dozens of extravagant events that happen only once a year in the Circle City. Indianapolis has celebrations of all kinds. The city has celebrations of the arts, like the indyFringe Festival and and the Indianapolis International Film Festival; celebrations of international culture, like the Indy Irish Fest and the Greek Festival; and celebrations of local and international music, like the nationally known Indy Jazz Fest. Below is a brief index of some of the most important Indianapolis fairs and festivals.
500 Festival The granddaddy of them all, the 500 Festival celebrates the Indianapolis 500. This massive festival features an equally famous Mini-Marathon, a Community Day, the community outreach centered Princess Program, a Kids’ Day, the Snakepit Ball (which all the drivers attend), and Indianapolis’ largest parade, the 500 Festival Parade. If there’s only one Indianapolis festival you go to, make it the 500 Festival.
African Festival Over a two-week period in summer, this much-anticipated event produces several relevant special activities in downtown Indianapolis, culminating in the actual festival date. Cultural programs, youth programs, a job fair live Indianapolis bands, food, fashion and much more are part of this fascinating event.
Heartland Film Festival Spanning nine days, the Heartland Film Festival is sponsored by a non-profit organization, Heartland Moving Pictures. The festival screens films of any length and subject matter by both professional and student film makers during all times of the day. Most films promote a positive world view and celebrate the brighter side of life.
Indianapolis Early Music Festival This one-of-a-kind festival focuses on the origins of music, specifically medieval, renaissance, and baroque music. Bands from all over the country assemble at the Basile Opera Center to perform traditional pieces on period instruments like lutes and mandolins. There are also workshops to teach classical instrumentation.
Indianapolis Greek Festival The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Indianapolis hosts this festival each year the Friday and Saturday following Labor Day. It is a colorful and tasty celebration of Greek culture, featuring traditional Greek cuisine, dance, and music.
Indianapolis International Festival The Indianapolis International Festival celebrates everything…well…international. It is a constant barrage of ethnic food, music, dance, and tradition that takes place over a weekend in November. Held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, all the excitement takes place on two different stages.
Indianapolis International Film Festival This celebration of exquisite film takes place at the Indianapolis Museum of Art every July and annually receives over 500 submissions from all around the world. The program has been growing at an astounding rate each year and continues to attract a dedicated base of film-goers.
Getting the entire community together to celebrate its incredible diversity is no small achievement. This is what the Indianapolis Spirit and Place Festival accomplishes every year in late fall in various venues of Indy.
Indy Irish Festival This late September celebration of Irish culture features a huge array of unique activities like a rugby tournament, a traditional Celtic mass, and sheep herding events. Visitors also sample classic Irish food, drinks, and music.
Indy Jazz Festival One of the most famous Indianapolis festivals, the Indy Jazz Fest is a celebration of Indianapolis’ long history in jazz. It takes place on two different stages in Military Park and attracts talented musicians from all over the country.
indyFringe Festival Also known as the Indianapolis Theater Fringe Festival, it is a ten day extravaganza that consumes all of Mass Ave every August with over 250 performances of some of the quirkiest shows you’ve ever seen. The festival takes place in five different theaters: the Pheonix Theatre, the American Cabaret Theatre, ComedySportz Arena, the Murat Theatre, and the Theatre on the Square.
Middle Eastern Festival of Indianapolis Attendees of the festival have their pick of fun activities, ranging from church tours to food sampling. Festival-goers will have the opportunity to browse in an air-conditioned indoor shopping center for gifts and other goodies, including traditional Middle Eastern jewelry, CDs, food, and cookbooks.
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