Labor Day Street Fair Brings Jazz, Vittles to Indianapolis

So it’s Labor Day weekend and the whole family is coming to Indianapolis to visit. Uncle Miles is a jazz aficionado who has every Blue Note release and a prized first pressing of Giant Steps that he can’t stop talking about. Your sister is from the New Orleans area and eats so much Cajun food she sweats cayenne pepper. And your niece is a budding fashionista who wants to hit all the best Indianapolis shopping malls. What are you going to do to keep everyone happy? Why, head over to the Labor Day Street Fair on the street outside the Jazz Kitchen, of course.

Promotional video for the 2008 Labor Day Street Fair in front of the Jazz Kitchen in Indianapolis


The Circle City has plenty of Indianapolis attractions to keep everyone occupied, but the Labor Day Street Fair is the only place that combines Indianapolis music, Indianapolis restaurants, and Indianapolis shopping all in one place on Labor Day. Sponsored by Yats (a restaurant chain that specializes in Cajun and Creole dishes), the Jazz Kitchen, an Indianapolis music venue owned by Dave Allee (son of local jazz legend Steve Allee), and Be Boutique, a relaxed clothing and accessory store, the Labor Day Street Fair is an all day, all ages, all free Indianapolis event with something for everybody.

For Indianapolis music fans, the Labor Day Street Fair will feature performances by some of the most well known Indianapolis jazz musicians. The fun kicks off at 12:30 with a set by Clifford Ratliff, a trumpeter who’s played with several Indianapolis bands and combos throughout the years. Guitarist Bill Lancton steps up to the plate at 2:30. Lancton is a jazz fixture in Indianapolis, a member of the Indianapolis Jazz Hall of Fame and the head of the Bill Lancton Coalition, a veritable who’s who of Indiana jazz artists. At 4:30, Owl Studios saxophonist Rob Dixon, a graduate of Indiana University‘s renowned jazz studies program and accomplished band leader, closes out the afternoon. The Labor Day Street Fair is a good chance to show Indianapolis children the complexity and excitement of jazz in a comfortable, all ages setting.

NUVO Newsweekly video of Rob Dixon performing live at the Jazz Kitchen; Rob Dixon will be playing at the 2010 Labor Day Street Fair in Indianapolis


Aside from the sweet sounds of Indianapolis jazz, the Labor Day Street Fair will also have delicious grilled vittles for your eating pleasure. Drinks are also provided. After you’ve had your fill of live music and savory foodstuffs, the rest of Indy is open for your exploration; the Labor Day Street Fair officially ends at 6:00, meaning there’s plenty of time to explore the Indianapolis nightlife scene afterward. The Jazz Kitchen is incredibly close to Broad Ripple Village, an active Indianapolis cultural district with all sorts of Indianapolis things to do, so why not take your guests on a tour of the Indianapolis Art Center, or ditch the kids and stop by one of the many cozy Indianapolis bars like The Red Room or The Casba for a nightcap or two?

All in all, the Labor Day Street Fair can be a grand old time for the whole family. Sets by Rob Dixon, Bill Lancton, and Clifford Ratliff will keep things hopping throughout the day, while food provided by Yats will keep your stomach happy and your lips on fire. The Labor Day Street Fair begins at 12:30 on Monday, September 6th (that’s Labor Day, in case you hadn’t noticed) and is absolutely free. It’s the only Indianapolis event designed to please your sister, niece, and Uncle Miles all at the same time, and that’s a rarity, even for Indianapolis.

Labor Day Street Fair in front of the Jazz Kitchen
Monday, September 6th at 12:30 p.m.
Tickets: FREE

The Jazz Kitchen
5377 N College Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46220

Yats Restaurant
5363 N College Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46220

Be Boutique
5367 N College Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46220

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