12 Festivals in Indianapolis Every Local, Newcomer, and Visitor Needs to Check Out


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If you’re considering living in Indianapolis, IN, you’ll find that the city hosts a wide range of festivals and events that showcase the diverse cultures and communities that call Indianapolis home. From the Indy 500 Festival to the Talbot Street Art Fair, there is no shortage of opportunities for residents and visitors alike to celebrate and engage with the city’s diverse cultural offerings. Whether you’re looking to rent an apartment in Indianapolis or purchase a home in the area on Redfin, we will explore twelve of the most exciting and popular festivals in Indianapolis, highlighting the unique features and attractions that make each one a must-see event. From foodies and music lovers to sports enthusiasts and culture seekers, there is something for everyone at these twelve festivals in Indianapolis. 

Indianapolis skyline

1. Indy Pride Festival

Taking place in June, Indy Pride is an annual festival that celebrates and promotes the LGBTQ+ community. It features a parade, live music performances, food vendors, and various activities. Indy Pride is a friendly event that welcomes people of all ages, genders, and sexual orientations and shows their support for the LGBTQ+ community. 

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2. Indiana State Fair

The Indiana State Fair celebrates the state’s agriculture, history, and culture and typically takes place in August. It features a wide variety of events, exhibits, and activities, including livestock shows, concerts, carnival rides, and food vendors. The fair attracts visitors from all over the state and beyond, offering them a chance to experience Indiana’s rich agricultural heritage. In addition, the fair also features newer attractions like craft beer and wine tasting and cooking competitions.

3. 500 Festival 

The 500 Festival is an annual event celebrating the lead-up to the famous Indianapolis 500 car race. The festival, which takes place in May, includes events and activities such as the One America Mini-Marathon, the AES 500 Festival Parade, and the 500 Festival Off the Grid. The AES 500 Festival Parade is a highlight of the festival, featuring floats, marching bands, and special guests. The One America Mini-Marathon is also a popular event, with thousands of participants running a half-marathon through the streets of Indianapolis. The 500 Festival Off the Grid  is a black-tie gala event, held the night before the race, and attracts celebrities from around the world.


4. Indy Jazz Fest

Taking place in September, Indy Jazz Fest celebrates jazz music and its cultural influence on both the local and national level. The festival features a variety of performances by local, national, and international jazz musicians. In addition to live music, the festival offers educational programs, workshops, and community outreach events to promote music education and awareness. 

5. IndyFringe Festival

A ten day festival in Indianapolis that promotes independent theater productions, comedy shows, dance performances, and other forms of live entertainment, IndyFringe Festival takes place in August and showcases over 70 productions from local and international artists. IndyFringe aims to provide a platform for emerging artists and promote innovative and experimental forms of theater and performance. The festival attracts many different people and offers a unique opportunity for artists and performers to showcase their work.

6. Talbot Street Art Fair

Talbot Street Art Fair is an annual outdoor art festival that showcases the work of over 270 artists from around the country. The festival takes place in June and features a variety of art forms, including painting, sculpture, jewelry, photography, and ceramics. The Talbot Street Art Fair is one of the largest juried art fairs in the Midwest and has a reputation for showcasing high-quality, original artwork. 

Craft Market

7. Indy Irish Fest

An annual cultural festival, Indy Irish Fest celebrates Irish heritage and culture. The festival usually takes place in September and includes live music performances, Irish dance shows, cultural exhibits, and food vendors.  In addition to the traditional Irish events and activities, the festival also offers children’s activities, a Gaelic football tournament, and a 5K run.

8. Indy International Festival

Indy International Festival is an annual cultural event that celebrates the diversity of the city’s communities and cultures. The festival usually takes place in November and features a variety of cultural exhibits, performances, and food vendors. The festival typically features exhibits showcasing the art, history, and traditions of different cultures from around the world, as well as live performances of music, dance, and other forms of entertainment. 

9. PopCon Indy

Usually taking place in July, PopCon Indy is an annual convention in Indianapolis that celebrates pop culture, gaming, and entertainment. The convention includes celebrity appearances, cosplay contests, gaming tournaments, and comic book vendors. The convention attracts visitors from all over the country and offers a unique opportunity for fans to connect and share their love of pop culture. 

Three people cosplaying

10. Feast of Lanterns

Feast of Lanterns is an annual cultural festival that celebrates the city’s historic Irvington neighborhood. The festival takes place in August and features a variety of events and activities, including a parade, live music performances, food vendors, and a lantern-lighting ceremony, a highlight of the festival, where thousands of lanterns are lit and set afloat on the nearby lake, creating a stunning visual display. 

11. Italian Street Festival

The Italian Street Festival is an annual cultural event that celebrates Italian heritage and culture. The festival usually takes place in June and features a variety of events and activities. The festival typically offers a variety of traditional Italian foods and drinks, including pizza, pasta, cannoli, and wine. 

12. Indy Eleven Fest

A festival in Indianapolis that celebrates soccer and the local team, Indy Eleven Fest usually takes place in March and features a variety of events and activities, including meet and greets with players, live music performances, and food vendors. The festival typically offers a variety of soccer-themed activities, such as mini-games and skill challenges, as well as opportunities for fans to purchase team merchandise and interact with the team’s mascot, Zeke.

If you are represented by an agent, this is not a solicitation of your business. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional advice from a medical provider, licensed attorney, financial advisor, or tax professional. Consumers should independently verify any agency or service mentioned will meet their needs. Learn more about our Editorial Guidelines here.

Ryan Castillo

Content Marketing Manager

Ryan is part of the Content Marketing team and enjoys writing about market trends and local insights. His dream home would be a large cape cod-style house by the beach.

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