Festivals are the perfect way to end the summer-and start off the school year. What’s even better than a local county fair, or even the Indiana State Fair, is a festival a little ways away, something new and exciting for the family to try out together. The festivals below range from all out BBQ festivals, to festivals celebrating culture, to festivals celebrating nothing but the town itself. Check out the IC guide below to choose the perfect festival to end the summer.
9 Indiana Small Town Festivals Worth the Drive:
Where: Frankfort, IN
When: July 27- July 28
The Frankfort Hot Dog Festival celebrates all things hotdog and hot dogs. In addition to a huge hotdog grille, the festival boasts a 5K and kids fun run, Dachshund Racing, arts & crafts, live music, kids activities and much more.
Where: Nappanee, IN
When: August 2- August 5
What began as a downtown clothesline art show 55 years ago has grown into one of the top arts and crafts festivals in the nation. Browse from a wide range of vendors, listen to live music, tour Amish Acres, dine in the famous family-style restaurant and enjoy performances in The Round Barn Theatre.
Where: Tell City, IN
When: August 8- August 11
This festival was founded in 1958 to honor the early settlers and the founding of Tell City with a grand centennial celebration. Today this is one of Indiana’s longest running community festivals featuring walking tours of museums, a quilt competition, train rides, and live music from local artists.
Where: Madison, IN
When: August 17- August 18
About: Calling all meat lovers! The Ribberfest has a trifecta of meat activities: bbq vendors, a backyard bbq competition, and a Kid-q competition. In addition to the bbq, the fest is known for amazing blues artists, boat rides, bike and foot races, plus a piglet pen activity zone for kids.
Where: Plymouth, IN
When: August 31 – September 3
Head to Plymouth, Indiana, for a celebration of one of nature’s greatest gifts: the blueberry. This annual festival includes blueberry stomps, a carnival with tons of rides, kayak races, silly safaris, crafts, games, and tons of live music.
Where: Tipton, IN
When: September 6- September 8
Celebrating 50 years, this three-day festival is fun for everyone – even those who don’t love pork! The festival kicks off with pork chops booths galore, followed by a carnival, parade, live music, and more. Young visitors will love the “Kids Corner” and make ‘n take activities in various craft tents. New this year, a street market will feature a wide range of vendors.
Where: Columbus, IN
When: September 8 – September 9
Dive into a weekend filled with Scottish entertainment, competition, animals, athletics, history, music, food & drink and much more. The Children’s Area is packed with fun, including a bouncy castle, face painting, temporary tattoos, a craft corner and tons of kid-friendly games.
Where: Roann, IN
When: September 6 – September 9
This Annual Fall Festival is widely known for its FREE FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT including an Antique Tractor Pull, Parade, Pedal Tractor Pull, Mud Volleyball, Live Entertainment and more!
Where: Nappanee, IN
When: September 13 – September 16
The festival is home to Indiana’s largest 7 foot baked apple pie, which comes out of the oven just in time to kick off the festival! Visitors will enjoy two stages of entertainment, 130 craft vendors, 60 commercial vendors, carnival rides, a parade with signature military aircraft fly-over, a cornhole tournament, a 5K road run, an apple baking contest, a garden tractor pull, kids and adult pedal pull contests, a wings and wheels show at airport, apple peeling and pie-eating contests, and much more.