Annual Events & Festivals
Here in the midwest, we love a good festival with food, drinks, music and more! You can find plenty of those happening year round along with markets, holiday events and parades. After checking out the list of annual events below, find more info on our events page here.
January & February
Explore the outdoors when the Indiana Dunes National Park hosts snowshoe hikes with a ranger for you to join.
When the weather has been just right, Valparaiso Parks and Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife Area both host ice fishing derbies.
The beginning of March is Maple Syrup Time in Northwest Indiana. Friendship Botanic Gardens, the Indiana Dunes National Park and Deep River County Park all have events demonstrating the process of making maple syrup, starting with tapping the trees.
The St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Crown Point is a popular event with their nighttime parade starting at dusk. The city also hosts a corned beef and cabbage dinner at the downtown firehouse before the parade. Find this and more St. Patrick’s events in our blog here.
Farmers’ Markets start popping up in May and early June. Browse the tents for fresh produce, canned and baked goods, jewelry, home decor, gifts and more. Try some delicious food from the vendors and, at quite a few of the markets, listen to live music and grab a beer, too!
At the end of June or early July, is Broad Street Blues and BBQ Festival in Griffith. This three-day festival features blues artists, plenty of lawn seating, fantastic BBQ, fireworks, beer and wine.
During Strawberry Fun Farm Weekends at Johnson’s in Hobart come out to pick fresh strawberries, enjoy plenty of kids’ activities and try some strawberry treats.
If you like craft beer, Crown Brewing hosts Crown Beer Fest in June, serving up more than 200 unique beers from 50+ breweries.
July in Northwest Indiana is packed with festivals all month long!
Cedar Lake Summerfest happens every 4th of July weekend on the shores of Cedar Lake. This multi-day festival includes fun contests for all ages, carnival rides, food vendors, live entertainment, fireworks and the entertaining cardboard boat race.
In mid-July visit the Vintage Tractor and Farm Festival in Crown Point. This kid-friendly event has tractors, gas and steam engines, cars and trucks. See farming demonstrations and roam through the flea market, petting zoo and food vendors.
Hammond’s Festival of the Lakes is five days of fun and well-known musical acts. Come out for the fishing derby, polka party, fair rides, games, music and food.
The last full weekend in July head out to Pierogi Fest in Whiting, a wacky event filled with food (including, of course, pierogi of all kinds), music, games and a Friday night parade that can’t be missed!
Porter County Fair in Valparaiso, Jasper County Fair in Rensselaer and Pun’kin Vine Fair in Kentland all happen in July. Jump on the rides, watch a demolition derby, fill up on fair food, visit the vendors and enjoy more traditional fair fun.
For ten days at the beginning of August, Lake County Fair in Crown Point hosts exciting grandstand events, horse shows, farm animals and thousands of exhibits, along with the rides, games and always popular fair food.
Hobart’s Lakefront Festival is a four-day festival full of live entertainment, arts and crafts, kids’ activities, food and beer right off of Lake George. Don’t miss the Dam Duck Race they host on Sunday afternoon!
Mid-August in DeMotte, relax and listen to some music at the Touch of Music Festival. They also have food, beer and wine, cornhole tournaments and fireworks.
Lubeznik Center hosts their Arts Festival every August featuring fine art and craft vendors, art activities for families, delicious food and live entertainment.
The Labor Day Festival in Lowell has the longest-running Labor Day parade in the state! The festival happens the whole weekend with food, crafts, activities, beer garden and music.
Falling on the Saturday after Labor Day, Popcorn Festival in Valparaiso celebrates this delicious treat with a popcorn parade, live music, Poppin’s Play Zone for kids, a variety of food vendors and more than 200 arts & crafts, commercial and fine arts booths.
Art Barn in Valparaiso hosts their annual Art Blitz every September with art demonstrations, plenty of activities for kids, live entertainment and food vendors.
If you love live music, visit Rock ‘N Rail Music & Street Festival for a weekend full of performances. Griffith shuts down the town’s main thoroughfare for the stage, a car and motorcycle show plus food and craft ware vendors.
Near the beginning of October you can find all kinds of places celebrating with Oktoberfests! The Town of Griffith, City of Crown Point and Fair Oaks Farms have one every year. Eat classic German fare, drink some beers, listen to music and more activities. Some of the breweries have Oktoberfest beer release celebrations, too, around this time.
The Fall Harvest Festival in Valparaiso is a favorite for families with lots of kids’ fall activities.
Munster Parks has a number of ways for the kids to celebrate Halloween. Pumpkins Witches and Hayrides is late September/early October followed later in the month by A Walk in the Woods, Trunk or Treat and the Bieker Woods Night Walk.
Dress up in your Halloween best for Wickedly Whiting! This event has spooky vendors, food, entertainment and more.
If you are looking for a really good scare, take a trip to one of the haunted houses in the area.
Starting mid-November through December, the “A Christmas Story” Comes Home exhibit in Hammond centers around six animatronic window displays from Macy’s in New York. Each display features scenes from the holiday classic “A Christmas Story”.
For special Christmas gifts, home decor and more, visit the many holiday markets happening late November and early December. Indiana Ballet Theatre also hosts their annual production of the Nutcracker during this time to get you into the holiday spirit.
The first Saturday in December, celebrate the holiday season with Hammond’s Holiday Parade through downtown. You might even see Santa!
If you enjoy holiday light displays there are plenty to check out in December. Fair Oaks Farms, Harvest Tyme, the City of Whiting, Washington Park and Sunset Hill County Park all have fun displays to either drive or stroll through.