Indianapolis Events and Festivals

(Indianapolis, Indiana - IN, USA)

Indianapolis is not famed for having an action-packed calendar of regular annual events and festivals, although there are usually plenty of things to see and do in the Indianapolis area.

The many permanent attractions in Indianapolis play a significant role in contributing to the city's tourist appeal, together with a number of notable seasonal events, such as the Indy 500 Festival, which is held each year in May. Below is a list of the main events, festivals and things to do which fill the Indianapolis calendar each year.

National Public Holidays

  • 1st January - New Year's Day
  • Third Monday in January - Martin Luther King Day
  • 12th February - Lincoln's Birthday
  • Third Monday in February - Washington's Birthday
  • Last Monday in May - Memorial Day
  • 4th July - Independence Day
  • First Monday in September - Labor Day
  • Second Monday in October - Columbus Day
  • 11th November - Veterans Day
  • 4th Thursday in November - Thanksgiving
  • 25th December - Christmas Day

Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015


  • Circle City Grand National Rodeo - mid-January, a two-day event in which local and out-of-state cowboys gather to show off their finest ranching skills before an audience of enthusiastic country folk. Expect bull and buck riding, lasso competitions and various other ranch related activities


  • The Indianapolis Life 500 Festival Mini-Marathon - late February, this is the first of three mini runs which serve as the lead up to the Indianapolis Life 500 Festival. The race regularly attracts up to and over 30,000 runners, while spectators also turn out in droves to cheer them on


  • St. Patrick's Day Parade - March 17th, in accordance with the official saints day, the city of Indianapolis turns green and devotes a wealth of celebrations and festivities aimed at paying homage to Ireland's greatest hero. Expect all manner of Celtic frivolities


  • Indianapolis Indians - April marks the beginning of the season for the city's famous baseball team. Fans of the game can head to Victory Field Stadium to catch the team's opening home game


  • Indy 500 Festival - throughout the month of May the city hosts a series of events to celebrate the success of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. Expect upwards of 400,000 visitors attending this large selection of events and festivities
  • Indiana Flower and Patio Show - mid-May, held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, this annual event plays host to over 450 horticultural exhibits and is attended by 30 landscape gardeners offering demonstrations


  • Vintage Wine and Food Fest - early June, the Vintage Wine and Food Fest sees a vast variety of stalls assemble offering punters the opportunity to taste both local, national and international produce


  • Essence Fest - annual festival featuring some of America's greatest soul artists. The festival aims to educate and inform the city's African American community
  • Indiana Black Expo - mid-July, this event features music from famous black artists plus a variety of events to cater to all tastes. An indoor area with a plethora of interests is set aside for kids


  • Indiana State Fair - mid-August, this events stretches across 11 days and includes all manner of fun for all ages. Families are especially welcome and kids can enjoy a wide selection of activities including a fun park, pioneer village and the state fair gardens


  • Indy Irish Festival - late September, the Indy Irish Festival celebrates the fact that the Irish are Indianapolis' second largest ethnic group. This three-day affair celebrates all that is great about Irish culture, inviting everybody of Celtic origin or otherwise to join in with the festivities


  • Indy 1500 Gun and Knife Show - late October, held in Champions and Marsh Blue Ribbon Pavilions at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, the Indy 1500 Gun and Knife Show is a must for all fans of modern, ancient and classic weaponry
  • Circle City Classic - early October, this annual event includes a football game viewed by over 175,000 spectators as part of a weekend of celebrations of the achievements of America's black colleges and universities


  • Circle of Lights - late November, this festival marks the beginning of the festive season. Expect live entertainment and the official illumination of the elaborately decorated Soldiers and Sailors Monument, with 56,700 twinkle lights spread among the trees and the area's walkways. The event draws millions of sightseers and is Indiana's favorite family Christmas event
  • Annual Christmas Gift and Hobby Show - visitors can wonder at and purchase many locally made traditional gifts, toys and hobby pieces


  • New Years' Eve Celebrations - while the city of Indianapolis does not have any single event dedicated to seeing in the new year, some of its most popular establishments draw in the crowds for all manner of frivolities, while Indianapolis Zoo hosts one of the area's biggest parties