City Beat: Fall Festivals Bring International Flair to Indy

As the Air Gets a Little More Crisp, Cultural Festivals Take Their Turn to Shine.

Dragon dance at the Indianapolis Chinese Festival

We get it, summer. Your weather is great and your festivals bring everyone outside. But that’s not the only festival season in Indy. Whether it’s partaking in the arts or celebrating international heritage, Indy’s fall festivals bring a sophisticated flair all to their own.

Check out these recommended fall festivals around Indianapolis.

  • Fiesta Indianapolis – September 20: The 34th annual celebration of the largest Latino festival in Indiana, La Plaza’s Fiesta Indianapolis is a “Passport to the Americas,” with food, music, dance, and even hot sauce tasting at the American Legion Mall in downtown Indy.
  • Indianapolis Chinese Festival – September 27: Celebrate Chinese culture on the American Legion Mall in downtown indy at the Indianapolis Chinese Festival. The event is held during the month of Chinese Moon Festival – the second largest Chinese festival after Chinese New Year – as a celebration of the harvest. Visitors can experience art, music, tai chi, martial arts, crafts, and the famed lion and dragon dances.
  • Performers at GermanFest.
    Performers at GermanFest.

    GermanFest – October 11: There’s beer. Food. Music. A lederhosen-clad 5K race and a wiener dog race, naturally. It’s GermanFest at the Athenaeum! Located around the famous Rathskeller, this festival celebrates the boisterous side of German heritage while providing a fun and engaging atmosphere for people of all ages.

  • Heartland Film Festival – October 16-25: With a screening attendance of 24,000 last year, the Heartland Film Festival is poised for even greater growth in 2014. Expect 10 days of red-carpet premiers, galas, screenings, and parties spread throughout Indianapolis. The Heartland Film Festival carries the distinction of being a qualifying festival for the Short Films category at the Academy Awards.
  • Spirit and Place – November 7-16: Self-described as a “TED lecture, but interactive and on steroids,” the Spirit and Place Festival brings together community organizers, artists, storytellers, authors, scholars, and others to facilitate local residents in civic and artistic engagement. JOURNEY – the 2014 theme of the festival – “will explore the dynamic passages of peoples, places, and ideas.” Individual event information will be released on October 4.
  • Indy International Festival – November 21-23: Running for 38 years, the Indy International Festival is central Indiana’s oldest and largest pan-ethnic celebration. Featuring exhibits from more than 50 groups, the Indy International Festival aims to showcase the diverse array of ethnicities represented around central Indiana through art, music, dance, food, and drink.

Just passed: St. Joan of Arc French Market (9/12), Indy Irish Fest (9/12-14), Sister Cities Festival (9/6), German American Klub Oktoberfest (9/4-9/7), Indy Fringe Theater Festival (August)

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