Some breaking news for you that happened overnight: summer has slipped into autumn. As you turn your calendars over to start planning your September, October, and November fun, keep some of these upcoming fall festivals in mind.
We’ve chosen to focus on any festival after Labor Day and before Thanksgiving where you can attend for $10 or less. Even with limiting ourselves, however, we’re sure just about everyone can find something on this list to enjoy. For your convenience, we’ve grouped many of our fall festivals into the categories of Church-related, International, and Oktoberfest (yeah, Oktoberfest is technically international, but it’s a big subset). All of the festivals that don’t fit into one of those three groups will be saved for the Odds and Ends category afterward. With no further ado, here’s the list:
Brightwood Community Fair at Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church – The Brightwood Community Fair is a one-day fair lasting from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday, September 6. They are still seeking additional vendors for the event, which will take place at Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church (2349 North Keystone Way in Indy).
24th Annual French Market at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church – The St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church is celebrating its 24th year, and continuing its annual trend of the French Market. You’re invited to join them Saturday, September 6 for delicious food, great music, unique artisans, and plenty of children’s activities as you learn more about the St. Joan of Arc parish.
Route 6&7 Community Fun Fest at Living Hope Church – Living Hope Church, located at 11605 Pendleton Pike, will be providing live music, carnival games, a bounce fest, good food, and a car show from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturday, September 13. The event is FREE to the public, and you may walk away with a door prize.
Reel Hope Film Festival at First Mennonite Church – The First Mennonite Church, located at 4601 Knollton Road, is holding its fall festival for FREE from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. September 13. If you attend, you can enjoy four films being featured, including “Red Passage,” “The Wheeler Parker Story,” “Money 1955,” and “Soldier’s Song.”
Indy Sister Cities International Festival – The Mayor of Indianapolis wants the city to be a global city, and this event is designed to showcase that vision through celebration. The Sister Cities International Festival takes place from noon to 5:00 p.m. Saturday, September 6 on Georgia Street downtown. Admission is FREE, and you can check out plenty of cultural booths while you’re there. World sports and international cuisine will be on display, and of course you’ll hear live music.
Indy Irish Fest – Military Park will be going green from Friday, September 12 through Sunday, September 14 for this festival devoted to preserving and promoting Irish culture. Adults pay $15 per day at the gate to enjoy Irish Fest, which would seemingly make it too expensive for our $10 maximum. However, you can attend a pre-festival Irish concert Thursday evening for just $5 per person. Additionally, you can come early on Friday (at 4:30 p.m.) and pay the early bird price of $5 for admission. Finally, bringing at least three non-perishable food items with you on Sunday will give you FREE admission. Once inside, you’ll find music and dance, cultural activities, sports and shopping, a sheep herding section, and more.
10th Annual FIESTA Indianapolis Festival at American Legion – The largest Latino festival in the state of Indiana comes to the American Legion Mall from noon to 10:00 p.m. Saturday, September 20. Admission is FREE, and you’ll find good food matched only by the music, dance, and artwork. Of particular note is the hot sauce tasting event. (Yah, we’re feeling chippy.)
2nd Annual ‘Taste of Diversity’ Festival at Garfield Park Arts Center – Garfield Park is bringing back its popular Taste of Diversity Festival from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. September 27. This community event will have games, prizes, giveaways, dancing (to live music), and more. The event is FREE to attend, though you’ll have to pay for any purchases you make from the food trucks on site.
Indianapolis Chinese Festival – Get ready for lions, dragons, and drums from noon to 6:00 p.m. Saturday, September 27 at the American Legion Mall. Mayor Greg Ballard worked in partnership with several of Indy’s local Chinese organizations to celebrate Chinese culture here in Indy. Like most of the international festivals this fall, you will see plenty of food, music, and art at the Chinese Festival. Between booths and performances, you won’t hurt for entertainment options.
Latino Festival at the Indiana State Museum – If you pay museum admission Saturday, September 28 at the Indiana State Museum, you’ll have a whole festival included for FREE in your price. From 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., the Museum will be set up so you can experience the rich, colorful, and spicy sights and sounds of Latino culture. Perfomring artists including musicians and dancers will be on hand giving demonstrations.
6th Annual Original and Fabulous GermanFest at Indy Athenaeum – We considered filing this festival under the Oktoberfest category, but then not every German celebration is for Oktoberfest. The Athenaeum (located at 401 E. Michigan Street) is holding its sixth annual GermanFest on Saturday, October 11. You’ll find German food and beer, along with wiener dog races, and a Strong Man competition. All proceeds will benefit the maintenance and care of the historic cultural gem that is our Indy Athenaeum.
German Park Oktoberfest – This one takes place early in the season, from Thursday, September 4 through Sunday, September 7 at the German American Klub and Edelweiss Restaurant. Adult admission is only $5, while kids aged 12 and younger get in for FREE. You’ll see plenty of live music and entertainment from groups including The Flying Toasters, The Original Alpine Express, PolkaMotion, and more. If you are a member of any German organization, just show your ID at the gate and you’ll get in for FREE.
Sun King Oktoberfest – Georgia Street again plays host to one of our fall festivals. This time, they will be offering a beer tapping from Sun King Brewing. This event is FREE and open to the (21 years and older) public. Attendees can enjoy live music, various food trucks, and a dog parade. The action takes place on September 12.
The Rathskeller Oktoberfest – The Rathskeller kicks off its Oktoberfest weekend celebration Friday, September 26 with live music from Polkaboy and the Woomblies. There’s only a $5 cover at the door to see the show.
Fishers Oktoberfest – Witten Park (located at 131st and Olio Roads) opens its beer garden to anyone at least 21 years old at 10:00 p.m. September 27 with Warsteiner and Leinenkugel on tap. The live music will begin at noon, and you can enjoy food from a mix of American and German menus. Admission to this Oktoberfest celebration is FREE.
Upland Indy Oktoberfest at Military Park – Upland Brewery will be bringing its Oktoberfest Bavarian-style Lager to Military Park from 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Saturday, September 27. In addition to the one liter steins of lager they’ll be handing out, you’ll find live music and the Indy food truck court. Admission is $10 at the door, but you can take half off the price if you click the link and order tickets in advance.
Herron-Morton Oktoberfest – This year will be the fourth annual Herron-Morton Oktoberfest, and it’s taking place from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Saturday, October 4. You’ll find food and beer from places like Sun King, Bryne’s Grilled Pizza, Flat 12, Fountain Square, and more. Additionally, Herron-Morton is currently arranging its schedule of live music performances. Herron-Morton Place Park is located at 1927 N Alabama St in Indy.
Carmel City Center Oktoberfest – It’s Carmel’s turn Friday, October 10. The festival is FREE to the public and open to all age ranges. A 14-piece band playing everything from polka to classic rock music will be performing while attendees enjoy food, drink, and of course a biergarten.
First Friday Food Truck Festival – The first Friday of every month, food trucks from all over town assemble in the parking lot at Old National Centre (the Murat Theatre). This program began back in May, but it continues in September and October. Therefore, you can stop by for plenty of dining options on the cheap on Friday, September 5 and Friday, October 3. Admission is $5.
Z Circus Fall Festival: On September 6 – 7, the Zionsville Lions Club will once again throw open the gates to its annual festival at Lions Park. The parade downtown kicks off at 10:15 am on Saturday, with a carnival available for the entire weekend. (Folks associated with the club get a VIP status to enjoy the carnival beginning with a semi-private event on Friday night.) Live Call will be on stage in the entertainment tent at 7 pm on September 6; this one is for the over 21 crowd. The $5 parking fee is a donation to the Lions Club.
Indy Jazz Fest – As of now, we don’t have too many details about Indy Jazz Fest. What we do know is it’s a ten-day super event in which you’ll hear plenty of awesome music. We’ll be watching for announcements on pricing, performance times, and more. When we hear more, we will write up a separate post about Jazz Fest with more detail than we could possible write here, and link back to it in this post.
17th Annual Tri Kappa ‘Fair on the Square’ – Of all the festivals Danville holds every year, this one is the most popular and the best known. This year’s version takes place Saturday, September 13 and Sunday, September 14 on the Courthouse Square. In addition to the live entertainment, you’ll find plenty of local vendors selling everything from food to antiques and jewelry.
Fountain Fest at Garfield Park – Free But Not Cheap (is that our kind of band or what>) will be performing live at the Sunken Gardens with special guests for Fountain Fest from noon to 7:00 p.m. Saturday, September 13. The Garfield Park Conservatory will be beautiful for the occasion, and you can enjoy the festivities for just $10.
Taste of Hancock County in Greenfield – Taste of Hancock County is a food and music festival in downtown Greenfield on the Courthouse Plaza. This year’s version takes place Saturday, September 13 from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Local restaurants will bring their entrees to taste, after which you can head to the beer and wine tent to wash down your samples. Jennie Devoe is this year’s featured entertainer at the event, so your ears will be nourished as much as your stomach.
Voices from the Past – History comes alive in Westfield for this festival that takes place Saturday, September 12 and Sunday September 13. Visitors can take a journey through time as they go on tours through historic areas like the Anti-Slavery Cemetery in Asa Bales Park and Old Friends Cemetery Park. Tours last 90 minutes and cost only $10 for adults, $5 for students, and nothing for kids aged 12 and younger.
Corn Maze and Beasley’s Orchard in Danville – While this year’s corn maze hasn’t been revealed yet at Beasley’s Orchard in Danville, the time is coming soon. The corn maze will be available to challenge you from Friday, September 19 through Halloween. Anyone aged 12 and older can tackle the maze for $8. Kids between the ages of 6 and 11 get in for $6, and everyone has the opportunity to find their way through the challenging corn maze during the hours of operation each day at Beasley’s. Almost every day this fall is a festival in the corn maze – we just hope it doesn’t take you too many to get back out.
Ford Hoosier Outdoor Experience – For those who think a great festival should include plenty of outdoor recreation, this is the event for you. Fort Harrison State Park hosts this FREE event on Saturday, September 20 and Sunday September 21. It’s Indiana’s largest hands-on outdoor recreation event, and features more than 50 activities.
Quaker Day Festival in Plainfield – While it’s called Quaker Day, the Quaker Day Festival actually takes place on three days. From Friday, September 19 through Sunday, September 21, visitors can shop from local vendors, enjoy the car show, and try out the carnival rides and games. This year’s festival proceeds will go toward building a handicapped-accessible playground for the Plainfield community.
42nd Annual Pumpkin Harvest Festival at Stonycreek Farm in Noblesville – Open to the public from September 27 through Halloween, Stonycreek Farm will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for you to go find your favorite pumpkin to take home. This will be the 42nd year of the Pumpkin Harvest Festival. Normally, it costs $5 to park per vehicle at Stonycreek Farm. We recommend you visit on a Monday, as that is the day of the week when that parking cost is waived.
16th Annual Community Heritage Festival in Avon – The past, present, and future of Avon convene once per year the the Community Heritage Festival. This year’s version takes place Saturday, September 27 at 311 Production Drive in Avon. There will be a FREE concert, entertainment from the Avon High School Band, a talent show, a parade, fireworks, and a healthy offering of vendors selling their wares.
15th Annual Rocky Ripple Festival in Hohlt Park – From 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday, September 27, you’re invited for a fun day of art, music, and food at Rocky Ripple Hohlt Park. The park is near Butler University, and the event is FREE to the public.
Fishers Renaissance Faire – The Fishers Renaissance Faire takes place the weekend of October 4. For more information and to purchase your tickets in advance, click the link to check out a more detailed post we wrote about this event.
45th Annual Riley Festival in Greenfield – One of the largest craft festivals in the state, this year’s Riley Festival lasts from Thursday, October 2 through Sunday, October 5. Greenfield hosts the big event, and there are simply too many different events happening as part of this festival to list them all here. Click the link to check out all the details, but we can tell you now to look forward to more than 460 exhibitors on hand.
Good Journeys Expo at Hamilton County Fairgrounds – A more unique listing among our fall festivals, the Good Journey Expo is a holistic health and psychic fair that features a variety of modalities as well as health lectures. You can attend from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 4 and from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 5. The event takes place at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds in Noblesville. The price at the gate is $10, but you can access a $2 discount on the website if you follow our link.
Scarecrow Festival on October 4 from noon-3 pm at the Hendricks County Courthouse Square, Danville This FREE family festival kicks off a month-long display of scarecrows on the Courthouse Square and includes pumpkin bowling, sack races, face painting, pumpkin decorating and much more!
23rd Annual Heartland Film Festival in Indy – Similar to Indy Jazz Fest, the Heartland Film Festival is a 10-day mega-event that we will likely do a separate post about when it grows nearer. What we know at this point is you can expect over 130 film screenings from independent filmmakers worldwide from October 16-25 at multiple venues across Indy.
Irvington Halloween Festival – This historic Halloween festival, held from October 18 – 25 this year, has been delighting residents for more than 65 years. Irvington doesn’t just celebrate on Halloween itself. This festival is now a weeklong series of events that includes a five-mile run, a scholarship pageant, musicians, storytelling, ghost tours, and so much more. Like most of the festivals on this list that last longer than a weekend, plan on seeing a more detailed standalone post from us about it.