I grew up in Illinois just over the border from Northwest Indiana. Although I no longer live in that immediate area, I have lots of friends and family who do. Over the years I’ve heard talk about Pierogi Fest in Whiting, Indiana. I assumed it was just a small-town festival, no big deal—until I went to Pierogi Fest last year. What a hoot! Read more
Trees are leafing out, flowers are blooming, and Midwesterners are ready to party! Festival season is underway all over the Midwest, celebrating food, art, even old TV sitcoms. Some are one-day events, others last the entire weekend. Here is a sample of what’s going on May 16-18, 2014:
May 17: Fort Wayne, Indiana: Kickstart
Fort Wayne celebrates bikes, art and music with Kickstart. With 68 miles of bike trails, Fort Wayne is a bicycling city. Fifty “sculptures with a purpose” will be dedicated during the event, sculptures that you’ll find all over the city, each doubling as a bike rack. Fort Wayne has become quite a foodie town, and local food trucks will be on hand serving up tasty fare. In the afternoon take a trolley ride through the downtown area, hopping off to shop as you please, stop in to the Fort Wayne Visitors Center open house, or attend one or more performing arts events taking place all over town.
May 16-18: Empire, Michigan: Asparagus Festival
Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables, and I’ll be eating my share under the BIG TENT on Saturday during a side trip from my weekend in Traverse City. Kicking off on Friday evening with a pig roast and dance, the event continues on Saturday with a 5K Kick Ass-paragus Fun Run/Walk followed by an Asparagus Cook-Off, Asparagus Eats/Wine and Beer Tasting, a parade, and music. The event concludes with a Sunday morning breakfast. Empire, home to the headquarters for Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, is located 26 miles west of Traverse City.
May 17-18: Danville, Indiana: Mayberry in the Midwest
One visit to Danville, Indiana, 20 miles west of Indianapolis, and you’ll agree the town is a lot like the Mayberry of the Andy Griffith Show. It’s fitting that the town has a restaurant named Mayberry Café that loops reruns of the show and is complete with a Sheriff Taylor look-alike car parked out front. This weekend’s festival looks to be a winner, with everything from actors who played Charlene Darling and one of the Darling boys, along with tribute artists playing other characters, to twelve different contests, including Aunt Bee’s Pie Eating Contest, Floyd’s Barber Shop Shave, and a Whistling Contest. That’s only some of what’s planned. Check the web site for the full rundown.
Check the Midwest Festivals & Fairs pages for a festival near you. If you are having an event in your community that you’d like posted, please send the information, including the event web site url, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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