What’s that wonderful smell in the air? What are those faint sounds of music in the distance? If it’s summer in Indy, the odds are high that you’ve just stumbled over another food and drink event – because they’re happening all over the city.
Food and drink festivals are celebrations of abundance and community, and they give people a chance to try seasonal delights (like elephant ears and fried Oreos) that they can’t get all the time.
They also give local breweries and restaurants a chance to show their stuff to a wider audience, which can help them expand their customer base. It’s also not unusual for entrepreneurs who hope to open a local restaurant someday to start with a food truck, running the fair circuit as a way to gauge their eventual market.
What does all that mean to you? Well, whether you just like the excitement of a fair or live for the “foodie” experience a fair brings, you don’t want to miss these upcoming events:
Vintage Indiana Wine Fest – Sat., June 4, Military Park, Downtown Indy
This is the 22nd year for the Vintage Indiana Wine Fest, and it’s one of the biggest celebrations of wine in the Midwest. Participants this year include the Cedar Creek Winery, Daniel’s Vineyard and Huber’s Orchard & Winery, among others.
The Wine Fest also hosts tons of live entertainment and artisan vendors, which makes it the perfect place to either kick back with a friend and enjoy the sights or a great place to shop for something unique.
While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the food! Some of the vendors that will be there include Wicked Good Cupcakes and Wild Boar BBQ, and you can find special treats like Glodo’s Kettle Corn.
Indy’s Taco Fest – Sun., June 5, 3585 Commercial Drive
What’s Cinco de Mayo without tacos, right? If you love Mexican food and Mexican culture, then you don’t want to miss this Cinco de Mayo blowout, with more than 20 authentic Mexican restaurants and vendors on hand at Indy’s Taco Fest.
Located on the south side of the Indiana Discount Mall, you can expect loads of authentic south-of-the-border fare, plus great local bands with a Mexican flair and tons of fun. While this is a monthly event, the June celebration looks especially inviting.
Juneteenth Foodways Festival – Fri., June 17, Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site
Black cuisine has influenced American taste buds since very early in this nation’s history, and the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site (with the financial support of Eli Lilly and Company Foundation) proudly presents this interactive food extravaganza.
The site was chosen in recognition of Black chef Dolly Johnson, who brought her all-American cuisine to the White House under President Harrison. Participants this year include Grub House, Marlo’s Kitchen, The Coney Lady and Taste of Luv by Dee.
The event even has a special happy hour (well, it’s an hour and a half) from 4:00-5:30 p.m., where early birds can buy small samples from various vendors – which makes it the perfect time to arrive if you simply have to taste everything!
2022 Tacos, Tequila and Margaritas Festival – Sat., June 18, 201 S Capitol Ave.
If you miss the big Cinco de Mayo celebration, never fear – you have a second chance to try some amazing authentic Mexican food when the Tacos, Tequila & Margarita Festival comes around.
Just like the name says, this is all about tacos and tequila! An early bird ticket is available for $25, and VIP tickets for $35, and both come with coupons for food and drinks. (You can purchase additional food and drink tickets as you need.) Come for the margarita sampling and stay for the taco contest – and wear your favorite taco-themed t-shirt to win prizes!
Indiana Microbrewers Festival – Sat., July 23, Military Park at White River State Park
It’s no secret that Hoosiers love their beer, and the microbrewery scene in the area has absolutely exploded. More than 100 microbreweries enjoy a chance to showcase their special blends at the Indiana Microbrewers Festival.
The price of admission lets you sample the brews while you leisurely explore the shopping, the food and the musical entertainment. Early-bird tickets are available for those who prefer to get there when the lines are shorter, and designated drivers are admitted for the low price of $10. (Keep in mind that this is one festival for which you probably want your tickets in advance, since day-of tickets may not be available.)
2022 Indianapolis Wine & Food Experience – Sat., Sept. 24, Clay Terrace in Carmel
Local trends in food and drink and regional favorites alike are yours to explore at the 2022 Indianapolis Wine & Food Experience. Presented by USA TODAY, this festival gives both established and emerging presences in the culinary scene a chance to showcase their best – and it gives you a chance to indulge your taste buds!
Some of this year’s featured chefs include Steven J. Oakley from OAKLEYS Bistro, Donte Sims with Eddie Merlot’s, and Terry Anthony with The Block Bistro and Grill – but that’s just for starters. (This is a 21-and-over only event, however, so make sure you find a sitter for the kids.)
These are just some of the food and drink festivals that will be happening in the area. Keep your eyes peeled around town to spot more excitement, and don’t forget to check for special events in nearby Fishers, Danville and Westville. There’s always something to look forward to when you live in Indiana!