Elkhart Jazz Festival - June 2
Home > Lively Summer Festivals Spell Fun Across Indiana’s Cool North

Lively Summer Festivals Spell Fun Across Indiana’s Cool North

Psssst….our secret is out! Indiana’s Cool North is THE PLACE TO BE if you love to celebrate with pure, old-fashioned enjoyment. And we celebrate just about anything imaginable in wonderful spots where you’re welcomed like an old friend.

Our iconic festivals were never a secret for local visionaries who decided years ago to fete everything from bountiful blueberry crops and legendary popcorn to fine Amish creations and funky art. The events grew, adding music, dancing, food and games in locations that ranged from lush riverside parks to lively downtowns. And the word got out.

Before we knew it, Chicagoans anxious to get out of city, weary toll road travelers looking for a break on long summer drives, and just about anyone else who heard about our tremendously fun festivals, put Northern Indiana at the top of their list.

Whatever your pleasure, we’ve got a festival just made for you. Celebrate good times…c’mon!

Here’s a “best of the fests” guide to Northern Indiana this summer:


Indiana Dunes Birding Festival

Where: Porter
When: May 15-19, 2024


The Indiana Dunes Birding Festival is an annual event hosted by the Indiana Audubon Society that showcases the abundance of migratory birds in the Indiana Dunes.

Join in four days of fantastic birding at Indiana’s number one birding attraction. Celebrate the amazing spring migration on Lake Michigan’s southern shore with field trips, presentations, live bird programs, young birder activities, and more.

Singing Sands Sand Sculpting Festival

Where: Michigan City
When: June 7-9, 2024

Singing Sands Sand Sculpting Festival 1

The 3rd Annual Singing Sands Sand Sculpting Festival will take place at Washington Park Beach. Over three days, the world’s most talented sand sculptors will compete, crafting stunning works of art on the renowned “singing sands” of Lake Michigan. The festival features live music, full bars, a wide variety of food, crafts, and merchandise, as well as a Kid’s Sand Zone.

Elkhart Jazz Festival

Where: Elkhart
When: June 20-23, 2024

Elkhart Jazz Festival - June 2

Downtown Elkhart’s Arts & Entertainment district comes alive with a weekend-long celebration of jazz during the Elkhart Jazz Festival!

Since 1988, jazz legends and fans have gathered each summer for a memorable weekend at the Elkhart Jazz Festival. Combining warm, intimate, small-town hospitality with the excitement of big city jazz, the Elkhart Jazz Festival has become an internationally acclaimed event.

Known as the Band Instrument Capital of the World, Elkhart companies employ nearly 2,000 skilled craftsmen in the production of instruments that turn music into art.

Festival of the Lakes

Where: Hammond
When: July 17-21, 2024

Festival of the Lakes - July 12-16

Join the Festival of the Lakes for five nights of fun at Wolf Lake Memorial Park, set against the picturesque backdrop of Wolf Lake. The festival features rides, live entertainment, a Polka Party, a fishing derby, vendors, games, and more.

Pierogi Fest

Where: Whiting
When: July 26-28, 2024

Pierogi Fest ® - A Celebration of the Stuffed Dumpling

Taking place in Whiting, Indiana, Pierogi Fest® celebrates Eastern European food and culture with a wacky familial twist.

Pierogi Fest® is organized annually by the Whiting-Robertsdale Chamber of Commerce and is the pride of Whiting. Drawing almost 300,000 visitors each year, it is the third largest festival in the state of Indiana. Each year, the fest features long running favorites, including the wacky Polka Parade, Mr. Pierogi® and friends, more food vendors than the Taste, specialty and arts and crafts vendors, beer and wine gardens, games, daily entertainment and fun for all ages!

Pierogi Fest® welcomes all to celebrate Eastern European heritage while poking a little fun at the same time. Where else can you see grown women dressed up like their grandmothers (buscias, as they say) in housecoats and babushkas? Or a lawnmower brigade strutting through town with sandals and socks on like their dads did? You’ll also see life-size polish pastries and goodies walking and talking waiting to take a picture with you.

The Great Lakes Super Boat Grand Prix

Where: Michigan City
When: July 30 - August 4, 2024

XINSURANCE Great Lakes Grand Prix

Speed + water + big boat = Are you kidding me?

Let’s forget about the pastoral, acoustic Indiana experience for a second and focus on something really loud, like large boats roaring across Lake Michigan.

The perfect marriage of speed and strength will be on display at the Great Lakes Grand Prix, as some of the largest and most powerful race boats in the world speed across the southernmost tip of Lake Michigan for what is anticipated to be an exciting race. The fun kicks off on Thursday,  with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Washington Park, and then continues with a parade and block party on Saturday and the fun culminates on Sunday with the big race.

Elkhart County 4-H Fair

Where: Goshen
When: July 19-27, 2024

Elkhart County 4-H Fair 1

It’s hard to imagine nine days packed with more activities, shows, competitions, rides, food, and pure fun than at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair in Goshen. It’s no wonder this annual extravaganza is one of the largest county fairs in the nation.

The Elkhart County Fair offers nonstop entertainment, featuring five nights of shows on the Grandstand stage. Highlights include a tractor pull, rodeo, and demolition derby, ensuring excitement throughout the nine days. As a true 4-H Fair, it’s both thrilling and heartwarming to witness the judging events, where 4-Hers proudly showcase their livestock, poultry, and more.

Marshall County Blueberry Festival

Where: Plymouth
When: Labor Day Weekend

Marshall County Blueberry Festival

The annual Blueberry Festival is set for Labor Day weekend, and you can be sure that Centennial Park will be the place to be for all things blueberry, including concerts, food, carnival rides, crafts, fireworks and more. The schedule of events offers a summer’s worth of fun, all in one weekend. Go ahead and pay homage to the berry that seems to have made its way off of the pancake and out of the muffin, and into the hearts and stomachs of health-minded individuals everywhere, thanks to its high level of antioxidants. Oh, forget the antioxidants and grab some blueberry ice cream. You’ll have time to work it off walking through the festival.

The Valparaiso Popcorn Festival

Where: Valparaiso
When: September 7, 2024

Lively Summer Festivals Spell Fun Across Indiana’s Cool North 5

Somewhere, Orville Redenbacher is smiling. The Indiana native and Purdue University graduate must be proud to see the Popcorn Festival celebrating another year. And he no doubt gets a kick out of seeing the games, the five-mile run, the Cutest Baby contest, the Hot Wheels race, the food booths, the arts and crafts exhibitors and the parade thrive in this community that has embraced its role in producing the snack that is as American as it gets.

And there are more....

Where: Indiana's Cool North
When: All Summer!

See more events in Indiana’s Cool North  HERE