Fall Festivals to check out in central Indiana this year

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New Palestine getting ready for Fall Festival
Posted at 6:38 PM, Oct 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-14 13:03:58-04

INDIANAPOLIS — There are over 15 festivals happening in the next ten weeks in central Indiana. Anything from the arts and live music to food, movies, and so much more.

Here are all of the festivals happening around central Indiana this fall.

October 7 - 16: OnyxFest 2021


OnyxFest is a theater festival exclusively for Black playwrights.

OnyxFest is the first festival of its kind in Indianapolis that's now in its third year.

The week-long festival will present five plays at the District Theatre, Basile Theatre, and IUPUI Campus Theatre.

October 7 - 17: Heartland International Film Festival


In its 30th year, the Heartland International Film Festival will present 142 independent films over 11 days.

While all of the films will be shown in-person at indoor or outdoor screenings, many will be available online.

Movie-goers can catch the films in-person at five Indy locations, including Kan Kan Cinema and Brasserie, Living Room Theater, and Newfields.

October 9: ArtsPark Fall Festival
Indianapolis, Broad Ripple

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A photo of kids painting pumpkins at the 2019 ArtsPark Fall Festival in Broad Ripple.

From noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 9, families can enjoy the ArtsPark Fall Festival in Broad Ripple at the Indianapolis Art Center.

Admission is free, and families can expect pumpkin carving and painting, shopping opportunities for local art, bracelet making booth, ice cream from BRICS, beer from Sun King Brewery, and food trucks.

October 9: Cottage Home Block Party
Indianapolis, Near East Side

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A photo from the 2019 Cottage Home Block Party in 2019.

The word "festival" isn't in its name, but it has all the best things a festival has to offer.

The Cottage Home Neighborhood Association hosts the Cottage Home Block Party every year.

Located on the streets between the 700 blocks of Dorman Street and Highland Avenue, the event has historic homes as its backdrop with lit-up lanterns hanging down the middle of the entrance.

This year it's free to enter with live music, art vendors, food, drinks, and kids' games.

October 9: GermanFest
Indianapolis, Mass Ave

A photo of two people enjoy a past GermanFest in Indianapolis.

Indiana's biggest festival dedicated to celebrating German heritage and culture marks its 13th anniversary on Saturday, October 9.

GermanFest is taking place with a new street festival style layout on Michigan Street and New Jersey Street outside the Athenaeum.

From noon to 8 p.m., festival-goers can attend the Durstig Games, Wiener Dog Races, and live music.

All proceeds from GermanFest go toward preserving the German-American landmark that is the Athenaeum.

October 9: Ichabod's Fall Family Festival
Indianapolis, Far East Side

Erich Davies (Ichabod Crane) and Araceli Hughes (Katrina) in Buck Creek Players production of the LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW, with outdoors performances October 9 and 10, 2021, and one streaming performance October 16, 2021.

From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 9, the Buck Creek Playhouse will be hosting a family-friendly outdoor festival.

The festival will also coincide with Buck Creek's production of the "Legend of Sleepy Hollow."

Other happenings at the festival include games, pumpkin painting, artisan booths, a costume contest, and the NY Slice Food Truck.

Tickets are $10 per family to enter and include 20 game tickets.

October 16: AgriPark Fall Festival

The AgriPark Fall Festival is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, October 16, at the Fishers AgriPark.

Admission and activities are free. Activities include inflatables, mazes, photo booths, pumpkin tic-tac-toe, and lots more.

October 16: IndyChitlan Music Festival
Indianapolis, Near East Side

10 East Arts is hosting its "IndyChitlan Music Festival" on East 10th Street Saturday, October 16.

The festival celebrates Mexican and Latino music, featuring rock, metal, punk and SKA bands from Indianapolis and Chicago.

The Indychitlan Music Festival is a free, all-ages event that runs from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Festival-goers can also order food at the event from the Garanacha Food Spot food truck.

October 16 & 17: October Owl Festival
Indianapolis, Northwest Side

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Great Horned Owl Minerva.

Eagle Creek Park's 6th annual October Owl Fest will be held in the park's Ornithology Center.

It's been expanded to being a two-day event this year, with all activities centered around owls. Activities include nature-themed games, pumpkin painting, live music, and park naturalists presenting various wildlife programs.

Owl Fest is a fundraising event for the Eagle Creek Park Foundation. Event organizers say the proceeds go toward the "long-term care of the park’s raptor ambassadors."

October 22 - 24: YES Film Festival

The YES Film Festival in Columbus will feature over 20 films. Many of the short films being shown, according to event organizers, have an Indiana connection.

Tickets to the weekend-long film fest can be bought online.

October 23: BOO 'N BREW Fall Festival

The 9th Annual BOO ‘N BREW Fall Festival will be held at Clay Terrace on Saturday, Oct. 23, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The festival is open to both adults and children. A beer garden will be open for adults, and plenty of activities will be available to kids. Kid-friendly activities include the Silly Safari animal show, face painting, balloon artists, hayrides, and a pumpkin patch.

Children ages ten and under and furry friends are invited to dress up. In addition, pets can be entered into the festival's pet costume contest to win prizes.

October 23: Taste the Difference Festival & Sister Cities Fest
Indianapolis, Northwest Side

The International Marketplace hosts its 14th annual Taste the Difference Festival & Sister Cities Fest on Saturday, Oct. 23, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The festival will be held at the International Marketplace's Global Village Welcome Center.

Festival-goers can taste food samples from more than 30 restaurants, watch performances by cultural groups and learn from exhibitors.

Participating restaurants will represent authentic cuisine from China, Cuba, Dubai, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, India, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, North American, Pakistan, Thailand, Vietnam, Yemen, and more.

Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for children and seniors. Ticket holders will be able to vote for the three restaurants they believe had the best samples as well.

October 25 - November 18: JCC's Ann Katz Festival of Books & Arts

The Ann Katz Festival of Books & Arts hosted by the JCC of Indianapolis will once again be virtual.

The month-long event comprises virtual talks with best-selling authors, award-winning film screenings, and performance arts events.

October 30: Irvington Halloween Festival
Indianapolis' East Side

The 75th Annual Irvington Halloween Festival will have a street fair from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30.

The popular spooktacular fest will have events leading up to the street fair starting October 24 and an after-party following the fair.

November 4 - 14: Spirit & Place Festival

The Spirit & Place Festival will span 11 days this year, starting Thursday, Nov. 4.

Now in its 26th year, the festival brings together art, religion, and humanities.

The Spirit & Place Festival's theme this year is "CHANGE." It will have 29 events that "examine everything from climate change and religion to COVID-19’s impact on schools, the power of film, Black history and art, and even psychedelic medicine."

The festival will have virtual and in-person events featuring theatre performances, dance performances, film screenings, lectures, panel conversations, and family-friendly gatherings.

December 4: 2021 Dorel Juvenile Group Festival of Lights Parade

Believe it or not, the winter season doesn't officially begin until December 21, so this Christmas event fits perfectly in this fall list.

According to the event's website, the Christmas lights parade in downtown Columbus, "2021 Dorel Juvenile Group Festival of Lights Parade," will be put on this year.

The festival is still accepting float applications at the time of this article's initial publishing date.

December 15 - 19: Festival of Carols
Carmel & Indianapolis

The Indianapolis Symphonic Choir is hosting its Festival of Carols with four performances on December 15 at the Warren Performing Arts Center in Indianapolis and December 17-19 at The Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel.

The Choir is set to perform some classic holiday favorites such as "Joy to the World" and“Do You Hear What I Hear?” along with songs from holiday film favorites.

Are we missing one? Send an email to WRTV Digital Reporter Shakkira Harris at shakkira.harris@wrtv.com with the details.