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2022 fall festivals in central Indiana to celebrate community, Halloween, food, culture, and music

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Posted at 4:18 PM, Sep 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-03 13:13:02-04

INDIANAPOLIS — 'Tis the season for sweater weather, spooky frills, and the changing of the leaves.

September 22 marks the official turn of the season from summer to autumn, meaning our days will start to become shorter and our nights long.

As the weather cools and the moon sticks around for longer quantities of time, here are nearly 20 festivals throughout central Indiana that you'll want to add to your calendar. Most are returning favorites, while some are new additions to the lineup of fall festivities, ranging from the arts and Halloween, to live music, food, and creativity all around.

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September

Indy Night Market

September 23 & 24
Indianapolis

What better way to kick off the season of longer nights than at the Indy Night Market?

Returning for the second year, Growing Places Indy and Be Nimble Foundation are hosting the two-night market at the Indianapolis City Market, located at 222 E. Market St. Indy Night Market supports up-and-coming entrepreneurs and small businesses, where it will have more than 50 vendors, live entertainment, face painting, life-sized games, and food.

The Indy Night Market on Friday, September 23 is from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., and the Saturday, September 24 market is from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is free.

Indy Irish Fest

September 23 & 24
Indianapolis

Celebrating Irish culture and heritage — rain or shine — festival-goers can expect dancers, sheep, Irish dogs, cultural exhibits, music, food, and beverages at the 25th annual Indy Irish Fest.

Hosted at Garfield Park on the city's near south side, the Indy Irish Fest will be Friday, September 23, from 4:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Saturday, September 24, from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for folks 15 and older, children 14 to 5 are $5, kids 4 and under are free. There are also family passes for $45, allowing for two adults and up to four children.

Oktoberfest

September 30 - October 2
Indianapolis

The Cradle at Monon 30 only just opened this summer, but it's hitting the ground running with a list of events, including a weekend-long Oktoberfest.

The Cradle's Oktoberfest has a lineup of nearly 10 bands, a Biergarten, a Marketplatz, and an assortment of German food. Games and activities celebrating German heritage include a Running of the Wieners, a Brawt Tossing Contest, a Keg Rolling Race, and a Stein Hoisting Competition.

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October

Indy Jazz Fest

October 1-2
Indianapolis

The Indy Jazz Fest brings in the month of October with two days full of jazz music.

From 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, October 1, and Sunday, October 2, you can catch a full lineup of the city's best jazz musicians at Garfield Park's Macallister Amphitheater. Attendees can purchase an assortment of admission tickets, from two-day VIP tickets to single-day lawn seating tickets.

Heartland International Film Festival

October 6 - 16
Indianapolis & Franklin

The 11-day Heartland Internation Film Festival kicks off on Thursday, October 6, with more than 100 independent and feature films.

Screenings are scheduled to take place in Indianapolis at Newfields, Living Room Theaters, Kan-Kan Cinema & Brasserie, Glendale Landmark 12, and the Indianapolis Art Center. Screenings will also take place in Franklin at The Historic Artcraft Theatre.

Heartland is boasting 11 world premieres and three United States premieres. The Apple Original film "Louis Armstrong's Black & Blues" and Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale” from A24, starring Brendan Fraser, are two of the highlighted films being showcased at the festival.

A Fest Pass is $395, a Duo Fest Pass is $390, and the Hybrid 10-Pack is $125.

Cottage Home Block Party

October 8
Indianapolis

The word "festival" isn't in its name, but this near east side party welcoming all of Indy has all the best things a festival has to offer.

The Cottage Home Neighborhood Association is once again hosting its Cottage Home Block Party, on Saturday, October 8, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

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 cobblestoned entrance. There are two live music stages, art, food, and drink vendors. Plus, garbage bag ghosts.

The Cottage Home Block Party is free to enter and family-friendly

German Fest

October 8
Indianapolis

A day dedicated to celebrating Indy's deep German heritage is on October 8 at the Athenaeum.

In its 14th year, German Fest festivities will be on Michigan and New Jersey Streets, outside the Athenaeum. German Fest will be introducing a new assortment of games this year, such as a keg toss competition, and bringing back its staples such as a brat-eating contest and the Weiner dog races. The festival will also have two stages for live music by local and regional German folk bands and dance troupes.

General admission tickets booked in advance are $15 for adults and $10 for children. Tickets at the gate on the day of the event are $25 for adults and $15 for children.

MORE: German Fest brings back a fan favorite

Indiana Homebrew Palooza

October 8
Indianapolis

Circle City Zymurgy's Indiana Homebrew Palooza returns to Garfield Park on Saturday, October 8.

The homebrew festival is a celebration of craft beer and features unlimited samples from over 12 different homebrew clubs and about 50 homebrewers from Indiana and Illinois. Attendees will also be able to vote for their favorite beer after sampling.

Homebrew Palooza is from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $35.

AgriPark Fall Festival

October 12 - 15
Fishers

This four-day family-friendly festival in Fishers features all of the fun fall activities.

The AgriPark Fall Festival will have a scarecrow trail and pumpkin carving from Wednesday, October 12, through Friday, October 14, and carnival games, a corn maze, campfires, s'mores, you-pick pumpkins, inflatables, farm animals, and crafts through Saturday, October 15.

Tickets are $3 and must be booked ahead of time as pre-registration and reservations are required.

Locally Made: Indy’s Fall Festival

October 15
Indianapolis

The Indianapolis Art Center is hosting its free family-friendly "Locally Made: Indy’s Fall Festival" on October 15 from noon to 5 p.m.

The festival will have more than 20 local artist and artisan booths, featuring glass pumpkins, ceramics, fiber arts, candles, painting, and jewelry. There will be hands-on art activities, including pumpkin painting and bracelet making. Food and beverages will also be available.

Event organizers are also encouraging costumes.

BOO 'N BREW Fall Festival

October 22
Carmel

Clay Terrace in Carmel is hosting its 10th annual BOO 'N BREW Fall Festival on October 22.

Children ages 10 and under are encouraged to dress in costume for trick-or-treating store-to-store. There will also be a "Silly Safari" animal show, face painting, balloon artists, hayrides, and a pumpkin patch.

There will also be a beer garden, and live music, and pets are welcome. The festival is free to enter.

Irvington Halloween Festival

October 22 - 29
Indianapolis

The historic Irvington Halloween Festival returns this year on Saturday, October 22, with its Halloween Ball. A series of 15 events will then follow — including a Battle of the Bands, Vampire Run, and a Fright Seeing — leading up to Saturday, October 29, when the Irvington Halloween Festival's trademark affair, the Street Fair, is slated.

The Irvington Community Council has yet to release full details on the schedule of events for the Irvington Halloween Festival but plans to update its website soon.

Ann Katz Festival of Books & Arts

Oct 24-Nov 13
Indianapolis

JCC Indianapolis' 24th annual Ann Katz Festival of Books & Arts is a three-week festival featuring well-known authors, award-winning films, and local visual and performing artists.

For the 2022 Ann Katz Festival, the JCC will bring authors such as Matthew Teller, Jean Hanff Korelitz, Lisa Barr, and Dara Horn to Indianapolis.

YES Film Festival

October 28 - 30
Columbus

YESFest returns to Columbus on Wednesday, October 28. Although the schedule is not set yet, all of the films will be shown at YES Cinemas in downtown Columbus.

In 2021, YESFest included a lineup of 20 short films, many of which had an Indiana connection.

Stuckey Farm Harvest Festival Nightmare Before Christmas Market

October 29 & 30
Sheridan

Stuckey Farm Orchard and Cider Mill is hosting a Harvest Festival Nightmare Before Christmas Market on October 29 and 30. The details of the festival are still pending.

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November

Spirit & Place Festival

November 3 - 13
Indianapolis

The 2022 Spirit & Place Festival will explore the theme of "identify."

In its 27th year, the Spirit & Place Festival will run over the course of 11 days, bringing together art, religion, and humanities. There will be nearly 30 events ranging from music and dance performances to art exhibits, lectures, panel conversations, and gatherings. You can find the full calendar of events on spiritandplace.org.

OnyxFest Fall Theater Festival

November 3 - 12
Indianapolis

OnyxFest Fall Theater Festival exclusively showcases plays by Black playwrights.

The 2022 OnyxFest will feature six one-act plays by local playwrights at the IndyFringe Basile Theatre and the IUPUI Campus Center Theater. Tickets are $15.

Tonic Ball

November 18
Indianapolis

Tonic Ball, the popular benefit concert for Second Helpings, returns to Fountain Square this year.

Although "festival" is nowhere near its name, this is one of the most sought-after fall events in Indy, plus it offers a lot of festival-like fun.

On November 18, the music of Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, OutKast, and Taylor Swift will all be playing around Fountain Square at Radio Radio, White Rabbit Cabaret, HI-FI, and Square Cat Vinyl. Although the cover bands have yet to be announced, tickets are already available for purchase at $75, which includes admission to all four venues.

WRTV Digital Reporter Shakkira Harris can be reached at shakkira.harris@wrtv.com. You can follow her on Twitter, @shakkirasays.

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