Craft Festivals & Bazaars in Indiana

by Laurie Rappeport
Find great crafts at an Indiana crafts festival.

Find great crafts at an Indiana crafts festival.

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Arts and crafts festivals and bazaars serve several purposes.The events allow artists and artisans to display and sell their work while providing an opportunity for buyers to find unusual, new and interesting pieces. Localities often host these festivals and bazaars because they bring infusions of capitol into the area through vendor booth rentals and visitor purchases at local shops and eateries. Indiana municipalities, non-profits and other organizations operate craft festivals and bazaars.

Central Indiana

Several crafts fairs operate in central Indiana. The early August Amish Acres Arts and Crafts festival in Nappanee, just south of South Bend, attracts crafters and artists from around the country who come to exhibit their handwork at the festival. The festival includes live entertainment with square dancing, country music and magic shows. In addition to the crafts, food vendors sell traditional Amish food such as zucchini bread and Amish apple pie and festival guests have the option to encounter elements of Amish life including carriage rides and a guided tour of an Amish house and barn. In Shelbyville, southeast of Indianapolis, the Zeta Lambla Chapter of the Delta Theta Tau Sorority invites visitors to attend its November Gift and Hobby Show. The show, held at the Shelbyville Middle School, highlights handcrafted items which visitors may purchase as Christmas gifts or for another purpose. The show includes hand-crafted items such as clothing, jewelry and home decorations.

Northwestern Indiana

Towns in northwestern Indiana attract visitors to the region to experience the crafts displayed by regional vendors. The Department of Parks and Recreation in Highland Indiana operates the annual November Craft Show and Vendor Fair. The two-day weekend fair features crafts including jewelry, puppets, birdhouses, picture frames and beautifully-packaged food items. A bake sale and live music round out the show. In Griffith Indiana the parents and boy scouts of Boy Scout Troop 264 invite visitors to attend the Griffith Annual Fall Harvest Craft Festival. The festival, sponsored by the Griffith Lutheran Church, takes place on Broad Street in late September. The festival runs over a weekend and features handmade crafts as well as food vendors and live entertainment by a local band.

Northeastern Indiana

Indiana's northeastern sector attracts visitors from nearby Illinois and Western Michigan to the area's dynamic crafts festivals. The July Three Rivers Festival, held in Fort Wayne, Indiana, displays the handwork of artisans who exhibit jewelry, hand-woven rugs, quilted handbags, candles, photography, painted glass, homemade soaps and ceramics. Bands including Big Caddy Daddy, Brother and Seefari play during the festival. In August the Lubzenik Center for the Arts produces the Lubzenik Art Festival in Michigan City as a fundraiser for Lubeznik Center for the Arts. The festival features art works and fine craft items. A children's activities tent provides child-friendly activities for children who attend the festival with their families.

Southern Indiana

Travelers in the southern area of Indiana will find crafts festivals in this area of the state. The Bloomington Handmade Market runs twice yearly, in April and November in Bloomington, Indiana. The market exhibits "alternative crafts" such as bird boxes, samplers, carved wooden birds, goat's milk soap, plush hand-sewn objects and hand-bound journals. Many exhibitors "upcycle" by reusing recycled materials. The Women's Club of Newburgh organizes an annual February Arts and Crafts Festival at the Castle High School in Newburgh. The one-day festival displays the high quality arts and crafts of over 100 vendors. Baked goods and other sweet treats are also available to purchase at the festival, courtesy of the Women's Club of Newburgh.

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