No matter the season, LaPorte County in Northern Indiana celebrates with super festivals and events that no one should miss! From powerboat racing on Lake Michigan to July 4th parades and fireworks to open-air concerts featuring top talent, get ready for fun times ahead.
super summer kickoff
Trains, sandy works of art, and lots of activity launch the season.
Memorial Day Weekend at the Hesston Steam Museum, May 25-27, Noon-5pm, Hesston – Clickety-clack on old-time steam-powered railroads, visit the blacksmith shop, and see this living history museum’s latest acquisition: an 1899 Milwaukee Steam Car.
Singing Sands Sand Sculpting Festival, June 7-9, Washington Park, Michigan City – Sand sculpting artists compete as they create incredible works along the shores of Lake Michigan. Music, food, libations, crafts, and a kids’ zone add to the weekend fun.
Hats off to the usa!
Nothing says “America” like parades, fireworks, and a traditional county fair.
Red, Wine & Brew – June 28-30, LaPorte – Craft beer, wine tasting, and lots of food choices, including primo BBQ, highlight this annual festival that supports first responders. This year’s entertainers include country music artists Eddie Montgomery on Friday, The Cadillac Three on Saturday, and Craig Morgan on Sunday, and plenty more stars appearing with them. A drone and fireworks show tops it all off.
Michigan City Patriotic Parade and Fireworks, Michigan City – Parade June 29, 11am on Franklin Street; Fireworks July 4, 8:30pm at Washington Park – Have an Independence Day blast throughout the holiday, starting with the annual Patriotic Parade featuring more than 100 entries. Head for the Lake Michigan shore on the 4th for fabulous fireworks, launched over the water from Lighthouse pier.
LaPorte Kiwanis 4th of July Parade, LaPorte, July 4, 10am – LaPorte has been named Capital of the Day due to this fabulous parade showcasing a flyover to kick it off along with bands, floats, firefighters, police units, dancers, and so many more participants for 78 years.
LaPorte County Fair, LaPorte, July 6-13 – Every kid counts the days for the opening of that time-honored event – the county fair, with all those thrilling rides, cool animals, amazing food, and activities. Adults are just as excited, especially with this year’s country headliner: Chris Young on July 10
racing on the waters
Lake Michigan and LaPorte’s inland Stone Lake draw racers and a host of activities to their shores.
Michigan City AquaX Grand Prix, Michigan City, July 12-14 – P1 AquaX jet skis zoom across Lake Michigan waters just off Washington Park as top riders battle for a qualifying spot in the World Championship race to be held in the Bahamas later this year. Food, brews, bands, and activities round out the weekend.
LaPorte LakeFest and LaPorte AquaX Grand Prix, July 26-28, LaPorte – LaPorte is THE place to be for a weekend of jet ski racing, music, fireworks, and family fun. Watch jet ski riders in both stand-up and sit-down races zoom across Stone Lake as they compete for top accolades. Enjoy special kids’ activities, a Venetian parade, live music Friday and Saturday night, fireworks, and more.
Great Lakes Grand Prix, July 31-Aug 4, Washington Park, Michigan City – Some of the world’s fastest and most powerful offshore boats race at astonishing speeds across Lake Michigan at this huge annual event. There’s plenty to do on the shore with food, drinks, a big boat parade and block party, and a chance to meet the owners and racers. Live entertainment includes regional bands playing all weekend long.
Delve into the world of art.
Lubeznik Arts Festival, Michigan City, Aug 17-18 – This state-of-the-art museum, with glistening galleries and outdoor sculpture stages its 42nd annual art fair on the Lubeznik grounds. Peruse the works of more than 60 art vendors, join the live mural invitational, see indoor exhibitions, and take part in family activities. Local vendors will provide plenty of food, beer, and wine.
fantastic fall frolics
Scarecrows, sunflowers, pumpkins, and spooky meanderings spell fall enjoyment.
Michigan City Oktoberfest, Michigan City, Aug 30-Sept 2 – Say goodbye to summer at this Labor Day Weekend bash. More than 40 entertainment acts take to three stages, with a variety to suit every fan. Art, craft, and merchandise vendors from a wide area will be on hand, as well as numerous local and regional food vendors. Don’t miss the Kids Zone!
LaPorte Sunflower Fair & Night on the Avenue, LaPorte – Night on the Avenue, Sept 20, 6-10pm; Sunflower Fair, Sept 21, 8am-4pm – What’s a sunflower fair without plenty of sunflowers? Even fairgoers who don’t enter the sunflower contest love to look at the award winners in categories such as tallest flower and most blossoms. There’s so much more to love at this big event, with more than 100 craft and food vendors, entertainment, contests, gallery walk, and kids activities. Kick it all off with Friday evening’s Night on the Avenue, complete with an artisan market, food, and beer.
Wanatah Scarecrow Festival, Wanatah – Sept 27-29 – This annual festival has it all: a parade, live music, a huge craft fair, kid rides, a fun run, car show and, of course, a scarecrow contest. Come for the fun, stay for mouthwatering food from local churches and organizations, including a pork chop dinner, fish fry, pancake breakfast, and some unique and yummy pretzel creations.
Westville Pumpkin Fest, Westville – Oct 5, 8:30am to 5pm – What a great way to celebrate the pumpkin harvest – with PUMPKINS! Think pumpkin decorating, a pumpkin pie-eating contest, a pumpkin pie bake-off and loads of pumpkin baked goods for fairgoers to enjoy. Planned events include a 5k run/walk, entertainment, cash prizes, and a raffle.
Boo at the Zoo, Washington Park Zoo, Michigan City – Oct 19, 10:30am-3:30pm – Everyone loves interacting with the animals at this popular zoo, but Halloween is an especially fun time for kids 14 and under as they wander the trails, meet the tigers, wolves, bears, and other animals, and pick up treats along the way from area businesses. Wear your costumes! Tickets sell out, so it’s a good idea to order early.
LaPorte Santa Parade, LaPorte – Nov 30 – This annual parade features Santa, ushering him to his downtown chalet on Plaza 18. 618. Stick around for all the activity on the Plaza, including sipping cider or hot chocolate, visiting with Santa, and listening to carolers sing. Food trucks will be on hand.
Michigan City Festival of Lights & Kickoff Parade, Michigan City – Nov 30-Jan 4 – Parade Nov 30; Festival lights on daily from 4pm-10pm – Millions of lights provide a holiday glow on this iconic park drive-through with displays that range from nostalgic to lighthearted to eye-popping extravaganzas. The parade along Franklin Street, a Christmas tree lighting at the library, and other downtown events start off the season before the park lights up.