I like writing occasionaly about great restaurants, food events, and festivals. Indiana, while perhaps not known as a cultural hotbed has more such fun events than many might expect.

Over the weekend the first-ever Indiana Artisan Marketplace was held at the state fairgrounds on Indianapolis’ northside. The Indiana Artisan group is a juried group featuring traditional artists but also food and beverage artisans. You can check it out on the link above.

I had a great time Sunday with a friend. We had persimmon-based cookies, several great Indiana wines, fabulous chocolates, homemade noodles, Tell City prezels, fudge, soup mixes and more. And oh, the art was pretty cool too.

I took a few photos you can see here.

I got to thinking after Sunday’s event that quite a few of these great shows are coming soon. So if you’re a Hoosier, or going to be in Indiana – check these out.

Story Inn Indiana Wine Fair, April 30 – The historic Story Inn annually draws more than 20 Indiana wineries to pour their wines for this one day fest. If you haven’t been to Story, it’s worth the trip. It is quite an interesting drive into southern Brown County. I’ve attended this event a couple of times and really enjoy it. A note of caution though, on my last visit two years ago the size of the crowd was a bit overwhelming.

Broad Ripple Art Fair, May 21-22 – This is the first big outdoor art festival of the season in Central Indiana and a good one. It regularly features more than 200 artists along with plenty of food and music. The Broad Ripple Art Fair is sort of the kickoff to summer!

Vintage Indiana Wine Fest, June 4 – It’s hard to believe this year will be the 12th Vintage Indiana fest in downtown Indy. I went to the first or second one ever held! I’ve had a work conflict the past few years which keeps me from attending. I’m hoping to get down before the festival closes out this year. There are approximately 25 Indiana wineries participating this year. It’s a great chance to get a good taste of Indiana and appreciate the differences of the state’s best vintners.

Talbot Street Art Fair, June 11-12 – Of the three big art fairs – Broad Ripple, Talbot Street, and Broad Ripple – this one if probably my favorite. Talbot Street runs north/south between 16th and 21st, as far as the art fair is concerned. It’s just a bit more eclectic than all the others. Besides, it sits in an old, resotred residential neighborhood. And if you like people watching, nothing is better than a good art fest!

Penrod Arts Fair, Sept. 10 – In the words of the late sportscaster Keith Jackson ‘this is the granddaddy of them all.” First and foremost, the festival is held on the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. And they seem to be one of the luckiest festivals I’ve ever attended. In 4-5 visits over the past few years, they always seem to have the most incredible luck for beautiful weather. Penrod is also the biggest show with more than 300 artists. I’m told it’s also the toughest show to buy booth space. Folks attending Penrod seem to buy art!

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