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We want to take you behind the scenes, to give you insider information you won't find anywhere else. This is where we pull Bloomington's hip happenings together with recommendations from our team, first-hand accounts from project producers, and guest blogs by local gurus.  The Backstage Blog helps you stay in front of it all.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Bloomington's Best Fall Festivals

Categories: Events, Festivals, General

As the leaves start changing throughout Southern Indiana, Bloomington comes alive with vibrant festivals to entertain spectators of all ages and interests! Everything from music to art to hot air balloons can be found in Monroe County, providing hours of fun to fuel your fall adventures. The events may look different this year, but that doesn't mean the celebration has to stop.


Crowd at Pridefest in Bloomington IN

When: Thursday, August 27 - Saturday, August 29, 2020
Where: Virtual
Cost: Free

The best college town pride fest in the nation (Thrillist) is online this year. Pridefest 2020 will include a vendor expo, workshops with activists and experts, wellness activities, music performances, dance parties, and other live entertainment! There will be more events added to the calendar such as ticketed pop-ups, film screenings, and much more. To stay up to date, visit Bloomington PRIDE's website

Fourth Street Festival

Couple Looking at Portrait at The Fourth Street Fest

When: Saturday, September 5 - Thursday, December 31, 2020
Where: Virtual
Cost: Free

Over 80 professional 2D artists, fiber artists, glass artists, jewelers, potters, painters, photographers, sculptors and wood artists will be participating in this year’s Virtual Fourth Street Festival of the Arts and Crafts opening Labor Day weekend and running through the end of the year. For more info visit 4thstreet.org

Kiwanis Indiana Balloon Festival

Hot Air Balloons at Night at Indiana Balloon Festival

When: Saturday, September 12, 2020. Rain date: Sunday, September 13, 2020
Where: Monroe County Fairgrounds
Cost: Free

The magic of watching hot air balloons take off and soar over the rolling hills of Southern Indiana is a sure way to entertain anyone for a weekend. The Kiwanis Indiana Balloon Festival is a chance to watch balloons of all shapes and sizes float through the sky. This year, the balloon festival is a drive-by event. There is a balloon launch in the a.m. and a balloon glow in the evening. The annual festival will have vendors at the event where you can buy handmade miniature hot air balloon ornaments, inflatable toys, and merchandise. Virtual events include puppet shows, a 5k walk/run, "Kiwanis Idol," and so much more. Find more information here

Lotus World Music & Arts Festival

Concert Performance at The Lotus World Music and Arts Festival

When: Thursday, September 24 - Saturday, September 27, 2020
Where: Virtual & Switchyard Park
Cost: Prices vary for single-night tickets

One of the oldest world arts festivals in the world and the only one of its kind in Indiana, the Lotus World Music & Arts Festival will give you a taste of arts near and far while never leaving Southern Indiana. While most of the events are virtual this year, some still require you to purchase tickets. There will be an in-person concert at Switchyard Park, though!  Also, in an effort to get everyone excited, Lotus is offering Lotus Festival Outreach Kits. For more information on this year's Lotus Festival and ways to support the arts, click here

Midway Music Festival + Summit

A post shared by MidWay Music Festival (@midwaymusicfestival) on

When: Monday, September 28 - Saturday, October 3, 2020
Where: Virtual
Cost: Advance All-Access Pass - $35, General All-Access Pass - $60, Advance VIP All-Access Pass - $45, General VIP All-Access Pass - $50, Show tickets range from $3-$5

The Midway Music Festival celebrates women and non-binary artists through music and the arts through education, empowerment, and entertainment. Started as an internship project, this year, the nonprofit music festival is a virtual experience that gives guests a taste of a festival with equality in mind. With local vendors and local artists, this festival is the perfect way to get a taste of some lesser-known musical gems around Monroe County and the midwest. Midway Music is also hosting a summit along with the music festival. Hear from a panel of women-identifying and non-binary people in the music industry! Visit their website for more information. 

Great Glass Pumpkin Patch

Colorful Pumpkins and Glass Work at The Great Glass Pumpkin Patch

When: Saturday, October 10, 2020
Where: Monroe County Courthouse Lawn
Cost: Free

Located on the lawn of the historic Monroe County Courthouse, the Great Glass Pumpkin Patch is an exhibition of over 900 hand-blown pumpkins, available for purchase, or just for a good gander! After you pick your glass pumpkin in the morning, come back for an afternoon for a glass suncatcher workshop, face painting, and more! Click here for a full list of events. 

Nia Jones

Nia Jones

Nia is Visit Bloomington’s Content Coordinator. As soon as she stepped foot on IU's campus, she realized she found a forever-home in Bloomington. Her favorite thing about B-Town is the diversity and culture that is found in this small town in the Midwest.  She enjoys exploring new places around town and cheering on the Hoosiers.