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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.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Bloomington's Best Fall Festivals

Categories: Events, Festivals, General

As the leaves start changing throughout Southern Indiana, Bloomington comes alive with vibrant festivals and events to entertain spectators of all ages and interests. The beautiful scenery is enough of a reason to visit B-Town in the fall, but these incredible events are an added bonus you don't want to miss out on.


People talking at a booth at Makevention

Date: Saturday, August 28
Time: 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Location: Monroe County Convention Center
Admission: Free

Join the local community of makers as they showcase and celebrate their various works, including digital fabrication, screen printing, upcycling, and more, at Makevention. 


People walking around at Pridefest

Date: Saturday, August 28
Time: 2:30-11:00 pm
Location: Kirkwood Avenue
Admission: Free

Celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community and queer allies at the seventh annual Bloomington Pridefest! The festival will feature a vendor expo, musical performances, educational workshops, wellness activities, and other entertainment.

Limestone Comedy Festival

Man performing stand-up at the Limestone Comedy Festival
Photo by TALL & small Photography

Date: Thursday, September 2 through Saturday, September 4
Time: Varying times — see the schedule
Location: Multiple venues — see the schedule
Admission: Tickets are available per show, as multi-day passes, and for the entire festival — see ticketing information

Enjoy the annual Limestone Comedy Festival in which over 50 comedians from across the nation perform at The Comedy Attic and other Bloomington venues. 

B'Town Jazz Fest

btown jazz fest

Date: Saturday, September 4
Time: 12:00 pm-11:00 pm
Location: Woolery Mill
Admission: Free

Celebrate Bloomington's rich jazz community at B'Town Jazz Fest! Features include performances by the area's leading professional artists, as well as collegiate and high school performers, food & drinks, and select merchandise. The Jazz Fest's 2021 headliners include Randy Brecker (trumpet) and Ada Rovatti (saxophone).

Fourth Street Festival of the Arts & Crafts

people checking out vendors at Fourth Street Festival during Labor Day in Bloomington

Date: Saturday, September 4 through Sunday, September 5
Time: 10:00 am-6:00 pm on Saturday and 10:00 am-5:00 pm on Sunday
Location: 4th Street, between Indiana and Grant Streets
Admission: Free

Enjoy the 45th annual Fourth Street Festival of the Arts & Crafts, with 80 booths of fine art and fine crafts created by local and regional artists.

Kiwanis Indiana Balloon Festival

Three hot air balloons launching at the Indiana Kiwanis Balloon Festival

Date: Friday, September 10 through Sunday, September 12
Time: 3:00-10:00 pm on Friday, 7:00 am-10:00 pm on Saturday, and 7:00 am-7:00 pm on Sunday
Location: Monroe County Fairgrounds
Admission: Tickets are available per day and for the entire weekend, with varying prices for preorders and day-of purchases. See the Kiwanis Indiana Balloon Festival for more information.

Enjoy hot air balloon launches, helicopter rides, pyrotechnic skydivers, fireworks, a wine & beer garden, food & commercial vendors, and other entertainment at the Kiwanis Indiana Balloon Festival

Fiesta del Otoño & Black y Brown Arts Festival

A man singing at the Black y Brown Festival of the Arts
Photo by Courtesy Photo

Date: Saturday, September 18
Time: 10:00 am
Location: Bryan Park
Admission: Free

Enjoy a visual arts exhibition, performance showcase, and food trucks at the Fiesta del Otoño and Black y Brown Arts Festival! The celebration seeks to raise and expand art appreciation, create space that affirms persons of color in the community, and enhance Bloomington’s spirit of inclusion.

Bloomington Birdfest

A group of people on a bird walk
Photo by Sassafras Audubon Society

Date: Saturday, September 18
Time: 11:00 am-3:00 pm
Location: Switchyard Park
Admission: Free

Bloomington Birdfest is an interactive educational celebration of bird biology, ecology, and conservation — experience hands-on activities, bird walks, speakers, live birds, nature crafts, falconry demonstrations, food trucks, raffle prizes and more!

Stinesville Stone Quarry Festival

Band performing at the Stinesville Stone Quarry Festival

Date: Thursday, September 23 through Saturday, September 25
Time: 6:00-10:00 pm on Thursday & Friday; 10:00am-11:00 pm on Saturday
Location: McGlockin Park in Stinesville
Admission: Free

Enjoy craft vendors, food booths, live music, a pie competition, an antique tractor show, a parade, and more at the annual Stinesville Stone Quarry Festival. Festival times are to be determined — check back frequently for updates.

Lotus World Music & Arts Festival

lotus parade

Date: Thursday, September 23 through Sunday, September 26
Time: Varying times — see the schedule
Location: Several downtown locations and venues
Admission: Several ticket packages are available — find ticket information

Celebrate the diversity, beauty, and joy of music and arts from around the world at the 28th annual Lotus World Music & Arts Festival. Lotus invites attendees to safely enjoy multicultural music, art, food, dance, workshops, and more! Performance times are to be determined — check back frequently for updates.

Hoosier Hysteria

hoosier hysteria

Date: Saturday, October 2
Time: Doors open at 2:30 pm, event runs from 4:00-5:30 pm
Location: Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall
Admission: Free

Get excited for the Indiana University basketball season at Hoosier Hysteria! Features include skills competitions, a dunk contest, and a brief scrimmage with both the men's and women's teams.

Science Fest

Kids participating in a hands-on activity at Science Fest
Photo by Marc Lebryk

Date: Saturday, October 9
Time: 9:00 am-3:00 pm
Location: Multiple locations across the Indiana University campus
Admission: Free

Participate in over 150 hands-on science activities, demonstrations, and talks at Science Fest.

Indiana University Homecoming Weekend

iu homecoming parade

Date: Friday, October 15 through Sunday, October 17
Time: All day
Location: Various locations on the IU campus
Admission: Free

IU Homecoming Weekend allows alumni to reconnect with friends, relive their favorite college traditions, and show their kids their old stomping grounds. The Indiana University Alumni Association will host several events throughout the weekend, including a parade on Friday evening and the Hoosier Huddle, a members-only tailgate, on Saturday. 

Great Glass Pumpkin Patch

glass pumpkin

Date: Saturday, October 16
Time: 10:00 am-3:00 pm
Location: Monroe County Courthouse Lawn
Admission: Free

Pick out your own homemade blown glass pumpkin or simply admire the display of over 900 glass pumpkins at the 12th annual Great Glass Pumpkin Patch! All pumpkins are made by members of the Bloomington Creative Glass Center. Proceeds from the pumpkin sales support educational arts programming throughout the year.

Looking for more information about fall in Bloomington? Check out these blogs:
Alyssa Davis

Alyssa Davis

Alyssa is the Digital Content Coordinator at Visit Bloomington. She's also a proud Indiana University alumna, Millennial cat lady, and Formula 1 enthusiast.