Do you have your calendars ready? I have narrowed down the hundreds of events that will happen in Hendricks County this year into a Top 16 for 2016, which was no easy task.
I wanted to provide a good mix of activities as well as incorporating both small-town festivals and our bigger events.
So here they are in chronological order to make them easier to add to your calendars. Our complete list of things to do can be accessed anytime on our online Events Calendar.
I hope everyone reading this has a great 2016 and plans to get to a few or perhaps all of these Hendricks County events.
- Maple Sirup Days - Bigger and better every year at McCloud Nature Park near North Salem, this annual event comes at a time when the outdoors are beginning to thaw out from the harsh winter season. Maple Sirup Days shows how the Native Americans created this sweet treat through demonstrations and participating in hands-on experiences. Dates: March 5 & 12. More info
- Mayberry in the Midwest - Any fan of The Andy Griffith Show needs to experience this two-day event in downtown Danville. The zany fun includes a Meet & Greet with Mayberry dignitaries including actual actors from the show and tribute artists reprising iconic characters, a Saturday morning parade, Mayberry After Dark, live performances and some new activities in 2016 that we will announce right here in a couple months. Dates: May 21-22. More info
- Amo Fish Fry Festival - This 66th annual festival is more than your typical small-town fish fry. This is a true three-day event with a car show, parade, games, carnival rides, fireworks and much more. Dates: June 9-11. More info
- Society of Creative Anachronism 50-Year Celebration - This international organization that re-creates the arts and skills of the European Middle Ages and Renaissance periods chose Hendricks County and specifically the Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds & Conference Complex in Danville for an 11-day festival celebrating the organization's 50 years. Tens of thousands of members from all over the world will arrive donning full period regalia and participating in equestrian events, archery, thrown weapons and much more. Dates: June 17-27. More info
- Hot, Warm & Cold Glass Artists in Action - A true cultural event, Lisa Pelo, owner of Hot Blown Glass invites some of the region's most talented glass artists to her studio in Clayton for a two-day showcase of this amazing art form. Watch as artists form and shape molten glass into beautiful works of art. But that isn't all, as a fire dancer also performs after the sun goes down. Dates: June 17-18. More info
- Hendricks County Rib-Fest - An event that continues to grow in popularity will add even more activities in 2016 at Kingsway Christian Church in Avon. The massive lineup that includes a run/walk event, great food, children's activities, live music and fireworks at the end of the night will add a hot air balloon glow this year. Date: June 25. More info
- Cruis'in in Coatesville Car Show & Street Fair - Another great small-town event welcomes car enthusiasts from all over the region as this festival blends famous cars, local classics, music, kids activities and all kinds of other fun into one day in downtown Coatesville. Date: July 16. More info
- Hendricks County 4-H Fair - This week-long celebration includes all you might expect from a typical county fair including the animals, carnival rides, shows and exhibits along with aspects you might not expect such as motorsports events, music concerts and much more. Dates: July 17-23. More info
- Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals - The most prestigious drag racing event in the world returns to the most famous drag strip on the NHRA circuit. This amazing Labor Day tradition is a bucket-list event that everyone must experience once in their lifetime whether they are a racing fan or not. Dates: Aug. 31-Sept. 5. More info
- North Salem Old Fashion Days - Perhaps the preeminent small-town festival in Hendricks County and another Labor Day tradition, Old Fashion Days dates back 41 years and has maintained much of its charm including horse pulls, what's billed as the longest parade in Hendricks County and even crazy contests like bed races down Pearl Street. Dates: Sept. 3-5. More info
- Bicentennial Torch Relay - Celebrate Indiana's 200th birthday when the Torch Relay arrives in Hendricks County. The torch starts its four-hour journey at 9 a.m. at Lucas Oil Raceway. Torchbearers will carry the torch through Avon and Plainfield as well as stopping for a ceremony at the Courthouse Square in Danville with many fun surprises and activities planned. Date: Sept. 23. More info
- Heartland Apple Festival - Previously chosen by Indianapolis Monthly magazine as one of "50 Things Every Hoosier Must Do!" this festival held over two weekends at Beasley's Orchard in Danville is a true fall tradition. Activities include a corn maze, hayrides to the pumpkin patch, tons of children's activities, shopping inside a Civil War-era barn turned market and vendor tent, food, live entertainment and more. Dates: Oct. 1-2 & 8-9. More info
- Indiana Short Film Festival - The only festival in Central Indiana dedicated entirely to short films, the Indiana Short Film Festival showcases up-and-coming filmmakers from all over the world during this three-day event. Rated by AudienceAwards.com as one of the 10 best short film festivals in North America and held at the historic Royal Theater in Danville, this is a true must-see event for any film lover. Dates: Oct. 7-9. More info
- Christmas on the Square - This event, which is held the day after Thanksgiving every year, rolls out the welcome mat for the holiday season. Get into the holiday spirit as the lights streaming down from every side of the picturesque Hendricks County Courthouse are lit. Other activities include holiday games, a live nativity scene and sounds of holiday music wafting through the air. Date: Nov. 25. More info
- Plainfield Tri Kappa Gingerbread Christmas - This massive event with more than a hundred booths featuring juried fine art and handcrafted art has become a regional favorite as people line up to get in. Your holiday shopping isn't truly complete without visiting this event held the first Saturday in December at Plainfield High School. Date: Dec. 3. More info
- Christmas Under the Stars - Traditionally held the same day as Gingerbread Christmas, you will have just enough time to complete your holiday adventure by heading to Brownsburg that evening for the town's nighttime Christmas party. Bundling up and lining Main Street for this popular holiday parade has become a tradition for so many. Why not make it part of your holiday tradition in 2016? Date: Dec. 3. More info