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Events in Carmel, Indiana

Carmel, Indiana is a growing, prosperous suburb of Indiana state capital Indianapolis, a town that is rapidly evolving into a hub of creativity and beauty. Recently, Carmel has been growing into a tourist destination of sorts, an artists’ colony with all sorts of art galleries, music venues, and swank Carmel restaurants. There are many new physical developments in Carmel that reflect this growing trend towards the arts, like the Carmel Arts and Design District, but you can also tell the direction this town is going from the types of Carmel events that are starting to crop up.

Video of fireworks at CarmelFest in Carmel, Indiana

Probably the longest standing Carmel event is CarmelFest, a huge Fourth of July celebration that swamps downtown Carmel every year with vendors, fairgoers from around the United States, and other visitors. This Indianapolis festival spans three days of food, live Indianapolis music and entertainment, delicious vittles, a massive parade, and, of course, an extravagant fireworks display. For Carmel children, CarmelFest features a special Kids Zone full of fun games and Carmel things to do, and the Carmel High School marching band often makes an appearance at the parade. CarmelFest is a classic Carmel event that you shouldn’t miss!

Video of festivities at CarmelFest 2009 in Carmel, Indiana

On the music side of things, there are two events in Carmel that are designed to celebrate Carmel music: Rock the District and the Carmel Summer Concert Series. Rock the District is a massive music festival that brings in tons of top Indianapolis bands to perform at the Carmel Arts and Design District. This Carmel event has been going on for several years, but each year it evolves into something larger, louder, and more exciting. The 2009 edition of Rock the District featured three stages, the Main Stage, the Ivy Tech Community College Stage, and the CSO Architects Stage. Past performers have included Indianapolis music superstar Jon McLaughlin, the Jeremy Vogt Band, No Alternative, Red Umbrella, and Aimee Allen.

Video of Jon McLaughlin performing at Rock the District in Carmel, Indiana

The Carmel Summer Concert Series is a recurring Carmel event that takes place over several weekends in the summer. Residents and visitors alike head to the gazebo near Carmel’s Central Park to take in the sounds of a variety of different community bands. The Carmel Symphony Orchestra has performed at the Summer Concert Series, as well as jazz bands, USO-style groups, and other Carmel music representatives.
On the fine art side of things, a huge Carmel event is the Carmel International Arts Festival, a celebration of Carmel art and art around the region. Over 30,000 artists show up for this event each year, and the festival has been going on for eleven years now, enough time to build up a world class reputation. Taking place in September in the Carmel Arts and Design District, the Carmel International Arts Festival spans two days of face painting for Carmel children, vendors selling every medium of art you can imagine, including watercolor, sculpture, oils, wood, and pottery, and celebration. The Carmel International Arts Festival is a great way to get a sampling of Carmel’s new artistic focus.

Video of the creation of the Mural of the World during the Carmel International Arts Festival in Carmel, Indiana

All in all, Carmel is a hotbed of activities. It’s obvious from the types of festivals Carmel cultivates that this is a community whose focus is on the arts. Every Carmel event except for CarmelFest, a Fourth of July festival on a grand scale, have a focus on some sort of art. The Carmel Summer Concert Series and Rock the District focus on two different types of music, from the loud festival atmosphere of Rock the District to the quiet, relaxing evening presented by the Carmel Summer Concert Series. The Carmel International Arts Festival focuses more on visual art, the type of art present at such Carmel art galleries as the Magdalena Gallery and the Art & Soul Gallery. These Carmel events make for unforgettable day trips from Indianapolis, so if you’re planning on visiting Carmel, you should stop by during one of these great events. Carmel events are some of the top Carmel attractions, so if you don’t attend these, you’re missing out!

Mike Woods