Get ready, Regionites – the festival and event season is about to hit

By: Stacey Kellogg Last Updated: May 23, 2019

Summer in the Region is everything All-American, speckled with some of the world’s most unique, whacky, and fun-filled happenings. These events draw locals to cross city and county borders without a blink and bring scores of visitors from all over the nation. Decades of tradition weave their way through events like 100-year-old parades, while newer events like nighttime bike rides reflect today’s trends.

But don’t take our word for it. Check out this preview of the most popular events about to explode in the Region in 2019 and browse the stories and photos of years past to really get the flavor.

Michigan City

#CreatePlayRepeat. It’s just that easy to have constant fun in this lakeside community, especially in the summer. The locally-famous Patriotic Parade is strategically scheduled for 11 a.m., June 29, just before the crazy Independence Day rush. It’s also affectionately known by natives as the Michigan City Big Parade, because it’s just that – stretching more than a mile along the Franklin Street artery leading patrons to post-parade fun in the revitalized downtown shops and restaurants. Fireworks this year are on July 4 at dusk, launched from the Lighthouse pier over Lake Michigan. Details can be found on the city’s Facebook page.

The first weekend in August, though, is the heavy hitter for MC. Catch the Super Boat Great Lakes Grand Prix August 1-4 – four days of high-energy boat races featuring the world’s fastest and most powerful offshore power boats speeding past spectators on the Washington Park Beach at nearly 175 miles per hour. Nestled in middle of that event is the Taste of Michigan City, brought to the community by the Uptown Arts District (UAD) and the Michigan City Mainstreet Association on August 3-4. Discover culinary concoctions of local restaurants, musical acts, and a thirst-quenching beer garden right in the heart of the UAD.

Stay up-to-date on the Michigan City events by following them on Facebook.

Want to see them more in-depth? Check out these galleries and articles:

2018 Michigan City July 4 Fireworks

2018 Taste of Michigan City and Boat Parade

2018 Super Boat Great Lakes Grand Prix


The city of Hammond has the “go big or go home” approach to their events that draw massive audiences from the entire Region and beyond. It certainly reflects Mayor Tom McDermott’s personality, but also represents the all-in attitude of everyone who makes the events possible.

The 2019 Festival of the Lakes is July 17- 21, at Wolf Lake Memorial Park. So far, these acts have been announced: Nelly and 3 Doors Down, Bad Company, Roots, Los Huracanes del Norte, and The Empty Pockets. Aside from the huge musical acts, Festival of the Lakes features a carnival, splash pad, polka party, boat rides, fishing derby, a 5K Run/Walk, and even a special Senior Day. The full VIP experience is available for the concerts, and mega passes for the carnival. Otherwise, the only fee is for parking.

Brand new this year is the Cold Roses Brew and Music Festival on August 9 in downtown Hammond. One night, one incredible music lineup, and more than 30 breweries. The acts are super chill, and so far include The War On Peace, Tristen, Louder Than Bombs: The Smiths/Morrissey Cover Band, CoJack, and Rhythm Scholar.

Go Hammond is the city’s tagline. See where they took us with these photo galleries and articles from past events:

2019 219 Day

2018 Festival of the Lakes

Crown Point

Two words for this bustling city: Bulldog Park. In December, the city opened the Bulldog Park ice rink so families could get a jump-start on winter fun. From May 31 – June 2 this year, they’ll celebrate the grand opening of the entire nearly $11 million event center complete with amphitheater, band shell, and splash pad for summer fun. Mayor David Uran has said the 2-acre park will transform the city’s festival and gathering atmosphere. The festivities start May 31 with a festival that includes a kids area, food, beverages, and music from 4-10 p.m. A ribbon cutting will take place at the Amphitheater Stage at 5:45 p.m., and the band Breaking Down will play from 6-10 p.m. On June 1, the Farmer’s Market will be open from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., and the festival with kids area, food, and music continues from 4-10 p.m. The band Positive Vibe Technicians will play from 6-8 p.m., and Dirt Born will play from 8-10 p.m.

The city will welcome autumn with the 12th Annual Oktober Fest on Oct. 5 this year. The event is the perfect mix of German brew fest flair (Thanks to craft beer from Crown Brewing) and hometown Indiana fun, like last year’s applesauce eating contest for kids, and pumpkin pie eating contest for adults.

Stay current on special events in Crown Point here, and in the meantime, check out coverage of past Crown Point celebrations!

2018 Oktoberfest

2018 Bulldog Park Ribbon Cutting


Lakefront fun, summer markets and movies in a historic theater have pushed the city of Hobart and Hobart Events into the forefront of fantastic destinations for seasonal fun.

The Summer Market on the Lake runs all summer long in Festival Park on Thursday afternoons from May 30 – Aug. 29, featuring food and craft vendors, and movies in the park, summer concerts, a graft beer garden, hydro bikes, and kayak rentals.

The unique Dive In Movies at the Hobart Pool combine the best of summer pool party fun with favorite family movies.

And then there’s the local favorite Hobart Lakefront Festival, a free event on the shores of Lake George with tons of family-friendly events, food, music, and the famous Damn Duck Tape & Cardboard Boat Regatta and the Dam Duck Race featuring 4,000 rubber duckies floating their way to the finish line.

For updates follow Hobart Events on Facebook. Here’s a look at some past fun!

2018 Hobart Lakefront Festival

2018 Damn Duck Tape & Cardboard Boat Regatta

La Porte

La Porte is all about parades and fests this summer as it welcomes a blend of time-treasured events and newer traditions.

This year’s Red Wine & Brew fest on July 3 sponsored by Bethany Church features the best of brews, bands, and BBQ (and wine tasting, too!), will proceeds benefiting local first responders. This lakefront event at Stone Lake is a 21 & older fest with renowned musicians. The Jaycees annual Fireworks Display is that evening at the fairgrounds. La Porte continues its patriotic tradition with the beloved annual Jaycees 4th of July Parade – the largest in the state running about 2.5 miles down the city’s main drag. The city celebrates being State Capital for the day.

La Porte and surrounding communities celebrate the end of summer with the annual Sunflower Fair, this year on Sept. 21 in downtown La Porte.

Here’s a look back at a couple of these hometown celebrations:

2018 Sunflower Fair

2018 4th of July Parade


Huge things are happening inside this small town of a couple square miles this summer.

Now that the grand opening of the new Mascot Hall of Fame has been celebrated, the city is looking forward to a grand summer on the lakefront with the seasonal opening of the Woah Zone Wihala in June. The giant inflatable, on-water obstacle course in Lake Michigan provides hours of fun for the public, and private parties.

Whiting’s annual July 4th Parade turns 100 this year, and Mayor Joe Stahura is promising some surprises along with the usual cherished tribute to soldiers and local veterans.

And then there’s the event that puts Whiting in the national spotlight: Pierogi Festival! Busias abound during the kick-off parade, and the Polish dumpling is celebrated the entire weekend of July 26-28. Food, fun, music, and whacky shenanigans will be the norm once again at this 25th annual event this year.

Keep connected with all the events within the City of Whiting here. Check out some fun coverage of past celebrations:

2018 Pierogi Festival

2017 WoahZone Wihala Opens

Valparaiso Parks Department

Before we get all excited about the summer events coming up with Valpo Parks, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the already crazy-popular ValPAWraiso Dog Park. The space at the former Clifford Stone Property at 2902 Campbell St., won’t open until Fall 2019, but news has spread quickly and fur parents everywhere are excited.

Until then, though, we’ll celebrate all summer starting with the June 1 Party in the Park at Fairgrounds Park. A kickball tourney, food, premium drinks, and live music are the framework for this early summer celebration. We hear that the Valpo Police Department will be matching off against the Valparaiso Fire Department in an epic kickball battle.

The 4th of July Blast 5K Run Walk is a Valparaiso favorite, and this year they’ve added the Lit’l Firecracker 2K run for the kiddos as well.

Fireworks will follow that evening at Urschel Field (Valparaiso Street & Vale Park Road), and Valpo Parks expects to welcome new vendors to the party in 2019. Food trucks, music, and family fun are the cornerstones of this event.

Summer in Valpo ends with the annual Valparaiso Popcorn Festival on Sept. 7 this year, complete with Popcorn Parade, food vendors, drafts, and local specials at restaurants and taverns throughout the downtown.

Here’s a glimpse at some of the fun from past year’s events!

2018 Valparaiso Popcorn Festival

2018 Valparaiso Party in the Park