Valparaiso, IN Annual Community Festivals, Events, and Entertainment
Whether you live in Valparaiso, Indiana as a college student or a full time resident or you are simply visiting, you may be looking for events. The community is filled with annual festivals and entertainment all year round. There are many opportunities within the university as well.
Please note that I verified all event information during August 2015. All dates and locations are subjected to change at any time without notice.
Valparaiso is located 54 miles from Chicago, 22 miles from Michigan City, and 55 miles from South Bend.
The following restaurants participate in Eat Up Wine Down each month.
Bon Femme Café
Casa Del Mar
Good to Go by Lucrezia
Margaritas Restaurant & Bar
Main + Lincoln
The Silver Spoon
Valley Kitchen and Bar
Eat Up Wine Down
On the first Thursday of every month all year round, select downtown Valparaiso restaurants offer $5 specials. Each participating restaurant has selections for some of their most popular dishes and/or drinks that are only $5 each. As all of the restaurants are within walking distance of each other, this is a great way to sample a wide variety of cuisine in a single evening. $5 specials run from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m.
- Eat Up Wine Down Valparaiso Events
Enjoy $5 specials at Downtown Dining Group Restaurants with Eat Up Wine Down in Valparaiso, IN every 1st Thursday of the month.
Spring Events (March, April, May)
- Chocolate Walk. The annual Chocolate Walk features more than 15 retail locations offering day-only free samples as well as specials and discounts. It's a great opportunity to take your time exploring all that downtown Valpo has to offer while enjoying delicious chocolates along the way. The event takes place in early March. Tickets go quickly so make sure to get yours early.
- Valpo Beer Rally. The Valpo Beer Rally is intended to celebrate all of the Hop Heroes in the community including Figure Eight Brewing, Four Fathers Brewing, and Ironwood Brewing. The event includes a live brewing demonstration, food for purchase, live music, and of course lots of beer. The Beer Rally takes place in early May. You must be 21 or older to attend, and tickets are limited.
Summer Events (June, July, August)
- Central Park Plaza Market. Head over to Central Park Plaza on Tuesdays from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to noon for fresh produce, plants and flowers, and handmade items. It runs from early June through mid October. They feature a demonstration or live music event on Tuesdays from 11:30 a.m to 1:30 p.m. Check the web site for a current events schedule and vendor list.
- Outdoor Movies. Central Park hosts the Valparaiso Outdoor Movie series on Tuesdays from mid-June through late July. The movies start around dusk. Enjoy the movie from a blanket or lawn chair.
- Summer Rhapsody Music Festival. This is a great opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of classical music with friends and family. Central Park hosts groups on select Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from mid-June through late August. General admission is free. For purchase tickets are available for select seating.
Tip: If you haven't already visited the Central Park Plaza Market, it's not too late to stop by in September or October!
Fall Events (September, October, November)
- Popcorn Festival. The Popcorn Festival honors Orville Redenbacher who developed his initial popcorn idea in Valparaiso. Typically there are pre-event activities the week before the festival. The festival features a variety of family friendly activities for people of all ages including 30 food booths, more than 200 artisan booths, games, a five mile long Popcorn Panic, and the country's first ever Popcorn Parade. The Popcorn Festival takes place in early September.
- Valpo Brewfest. Join fellow northwest Indiana beer lovers in late September for one of Indiana's top brewfests. There is limited attendance allowed so make sure to purchase your tickets ahead of time. The Brewfest features over 125 brews as well as food and live music.
- The Great Downtown Tailgate. The downtown tailgate is one of the newest events in Central Park. Bring some of your favorite tailgating supplies to this free event and enjoy a football game on a large movie screen. Participate in events before the game starts. Food and drink are available for purchase. Typically the Downtown Tailgate takes place in early October.
- Fall Harvest Festival. Head for spooky events in your best costumes. Many downtown Valparaiso businesses welcome trick or treaters throughout the late afternoon. Central Park hosts hayrides and entertainment. Typically the Fall Harvest Festival takes place in late October.
Holly Days in Valparaiso, Indiana
Winter Events (December, January, February)
- Holly Days. In early December, Central Park features a night of holiday musical performances, ice carving, a Holiday Village Market with local artisans, free rides, and a live nativity complete with animals. Make sure to listen to the carolers and take a look at the downtown restaurants and stores that are offering special treats and deals.
- Winter Dazzle. Enjoy two days in late February of ice carving competitions, horse-drawn carriage rides, and miniature ice golf. All events are free and centered around Central Park.
Annual Valparaiso University Events
This list of Valparaiso University events is by no means comprehensive. Consult the Campus Calendar for up to date information about upcoming events.
- Homecoming Festivities. Homecoming is much more than a football game with fellow alumni. There are lectures, exhibits, shopping opportunities, prayer services, meetings, Greek life events, and various sporting events throughout the weekend.
- Midnight Madness. Kick off the new basketball season with events in the athletic center before a midnight basketball practice.
- Christ College Freshman Production. The freshman honors college class puts together a production every fall.
- Christmas Concert and Christmas Vespers. One of the greatest strengths of Valparaiso University is the music department. Both of these events highlight the best that the department has to offer.
- Jazz Fest. Musicians from all over the region turn out in April for the Midwest's biggest non-competitive jazz event. The festival features jazz greats like Ellis Marsalis Quartet, Bobby Lewis Quintet, and Terrell Stafford as well as Valparaiso University student and faculty groups and Northwest Indiana high school jazz bands. 2015 Jazz Fest date TBD.
- Sousa Concert. Are you a fan of John Phillip Sousa marches? Make sure to catch the Valparaiso University Community Band's annual Sousa tribute.
Renowned Trombone Player Performs in Valpo
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