Indiana is known as the Crossroads of America, but maybe that should be expanded to include the world. The world opens up to you at the Indy Midsommer Festival, held from 1-11 pm. on Saturday, June 9, at the Indianapolis Latvian Community Center, where you can discover something wonderful about the many cultures that thrive in our state.
Representatives from 18 different countries will share their countries’ cultures through food, music, dance, games and more. United by the celebration of the summer solstice--also known as St. John’s Day in many European cultures--partygoers will break bread and welcome the warm, bright summer months. You can sing and dance along with 165 performers throughout the afternoon and evening, and conclude with the main event: a bonfire lit as night settles in. The bonfire is an important symbol to all of the countries participating and is a thrilling capstone to the festival.
When the festival began three years ago, its planners set out to bring together the European cultural enclaves in Indy and expose native Hoosiers to new and exciting cultures. That idea caught on quickly, and the festival expects to welcome more than 1,000 guests this year. “We want to teach Americans about the celebrations of the summer solstice in all these European countries,” said Mark Henderson, Chairman of the Indy Midsommer Festival Planning Committee. “There aren’t many other opportunities out there like this one.”
Attendees are encouraged to learn as much as they can about the represented countries’ societies and cultures during the festival. Large vinyl banners will display information about each participating country. For a gourmet tour of these countries, there will be ethnic foods as well as a Beers of the World tent with plenty of brews. The bonfire will be lit around 9:30 pm.
Festival tickets are $8 if you preorder or $10 at the door. You can share your festival experiences on Facebook, and on Instagram and Twitter using #indymidsommerfest.