The weather’s warming up, and so is the Indianapolis events calendar. The Indianapolis 500 is of course the big, noisy, decal-covered elephant in the room, but there's lots of other fun stuff for non-race fans, from Saint Patrick’s Day pub crawls to anime festivals. Here's our calendar guide for the Indy spring.

March
indiana pacers NCAA
Flickr/Danny Bollinger

March

Friday
Mar 17
Downtown
Indiana is known for its German heritage, but that doesn't stop us from getting into the St. Patrick's Day spirit. After catching the big parade in the early afternoon, head to Jiffy Lube's Blarney Bash 2017, which takes over the entire east block of Georgia St with green beer and live music from local favorites The Late Show, The Doo, and My Yellow Rickshaw. Finish the day off with the St. Pat's Bar Crawl, which stops at many of Downtown's premier watering holes.
Friday - Sunday
Mar 17-19
Watch your bracket get busted in person as Bankers Life Fieldhouse hosts six early-round men’s college hoops match-ups.
Friday - Sunday
Mar 24-26
From Friday to Sunday the Indianapolis Museum of Art's Toby theater serves up the best in big-eyed, fast-talking Japanese animation, from Akira (the genre's Citizen Kane) to Howl’s Moving Castle, a gorgeous movie from Hayao Miyazaki. Most of the films are subtitled, so don't forget your glasses. Tickets are $12 per film, or $8 for IMA members.
April
sour wild funk fest
Upland Brewing Company

April

Saturday
Apr 1
Upland Brewing Co. hosts the sixth edition of this salute to sour beers. More than 40 breweries from across the country will serve up their bitterest beverages, and a $75 general admission ticket gets you a tasting glass and full run of the place.
Thursday
Apr 6
The Indians may only be a Triple-A team, but their Downtown ballpark, Victory Field, is definitely major league. The squad starts their 2017 campaign against the Toledo Mud Hens, and be sure to stick around for the post-game fireworks show. If it's a bit chilly, take advantage of the team's opening-night guarantee: If it's not at least 60 degrees at game time, you get a free ticket to another April match-up of your choice.
May
indy car race
Flickr/Daniel Incandela

May

Saturday
May 13
The 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 isn't until Memorial Day weekend, but this Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course race will both whet the appetites of rabid fans and pique the interest of regular folks. Watch high-powered IndyCars run the 82-lap, 200-mile race, then walk the still-warm course afterward during the Track Invasion.
Thursday - Saturday
May 25-27
Races don't come any bigger than the Indianapolis 500, but they don't come any grittier than this crucible of speed, held at the Indianapolis Speedrome -- a 1/5-mile "track" that's actually a smear of blacktop about the size of a Denny's parking lot. The centerpiece of this particular extravaganza is a 90-minute figure-eight race. If that doesn't sound like a particularly long time for an "endurance" event, remember that on a figure-eight course the cars have to negotiate a four-way intersection twice on each lap -- and sometimes that doesn't go so well. The person who wins this live-action re-creation of the ending of Mad Max: Fury Road takes home 10 grand.
Sunday
May 28
Not a big race fan? That's OK, because the Indy 500 also serves up the Snake Pit, an all-day music festival located inside the massive track's Turn One. This year's lineup includes headliners Zedd and Marshmello, plus RL Grime, Action Bronson, Adventure Club, and The Trap House, with wrestling legend Ric Flair as special emcee. And if you need a break from the tunes, you can always watch the race itself.
Advertisement
Courtesy of Nordstrom

Whether you make shopping an experience, or like to get in and get back out, get your spring look on lock at Nordstrom. Buy online or via the app for in-store pick-up, get free professional second opinions from on-site personal stylists, and take your newly sharp self for a bite and a drink at the restaurant.

June
First Friday Food Truck Festival
First Friday Food Truck Festival

June

Saturday
Jun 3
Come to the first 2017 edition of this summer/fall tradition, in which roughly 30 food trucks bake, fry, and grill in the parking lot of Old National Centre during the first Friday of each month. Admission is $5, with music, outdoor games, and other activities included (though you still have to buy your own food). The ever-changing lineup could include such local legends as Bacon Station, Groovy Guys Fries, Holy Smoke Heavenly BBQ, and Slider Station.
Friday - Sunday
Jun 9-11
This quirky event is sort of like Comic-Con, if you substitute murder for sci-fi. Billing itself as an immersive celebration of true crime, this first-ever national event promises a "weekend filled with fun and mystery," and also probably some chills, because it focuses on particularly horrific, high-profile, unsolved crimes. The guest list includes TV fixtures Nancy Grace and Aphrodite Jones, along with legendary criminal defense attorney F. Lee Bailey. Educational sessions cover everything from ballistics to polygraphs and offer fake crime scenes for guests to investigate. You must be at least 18 (and have plenty of cash to cover the steep price of admission) to attend.
Saturday
Jun 10
Downtown
Indiana’s largest LGBT celebration, Circle City IN Pride, lasts an entire week, but the peak blowout happens on Saturday. The fun starts with the Cadillac Barbie IN Pride Parade through Downtown Indy, then continues from noon to 8pm with the 2017 Circle City IN Pride Festival inside Military Park at White River State Park. Wall-to-wall music? Check. Food and drink? Check. Drag queens? Check. Huge crowd? Check.
Saturday
Jun 17
The 22nd edition of the city's oldest craft beer festival serves up unlimited samples from dozens of local craft breweries. The outdoor block party takes place in the heart of the Mass Ave Arts & Theatre District and features live music from local bands and food from area restaurants. You must be 21 to enter, and proceeds benefit the Phoenix Theatre.
Saturday - Sunday
Jun 17-18
One of the most popular art fairs in the United States, this juried event offers works from more than 270 artists from across the nation and attracts north of 60,000 visitors to its outdoor location in the historic Herron-Morton Place. It's big, it's fun, and it's free.

Sign up here for our daily Indianapolis email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in town.

Sam Stall lives in Indianapolis with his son, James. He hasn’t attended the Indianapolis 500 since the Great Keg-o-pult Incident of 1998. Which, by the way, he had nothing to do with.

close

Learn More