Written by: Philip Potempa
August 31st, 2017

 

Jean-Ann Morton and her daughter Jaimie of Westville consider the fall their favorite time of year for strolling festivals in Northwest Indiana.

“When the weather is cooler, and with the changing of the seasons, it’s an entirely different experience,” said Jean-Ann, who rates her own community’s festival as her family’s favorite.

Jean-Ann has an added reason for being a fan of the Westville Pumpkin Festival, which is always the first weekend of October.

“For three consecutive years, I was the first place winner for the festival’s pumpkin recipe contest,” she said.

“My daughter Jaime always helps me with my recipes to compete for the pumpkin trophies they award.”

The 27th Annual Westville Pumpkin Festival, Sept. 29 to Oct. 1, is expected to draw as many as 4,000 visitors to tiny Westville, which has a population around 6,000. A parade, pumpkin-themed run, food vendors and contests are among the annual highlights.

The following are some other 2017 fall festivals and fun events in Northwest Indiana. Watch for upcoming stories on pumpkin farms and haunted houses for more fall fun.

September

39th Annual Valparaiso Popcorn Festival: Sept. 9. Central Park Plaza, 68 Lafayette Street. Free admission. www.Valparaisoevents.com.

Portage Brewfest: Sept. 9. Founders Square Park, 2100 Willowcreek Road. $10-$70. www.portagebrewfest.com.

Hobart Brews and Blues Festival: Sept. 16. 111 E. Old Ridge Road. $10-$35 ticket range. brownpapertickets.com/event/2899094.

Portage Bacon Fest: Sept. 16. 6300 Founders Square. Free admission. www.baconfestportage.com.

Indiana Dunes Apple Festival: Sept. 16-17. Chellberg Farm, 618 N. Mineral Springs Rd., Porter. Free admission. www.nps.gov/indu.

Sandhill Crane Festival: Sept. 16. Downtown Wheatfield. Free admission. www.wheatfieldchamber.org.

6th Annual Polish Heritage Festival: Sept. 17. Friendship Botanical Gardens, 2055 U.S. 12, Michigan City. $5; free for children under 12. www.facebook.com/PolishHeritageFestivalMC.

Wanatah Scarecrow Festival: Sept. 22-24. Downtown Wanatah. Free admission. www.scarecrowfest.org.

Pioneer Festival Days: Sept 23-24. Creek Ridge County Park, 7943 W. 400 North, Michigan City. Free admission. michigancitylaporte.com/event/pioneer-days/.

Fall Harvest Antique Equipment Festival: Sept. 23-24. Sunset Hill Farm County Park, 775 Meridian Rd, Valparaiso. $5. www.nihpa.org.

Westville Pumpkin Festival: Sept. 29-Oct. 1. Prairie Meadow Park, U.S. 421 and U.S. 2. Free admission. www.westvillepumpkinfestival.com.

Valpo Brewfest: Sept. 30. Central Park Plaza, 68 Lafayette Street. SOLD OUT www.Valparaisoevents.com.

October

Taltree Arboretum & Gardens October Scarecrow Trail and Garden Fest: Oct. 1-10. 450 W. 100 North, Valparaiso. $5-$10. www.taltree.org.

Crown Point Oktoberfest: Oct. 7. South Main Street. Free admission. www.crownpoint.in.gov.

Cowtober Fest: Oct. 7 and 8. Fair Oaks Farm, 856 N. 600 E., Fair Oaks. Free admission. www.fofarms.com.

Wickedly Whiting Festival: Oct. 14. 119th Street, Whiting. Free admission. www.wickedlywhiting.com.

Valparaiso Fall Harvest Festival: Oct. 20-21. Central Park Plaza, 68 Lafayette Street, Valparaiso. Free admission. www.Valparaisoevents.com.

European Market Pumpkin Palooza Festival: Oct. 28. Third and Broadway Streets, Chesterton. Free admission. dunelandchamber.org/events/details/chesterton-s-european-market-pumpkin-palooza-4245.

Philip Potempa is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.