INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Veterans will get a lot of attention this weekend, but a variety of others events including a holiday gift show and a big band contest are on the calendar.
Veterans Day Parade, festivities
Veterans Day weekend is upon us, and we’ve got a full slate of events, parades and festivals to honor and celebrate our veterans. The annual memorial service in Indianapolis will begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday with a musical prelude, followed by speakers and a wreath laying at 11 a.m. on the north steps of the Indiana War Memorial. The parade around Pennsylvania, New York and Meridian streets will follow at noon. A banquet, open to all guests, begins at 5:30 p.m. at Primo Banquet Hall. Tickets priced at $30 per person. More information on these events is available here.
In addition to the Indy events, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources properties will be open to all veterans, active-duty military personnel and everyone in their vehicle for no charge Saturday. A military ID or a DD Form 214 is required.
Also, all Indianapolis Texas Roadhouse locations are offering a free lunch to active, retired or former U.S. military members with military ID from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday.
Christmas Gift and Hobby Show
If I had my way, all things Christmas would have to wait until after the last piece of pumpkin or pecan pie was finished on Thanksgiving night, but if you don’t agree … here’s an event for you! This is the 68th year for the Christmas Gift and Hobby Show in the West Pavilion of the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Get an early jump on holiday shopping, take photos with Santa and enjoy local entertainment from school choirs, dancers and more. The event runs Nov. 8-12, and admission is $12 (children under 13 are free and veterans get in free Saturday with ID). Hours vary by day, so make sure to check the schedule to see when doors open and close. Tickets and the schedule are available here.
Indy International Festival
The Christmas Gift and Hobby show isn’t the only event taking place at the Indiana State Fairgrounds this weekend. The 41st annual Indy International Fest, a unique opportunity to travel the world in just a few steps, will also be from 2-7 p.m. Thursday, from 2-9 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday. The festival is designed to feed the body, mind and spirit with tempting foods, educational experiences and artistic performances from every continent. More details are available here.
Bands of America Grand National Championships
The “super bowl” of high school marching bands takes place right here in Indianapolis, bringing over 100 bands from 23 states, including 12 from Indiana, to Lucas Oil Stadium. The 42nd annual, four-day event kicks off with the Indianapolis Marching Band Tournament on Wednesday evening. One hundred bands compete in two days of preliminary competition Friday and Saturday, with semifinalists advancing to perform Saturday. The top 12 bands, regardless of class, then compete in Saturday’s finals, starting about 8 p.m., for the title of Grand National Champion. In addition to competitors, the Marian University Marching Knights, Bowling Green State University Falcon Marching Band, University of Alabama Million Dollar Band, Miami University Marching Band and “Commandant’s Own” U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps will perform special exhibitions. More information is available here.
Spirit & Place Festival
The 22nd annual Spirit & Place Festival organizers asked the community to grapple with questions of “power” for this year’s festival, and the creative responses were amazing. Numerous cross-sector community partners will explore power as it relates to race, imagination, the intersection of art and science, religious history, neighborhoods and more. The event began on Nov. 3 and runs through Nov. 12. More details are available here.
Pike Heroes, Health, Hope 5K at Pike YMCA
The Pike YMCA is hosting its second Heroes, Health and Hope 5K beginning at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Eagle Creek Park. The race will focus on homeless veterans, and a portion of proceeds will go to the Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation. More information is available here.
Blue October and Good Old War
After a busy music weekend in the Circle City last week, we’re following up with two more big acts this weekend. Austin, Texas-based Blue October will follow fellow Texans Missio at the Old National Centre at 8 p.m. Saturday. The show is open to all ages, with ticket prices between $28 and $99. The Hi-Fi will play host to Philadelphia-based Good Old War with Watching for Foxes at 7 p.m. Sunday, with tickets as low as $12. The Good Old War show is for 21 and older.
Holiday Wine and Cocktail Fest
If you enjoy a good glass of Pinot Noir or an Old Fashioned, head to After 6 (247 S. Meridian St.) from 4-6 p.m. Saturday for an afternoon of drinking, sharing stories, mixes and connecting. General admission tickets are currently $24 when you use this link, or $30 without the promo code.