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Summer festivals are underway around central Indiana

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - If you thought the month of May was packed with stuff to do, the month of June is bursting at the seams!

In this case, much of the fun is free and family friendly as the festival season kicks into high gear around central Indiana.  One of the events is the popular Italian Street Festival this Friday and Saturday.

"There are 25 different pastas being served and it's free admission.  It's also a very reasonable event.  Once you get in, you can buy food tickets for just $1 and each dish is priced differently.  There's also plenty of music, so bring your dancing shoes, it's a lot of fun," said Jacqueline Eckhardt, community engagement manager for Downtown Indy Inc.

The entire list of festivals and fun is on DowntownIndy's website. There are many to choose from just in the month of June alone, although the festival season lasts through September.  That includes Indy Pride, which is also happening this weekend.  They produce events which honor the history of people in the LGBTQ communities.

"We will start off with off the with Cadillac Barbie Pride parade presented on Mass Avenue. We go straight to the festival which opens at 11 o'clock.  This year for the first time, we are going smoke free as well," said Chris Handberg, executive director of Indy Pride.

The price of admission for the events at Military Park and White River State Park is $5.  There's also a new VIP experience.  The massive events goes from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.  And the Pride Festival is just the beginning.  There are festivals regarding food, beer, wine and plenty of art, including the IMAF, which stands for "Independent, Music and Art Festival."

"Our festival will be on June 16th from noon until 8 p.m.  We have 12 bands that'll perform.  Food trucks will be here and the Indieana Handicraft Exchange will be here with 100 plus vendors, so there's a lot going on and we're very excited about it," said Regan Whistler, coordinator for 2018 IMAF .

It's the 17th year for IMAF including the Asante Children's Theatre.  Other local musicians and artists will perform live music and create original artwork.  Sun King and New Day will be beer vendors at the arts festival at the exterior courtyard of the Harrison Center.

Festivals don't just happen on the weekend and after typical work hours.  Some start before most people even get off work.

"It's Downtown Indy Inc.'s Food Truck Friday, every Friday from 11 to 1:30 out on Georgia Street. There's music, food, and cornhole.  It's every Friday through August 24.  Your favorite food trucks will be parked on Georgia Street between Capitol Avenue and Illinois Street," said Eckhardt.

Downtown Indy has a complete list of which food trucks will be there and when.  It's a great way to enjoy a festival environment during lunchtime.

And you don't always have to wait for a Friday, Saturday or Sunday event.  The massive Christ Church Strawberry Fest is Thursday June 14 in downtown Indianapolis.  It's the 53rd year for the event and it runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monument Circle with six tons of strawberries and 18,000 shortcakes.  The cost is $2 to $7, and it's a great way to spend a lunch break and get a sweet treat at the same time.

You can also go to the Eiteljorg Museum June 23 and 24 for the 26th Annual Indian Market & Festival, which offers fun for the entire family near the canal.  Advance tickets are $13 and Eiteljorg members get in free.  At the gate, it's $15 for adults while kids 17 and under get in free.

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