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Insider tips for Indian Market and Festival

by Claire Quimby, Eiteljorg festivals and markets intern | Jun 18, 2013

It’s the final countdown to Indian Market and Festival on Saturday and Sunday June 22 and 23, and the tempo around the Eiteljorg festivals department is rapidly gaining speed. Surrounded by all the behind-the-scenes preparations, I suppose I ought to feel like an expert, but I’ve never actually been to Indian Market. I know I’m not the only one, so I’ve gathered together some insider tips from our veteran market-goers to share.
Indiana market welcome packets
1. Consider attending the Friday Night
Preview Party.

The Best of Show exhibit alone is worth the ticket price. This is the only opportunity to see all of the prize winning art on display. The food by Kahn’s Catering is fantastic and it’s fun to visit with the artists and their families before the weekend hubbub starts. Like, really fun. They’re cool and funny and a little punchy from traveling. You’ll also be granted VIP early bird shopping on Saturday morning, which is no small thing when you’re racing to get to your favorite artist’s booth before someone else snatches up all the best pieces. (2012 preview party pictures below)
 

 

Indian Market preview party

2. Use the event program to plan your day.

 You don’t have to miss a performance or get lost on your way to buy food tickets if you use the schedule and map in this handy guide. There are also in-depth profiles of several of the top artists as well as our performers. And lots of pretty pictures.
 
indian market 2013 cover

3. Come early to stake out seats in the entertainment tent.

Things get going first thing with Brian Buchannan, Chief of the Miami Indians of Indiana offering an official welcome and prayer to the artists and visitors. Then it’s nonstop storytelling, music and dance until the gates close. Checkout the jam-packed schedule here.  

4. Did someone mention food?

 Everyone says Indian tacos are a must for lunch. Check. But I need to plan out what to eat the second day of market or, realistically, as a mid-afternoon snack on the first day. I was told to look no further than the Mexican food vendor whose tamales, quesadillas and pupusas are beyond excellent. Apparently, the kettle corn is awesome too. And I’m sure I won’t be able to deny the lure of Baskin Robbins ice cream on an Indiana day in June. From all reports, you can’t go wrong with any of the food. And, if you’re looking for a shady retreat in between activities, the historic shelterhouse on the east side of the park is a great place to hang out with a cold drink – especially a frozen café melmoso from Hubbard and Cravens.

 

5. Take time to chat with the artists

Indian Market isn’t just a place to buy art – it’s an opportunity to engage with people with different cultural backgrounds and interesting knowledge to share. Even if you’re not planning to shop, the artists are really neat people and are excited to talk with you about what they do.
 

6. The Dogbane Family Activity Area isn’t just for kids

The Eiteljorg’s crack team in the education and public programs departments has come up with fun museum-based art activities for all ages to make and take home. You can color guitar fans and make guitar pick pendants, create ledger art and create sgraffito “scratch art.”

 
 

7. The Eiteljorg Museum

Not only does the Eiteljorg building offer the comfort of air conditioning and flushing toilets, there’s a lot to do and see inside the museum – and it’s free with admission to Indian Market. Check out the Guitars! exhibit; visit our western galleries, the contemporary art galleries and the Native American galleries; climb aboard a real stagecoach; get something to eat in the café; get your official Indian Market and Festival t-shirt in the store.

 8. Finally: buy your tickets in advance!

Okay, this is my own tip, and I’ve already revealed my newbie status, but even an amateur knows that you shouldn’t pay more than you have to. You’ll pay $2 less per ticket than if you buy them at the gate. That’s $2 more for artwork and food. You can get them online here or at Marsh stores. 
 

Claire Quimby
Eiteljorg festivals and markets intern

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