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Greater Lafayette Arts, Attractions and Culture

Culture and Arts at Purdue

Purdue University is a rich source of culture and arts for Greater Lafayette. Purdue Convocations regularly features concerts, plays, and activities around campus, and brings major acts like Lord of the Dance and Robin Williams to the Elliot Hall of Music. The Purdue Varsity Glee Club has been one of Purdue's great traditions since 1893. The Glee Club has traveled across the nation, and performed on national television, at four presidential inaugurations and at many regional and national concert events. Check their schedule and be sure to catch a performance!

Performing Arts in Lafayette

Downtown Lafayette's Long Center for the Performing Arts features various local and traveling acts year-round. Groups like the Lafayette Ballet Company, the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra, and Bach Chorale Singers regularly appear at the Long Center.

The Tippecanoe Chamber Music Society presents six concerts each season, mostly in historic Duncan Hall in downtown Lafayette. The Society's educational mission includes annual performances in local elementary schools that enhance the musical education of children. You can see the TCMS upcoming concert schedule and get more information about the group and their activities on their website.

The Greater Lafayette Music Scene

Fans of live music can enjoy a number of local venues that regularly feature local bands and artists. Popular venues around town include Downtown Records, Knickerbockers, Lafayette Brewing Company, and others. Check LafayetteMusicLeague.com for additional, relevant information and links.

If digital music and raves are more your style, check out the Purdue Beat Society, a student organization whose purpose is to promote and further all forms of electronic music through events that feature local and out-of-town DJ/Production talent.

Participants at the Feast of the Hunters Moon in West Lafayette, IN

Feast of the Hunter's Moon

The most widely known festival held in Greater Lafayette is most likely the annual Feast of the Hunter's Moon, a re-creation of an 18th Century French and Indian trading post on the banks of the Wabash River. The Feast is held on the grounds of Fort Ouiatenon, the site of the first European settlement in Indiana. In addition to craft demonstrations, military re-enactments and authentic foods, two local drum and fife groups make annual appearances at the Feast, the Voyageur Ancient Fife and Drum Corps and the Tippecanoe Ancient Fife and Drum Corps.

This year's feast (2008) will be held September 27th and 28th. Future Feast dates are scheduled for:

  • October 10th and 11th, 2009
  • October 2nd and 3rd, 2010

This year's feast (2008) will be September 27th and 28th. The hours for the Feast will be: Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., EDT. If you'd like to make your hotel reservations for the Feast early, see the Lafayette Online Lodging page.

Strawberry Festival

If you like strawberries, you'll love the YWCA's annual Strawberry Festival. The festival supports the YWCA's efforts to end domestic violence, eliminate financial barriers so all women have access to cancer screenings, provide quality childcare, and help people improve their health and fitness. The fest traditionally features a 5K Run/Walk for all ages, a 1K Kids' Fun Run, craft booths, games, a tennis tournament, pony rides, and (of course!) lots and lots of strawberries!

Taste of Tippecanoe

In Greater Lafayette, summer doesn't really seem to begin until the Taste of Tippecanoe. Presented every June by the Tippecanoe Arts Federation and held right in the heart of downtown Lafayette-West Lafayette at Riehle Plaza and the Big Four Depot, on the John T. Myers Pedestrian Bridge, and at Tapawingo Park in West Lafayette. The "Taste" is a one day, multi-stage festival that draws more than 50,000 people and features a smorgasbord of local restaurants, live music, and ends with a spectacular fireworks show for kids of all ages.

The Taste of Tippecanoe is the primary fundraiser for the Tippecanoe Arts Federation. The 2008 Taste of Tippecanoe is schedule for Saturday, June 21st.

Indiana Fiddlers' Gathering

Every year, Greater Lafayette plays host to the Indiana Fiddlers' Gathering. This regional festival at the Tippecanoe Battlefield is a three-days of acoustic music featuring the best in old-time, bluegrass, swing jazz fiddle, string band, Celtic and ethnic music on one stage. Presented by Indiana Fiddlers' Gathering, Inc., the festival draws up to 10,000 people annually to hear the best in traditional music. Past performers have included John Hartford, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Johnny Gimble, John McCutcheon, Mike Seeger, Tom Paley, Chris Thile & Nickel Creek, Robin & Linda Williams, Carry Newcomer, Howard Armstrong, Johnny Frigo, Claude Williams, Jethro Burns, and Rocky Stone among others.

Wolf Park, Battleground

Wolf at Wolf Park

A popular attraction in Greater Lafayette is Wolf Park in Battle Ground, a unique wildlife park where wolf behavior is observed. Wolf Park is a nonprofit education and research facility that was established in 1972 by Dr. Erich Klinghammer. Along with research and seminars on wolf behavior, particularly reproductive and inter-pack social behavior, Wolf Park provides interpretive programs to school groups throughout the year by prearrangement. The park is open to the general public from May through November and Saturday evenings for Howl Nights. The park is home to several packs of gray wolves, plus foxes, bison and a coyote.

Wolf Park is open May 1 to November 30, from 1pm-5pm every day except Mondays. The park is also open December 1st and 2nd for regular 1pm-5pm programs and Howlnight. Saturday evenings the park opens at 7:30pm for Howl Night programs throughout the year, and Friday nights at 7:30pm May through November 30. Special arrangements can be made in advance for school group tours during the mornings or Mondays for a minimum of $50.00 by contacting the Park via email or calling during regular business hours. (See their website for contact info) Admissions are $5.00 adults (14 years and older), $6.00 on Sunday. Children 6-13 are $3.00 all the time. Members and children 5 and under are admitted free of charge.

Columbian Park Zoo and Tropicanoe Cove, Lafayette

Columbian Park and Zoo is a 63 acre recreational oasis centrally located on Main Street just south of Indiana 26. Historic Columbian Park has been the place to enjoy quality leisure time with family and friends for over a century. Whether you want to cool off at its award winning family aquatic center, Tropicanoe Cove or observe some of the 150 different types of wildlife at one of the oldest zoos in Indiana, you'll find that Columbian Park offers a vast array of fun attractions for people of all ages.

Art Museum of Greater Lafayette

The Art Museum of Greater Lafayette shows a permanent collection and also features major national traveling exhibits in the East Gallery. The Museum offers a year-round schedule of exhibitions and studio arts classes catering to a variety of tastes and ages. Visit the GLMA's website for hours and additional information.

The Purdue Galleries

The Purdue Galleries present a series of exhibitions during the academic year in both the Robert L. Ringel Gallery in the Purdue Memorial Union and the Stewart Center Gallery, both located on the Purdue campus. The exhibits offer a wide range of perspectives on art and society, and they include regional, national and international artists. The Galleries provide educational opportunities for each of their exhibits, and they have a firm commitment to serving the needs of K-12 educators and students in the Greater Lafayette area. All exhibitions and programs are free and open to the public. See their website for hours and additional information.

TCHA Museums

In addition to putting on the annual Feast of the Hunter's Moon, the Tippecanoe County Historical Association operates several historical museums whose focus is on Greater Lafayette history. Two of these museums are the Tippecanoe County Historical Museum located in the Moses Fowler House on South Street in Downtown Lafayette, and the Tippecanoe Battlefield Museum in Battleground. The Tippecanoe County Historical Museum displays artifacts depicting the county's history from prehistoric times to the present, including Indian, pioneer, Victorian and 20th Century exhibits. The Tippecanoe Battlefield Historical Museum traces the cause and effects of the Battle of Tippecanoe.

Imagination Station Children's Museum

Imagination Station LogoDowntown Lafayette is also home to Imagination Station, a family science center boasting hands-on interactive exhibits ranging from computers, to dinosaurs and astronauts. The main goal of Imagination Station is to promote science literacy while providing enjoyable experiences for all ages. Imagination Station is available for school visits.

Imagination Station is open to the public Fridays from 9a-5p, Saturdays and Sundays from 1p-5p. Admission is $4.00 for adults, $3.00 for children and children under 3 years of age are free. See their website for more information.

Whether it's visiting a museum, attending a performance, or joining an arts organization, Lafayette provides many opportunities to get involved with the arts. For information, please contact the Tippecanoe Arts Federation at the Wells Community Cultural Center.