Culture » Festivals

The Ripple Effect



"I’m not lost. I live here." the bumper stickers read, above the words "Rocky Ripple, Indiana."

You’ll still occasionally spot these on cars motoring through the quaint and quirky town just west of the Canal Towpath, across the 52nd and 53rd Street bridges near Butler-Tarkington.

Essentially a peninsula surrounded on three sides by White River and the Central Canal and hemmed by Butler University's soccer field area, Rocky Ripple stands as a cool and proud little community all its own.

Creative folks who live here generally know all their neighbors -- various artists, activists, musicians and generations of families who’ve traveled and worked throughout the country, but wouldn’t live anywhere else. They often see "lost" drivers who've found their way in but can't maneuver their way out.

Each year at this time, Rocky Ripple residents welcome crowds of strangers across their bridges and into their park as they host a salute to summer’s end.

Rocky Ripple's 6-acre Hohlt Park welcomes adults, kids and dogs to the free festival of music, art and fun this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. - COURTESY ROCKY RIPPLE FESTIVAL
  • Courtesy Rocky Ripple Festival
  • Rocky Ripple's 6-acre Hohlt Park welcomes adults, kids and dogs to the free festival of music, art and fun this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

On this last Saturday of September, follow the trail of tunes and steady crawl of foot traffic and cars over the Central Canal to 840 W. 53rd St. -- Hohlt Park -- for food, artist exhibits, beer and wine, bands and family fun.

The 16th annual Rocky Ripple Festival will run Sept. 26th from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and welcome guests of all ages with free admission.

Browse some 60 vendor exhibits for samples of indie fine art and folk art alike (including oil, acrylic and water color paintings, sculptures and pottery), handmade soaps and sweets, custom-made jewelry and a variety of artsy apparel. Plenty of eats will be available, along with libations from the Broad Ripple Brewpub.

The number of bands scheduled to play almost makes it more like an all-day outdoor concert supplemented by arts and activities. Below is the featured lineup of musical guests who will perform:

The Pork & Beans Brass Band: brings New Orleans-style funk to Indy. - COURTESY PORK & BEANS BRASS BAND

Indy’s only New Orleans’-style Mardis Gras-esque musicians, Pork & Beans Brass Band; Sunny Meade with Kenneth Yerian and David Linder and friends; the folk Americana music of singer/songwriter Neil Cain & his Otter Damage band; Broad Ripple musicians of national acclaim and finalists in the 2013 Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Colorado -- none other than the nontraditional bluegrass trio Flatland Harmony Experiment; the working man’s folk musician, Cyrus Youngman and the Kingfishers (who recently released their debut EP Zodiac); and back this year by popular demand, Indy’s premier Grateful Dead tribute band HyRyder.

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