Head to the town of murals on Labor Day Weekend for a four days of fun during Ligonier’s 32nd annual Marshmallow Festival.
From Friday-Monday, Sept. 1-4, you can enjoy rides, live music, a parade, and vintage vehicles, as well as marshmallow games and plenty of the sugary sweets following a short drive up U.S. 33, or west on U.S. 6, near downtown Ligonier.
Marshmallow capital of the world
6-10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1
8 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 2
10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 3
7 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday, Sept. 4
Free · (260) 302-2052
Named after the town’s history with hot chocolate’s favorite accompaniment, the festival was originally known as Strawberry Valley Days to “honor of the town’s early settlers who established the town thanks to its abundant strawberry patches,” according to USA Today.
The festival was rebranded in 1992 to celebrate the town having one of the world’s leading factories in marshmallow production, Kidd and Company.
Kidd and Company was the second-largest producer of those little fluffy treats behind only Kraft. Although the company closed its doors in 1996, the town celebrates itself as the Marshmallow Capital of the World.
Schedule of events
With tons of events going on throughout this four-day festival, there is something for everyone.
Beginning on Friday, Sept. 1, Kenney Park will be full of kids activities, marshmallow roasting, and music from Jon Ness Band, followed by fireworks.
Saturday opens with a car show at 8 a.m. followed by an opening ceremony at 10 a.m. Throughout the afternoon there will be games and the Burnworth Zollars Auto Group Car Show. T.A.G. Art Company and Your Party Princess will have “superheroes” and “princesses” to meet at the library lawn.
Into the evening, there will be the bingo at the American Legion along with a tractor pull on Main Street and the Ligonier Police Department Bike Rodeo at West Noble Primary School. To finish out the night, Cadence will perform prior to Todd Allen Herendeen and the FTD Band on the Main Stage, followed by the Ligonier Fire Department’s Blue Light Parade on Cavin Street.
Sunday consists of more T.A.G. Art meet and greet with superheroes, a worship service, bingo, and the CMA Kingdom Cruisers Motorcycle Show. The Ligonier Lions Club will host a cornhole tournament at 2 p.m., while the Main Stage continues into the night with entertainment from Des Dance, Red-Eye Lorelei, The Fords, and The Bulldogs.
On Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 4, festivities begin with a Lion’s Club Breakfast, multiple activities during the day, and the Grand Parade at 2 p.m.
As you can see, this festival is full of events for people of all ages.
“We work with local nonprofits and for-profit organizations and they set up vendor or informational booths,” said festival president Margarita White. “My favorite part of the festival is the family-friendly feel to it. There is no admission fee or parking fee, and festival attendees can come sit on the library lawn or bring their lawn chairs and enjoy the events and performers.
“I look forward to everything at the festival from the marshmallow roast to the car show, to the performers, to the rides.”
The theme for this year’s festival is “30 Years of Marshmallow Memories!,” and I know I’m excited to see what kind of floats come from that idea.
To learn more information about the festival and any updates that may come with it, head follow their Facebook page, Ligonier Marshmallow Festival.
Advanced and discounted tickets for carnival rides can be purchased at Ligonier area Lake City Bank, Interra Credit Union, and Campbell & Fetter Bank.