Summertime staple: New Pal Summer Fest this weekend brings back local favorites


The good weather and opportunity to connect with community in 2021 made for a popular New Pal Summer Fest last year. This year’s festival is June 24-25.

Submitted photo

NEW PALESTINE – Live local music, street food, fireworks and more will be showcased this weekend in the seventh annual New Pal Summer Fest.

U.S. 52 will be shut down Friday and Saturday in the annual event that brings a little bit of something for everyone.

“It’s just the hometown feel,” Julie Lucas said of what makes Summer Fest special. “It’s the local music acts and we have vendors that have a variety of offerings, whether it be crafts or not-for-profit information booths. And food – everyone loves the food.”

The festival includes about 50 vendors, a classic car show at New Palestine High School, the Dragon Dash 5k from Hancock Wellness Center, historic tours of the town and even a patriotic presentation of colors by the Hancock County Honor Guard.

A Beer and Wine Garden will be on site and live entertainment includes Doghouse, Grove and Project 19 Friday evening. Saturday’s stage entertainment includes Bryson Cooper, John Beatrice, Doug Henthorn and headliner Stella Luna.

Hancock County’s students will also be showcased through live entertainment by Hearts Ablaze cloggers and the New Palestine High School jazz trio.

The festivities conclude with fireworks at 10 p.m. Saturday on the east side of New Palestine High School.

Lucas, president of New Palestine Main Street, said this year’s festival brings fan favorites from previous years back to the community. The main street through the town will be the site of the festival this time around.

“We’re excited to be able to shut down U.S. 52 and bring back the street festival feel to Summer Fest,” she said, adding that people that meet vendors Friday and Saturday may choose to even return Sunday for Mercantile Market.

Last year’s popular historic tours of the town with Carl Boss will return, she added, along with the cloggers, which couldn’t come last year due to space constraints.

New this year is tours of the New Palestine Masonic Lodge.

The annual Dragon Dash is fun for families just joining for fun and exercise, as well as competitors trying to win the 5k, Lucas said. And the classic car show on Saturday is always a fan favorite.

“The car show brings out amazing cars and trucks; people love to walk around and see all the different things and it’s fun to give out the different awards,” she said.

Any profits made by the festival will go back to the New Palestine Main Street organization and its efforts to preserve the historic town and add new features, like the recent mural painted downtown.

“Everything comes back around and goes back into our community,” she said.


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