There's more than a feeling that the Festival of the Lakes at Wolf Lake Memorial Park in Hammond, July 15-19, is going to be the biggest and best ever.
The event is five fun-packed days of entertainment; from polka to pop, races to rappers, there's something for everyone at this year's festival.
In addition to the great music, fishing, and community activities, the event will feature unique food and drink options, and of course, carnival rides for the kids. And for the bigger kids, the good times will be flowing as it was just announced that this year's festival will feature an open beer garden.
As Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. puts it: “there’s always something going on at the festival.”
And indeed there is! Some of the highlights of this year's festivities include:
Kathleen Pucalik Memorial W5k Walk, Run, and Splash – Saturday, July 18.
The race is open to runners of all ages and levels, with a free children’s race in the morning. Awards will be given out for Men’s and Women’s age groups from 8-and-under to 70-and-over.
Registration begins at 7 AM and the race begins at 8. The free children’s race starts at 8:15. You can register early by visiting here.
The return of the Mega Pass!
This one’s for the kids. Purchase a Mega Pass for only $50 and kids can enjoy unlimited carnival rides throughout the entirety of the festival open to close.
Fishing Derby – Saturday July, 18.
The Fishing Derby promises to be a reel good time on Saturday on Wolf Lake. The entry fee for the derby is only $1 and all proceeds will support Wolf Lake Stocking. Additionally, Children Ages 15-and-under will receive free fishing equipment, while supplies last.
And, of course, what’s a derby without awards? Trophies will be awarded for the largest bass, walleye, and pan fish caught.
Rod and Bike Show – Sunday, July 19.
The festival ends on Sunday with car show open to all custom hot rod and car enthusiasts. Entry is only $20 to participate, so bring your best ride out to Wolf Lake Memorial Park at 3:00 PM to show it off on the streets of Hammond.
And remember, Hammond will also be showing off a few cars and trucks of their own! This year’s show will feature a funny car, monster truck, and a custom motorcycle, in addition to fun door prizes, games and dash plaques.
But of course, don’t forget the concerts! This year’s schedule features everything from Country to Hip-Hop, with major headliners featured every day throughout the festival.
Wednesday – July 15.
Thursday – July 16.
Friday – July 17.
Boston with opening act The Rave
Saturday – July 18.
Sunday – July 19
Also on Sunday, July 19: the Polka Day Party at the Hammond Marina featuring New Phaze. And what’s best about all these concerts? They’re all FREE! Yep, all acts begin at 7:00 pm at the Pavilion in Wolf Lake Memorial Park and they are all free – but keep in mind there will be a cost to park.
Mayor McDermott is expecting this year’s fest to be the biggest yet, and wants to personally invite residents from all over Northwest Indiana to join in on the excitement this year.
“I would love to see residents of Valpo and Porter County, and all over Northwest Indiana out to the festival this year,” McDermott says. “It’s going to be a great time!”
For more information, visit the official Festival of the Lakes website here. Watch Mayor McDermott talk with us about what he expects at this year's Festival of the Lakes: