About the Lakes Festival

The Northern Indiana Lakes Festival uses education and collaboration to celebrate the lakes and inspire a vision for their future. Like its parent organization, the Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams, the Lakes Festival focuses on developing a community of individuals who desire to protect the lakes and streams in Kosciusko County. The festival also creates an ideal opportunity for an annual family tradition!

The Lakes Festival Launches

The Lakes Festival launched in 2009 as a collaboration between the Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams and The Watershed Foundation (formerly Tippecanoe Watershed Foundation). In its first year, the Lakes Festival boasted 1,000 attendees during its one-day event at Center Lake Park in Warsaw, Ind. The event garnered similar results in 2010, with over 1,000 attendees on a single day at Center Lake Park.

In 2011, the festival remained at Center Lake Park as a single-day event; however, the Lakes Festival underwent re-branding. The Lilly Center took full responsibility for the event, including all planning and fundraising. The response to the 2011 event was so positive, the Lilly Center knew there was an opportunity to bring more workshops, vendors and activities into the community. One day just was not enough, so the Lakes Festival expanded to two days in 2012. The first day of events was held at Center Lake and the second day was held at Winona Lake. This expansion led to additional festival activities and over 2,000 attendees.

The following year, the festival remained at Center and Winona lakes, but grew to include one more day of activities. A record-setting 4,000 attendees visited the festival in 2013.

Changing Form, Not Purpose

Since 2013, the Lakes Festival has changed forms but not its vision. One year included a week-long series of lake-related events, while another year included two weeks of events. In 2016, however, the Lakes Festival fine-tuned its schedule to bring more vendors and events into the county. It returned to a three-day festival format exclusively at Center Lake Park. The 2016 celebration included an adventure race, an evening concert, a ski show, and the first-ever fireworks show at Center Lake.

In 2018, the Lakes Festival celebrated its 10th-annual festival with new, memorable events. From its first-ever parade to its largest-ever firework show, the 2018 Lakes Festival was one for the books. Aside from a few workshops and the food vendors, the Lakes Festival admission and many other activities remained free.


The Lakes Festival takes place at Center Lake Park in Warsaw, Ind. Here are the directions:

Municipal Park
117 East Canal Street
Warsaw, IN 46580
Google Map