Thousands of people will descend on Greenwood this weekend in a celebration of wine, art, music and microbrews.
People will boogie to rock, R&B and country played on two main stages. They’ll hoist IPAs and blonde ales from some of the region’s best brewers, or sip a glass or two of Hoosier-made wines from all over the state.
When they want to back off the craziness, they can meander among artists’ booths looking for paintings, sculptures, jewelry and other one-of-a-kind items.
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For the past seven years, WAMMfest has established itself as one of the premier entertainment events in central Indiana. Bringing together its four core elements, as well as offering food from 18 restaurants and food trucks, has proved to be a massive success for the community festival.
Last year, an estimated crowd of 7,500 to 8,500 people attended, said organizer Joyce Nies.
“Every year, we are just so thrilled the community embraces WAMMfest. We are on a WAMMfest ride, and we’re going to stay on that ride as long as the community wants it,” she said. “When we started this, there was nothing like this in Greenwood or the southside. Since WAMMfest started, there have been other festivals that are similar to it, but I think our commitment to making this a class event has resonated.”
And while everyone who showed up was motivated by the prospect of a good time, their attendance also directly helped their community. WAMMfest is the major fundraiser for the Sertoma Club of Greenwood.
Since starting the festival in 2009, the club has raised nearly $500,000, all of which goes toward local agencies, organizations and causes.
“That’s just through WAMMfest proceeds,” Nies said. “That goes to a variety of sources, from scholarships to the parks department to paying for smoke detectors. We want everyone who comes to realize that.”
To help you get the most out of your WAMMfest weekend, here are some tips to pack the most punch into your WAMMfest.
Relive the Decade of Decadence
Wish you could go back to 1985? The headliner at this year’s festival has you covered. The Big 80s is a five-piece tribute band that specializes in the music and fashion of that much-celebrated decade. The set list includes Prince, Journey and Dexy’s Midnight Runners, among dozens of others.While The Big 80s will close out the festival, organizers have put together a varied group of performers to keep people dancing all day long. From the easy acoustic sounds of Exit 99 to the funk of Toy Story to the country swagger of Blue River Band, something is available for all tastes.
Scope out the stages
Since the festival started, WAMMfest has always featured stages on the east and west side of the park. While the east stage has remained in the same location, the west stage is moving into a grassier area of Craig Park near the artist area.“People will be able to take advantage of an entire hillside to sit and listen to those musicians,” Nies said. “We think that will open up a lot more space for people to set up their chairs.”
Help out the community
You do this just by buying a ticket. Though sometimes the cause gets lost in the revelry, the Sertoma Club is most proud of the community benefit that stems from the festival. Past festivals have provided money for the city’s Splash Park, police and fire departments and more than 20 nonprofit agencies.“While we want everyone to have a really good time, we’ve struggled with the message getting lost about Sertoma and what we do,” Nies said. “We are very committed to that. Every penny of net proceeds we give back.”
Get inspired by creativity
You’ll be inspired roaming through Artist Alley. The 82 artists will be set up in the grassy area beyond the stage. Participants this year include local jewelrymakers Larry Wayman and Laurie Erfmeier, potter Jessie Featherstone and Mark Flora, who creates sun hats made out of sea grass.
Try something new
Nine wineries and 10 local brewers will be pouring their products for the over-21 crowd. While each will be featuring their flagship pours — plenty of rieslings, pinot noirs, pale ales and blondes — venture outside your comfort zone and experiment. Try MashCraft Brewing Co.’s Callisto apricot wheat wine, Oaken Barrel’s fruity RazzWheat or Mallow Run’s rhubarb wine.
Plan ahead, save some money
Buying your tickets ahead of time will cost $10. Wait until you get to the festival, and the price goes up to $15. Get them online at WAMMFest.com or at any Ray Skillman Auto Group Dealerships, the Greenwood Public Library, Greenwood Community Center and Greenwood-area Horizon Bank locations.Children 6 and younger get in free.
With upward of 8,000 people anticipated to attend the festival, parking can get scarce. While there are no designated WAMMfest lots, local establishments such as the Greenwood Middle School and Our Lady of the Greenwood Parish open up their spaces for people to park. Otherwise, it’s up to attendees to find a place in the surrounding Old Town Greenwood area, Nies said.“People even park in the middle of town, like at the city parking lot at Main and Madison streets. So people just kind of find spots,” she said.
Handicap parking will be available off of the main drive into the park, Nies said.
When: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: Craig Park, 10 E. Smith Valley Road, Greenwood
Who: Festival organized byt the Sertoma Club of Greenwood. All proceeds go towards the club’s community service endeavors.
Tickets: $10 in advance, available online or at any Ray Skillman Auto Group Dealership, the Greenwood Public Library, Greenwood Community Center or Greenwood area Horizon Bank locations; $15 at the gate.
- 11 a.m.: Exit 99, East Stage
- Noon: My Yellow Rickshaw, West Stage
- 1:30 p.m.: Toy Factory, East Stage
- 3 p.m.: Tight Rope Band, West Stage
- 4:30 p.m.: Blue River Band, East Stage
- 6 p.m.: Big 80’s Band, West Stage
Artist Alley stage
- 11 a.m.: Rachel Gries String Quartets
- 12:30 p.m.: Inspire Dance Company
- 1:30 p.m.: Asher and Eden Tague
- 2:30 p.m.: Ruby and Joe
- 4 p.m.: JazzHat
- Buck Creek Winery
- Cedar Creek Winery
- Chateau Thomas Winery
- Harmony Winery
- Holtkamp Winery
- Mallow Run Winery
- Oliver Winery
- Rettig Hill Winery
- Simmons Winery
- 450 North Brewing Co.
- Cedar Creek Brew Co.
- Flat 12 Bierworks
- MashCraft Brewing Co.
- Oaken Barrel Brewing Co.
- Planetary Brewing Co.
- Quaff On! Brewing Co.
- Sun King Brewery
- Taxman Brewing Co.
- Towyard Brewing Co.
- Ardy’s Concessions
- Box Burger
- Brozinni Pizza
- Bubba’s 33
- Cobb’s Cajun Cookin’
- Good Bites Concessions
- Hops & Fire Craft Tap House
- Indy Wich Truck
- Johnny Carino’s
- Johnson’s BBQ Shack
- Mrs. Curl Ice Cream
- Piece of Cake/Slice of Pie
- Poppy’s Kettle Korn
- Ritter’s Frozen Custard
- Simple & Good Catering
- Stacked Pickle
- Stone Creek Dining Co.
- Team Co.
- Whiskey River BBQ