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Festival of Machines

Celebrate Indiana's rich history of transportation at this two-day event! Get up close to elite cars, steam engines, helicopters and more! See pictures from last year's Festival of Machines.

Festival of Machines carDownload the Schedule

A select group of concours quality classic cars will be showcased throughout this two-day festival. View these beautiful machines up close and learn the unique story behind each one.

And, for a special adults-only VIP experience, get your ticket for Vintage Wheels and Wine on Friday, September 16, and indulge in gourmet food and fine wine while taking in the beauty of these amazing vehicles. 

The festival won't just showcase classic cars...see steam engines, vintage planes, military vehicles, vintage fire trucks and other emergency response vehicles, construction equipment, helicopters, and vintage tractors, too.

Many family friendly activities will be available each day. Check out everything we have in store!

On Sept. 17, two authors will be signing copies of their books inside the Conner Prairie Store. Dennis E. Horvath will be signing his book, “Indiana Cars: A History of the Automobiles in Indiana" at 12:30 pm. Chris Stevenson will be signing his book, “The Drum of Destiny” from 2-4 pm. Learn more.

Car Collector's Showcase
If you love car shows, IndyCar races or anything that goes fast you won’t want to miss these events and activities.

  • Collector’s Showcase: Tour through our exhibit of rare, vintage automobiles from some of Indiana’s most dedicated collectors.  Enjoy a walking tour with automobile historian, Dennis Horvath, author of Indiana Cars: A history of the automobile in Indiana – 11:30am – followed by a book signing at 12:30pm in the Conner Prairie Store (Author event is Saturday only).
  • Motorcycles & More: Explore these classic, two-wheel fast machines and explore the motor history of the Indiana State Police.
  • Motorsports Zone with Go-Kart ride: Check out race cars and pace cars and take a ride on our special road course in a two-seater Go-Kart from New Castle Motorsports ($20 timed tickets sold on a first-come, first-served basis; rides end at 3pm on Sunday; size and age restrictions apply).

Vintage Aircraft
Love things with wings and propellers? Be sure to visit our high-flying machines.
  • Aircraft Park: Soar to new heights as you discover air flight with aircraft displays, engines, control panels and more. With Indy Flyers and Popular Rotorcraft Association.
  • Vintage Aircraft: Discover the vintage helicopters from Indiana Air Search and Rescue
  • Air Ambulance: Explore an air ambulance from St. Vincent Statflight (noon – 2)
  • RC Aircraft: Watch RC aircraft demonstrations with the Northeast Side Taildraggers

Antique Tractor
Take a look at some powerhouses, including tractors, firetrucks, military vehicles and more.
  • Power Show: Explore antique tractors, steam engines and small historic engines. See how they run and watch as they perform different tasks.
  • Tractor Parade: (1:30 daily): Sit back and watch these historic giants strut their stuff.
  • Hayride: (11-3 daily): Climb aboard and enjoy a leisurely ride.
  • Vintage Fire Trucks: Explore these classic fire trucks and take part in cool water games.
  • Big Machines Petting Zoo: Get up close to tools and machines that help with BIG jobs. With Reynolds Farm Equipment, MacAllister Caterpillar, City of Fishers, Indiana National Guard, IMI, Busby Drilling Company, Peppers Racing, Pine Crest Marine

Soapbox Derby
Try your hand at driving a soap box derby car, float on air with a hovercraft, or design your own Lego dragster!
  • Indianapolis Soap Box Derby: Take a ride down the track in a soap box derby car (ages 5-18).
  • Ride a Hovercraft: Have you ever wanted to float on a cushion of air? Step aboard Conner Prairie’s own homemade hovercraft and see what it’s like.
  • Fizzy Rocket Lego Dragsters: Design and build a Lego dragster, add an Alka Seltzer rocket engine then test your design on our track. Will it succeed racing down the track or blow up at the starting line?
  • Design, Build, Crash Design, Build, Crash: Use Legos to design and build a safe car of the future. Then test your design as it is flung down the track. What happens? Will you celebrate success or will it be back to the drawing board for an even better design?
  • Pedal Cars: Your little ones can get behind the wheel and cruise around in one of several cool cars (ages 6 and younger).
  • Peg Perego: Discover how electric and pedal powered children’s cars are built in Indiana. Take a ride on the test track (size and age restrictions apply).
  • Transportation Exhibits: Check out the history, and future of transportation. With Cummins, Blue Indy, Greenfield Central High School Rover Team, Hoverstream, IndianaFirst Robotics
  • STEM Scouts: Explore the science of transportation with hands-on activities.

Fire a Cannon
Join us on our grounds for a chance to “own” a stake in the railroad business, and fire a cannon at Civil War Journey.

1836 Prairietown
  • Grandy P. Duncan has arrived in Prairietown with an exciting opportunity - a chance for the town to be a stop on the newly proposed railroad, and for you to own a stake! Complete chores in town to buy your share in the latest technology, and then join the debate at 1:30pm in the Grove.

Civil War Journey
  • Firearms technology developed quickly during the Civil War. Come see examples and hear the rapid fire of a Gatling Gun in Civil War Journey (Ongoing).
  • BOOM!  Have you ever wanted to feel the exhilaration of a firing a cannon? Well, here is your chance. Step into a Civil War cannon crew as you learn how to load and fire a cannon. Ages 14 and above, $20 (Civil War Journey, Log Barn -- Ongoing) 

Price included with general admission
All Ages


  • September 17, 2016 - September 17, 2016 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM


Price included with general admission

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For Adults
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For Kids Only
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For Little Ones
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For Teens
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With History
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