Machines of all kinds fill Conner Prairie’s grounds at annual Festival of Machines

Daily Reporter staff reports

FISHERS — It’s a different kind of heavy metal.

Classic cars, antique tractors, steam engines, heavy-duty machinery, fire trucks, military vehicles and vintage aircraft will fill Conner Prairie during this weekend’s fourth annual Festival of Machines.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, visitors to Conner Prairie, 13400 Allisonville Road, can wander through an exhibit of more than 25 rare cars from the 1950s and 60s including the Hudson Hornet and a 1958 Corvette Roadster. Festival-goers are invited to come dressed in their favorite ‘50s and ‘60s attire.

The event’s Big Machines Petting Zoo allows guests to get up close to machines that help with big jobs, including farm machinery and earth-movers. The history and future of transportation will be shared by organizations including Cummins, Blue Indy, Hoverstream and IndianaFirst Robotics.

The Greenfield-Central High School Rover Team will be on site to share its experience building its Rover, a machine for transportation on other planets.

Hands-on experiences are available for the younger children, who can test-drive soapbox derby cars, build fizzy rocket dragsters and drive pedal cars through a creative track.

Spanning more than 1,000 wooded acres in central Indiana, Conner Prairie welcomed more than 6,000 people to last year’s festival. As Indiana’s first Smithsonian Institute affiliate, Conner Prairie offers various outdoor, historically themed destinations and indoor experiential learning spaces that combine history and art with science, technology, engineering and math to offer an authentic look into history that shapes society today.

The festival is included with general admission to the museum — $17 for adults, $16 for seniors age 65 and older and $12 for youth ages 2 to 12. The museum is free for members and children under age 2.