The most effective Indianapolis foods and drinks occasions in August

Kayelynn Woodlock digs into a large slice of watermelon.  Eat your share of Watermelon Day Watermelon Day from 6pm to 10pm on August 3rd at Daniel's Vineyard in McCordsville.

  • A Greek festival in Carmel
  • Ultimate Grilled Cheese Competition at the Indiana State Fair
  • Cocktail camp with a master bartender

Carmel Greek Festival

4 to 10 p.m. August 24, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. August 25, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. August 26, Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity, 3500 W. 106th St., Carmel, free admission, (317) 733- 3033,

Who likes baklava Gyros? Filled wine leaves? Spanakopita? Tyropita? Grilled leg of lamb? Find it all at the Indianapolis Greek Festival. Then dance off the calories to live Greek music.

Cocktail camp

August 27 and 28, Cardinal Spirits, 922 S. Morton St., Bloomington, $ 25-99, (812) 202-6789,

Cocktail legend Jim Meehan literally wrote the book. Each ticket holder in his warehouse receives a signed copy of his James Beard Award-winning “Meehan’s Bartender Manual”. Choose from three events: book signing and question-and-answer session (6:45 pm to 8:30 pm, August 27, $ 40); a couple of cocktail dinners (7pm Aug 28, $ 99); or a meet-and-greet lunch for food and beverage professionals (noon to 2pm, August 27, $ 25).

Sunken beer gardens

6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. August 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, and 30th, Garfield Park Conservatory, 2505 Conservatory Drive,

Increase a locally brewed beer to toast one of Indy’s most beautiful gardens, complete with fountains and a conservatory filled with tropical plants. Art activities and low-key performances vary each week. Bring a picnic basket or order from a food truck. A few hammocks are hanging around and some seating is available, but bringing your own blanket or chair is the safe bet. Children and dogs are welcome.

Devour Indy restaurant offerings

August 20 to September 2 (317) 673-4211,

More than 200 restaurants in the Indianapolis area offer discounts on three-course meals. Participating restaurants include Milktooth owner / chef Jonathan Brooks’ new Beholder, St. Elmo and other world class steakhouses, as well as always-reliable favorites like Bluebeard and Oakley’s Bistro.

New delicatessen, butcher opened

10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Aug. 24, 1106 Prospect St., (317) 426-3048,

Turchetti’s Salumeria on Fountain Square has been quietly producing first-class sausages behind closed doors for about a year. Meat was sold wholesalers and at farmers’ markets. Get the store’s salami, pastrami, capocollo, and more on sandwiches, sausage boards, and an Italian street food menu when the deli doors open to the public.

Owner George Turchetti sources meat from the region. He can tell you about each race he uses, how they lived and where each one grew up.

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Brunch party

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 18, The Pavilion in Pan Am, 201 S. Capitol Ave., $ 50,

Waffles, cookies and sauce, coffee, daytime drinking. All the best in brunch comes in one place at Baby Got Brunch, a festival run by Ashley Brooks, co-founder of Milktooth, which is dedicated to all things between breakfast and lunch. Bluebeard, Eggshell Bistro, Gallery Pastry Shop, Jack’s Donuts of Avon, Public Greens: Urban Kitchen with Mission, Tower, Taxman Brewing Company, Garden Table on Mass Ave, Rooster Kitchen, Egg Yolk Indianapolis, Wildwood Market and Chef Jonathan Brooks from Milktooth are among 25 restaurants and vendors. Chefs fight for people’s honor in five categories: waffles, eggs, bacon, candy, cookies, and sauce. Tickets include food, a do-it-yourself Bloody Mary bar, two mimosa bars, and a donut wall. The proceeds will go towards efforts to combat childhood hunger in Indianapolis. You must be at least 21 years old to participate.

Sausage Festival

5:30 p.m. to midnight Aug. 17, 4600 Illinois St. Free Entry, (317) 253-1461,

Sausages and beer as well as pizza, pretzels, wine and a cake run. Plan for three gymnastics days in a row after this family-friendly festival that the Church of St. Thomas Aquinas holds annually. Little ones love putting on makeup and jumping. Teens have their own baking party with live music.

S’mores on the circle

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug 10, Monument Circle, Downtown Indianapolis, $ 5 per second, cash only, (317) 924-6852.,

Get all the sticky marshmallow, chocolate, and graham cracker products to deal with when chefs produce gourmet S’Mores for the benefit of Central Indiana Girlfriends at a National S’mores Day celebration . This is an event for cash only.

Ethnic food: Pakistan

August 18–7:30 p.m. Aug. 16, Village Restaurant, 4730 Century Plaza Road, $ 25, (317) 232-1882,

Indiana’s melting pot for international food encompasses the flavorful complexity of Pakistani dishes. Sample the flavors in this installment of an international dinner series organized by the Indiana Historical Society and the International Marketplace Coalition.

The Ultimate Grilled Cheese Contest of the American Dairy Association Indiana will take place on August 11, 2018 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the building of Purdue University Extension Ag Hort at the Indiana State Fair.

Watermelon day

6-10 p.m. Aug. 3, 9061 N. 700 West, McCordsville, Free Entry, (317) 248-5222,

Sip a watermelon wine slushie or compete in a watermelon eating contest – one for kids and one for adults – at Daniel’s Vineyard’s National Watermelon Day Party. A watermelon seed spitting competition, other family games, and live music are all part of the fun on the grounds near Giest.

Roderick Wheeler digs into a filet at Ruth's Chris Steak House, 45 South Illinois St.  The restaurant is one of 200 that offers discounts on three-course meals from August 20 to September 2.

Barbecue Boot Camp: tailgate

9:00 am to 3:00 pm Aug 11, BBQ Maestros, 5621 Elmwood Ave., $ 95, (317) 982-6770

Eight-time Grand Champion of the American Royal World Series of Barbecue, Chris Marks, covers the entire smoking process for popular tailgating foods like wings, burgers and pork tenderloins. Learn what wood and charcoal to use, what tools are needed to smoke, and how to choose meat in the market.

Ultimate competition for grilled cheese

August 14th – 3:30 pm, Aug 11, Purdue University Extension Ag Hort Building, Indiana State Fair, 1202 E 38th St., Winner

From guacamole to tater tots, everything in this American Dairy Association Indiana fight ended up on the grilled cheese creations of the participants. The grand prize winner’s grilled cheese will be served at the Indiana State Fair the following year. That said, you can try the 2017 Champion Inside Out Grilled Cheese this year. Buy it in the milk barn. Gouda cheese goes in. Mild cheddar steps on the outside of the bread, creating a crispy, cheesy coating.

Dorman Street Block Party

Noon-6 p.m. August 11, 400 Block Dorman Street, between Michigan and New York Streets, (720) 289-6393,

Smoking Goose Meatery and Flat 12 Bierwerks come together for a day of local food, beer, wine and whiskey. Gomez BBQ, Wild Boar BBQ and Black Metal BBQ compete against each other in a cooking competition while more than 35 local food producers and producers stock the market. Lawn games and make-up are family-friendly activities.