Gaslight Festival returns in August

·2 min read

May 21—ANDERSON — Back in 1973, when the Gaslight Festival started on historic West Eighth Street, it was one of the biggest in Madison County.

From Brown/Delaware to Madison Avenue both sides of the street were filled with vendors displaying crafts, entertainment and activities for children.

At one time it was the oldest festival in Madison County and is one of the few nationwide dedicated to celebrating the grand Victorian era.

After not taking place for a decade the Historic West Eighth Street Neighborhood Association, Anderson Indiana Main Street and Cirque de Sallee are returning the event.

"We wanted to do this for some time," Darlee Sallee said. "It was planned for prior to the COVID-19 pandemic."

The length of the festival will depend on the number of vendors but the hope is to extend it from Brown/Delaware to Madison Avenue again.

Sallee said as in the past there will be a parade starting at 11 a.m.

She said this year will mark the 50th anniversary of the festival.

"The Gaslight Festival is one of the memories that people who grew up in Anderson share," Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr. said in a press release. "It is events like this that brings us together."

There will be live music including a performance by the local blue grass band, The Rock Bottom Boys of Madison County.

Scheduled events include a tea service at the historic Lambert House; a pie baking contest; tours of historic homes; a kid zone; car show; carriage rides; food trucks; and a beer and wine garden.

There will be a fee for the tea service and tour of the historic homes.

"The united festival mission is to honor our history and uniting the community," Sallee said.

Plans are to make the festival an annual event.

"Bringing back the Gaslight Festival seemed like a natural next step for the neighborhood and city," organizer Shelly Bond said.

Last year the neighborhood promoted Trick or Treating along West Eighth Street.

Applications and registration for the parade and vendors are available at

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.