Overlooking the St. Joseph River in downtown South Bend sits Island Park. The island was renovated in 2012 to compliment the adjacent Century Center, a convention and meeting complex, and was recently named one of USA Today’s “25 Must-See Buildings in Indiana.“
The 11-acre island offers plenty of space for festivals and concerts, such as Meet Me on the Island and the Riverlights Music Festival, and the large, unique canopy on the island provides couples with an excellent venue for outdoor weddings.
When there isn’t an event going on, Island Park is a great, quiet spot where one can sit under the shade of the canopy or under the warm sun and enjoy their lunch or just some peace and quiet as they listen to the water flowing, feel the mist of the river brushing past their faces, and gaze out onto the Keepers of the Fire sculpture (picture below).
Island Park has also spurred more vibrant, riverfront development in downtown South Bend in recent years, including the South Bend River Lights. The River Lights is an interactive art display that illuminates the river at night and allows passersby the opportunity to change the color of the river with the simple motion of their hand next to the light sculptures — one of them being on Island Park.
The River Lights debuted in 2015 during the celebration of South Bend’s 150th anniversary as a city and has quickly become an iconic symbol of South Bend like the South Bend Cubs and the breathtaking campus of the University of Notre Dame.
Island Park is open seven days a week and is walking distance from several downtown eateries, local boutiques, museums, and attractions. Be sure to visit Island Park the next time you are in The Bend.