On September 7th, 1920, Marion hosted the 2nd annual “Cornfield Classic: Marion’s International Motorcycle Race,” just southwest of town. Organizers used county roads to create a 5‑mile course. The 200-mile race with a crowd of about 15,000 lasted approximately three hours. The 1920 victor was Harley-Davidson rider Ray Weishaar of Bridgeport, CT, at 2:48:37, about 18 minutes below the previous year’s winner, Red Parkhurst. Weishaar was given a piglet as part of the celebration, and he made a historic victory lap with the little pig. Harley’s race team became coined as the “Hog Boys,” and the name “Hog” stuck, signifying Marion as “Home of the Hog.” On the same Grant County roads, the Indiana Motorcycle Preservation Society hosts the “Cornfield Classic Time Trials” event to commemorate and revive a prominent piece of history.
Speaking of motors, there are two more booming events which take place at our prestigious regional airport. One is the longstanding Fly/In Cruise/In which brings in visitors from far and wide to see historical aircraft and automobiles.
More recently, a new flavor of car enthusiasm ignites as Marion also hosts the Indy Airstrip Attack featuring high-speed racing down the airport’s runway. A world record was set in 2017, then in 2018 for the fastest half-mile at nearly 260 mph.
Switching gears, Marion is just a few miles south of the historical Battle of the Mississinewa, the first offensive victory of the American Army during the War of 1812. Busloads of thousands travel to Marion during the “Mississinewa 1812” reenactment weekend which takes place each fall on the very grounds the battle took place over 200 years ago.
Marion also houses the international Quilters Hall of Fame, the home of quilt designer Marie Webster, one of the first female entrepreneurs. Quilters and enthusiasts from all over the world gather here to see unique quilts, take classes, and celebrate the folk art of quilting.
If you’re a fan of the Garfield comic created by Marion native Jim Davis, the city of Marion features three of the dozen unique Garfield statues spread throughout the county along the Grant County Garfield Trail.
Marion, Indiana is famously the birthplace of legendary Hollywood icon, James Dean. Visit the James Dean Birth Site Memorial downtown at 4th and McClure Street on your way to or from the multitude of attractions in his hometown of Fairmount, also in Grant County.
There are many more attractions in and around Marion, Indiana! Discover places to dine, shop, stay, and play by visiting Show Me Grant County, provided by the Grant County Visitors Bureau.