Wakarusa is a town in Harrison and Olive townships in Elkhart County, Indiana, United States. As of the 2000 census, the town had a total population of 1,618. Wakarusa is a small farming and manufacturing community located on Indiana 19 just north of Indiana 119. The town is 12 miles south of Elkhart, 25 miles southeast of South Bend, 120 miles east of Chicago, and 140 miles north of Indianapolis. The town was in the news on August 5, 2009, following the visit of President Barack Obama to announce that Indiana was to receive $400 million USD in federal stimulus funds to help revive the state economy.