July 4 downtown fireworks show returning after 2020 cancellation

Fireworks will light up the skies of downtown Indianapolis again this Independence Day, organizers announced Friday—with a new launch site.

The 21-minute show will start at 10 p.m. on July 4, with music synced to the fireworks on Emmis radio stations WXIB-FM 105.7 and WLHK-FM 97.1 (Hank).

The fireworks, organized by Downtown Indy Inc. and Visit Indy, will replace the traditional Freedom Fest event, which was canceled in 2020 by then-organizer Emmis.

The fireworks will also be fired from a new location: the 500 North Meridian office building, which is managed by Stenz Management. The 36-story Regions Tower had been the fireworks launch site since the 1970s, but new residential developments adjacent to the skyscraper mean it’s no longer available for such uses.

“We are excited to bring back one of our treasured July 4 traditions,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett in a written statement. “This year, we can celebrate our country’s independence, our city’s bicentennial, and our continued comeback from the COVID-19 pandemic, powered by more and more residents choosing to get vaccinated.”

Due to uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 restrictions, families and small groups of friends will be encouraged to gather on their own throughout downtown, including at White River State Park, Downtown Indy said.

“Clearly, Downtown’s recovery has been our primary focus to re-engage residents and visitors to the vibrancy of our urban core. Working with Visit Indy and city leaders have brought us to this moment,” said Sherry Seiwert, president of Downtown Indy Inc. “Fireworks on the Fourth in the heart of Downtown for all to enjoy is the perfect summer event that folks can enjoy in safe, socially distanced spaces and places around Downtown.”

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3 thoughts on “July 4 downtown fireworks show returning after 2020 cancellation

  1. At barely a fifth of the height of Regions Tower, the new location may not boost the fireworks as high into the sky and will undoubtedly reduce their visibility from the outer reaches of the Mile Square and beyond. But for those lucky enough to claim space in the Mall it should make for a thrilling night.

  2. Those of us from the south used to watch from the Lilly parking lots along South St. I agree…that likely won’t be an option this year.

  3. “families and small groups of friends will be encouraged to gather on their own throughout downtown, including at White River State Park”

    Hmmm…. Does anyone know how far above the launch pad the fireworks go before exploding? I wonder if it’s high enough to clear any visual obstructions between Meridian & Michigan streets and WRSP.

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