For the past several years (pre-COVID-19), Central Indiana residents and visitors have enjoyed a massive fireworks display each July Fourth as part of IPL Downtown Freedom Fest managed and presented by Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications. Regions has been the host location and sponsor for more than 50 years. In 2020, the event was canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions. Regions Tower’s rooftop in Downtown Indianapolis can no longer be a launch site for IPL Downtown Freedom Fest. New residential development north of Regions Tower prohibits the building from being used due to its proximity to those residences, which are located within the required safety fallout perimeter for aerial pyrotechnics.
With the inability to use the Regions Tower launch location moving forward, Emmis is handing the event off to Downtown Indy, Inc., the local civic organization that manages and activates the urban core.
Downtown Indy, Inc. is committed to finding a suitable new Downtown location from which to launch fireworks and is working with the Indianapolis Fire Department and other city officials and pyrotechnic professionals. “We want our residents and visitors to enjoy the continuation of this annual tradition,” said Sherry Seiwert, president of Downtown Indy. “We are looking at various alternative sites throughout Downtown where world-class aerial fireworks can be safely launched not only in celebration of Independence Day, but also for upcoming celebrations, including Circle of Lights and the College Football Championship weekend.”
Bob Schultz, senior vice president of events for Downtown Indy, Inc. stated that the organization will continue to work with Emmis Communications as its media partner so future celebrations can still be synced to music via local radio. “The event, however, requires significant private funding from sponsors,” Schultz added. “We have developed sponsorship packages in hopes of identifying partners who wish to join us in preserving this annual tradition and we will be reaching out to corporate leaders in the coming days to get support to continue this important event.”
Jeff Smulyan, Emmis Founder and CEO, said, “We are looking forward to working with Downtown Indy and new sponsors to continue this important tradition for years to come.”
Downtown Indy, Inc. also announced that if officials are successful in finding a suitable location, it would not anticipate holding a festival-type community viewing event for this year’s July Fourth fireworks due to social distancing protocols still in place. Both Downtown Indy, Inc. and AES Indiana would encourage residents and visitors to choose their own sites spread throughout Downtown from which to view the fireworks for 2021.
“This year, we hope to restore our special tradition of July Fourth fireworks in Downtown Indianapolis,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “As we work with partners to find a new location, we’re looking forward to inviting residents to safely enjoy the spectacle from various vantage points throughout the Downtown area.”
Those interested in learning about corporate sponsorship opportunities should contact Downtown Indy, Inc.’s Bob Schultz at firstname.lastname@example.org.