Did you know that fireworks have been associated with Independence Day almost since the very beginning? The first Fourth of July party was held in Philadelphia on July 4, 1777 — a bare year after the United States of America was formed.
You can thank John Adams for the fact that we still associate the Fourth of July with parades, parties and — of course — fireworks!
Since safety precautions during the pandemic forced a lot of Independence Day events to shut down last year, you can bet that folks will be out celebrating in droves this year. If you’re ready to embrace a renewed sense of freedom and zest for life, here’s a list of places you can go to kick off the summer with a bang:
Downtown Fourth of July Fireworks – 10 p.m., Indianapolis
Don’t mind us if we put this Indy event first on the list — but we happen to think it’s pretty special. This year, the location has been moved to 500 N. Meridian St., and the show is free to one-and-all. Expect most of the streets in the area to be closed off so that spectators can gather for this spectacular show by Regions Tower. (As we’ve mentioned before, if you’re looking for an ideal spot to watch the show with your friends and sip some brews, you’ve got plenty of options, including Downtown Olly’s and more.)
Star-Spangled Symphony – 8 p.m., Fishers
If you’d like to do something a little different, head over to Conner Prairie and join the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in their all-star salute to the U.S. Armed Services — honoring all the men and women who have defended and continue to defend our nation’s freedoms. The concert starts at 8 p.m., and the fireworks display will be at the end. Tickets are required.
Marion County Fairgrounds – Dusk, Indianapolis
Admission to the fairgrounds is only $5 for the whole day, and you can find rides, food and all kinds of fun that will keep the entire family entertained until the fireworks start at dusk (which should be right around 9:15 p.m. or so). Military personnel, firefighters and police get free admission with their ID.
CarmelFest – 9:45 p.m., Carmel
Would any list of places to go and things to see in Indiana be complete without mentioning Carmel? CarmelFest has been pulling out all the stops on Independence Day for 33 years now, with parades, games, talent shows and (of course) fireworks. Admission is free, and the light show will sync to music played by WHJE 91.3 FM, so don’t forget to tune in if you decide to attend!
4th of July Fireworks Extravaganza – 9 p.m., Santa Claus
Santa Claus, Indiana, is known for getting into the spirit of every celebration they embrace — and they show that in spades over Independence Day weekend, with rides, shows, restaurants and more. Pick up a pair of free 4th of July 3D Fireworks Glasses to make an already amazing fireworks display look even more thrilling.
Lights Over Morse Lake – 10 p.m. Morse Reservoir
Located in northern Hamilton County just about 25 miles from Downtown Indy, the Lights Over Morse Lake display makes our list every year because it’s simply beautiful to watch. Mix105 will cover the show with a live broadcast and music, and you can get some beautiful photos both near the Fireworks Morse Reservoir itself and from the intersection of Main and Buckeye.
Fourth of July Parade and Fireworks Festival – 10 p.m., Noblesville
If you’re looking for a carnival-like atmosphere with a decidedly modern twist, check out the festival in downtown Noblesville. Aside from fun, food and games, they also have inflatables, a flying trapeze, ziplines and axe throwing, so you’ll have plenty to do before the fireworks start.
Lawrence 4th Fest – 10 p.m., Lawrence
Come for the live music, the carnival, the carnival food (our personal favorite) and the parade during the day and stay for the light show in Lawrence Community Park at 10 p.m. The 4th Fest is a family-friendly event that welcomes all ages, so there are plenty of things here to keep the kids entertained until the fireworks start.
Red, White and Blueberry Festival – Dusk, Bargersville
Think mixing a little refinement and relaxation into a Fourth of July celebration isn’t possible? Well, you haven’t been to Mallow Run Winery’s Red, White and Blueberry Festival — yet! Held on July 2-3, it only costs $10 per car for admission, and you can sip the winery’s own limited-run hard ciders and blueberry wine while you listen to live music and wait for the fireworks to start.
Night at the Park – Dark, July 3, Avon
Do you have to work on the Fourth of July? Well, head over to the Avon Town Hall Park on July 3 and celebrate a day early! This is another family-friendly event with live music, games, an animal show and (of course) fireworks. Admission is free and the fireworks will start as soon as it’s dark enough to make the display as brilliant as possible.
Three Rivers Festival – Dusk, July 17, Fort Wayne
If you’re always running late, don’t worry: Fort Wayne has you covered. If you miss the festivities on the Fourth and can’t take in an early display, you can head to the Three Rivers Festival later in the month and still see a great fireworks show. The festival itself starts on July 9, and the fireworks and band music will wrap everything up after dark on the 17th.
Please keep in mind that all times and events are subject to change based on local weather conditions and other factors, so check each website for details before you head out.
As always, here at F.C. Tucker, we celebrate the spirit of American independence with you and wish you a joyous summer!