We have a big bang theory: You haven’t yet solidified your Fourth of July plans.
The most explosive holiday of the year is here!. While the Declaration may not have been signed here, we still live in a fun city for celebrating our Indy-pendence:
Southsiders, the Franklin Firecracker Festival is chock full of freebies. Franklin Family Aquatic Center is offering all day (defined as 11 am to 7 pm) FREE swimming on July 3 if you wear a red, white & blue suit. Dry off in time to hear the Franklin Community Band perform at 6 pm and Tastes Like Chicken at 7:30 – 10 pm. Grab a FREE horse carriage ride between 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm on the south side of the Masonic Home Circle. And there’s FREE bounce houses from 6:30 to 9 pm while waiting for fireworks at 10:10 pm. Not to be too precise about that.
THE BIG FIREWORKS SHOWS
First things first: the biggest firework show in the city is also FREE to attend. The Donatos Downtown Freedom Blast begins at 10:00 p.m. on Friday, July 4, shooting fireworks from the top of the Chase Tower for a show that lights up the city skyline. You can see this majestic show from almost anywhere downtown where you can find parking, but our recommendation is that you make an evening of it and grab a spot at the Indiana War Memorial grounds. Starting at 6:30 p.m., you’ll find plenty of fun activities for the kids (face painting, games, etc.) while you can purchase Donatos pizza, ice cream, and soda.
If you’re interested in more intimate regional nighttime blasts, look for your particular town in this list of celebrations (note: most of these are day long festival celebrations you can drop in to visit as well):
Boone County: Fireworks. Takes place at 10:00 p.m. July 4th at Lebanon Middle School (1800 N. Grant Street).
Brownsburg: 4th of July Extravaganza. Takes place at 10:00 p.m. July 4th at Arbuckle Acres Park (200 N. Green Street).
Carmel: CarmelFest. Takes place at 9:45 p.m. near the intersection of City Center Drive on the Monon Trail. This two-day festival, which includes music by the Carmel Symphony Orchestra and plenty of family games, begins on July 3.
Danville: Family 4th Fest. Takes place at dusk on July 4th at Danville Community High School (100 Warrior Way).
Edinburgh: 4th of July Fireworks. Takes place at 9:45 p.m. July 4th at the Sports Complex (722 Eisenhower Drive).
Fishers: Symphony on the Prairie holds its Star-Spangled Symphony (these shows are NOT free). Shows take place at 8:00 p.m. on July 3, 4, and 5 at Conner Prairie (13400 Allisonville Road). If you’re in the area, they can’t stop you from seeing the fireworks outside the property. <grin>
Fortville: Independence Day. Takes place at dusk on July 5 in Landmark Park.
Geist Reservoir: Blast On The Bridge. Takes place at dusk on July 4th at 11691 Fall Creek Road in Fishers.
Greenfield: Annual Fireworks Show. Takes place at dusk on July 4th at Greenfield Jr. High.
Lawrence: Fireworks Spectacular. Takes place at 10:00 p.m. July 4th in Lawrence Community Park.
Lights Over Morse: Cicero’s celebration lasts from July 4 – 6, takes place over water, and includes a fish fry. We don’t think that’s accidental. They also have new attractions involving the Pacers and Colts for sports fans. Fireworks are at 10 pm over Morse Reservoir on July 4th.
Noblesville: Fourth of July Festival. Takes place at 10:00 p.m. July 4th on the Noblesville High School grounds (18111 Cumberland Road). Earlier, the car show usually pulls a crowd.
Plainfield: Fourth of July Extravaganza. Takes place at 9:55 p.m. July 4 at Hummel Park (1500 S. Center Street).
Sheridan: Parade starting at 10:30 am and fireworks take place at dusk on July 4th at Biddle Memorial Park (610 E. 10th Street).
Westfield: Rocks the Fourth Fireworks. Takes place at 10:00 p.m. July 4th as Asa Bales Park (205 W. Hoover Street).
Zionsville: July 4th fireworks. Takes place at dusk on July 4th at Lions Park (115 S. Elm Street).
RESTAURANTS AND RETAIL PARTIES
This category is a catch-all for celebrations that don’t fit earlier criteria. Most of the sections in here require separate payment, but the events tend to be well worth it.
Firecracker 6 – Before the fireworks light up the sky, you can light up the pavement by running or walking six miles for fun and your health. This annual event begins bright and early on July 4 at 8:00 a.m., and you can save on the $30 individual registration by gathering three of your friends and paying $99 for the four of you. The link at the beginning of this paragraph will take you to the website where you can register.
Fountain Square Music Festival – Unlike the majority of the concerts that made our Summer Concert Roundup, this one is NOT free. However, the low price of $7 buys you a ticket to see nine bands perform on one stage. Not to mention the fact that your admission price goes to support the non-profit Fountain Square Arts Council. The festival takes place at 1112 Shelby Street.
Red, White, and Brew Bash – Howl at the Moon (located at 20 East Georgia Street downtown) kicks off its Fourth of July party at noon. You’ll find drink specials including $20 86-oz. Bomb Pop buckets. Howl at the Moon is famous for its dueling pianos, and they will be rocking all night long at this party.
A FINAL NOTE
You’ll find plenty of deals at fireworks shops. We ran a post last year about getting the biggest bang for your buck (literally) when you’re shopping for your own fireworks. While the prices are likely out of date now for the individual stores listed, you can still get a general idea of what items are good to buy and which aren’t. We want to leave you with a cautionary statement, however. Just because you can buy one firework and get three FREE at a store in Indy doesn’t mean that the hospital will let you buy one new finger and give you three for FREE after you blast them off. So please be careful when lighting fireworks in your street.
Want to keep the good times going for the rest of the summer? Check out our list of FREE summer festivals for the Indianapolis area.