The annual Fourth of July fireworks display in downtown Indianapolis has been canceled. Officials say the decision regarding the IPL Downtown Freedom Fest was made due to public health concerns, as well as financial concerns given the current economic climate.
The event draws tens of thousands of Hoosiers to downtown Indy each year. Officials say the ability to effectively implement social distancing practices was a major concern.
“We explored other options and had many conversations with community partners, but ultimately, we believe this is the best decision,” said a spokesperson for Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications Corp. (Nasdaq: EMMS), which hosts the event.
Officials are planning to resume the event on July 4, 2021.
Despite the cancellation, along with others throughout the state, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security says it has issued more than 150 permits for public fireworks displays.
The IDHS is the agency that issues permits for fireworks displays, but says the final decision to cancel a display is made at the local level after consultation with local leadership and fire officials.
“This is always a very busy time for our staff,” said Indiana Fire Marshal Joel Thacker. “If we continue to progress as we have according to the Back on Track plan, we look forward to helping those communities that choose to continue their holiday display do so in a safe and fun way.”
The department says it issued about 500 fireworks display permits in 2019.