The Fourth of July is almost upon us, and — pandemic aside — there’s still plenty to celebrate. In fact, this Fourth may take on a little extra significance, since Independence Day has come to stand for a celebration of American spirit and endurance in the face of adversity.
Unfortunately, an abundance of caution and the need for social distancing has caused a lot of locations (including downtown Indy) to nix their festivities and cancel the usual fireworks displays. That may leave you scrambling to find someplace where you can still catch the traditional fireworks displays that mark the holiday.
Let’s talk about where you can still get your fireworks fix and what you need to do to stay safe this year even amid concerns about the COVID-19 virus.
Where Can You Go in Central Indiana to See Fireworks This Year?
• Carmel — Starting July 4 at 9:45 p.m.
Although Carmel did cancel its traditional parade and eliminated both the “Kids’ Zone” and the CarmelFest Has Talent contest, the fireworks show will go on! You can also participate in the virtual Freedom Run to raise money for Pack Away Hunger.
Don’t feel like making the trip? Concerned about the virus? Carmel intends to broadcast its fireworks display over the internet so that you can watch from afar.
• Zionsville — Parking Opens at 8 p.m.; Fireworks Start at 10 p.m.
The Zionsville Lions Club decided to move ahead with its annual fireworks display, albeit with some modifications for safety. It’s moved to Mulberry Fields, which means that there’s plenty of room for people to spread out and still see the show. Viewing areas include the Maplelawn Farmstead, the baseball fields southwest of Zionsville Middle School and the Zionsville United Methodist Church.
Unlike previous years, there won’t be any public restrooms or food service available and smoking and alcohol are entirely prohibited among guests.
• Lebanon — Fireworks Start at 10 p.m. on July 4
The “R.O.C.K. in the USA” festival and parade are still going forward, featuring floats, marching bands and more. The parade starts on the Fourth and runs from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m., only to be followed up by the fantastic display of fireworks later that evening. The explosion of light will be accompanied by patriotic music and will be launched from the Lebanon Middle School.
Boone County isn’t taking chances, however: Much of the usual festivities, including the food trucks, kids’ games, cornhole tournament and other events have been scaled back or eliminated entirely.
• Cicero — The Lights Over Morse Lake Start Approximately 10 p.m.
Cicero may be offering the most complete Independence Day celebrations around. Although it has scaled back its usual four-day festival to only two, you will still find games, food vendors and music before the actual fireworks start. There’s even a parade in downtown Cicero that starts at 11 a.m. and family-friendly scavenger hunt on golf carts that start outside the public library.
Fireworks begin approximately 10 p.m. and are visible anywhere over Morse Lake. The display will also be broadcast live by 105 The Wave, for anybody who can’t make it in person.
• Noblesville — Parade at 4:30 p.m. and Fireworks at 10 p.m.
If you’d like to take in a parade, listen to some tunes and then catch the light show, head to Noblesville. The Boy Band Review is the headline act on the main stage between 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m, and fireworks will start after dark, around 10 p.m. — but you may want to check out the Stars & Stripes Forever parade at 4:30 p.m.
This year, you have the option of reserving a VIP table (with restroom options) for eight people — which can help you keep your distance from other revelers.
What Safety Precautions Do You and Your Family Need to Take?
No matter where you choose to celebrate, some of the basic precautions you should take during this time remain the same. The coronavirus is still very much a problem in the United States, so wear a mask, keep hand sanitizer within reach (especially if you have little ones) and keep anybody who is immunocompromised at home.
There are a few other safety precautions that you need to remember:
- If you’re traveling, eat at home first and pack snacks and drinks for the trip. This is the best way to avoid having to go into a convenience store, gas station market or restaurant on your trip. It’s still important to avoid sources of exposure to the virus as much as possible.
- If you have to stop for gas, it’s smart to wash your hands with soap and water afterward or wipe them with hand sanitizer — before you get back in the car. To minimize problems, remember to fill up your tank prior to traveling.
- Whenever possible, find someplace to view the fireworks from your car, where you can remain a good distance away from other families and groups who are out to see the sights. Park on a hill or find a spot that keeps you away from any crowds.
Other precautions are more common-sense ones that people should always remember around fireworks. For the most part, all fireworks should be left to the experts who are in charge of setting off the community displays. Remember: Even sparklers, those old family-favorites, can burn hot enough to melt glass.
Whatever you decide to do this Independence Day, take time out to enjoy the holiday weekend and remember the unique American spirit that has withstood the test of time ever since we declared our freedom back in 1776.