INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Black Expo announced it will hold a mixture of in-person and virtual events for this year's Summer Celebration in July.
Last year was supposed to be the 50th Anniversary of IBE's Summer Celebration, but it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The annual events that usually take over Indianapolis venues and neighborhoods — concerts, luncheons, All White Affair, and the Circle City Classic game and parade — were canceled.
Now, as the mask mandate will soon be lifted in the state and COVID-19 vaccines will soon be available to all Hoosiers, organizers of Summer Celebration looked at ways to bring the community together whether virtually or physically from July 8 through July 18.
"As we plan and prepare for our 50th Summer Celebration, we are cognizant of such trauma. We recognize this is a time for healing. We also believe that now, more than ever, is a time for us to come together and celebrate our culture, heritage, excellence, and our lives," IBE's announcement read.
IBE looked at each of its traditional events and programming to determine whether large crowds can gather in open spaces safely. Most of the events that will be hosted in-person will take place outdoors.
- 50th Summer Celebration Gala (outdoors) at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway — Saturday, July 10
- Free Outdoor Concert at Lucas Oil Raceway (outdoors), featuring Keith Sweat, Stephanie Mills, Johnny Gill, and El Debarge — Friday, July 16
- All White Affair at The Pavilion at Pan Am (a mix of indoor and outdoor), that will be hosted by DJ Kid Capri, Dru Hill and Reheem DeVaughn — Saturday, July 17
- Mayor's Brunch (indoors and invite-only) — IBE Headquarters
- Governor's Luncheon (indoors and invite-only) — IBE Headquarters
Workshops and education conferences will mostly be held virtually. Visit summercelebration.net to learn more about those and the entire celebration.
Some events that usually happen during Summer Celebration did have to be canceled. Due to seating restrictions, capacity limits, and the inability to remain socially distant, the Corporate Luncheon; Exhibition Hall, including the Entertainment stage, Celebrity Basketball Game, Cultural Arts Pavilion; and Amateur Boxing are canceled.