1980: Zambelli Fireworks prepares downtown show atop Indiana National Bank building

Posted at 5:30 AM, Jul 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-01 05:30:35-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Former WRTV journalist Clyde Lee made the 504-foot trek to the roof of the Indiana National Bank building, now known as Regions Tower, on July 4, 1980.

A crew from Zambelli Fireworks of New Castle, Pennsylvania, was rapidly preparing the fireworks display for later that evening.

The crew began by installing the canisters used to launch the fireworks at around 10 in the morning. Cardboard canisters were used for the smaller fireworks and 55-gallon drums for the largest.

The 1980 fireworks display called for 1,000 explosions making it the second-largest fireworks display in the United States that year.

New Home

Regions Tower, which has served as the fireworks launch site for more than 50 years, is no longer a suitable location for the show.

“We’ve all benefited from Regions Tower being the host location and the launch site of our downtown fireworks for years, but a good problem to have is the continued development of our downtown," said Bob Schultz, Senior VP of Downtown Indy Inc.

“Right at the base of Regions is now a residential living area for new apartments, new shops, and all of that.”

Those developments are inside what is considered the “fall-out” perimeter, meaning that the fireworks can no longer be launched from the roof of the Regions Tower.

Thousands of fireworks have been launched from the roof of Regions Tower over the past five decades.

This year, the fireworks will be launched from the roof of 500 North Meridian. The 21-minute show will be linked to local radio stations.