31st Annual Event Returns With Colts In Motion, Bigger Fireworks Show & More

Writer / Samantha Kupiainen
Photography provided

CarmelFest, an all-volunteer led event organized by the Rotary Club of Carmel, will return for its 31st year this July. The two-day festival will be Wednesday, July 3 and Thursday, July 4. There are many new features this year, such as the Extreme KidsZone and Colts in Motion trailer. To conclude the celebration, it will showcase a revamped firework show on the Fourth of July.

Colts In Motion is a mobile museum sponsored by the Indianapolis Colts. The museum, which is featured inside a 40-foot-long trailer, offers its guests an interactive experience through the sharing of Colts experiences, team history and memorabilia. The trailer also includes state-of-the-art virtual reality, interactive games and photo opportunities. Colts In Motion will be at CarmelFest on July 3 only from 3 p.m. through 10 p.m., offering extended hours specifically for the festival. The trailer will be parked east of the fire station.

The Freedom Run will also return on July 4 at 8 a.m., beginning at Carmel High School. Registration for the 4.5-mile run/walk is available online at carmelfest.net/event/freedom-run.

Keeping with tradition, CarmelFest will again offer games and rides, such as bounce houses and a rock wall. It will also feature food vendors, an outdoor marketplace with local artisan creations and the 2019 Centier Bank CarmelFest July 4th Parade.

The parade, which starts promptly at 10:30 a.m. on July 4, begins at AAA Way and Carmel Drive. The parade route travels west on Carmel Drive to Rangeline Road, turning north to Main Street, traveling east on Main and ending at Carmel High School.

The Carmel High School Marching Band has been named the Grand Marshal for the parade. Bec Hunter, CarmelFest Parade & Media/PR Director, says the band was selected “due to the exhausting hours and overall dedication required by these students in order to perfect their performance.”

In correlation to the Grand Marshal of the parade, the theme of the event is “America Strikes Up The Band.”

Also new this year is the ExtremeKidZone, a combination of two kid zones. Additionally, both tickets and wristbands will be available for purchase this year.

“Last year we only offered wristbands. This year we’ll have both tickets and wristbands,” says James Bednarski, CarmelFest Chairman. “That’s honestly the biggest change. Everyone should be much happier this year with both options.”

In order to put on the event, CarmelFest requires more than 300 volunteers to collaborate and work the event for its 55,000 visitors.

For Bednarski, working with the volunteers is his favorite part of CarmelFest.

“It’s working with all the volunteers — we have more than 325 that we work with,” he says. “I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to work with the community and pretty much everybody helps serve the community. That’s my favorite part.”

Those interested in volunteering can sign-up online at carmelfest.net/volunteer.

To finish off the two-day celebration, the city’s biggest fireworks display, presented by Allied Solutions, will be broadcasted by WHJE 91.3, who will synchronize the fireworks show to music.

Compared to last year’s show, there have been some changes to the fireworks this year.

“The big news is we’re doing a larger version of the fireworks,” Bednarski says. “We’re doing an expanded firework show. We’ve upgraded the size of the fireworks, so they’ll go higher and bigger. They’ll still be launched from the same site.”

The array of fireworks will light up the sky beginning at 9:45 p.m. on Thursday. The fireworks will launch from an area north of the Palladium and on the east side of the Monon. Fireworks will be held rain or shine, unless in the event of severe weather.

CarmelFest 2019 will be held July 3 through July 4 at various locations around Carmel. For more information, such as pricing, locations or parking, visit carmelfest.net.