Fun-filled Fourth: Festivals, fireworks abound this weekend

There is no wrong way to celebrate the most quintessential of summer holidays.

Gather with friends and family for hot dogs, hamburgers, corn on the cob and other barbecue favorites. Beat the heat submerged in a local pool. Listen to live music at one of numerous area festivals planned for the weekend.

And of course, ooh and aah as a carefully choreographed show of pyrotechnics unfolds in the night skies.

The Fourth of July and the days surrounding it represent the unofficial midway point of the summer season. For those looking for some more structure or just something a little bit different, local communities and businesses have put together a slate of activities for all kinds of interests.

Here’s the best of what the next few days have to offer:

Greater Greenwood Community Band

7 to 8 p.m. July 1, Greenwood Amphitheater, 300 S. Washington St.;

The annual Fourth of July concert by the Greater Greenwood Community Band has become a tradition in Johnson County. The volunteer band of more than 80 local residents regularly gathers around the holiday to play the best of Sousa and other patriotic composers, as well as other popular music from over the years.

This year’s concert is titled “The Fabric of America,” and includes the “Armed Forces Salute” with the Greenwood and New Whiteland Color Guard presenting the nation’s colors and service flags. Attendees will be able to hear marches, inspirational ballads, medleys from Broadway and “The Wizard of Oz”, and much more music. Dr. Jon Noworyta, director of bands at the University of Indianapolis, will be a guest conductor for this performance.

People are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets, in addition to snacks, for music under the evening sky. The concert is free to attend, but donations are appreciated.

Cartoons in the Park

8:30 to 10:30 p.m. July 1, Old City Park, 304 S. Meridian St., Greenwood

Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and the rest of the Looney Tunes gang come alive on the big screen during this special family event presented by the Greenwood Public Library. Participants will get to take part in a kids craft, and the cartoons will start as soon as it is dark enough to see the screen. The library is providing popcorn as long as it lasts, but people are encouraged to bring a blanket, chairs, snacks and bug spray to the free event.

Red, White and Blueberry Festival

Noon to 9 p.m. July 2 and 3, noon to 6 p.m. July 4, Mallow Run Winery, 6946 W. Whiteland Road, Bargersville;

Mallow Run Winery adds a touch of class to the All-American holiday weekend with a three day celebration of music, fireworks and of course, wine. Guests will have the first opportunity of the year to pick up Mallow Run’s blueberry wine and blueberry hard cider to go along with their full slate of wines.

Live music and food trucks will endure throughout the entire weekend. Catch the Sounds of Summer at 7 p.m. Saturday, while Living Proof plays at 7 p.m. Sunday. Both concerts end with a fireworks finale. Slow down and relax on Monday with a performance by Indie Annies at 2 p.m. The entire weekend if free to attend and family friendly.

Franklin Firecracker Festival

4 to 11 p.m. July 3, Franklin Amphitheater, 237 W. Monroe St.

Only one area Fourth of July event lets local youths answer the important question: Who is the fastest kid in town? A centerpiece of the annual Norman P. Blankenship Firecracker Festival, the contest lets young people of different ages square off in a good old-fashioned footrace to determine who wears the crown.

Built around the race is an afternoon and evening of entertainment at Franklin’s new downtown amphitheater at Young’s Creek Park. Enjoy balloon twisting, face painting, food vendors and a beer and wine garden. The Franklin Community Band will provide spirited patriotic music starting at 5 p.m.

Then at 7:30 p.m., Absolute Queen will perform “We Are the Champions,” “We Will Rock You” and all of the beloved hits of Queen during a free concert. The night closes with fireworks starting at 10:10 p.m.

Edinburgh Firecracker Festival

5 to 10:30 p.m. July 4, Main Cross St., Edinburgh

One of Edinburgh’s most popular yearly events returns this summer, as the town’s Fourth of July festival takes center stage. Kids activities and games will be featured throughout the afternoon downtown, while vendors serve food and local bands take the stage performing the best in rock, country and pop. The fireworks starts at dusk, and will be launched from School Hill off of Keeley Street.

Independence Day Social

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 4, Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, 1230 N. Delaware St., Indianapolis

The home of Indiana’s only president becomes the site of a patriotic Independence Day shindig, as visitors are invited to the lawn of the downtown Indianapolis site for games, food and music. People can tour the first floor of the home to learn more about Harrison’s presidency and life, before making their way outside for ice cream, popcorn or Coney dogs.

Lawn games will be set out to laze away the afternoon, while patriotic music plays in the background. Kids can see some of Silly Safaris’ animal exhibits, while Uncle Sam walks around on stilts. The event is free, but registration is required at

Downtown Indianapolis Fourth of July Fireworks

8 to 10:30 p.m. July 4, downtown Indianapolis

Indiana’s largest city plays host to one of the state’s most impressive fireworks displays, as the night sky around downtown Indy bursts into color. The best viewing will be on the grounds of the Indiana War Memorial and American Legion Mall, but the spectacular display can be seen well from north and west sides of the downtown Square Mile. The show will be synced to music on local radio stations B105.7, 97.1 Hank FM and 93.1 FM WIBC.