If you are considering coming out to Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration, expect to see some changes. People who have attended the event in previous years should take note of the date, time and location changes involving some of the events.
In addition to changes, there are plenty of new attractions at this year’s Expo that attendees can enjoy.
Some of the changes visitors should keep in mind include the location of some of the events. For the previous three years, all youth activities were held at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Vernon Williams, media consultant for Summer Celebration, says that these changes will make things easier for attendees.
“We had the youth events in Conseco because of construction. Now, pretty much everything is back in the Indiana Convention Center. Visitors no longer have to walk between the two places,” said Williams.
Quiana Graham, director of youth developmental programs for Indiana Black Expo, says that the change of venue will make events safer.
“Now that everything is back in the Convention Center, it helps keep it safe because families are all in one location. For the Youth Leadership Summit we ask that groups of young people come with their own chaperone,” she said. “It will be great for the youth because they have a world of potential, but a lot of times aren’t challenged to use it. We want to inspire them to become the change they want to see in the world. When kids come out to Expo they meet other motivated people and learn what their strengths are.”
Other changes he pointed out include the Corporate Luncheon on Friday July 15, instead of Thursday. The free concert is on that same Friday instead of Sunday.
Expo has gotten more affordable this year as well. Tickets cost $8 in advance and $10 at the door.
“We didn’t feel like last year’s increase in price was the best thing to do for the community, so we lowered it to the previous price. We want to make this as affordable as possible,” said Williams. “You can get into Expo for $8, less than the price of going to see a movie on the weekend.”
This year, for the first time, visitors can register online for Expo. If you would rather purchase tickets the traditional way, you can also stop by the Indiana Black Expo office at 3145 N. Meridian St. If you want to attend the Legends of Hip-Hop and R&B concert or the Black and White Party, you can buy tickets for those events through Ticketmaster.
In addition to changes, Indiana Black Expo has some new events and exhibits taking place this year. One of these events is a hairstyling competition judged by Derek J from “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” reality TV show and the film “Good Hair.” A diabetes awareness event will take place, and Anthony Anderson from “Law and Order” will be in attendance discussing his struggles with the illness. There is also an interactive NASCAR exhibit, an exhibit about Blacks and Native Americans and a bike safety event for kids where free helmets will be given away.
People in the Indianapolis community seem think Expo has a lot to offer.
“I plan to go to Expo’s youth events. The events for teens seem interesting and I think the basketball competition will be fun to watch. I also want the opportunity to learn about leadership and college life because it will help me achieve my goals,” said Devonte Washington, 14, who attends Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School.
Williams and the IBE staff hope plenty of people come out to all of the scheduled events.
“There is a lot to gain from attending Expo. It’s really incredible to have something of this magnitude here,” said Williams. “From education, spirituality, health, fashion and art there is really something for everyone.”
For more information visit ibeonline.com/summercelebration or call (317) 925-2702.