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IBE’s 50th Summer Celebration plans & events

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Official statement from Indiana Black Expo:

Over the last year, we have endured so much as a community.  We have lost loved ones and friends to this unprecedented pandemic, witnessed the continual tragic deaths of unarmed Black Americans, experienced a significant amount of our Black businesses shutter from the economic downturn, and observed too many lose jobs and homes.  We also were unable to fully celebrate many milestones – birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, conventions, etc.  For IBE, it was our organization’s 50th anniversary.  With 2020 came a significant amount of stress and anxiety.   

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.  Summer Celebration has always been a time for community empowerment and the elevation of our voice and this year is no exception. 

Over the last six months, we have monitored the effects of COVID 19.  We have worked diligently with our local and statewide partners to determine how best to move forward with a safe and enjoyable Summer Celebration experience for our community.   

In making the decision on which events and initiatives to continue this year, we looked at whether large crowds can occur in sufficient open spaces where one is unlikely to get or spread COVID-19.  Because outdoor spaces are safer than indoor spaces, we decided that most of our events with large gatherings will take place in outdoor venues that provide an abundance of space or be delivered virtually.  

Based upon CDC guidelines and state and local health department regulations, certain Summer Celebration indoor events are infeasible.   

Summer Celebration events that will occur:  

Outdoor Events 

50th Summer Celebration Gala 

Saturday, July 10 

Featuring After 7 

Time: 7:00 PM – 12:00 AM 

Cost: $125 person (sponsorships available) 

Location: Indianapolis Motor Speedway – outdoors in front of the Pagoda 

 (In the event of inclement weather, the Gala will be moved to Sunday, July 11) 

Free Outdoor Concert   

Our free outdoor concert will take place at Lucas Oil Raceway, a 350-acre venue with permanent outdoor seating, an enormous amount of green space for overflow, adequate parking, a gated enclosure of the grounds, and a state-of-the-art pavilion to house VIP guests.  Only two outdoor venues for concerts with sufficient permanent seating for attendees exist in Indianapolis, and Lucas Oil Raceway was the best option.  The use of this property will allow us to provide a safe and enjoyable concert.  We are thankful for being able to house our 50th Summer Celebration outdoor concert on such beautiful grounds.   

Friday, July 16 

Featuring Keith Sweat, Stephanie Mills, Johnny Gill, and El Debarge 

Time: 6:00 PM – 11:30 PM (doors will open at 2:00 PM with vendors) 

Cost: Free; VIP seating: $50 

Location: Lucas Oil Raceway, 10267 East, US Hwy 136, Indianapolis, IN 46234 

First come, first seated for seating in the stands; overflow greenspace will be available, and individuals will also have the option to remain in their vehicle with family and friends and listen to the concert on the Lucas Oil radio station 87.9 FM. 

For vendor opportunities, visit www.indianablackexpo.com

All White Affair 

Saturday, July 17 

Hosted by DJ Kid Capri featuring Dru Hill and Raheem DeVaughn 

Time: 10:00 PM – 3:00 AM 

Cost: $50; VIP seating: $100 

Location: The Pavilion at Pan Am (indoors and outdoors) 


Ecumenical Service 

Thursday, July 8 

Featuring City-wide Ecumenical Choir 

Guest speaker to be announced 

Time: 7:00 PM 

Cost: Free 

Location: To be determined 

Minority Business Conference presented by KeyBank 

Monday, July 12  

Featuring Mayor’s Brunch (invitation only) and Governor’s Reception (invitation only) 

Location: IBE Headquarters, 601 North Shortridge Road, Indianapolis, IN 46219; workshops on July 12 will be delivered virtually 

Education Conference 

Tuesday, July 13 – Thursday, July 15 

Workshop times, keynotes, and presenters to be announced 

Location: Virtual 

Indiana Black & Minority Health Fair 

Friday, July 16, 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM 

Saturday, July 17, 10 AM – 7:00 PM 

Sunday, July 18, 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM 

Cost: Free 

Location: Indiana Convention Center, 100 S. Capitol Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46225 

Virtual Gospel Concert 

Sunday, July 18 

Artists to be announced 

Time: 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM 

Cost: Free 

Location: Artists will perform in IBE’s Performing Arts Studio at IBE’s Headquarters, and the community will have the ability to access the event virtually on Facebook.  


The following events will not occur due to current seating restrictions, capacity limits, or inability to socially distance in an indoor space: Corporate Luncheon; Exhibition Hall, including the Entertainment stage, Celebrity Basketball Game, Cultural Arts Pavilion, and Amateur Boxing.   


The Youth Leadership Summit, Employment Opportunity Fair, and Technology Zone will occur at other times throughout this year. 

Safety Protocols at Physical Events (Gala, Outdoor Concert, All White Affair, Mayor’s Brunch, and Governor’s Reception) 

  • All attendees must wear a mask at all times except when eating and drinking 
  • Sanitizer stations will be spread throughout the event; however, we encourage attendees to bring extra hand sanitizer 
  • The restrooms will be cleaned routinely throughout the venue  
  • IBE and its partners will work with local and state health officials to ensure regulations and guidelines are followed   

Hotels  The Westin is Indiana Black Expo’s host hotel.  To book a hotel room, visit www.SummerCelebration.net.

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