Back with a bang: Hendricks County communities celebrate Independence Day with parades, fireworks and festivities

Hendricks County residents will line the streets and gather in parks for parades and Fourth of July festivities July 3-4. (Photo by Rick Myers)

by Lindsay Doty

Fourth of July events are a summer highlight, and Hendricks County does it right. Community celebrations include charming traditions, from hometown street parades to watching the fireworks on a picnic blanket with your favorite people. Events are back in full swing this Independence Day after last year’s cancelations. America’s birthday in Hendricks County is sure to be a memorable one. Here’s a look at what’s going on.

Avon Night at the Park

Avon Parks and Recreation will host its inaugural Night at the Park this holiday. The community celebration will include food and a fireworks show.

“We just want to have a good fireworks display for everyone to enjoy,” said Gary Gamble, Avon Parks and Recreation director.

Night at the Park will take place at Avon Town Hall Park on the evening of July 3.

The first-time event will include six food trucks, offering everything from hamburgers and ice cream to vegan options leading up to the fireworks.

The nearby barn will also have farm animals for kids to interact with.

“We are adding a little something to do as families wait for fireworks,” said organizer Delbert Harmon. “This is a chance for the community to get together and enjoy fireworks, nice entertainment aspects, food trucks, concerts and face painting.”

With community events being canceled last summer due to the pandemic, community leaders are looking forward to the first-time event.

“Our goal was to provide something unique for the Avon community that we could celebrate being able to get back together and push forward to more normalcy,” Harmon said.

Where: Avon Town Hall Park, 6570 E. U.S. 36, Avon
Cost: Free, food to purchase
When: 6-10 p.m. July 3
Parking: Avon Town Hall and nearby churches

Brownsburg Lions Club 4th of July Extravaganza

In Brownsburg, families are enthusiastic to line the streets again and cheer on their hometown parade. This year the parade will be held on July 3. The route begins at Brownsburg High School starting at 10 a.m.

“Our famous parade consists of antique cars and tractors, horses and riders, our high school band, Boy Scouts, Little League ball teams, businesses, political personalities, motorcycle riders, our American Legion color guard, the fire department and so much more,” said Lions Club board member Nick Xinopoulos. “This year this parade will be bigger and better. I think the community is excited to get back to our normal lives.”

On Sunday, July 4, the Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra will provide live music at Brownsburg Town Hall. Afterward, folks can grab a spot to watch the town’s annual fireworks display put on by the Brownsburg Parks Department.

In the week leading up to the holiday, Brownsburg Lions Club welcomes back its July Extravaganza running from June 29-July 4 at Arbuckle Acres Park.

There, participants will find carnival rides and games, food, including the ever-popular buttery grilled corn on the cob.

Brownsburg Lions Club member Ray Furner is the proud grillmaster who has been serving up the delicious corn at the hometown event for more than a decade.

What: Brownsburg parade
When: 10 a.m. July 3
Where: Begins at Brownsburg High School. North on South Odell St. to Tilden Drive, west on Tilden to South Green St., north on South Green St. to Enderly Ave.

What: Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra music followed by fireworks
When: July 4, 7:45 p.m. for music. Fireworks at dark.Where: Brownsburg Town Hall, 61 N. Green St.

What: Brownsburg Lions Club 4th of July Extravaganza
When: 5 p.m.-11 p.m. June 29-July 4
Where: Arbuckle Acres Park, 200 N. Green St., Brownsburg
Cost: $20 wristband nights June 29 and 30, July 1-3

Danville Food Trucks and Fireworks

For the second year, the Danville Chamber of Commerce will put on Food Trucks and Fireworks. The community celebration will take place at 6 p.m. July 4 in the Danville High School parking lot.

There will be nine food trucks selling everything from lobsters to pierogis. There will be a family fun zone with bounce houses and cornhole.

The fireworks show will follow. Organizers say it’s a chance for the community to come together during an important time.

“It’s tradition. I think Danville is deep-seated in American pride, and they really come out for fireworks and the United States and all that it means,” said Kelly DiBenedetto, executive director of the Danville Chamber of Commerce.

The inaugural event was one of the few local celebrations that took place in 2020, and it was a huge hit, so organizers are planning for another big crowd.

Organizers remind guests to bring chairs and blankets. Also, no setting off personal reworks in the parking lot. Leave it to the pros.

When: 6-10 p.m. Sunday, July 4.
Where: Danville Community High School, 100 Warrior Way, Danville.
Cost: Admission and parking free, food for purchase.
Food trucks include: Pastabilitiez, Wild Boar BBQ, The Mobile Hook Up, Chef Dan’s, Pierogi Love, Miss Kim’s Chick’n & BBQ, Sweet Valley Ice Cream and Kona Ice.

Plainfield’s Hummel Park July Fourth Extravaganza & Fireworks

The traditional fun and fireworks will return to Hummel Park in Plainfield this summer.

The evening will kick off at 5 p.m July 4 with bounce houses, a live band, giant slide, food vendors, balloon artists, face painting and family-friendly fun.

This year, for the first time, the Indiana Wind Symphony will perform at the Hummel Park Performing Arts Center starting at 7:30 p.m. The fireworks show will kick off just before 10 p.m.

The Knightsmen will perform hits from the ‘60s ranging from the Beach Boys to the Beatles, followed by the Plainfield Chamber of Commerce Annual Duck Race at 8:15 p.m.

Since the event was canceled last year, community members and organizers are happy to welcome it back.

“I am excited that we have moved past the events of 2020 and can once again offer an outstanding event where community members can stand side by side in celebration of our great nation,” said Derek Clay, park administrator for Hummel Park.

Guilford Township is the host and sponsor of the entire event, and the Town of Plainfield contributes half the cost of the fireworks display.

Where: Hummel Park, 5373 S. County Road 700 East, Plainfield
When: 5-10:30 p.m. July 4. Fireworks at dark. Indiana Wind Symphony plays at 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free besides food and face painting.
Parking: Parking will be limited in the front of the park, with the best parking locations located off County Road 700 E. Additional parking will be available at nearby Calvary Baptist Church.

Pittsboro Freedom Celebration

At the corner of Main and Maple streets in the small town of Pittsboro, proud town resident Keith Gurley has spent many Saturday mornings with his trusty bucket, encouraging drivers to throw in some cash to support the annual Pittsboro Freedom Celebration, the town’s Fourth of July event organized by the Hendricks County Young Marines.

It worked.

“Every year, you amaze me,” said Gurley of the community’s support that raised $10,000 for the festival and fireworks.

Fundraising efforts included everything from a Pittsboro Freedom T-shirt campaign to local business donations to support the upcoming event.

“We’re full steam ahead. Everything is happening Saturday, July 3,” said Gurley, Hendricks County Young Marines Unit Commander and event organizer.

The celebration will kick off with the town parade at 2 p.m. down Main St., followed by the celebration at Scamahorn Park that includes the Pittsboro Christian Church fish fry, vendors and live music, followed by the fireworks show.

“Looking forward to a bit of normalcy this year. We all deserve it,” said Gurley. “We are ‘small town America.’ We guarantee smiles, friendly faces and a safe place to celebrate America’s independence. Why in the world would you go anywhere else?”

There will be Kona Ice and hot dogs to go by Uncle Zo. Live music acts include Vinnie and the Moochers on the Freedom Stage at 6 p.m. and Dark Horse at 8 p.m.

“It’s been fun to watch this event grow and watch the town rally to make sure we meet our fundraising goals,” said Gurley, who can be found on Saturdays in June at the town’s stoplight raising money for the event.

The Young Marines took over the dying parade seven years ago, and it’s been growing ever since.

“If you look at the kids’ faces, it is a no-brainer that it needs to be done. I’m proud to do it,” said Gurley.

He reminds the community that vending for the festival is free, so sign up.

When: July 3
Where: Parade at 2 p.m. along Main St.; festival and fireworks at Scamahorn Park, 130 E. Main St., Pittsboro. Fireworks start at 10 p.m.
Cost: Free
Vendors: Free. Contact Keith Gurley at (317) 289-6692.