Multicultural News

Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration marks 50 years after pandemic hiatus

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration is back on after a one-year hiatus caused by the pandemic. Organizers say things may still look a little different this year, but the goal remains the same.

The Indiana Black Expo summer celebration is turning 50. IBE representatives say the event is not only fun but also is one of the group’s key fundraising efforts to help feed into service work with education and business growth.

Over the next two weeks, Hoosiers in and around Indianapolis will be able to select from a list of events.

Otis Williams moved out of Indianapolis, but says he remembers being out in the community for summer celebrations.

“I know we used to go out to this park and hang out at a park on expo days,” Williams said.

Still not quite done with safety requirements brought on by the pandemic, the in-person events will include an ecumenical service at Grace Apostolic Church. Other events will happen at the Indiana Convention Center, including the Black and Minority Health Fair.

IBE headquarters and Pavilion at Pan Am are other locations for festivities. The All White Affair will feature DJ Kid Capri, Dru Hill and Raheem DeVaughn.

And the popular free concert — featuring Keith Sweat, Stephanie Mills, Johnny Gill and El Debarge — is happening at the Lucas Oil Raceway instead of its usual location downtown.

“The reason we chose to move was because of the pandemic and the time we made the decision, we were still heavily in the middle of the pandemic. Things hadn’t changed,” said Bryan Kelly with the IBE.

But even with a slight change to plan, IBE representatives said the end goal is the same: bringing fun and raising money to fund youth programs, education and business development initiatives.

“How do we help reach the community and help them build up self-confidence to go out and change their situation?” he said.

IBE representatives said an official decision hasn’t been made, but right now the plan is to move the concert back downtown in the future.

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