Indiana Black Expo looks forward to 44th summer celebration

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Indiana Black Expo’s 10 day “Summer Celebration” begins Thursday evening with an ecumenical service.

Organizers are hoping it’s 44th year, will be the best one yet. It’s one of the biggest events in Indianapolis, and several law enforcement agencies are working together to make sure it’s safe.

“Summer celebration would not have survived for 43 years without the dedication and strong support of our officers,” said President and CEO of Indiana Black Expo, Tanya Bell.

Even before Bell looks forward to this year’s summer celebration, she takes pause to thank officers. Each year Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies, Indiana State Police and IMPD work together to make it a family friendly event. Bell also took time to recognize the sacrifice of Officer Perry Renn.

“Today our community is grieving the tragic and yet senseless death of Officer Perry Renn,” said Bell. “My prayers and heart go out to Officer Renn’s family, IMPD, and those lives who were touched by this brave hero.”

A hero who served and protected right alongside hundreds of other men and women in blue, who work to make sure Expo is a success. In 2010, after the expo shut down, there was a shooting downtown. That’s when Expo created a safety task force. The event hasn’t seen any major incidents since.

“It’s been a great event the last several years,” said Chief Deputy Michael Bates, IMPD. “It’s been a very enjoyable, peaceful event for the most part, we’ve had very little violence of course we want to continue that string.”

Each year expo draws hundreds of thousands that come out to experience the health fair, career expo, heritage festival, and free concerts. The theme this year is “Good for Ind.” Expo organizers say it’s good for there to be a celebration of education, entrepreneurship and family, especially now.

“We want people to know that the expo is connected to the community,” said IBE Board Chairman, Gregory Wilson. “And with the support of IMPD, we want to make sure that we work hard to help and assist in any way we can, improving the quality of life of our community.”

Chief Deputy Bates says they will have extra officers downtown both plain clothed and in uniform. He wants everyone who sees something to say something. Anyone can call or text with tips. The number is 327-8477. To message a tip: text indycs – put your message in and text 274637.   Police will also be monitoring the 100 surveillance cameras that are downtown, to make sure everyone enjoys the activities that are planned.

For more information on the IBE’s Summer Celebration events click here. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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