IBE: 44th Summer Celebration draws thousands

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration has brought tens of thousands of people to Indianapolis since 1970. Saturday, IBE staff say the 2014 event has been one of its most successful years yet.

“You can go to boxing in the other room, we have celebrity basketball games, and I just came from a fashion show,” IBE President and CEO Tanya Bell said.

IBE’s Summer Celebration is not your typical expo.

“This is the largest expo I’ve ever done,” fashion designer and Project Runway star Korto Momolu said.

She made the trip to Indy to be a thread in the thick fabric of IBE.

“This is the largest black expo I’ve been to and it almost reminds me of the Essence [Music] Festival. It’s very grand and it’s just love,” Momlu said.

Hundreds of vendors and thousands of visitors make it all worth while, but there are others behind the scene that ensure safety and security.

“We put a plan in place after 2010 and we’ve worked the plan,” Bell said.

In 2010, 10 people were shot in three shootings during the Summer Celebration. Police say Shamus Patton was the gunman in two of the shootings involving 9 victims. He has since plead guilty to the shootings.

Bell said it goes beyond public safety.

“Make sure they do not violate curfew. Be on good behavior,” Bell said.

IMPD, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and several other agencies are on board.

“The police department has joined in that partnership and shared in the experiences and we’ve very proud of where we’ve come as a city,” IMPD Officer Christopher Wilburn said.

Hundreds of uniformed police officers are in place at the convention center and throughout downtown Indy. For the fourth year in a row, no major incidents have occurred.

Now, the IBE staff says it’s time to start thinking about next year.

“It’s really recap time to see what went well and how do we tweak some things going into 2015,” Bell said.

Police will be enforcing curfew during the expo. That means no one under 17 can be out past 11 p.m.

IBE’s Summer Celebration continues Sunday, click here to see the events.

blog comments powered by Disqus