There are a few changes to our annual Fourth of July celebrations this year, but there’s still some fun to be had.
With capacity restrictions likely lifted by that date, there are more options for the family than has been the case for more than three months. But most venues still require social distancing and recommend masks, so some forethought might be required before hatching a full Independence Day plan.
in the fort
Fort Wayne moved its annual Memorial Day Parade to the Fourth, and it’s one of the Memorial Coliseum’s first big events since March. The parade is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. at the corner of East State Boulevard and Parnell Avenue and continue to the Coliseum where a brief ceremony will take place. Parking at the Coliseum is $6 per car.
The annual fireworks will take place as usual at the Indiana & Michigan Plaza beginning at about 10 p.m. The mayor has asked that people observe and respect each other and not crowd during this time but to enjoy the celebration of this national holiday.
Several places will be available to the public that day including the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo which opens to non-members for the first time this season on July 4.
The Fort Wayne Botanical Conservatory, Promenade Park, and the area playgrounds and splash pads will also be open.
The Fort Wayne Museum of Art is also now open to the public, and since the holiday falls on a Saturday this year, the YLNI Farmers Market will be another pleasant stop for those downtown.
Around the region
While some regional celebrations, like the Fourth at the Forks in Huntington County, have been postponed until next year, some other area events will take place.
Fireworks will begin over Winona Lake at 10 p.m. that night, and If These Cars Could Talk will be held from 3-4 p.m. at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum.
In Steuben County, the annual Angola Fourth of July parade has been canceled, but both Clear Lake and Lake James will host fireworks that night.
in your backyard
And for those who prefer to stay home but enjoy some fireworks of their own, there are still places open and selling a variety of fire power. Many have been shooting off rockets of some kind since Memorial Day, but Fort Wayne has some rather specific dictates when it comes to shooting off fireworks at home.
Fireworks may be used only between 5 p.m. and two hours after dusk (approximately 11 p.m.) from June 29-July 3 and again from July 5-9. On July 4, fireworks are allowed from 10 a.m. until midnight.
While there are some changes and likely disappointments this year — particularly the absence of the popular Patriot Pops performances from the Fort Wayne Philharmonic — there are still several public, private, outdoor, and indoor places to enjoy the holiday. Stay safe!
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