Summer officially arrived last Friday and we’re nearly halfway through our school’s two month break.
A week from today, we’ll be celebrating Independence Day in and around downtown Noblesville.
I always like to attend the Noblesville Fireworks Festival and Parade because there is so much to do and see, and we always see a lot of familiar faces.
This year, the Noblesville Fourth of July Parade begins earlier, at 2:30 p.m. July 4 with lineup at the usual Ivy Tech Community College Campus.
For those who like to plan their day and put out their lawn chairs, the parade route begins at the corner of 16th and Harrison streets and travels south on 16th Street, west on Logan Street, north on Ninth Street and east on Monument Street back to 16th Street. Retired Sen. Luke Kenley and his wife, Sally, will lead this year’s parade as grand marshals. Deadline to register for the parade is Friday. Registration is $20 (nonprofits are free). Register at https://www.cityofnoblesville.org.
After the parade, presented by Gaylor Electric Inc., instead of going to Noblesville High School as usual for the Noblesville Fireworks Festival, this year’s festivities move to Noblesville’s Forest Park. The move is due to construction of a roundabout near NHS at Field Drive and Cumberland Road.
The Fireworks Festival, presented by IDI Composites International, begins two hours earlier than past years, at 4 p.m. at Forest Park. There will be a food court, U.S. Army swearing-in ceremony at 8 p.m., and a Kids Zone.
This year’s Kids Zone will include activities than ever before, including 11 inflatables with sizes for different age groups. The area will have its own entertainment stage with a Dr. Seuss, pirate and comedy-magic shows and a DJ playing music specifically for children. The area also will have six balloon artists, six face painters, two stilt-walking jugglers, a trackless train to ride and an art project through Caravan Classes.
New amenities include a 300-foot zipline, beer garden, a ninja warrior course, cornhole and an Indy Eleven activity. On the parks department’s mobile stage, Road Trip, a cover band from Milwaukee, will perform with School of Rock as the opener.
Forest Park also provides traditional amenities such as playgrounds, picnic areas, carousel, basketball courts and more.
The free fireworks display will be at 10 p.m., with viewing throughout Forest Park.
In conjunction with the festival, Nickel Plate Express will offer train rides, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., for $10, free for ages 4 and younger.
This Saturday, Grace Church on 146th Street will play host to a community Picnic and Fireworks, with picnic at 6:30 p.m. and fireworks at dusk. And on Sunday, Noblesville Preservation Alliance invites the community to an annual Community Picnic from 4 to 7 p.m. at Forest Park and provide food and drinks. Lawn chairs are welcome. RSVP number in your party attending at https://noblesvillepreservation.org.
Don’t forget, this is SERVE Noblesville Week, which will culminate with a Cultural Celebration and a Community Giveaway. The Cultural Celebration, in its second year, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday on the Hamilton County Courthouse Square, will recognize the diversity of Noblesville residents. The 2018 event showcased 18 booths with food, music and other traditions from all over the world. On Community Day, Saturday, gently used items will be given away from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Boys & Girls Club Community Center. Donations can be dropped off from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. today through Friday at the Community Center, 150 N. 17th St., Noblesville. Donations may also be picked up, through the “U-Call We-Haul” pickup request, by completing a form online at www.servenoblesville.com, where individuals or groups can register to serve, the community can request help, and donations may be made.

-Contact Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com. The Times invites you to send us your July 4 festivities for the weekend before, during and after the Fourth. Email us at news@thetimes24-7.com.