You can watch the stars come out Friday.


Once when the sun sets and Mother Nature’s twinkles emerge in the night sky.

And again when Columbus Regional Health presents QMIX Musical Fireworks 27, “Star-Spangled Night,” at 10 p.m. at the Columbus Municipal Airport.

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Zambelli’s Fireworks of Pennsylvania reprises its role as the night’s Boomer in a far different vein than the Indiana Pacers’ noted mascot.

Brittany Gray, operations manager for QMIX 107.3 Radio and one of its on-air voices, can hardly wait to bring on the noise.

“As far as the actual fireworks go, the big booms are always what I like best,” Gray said.

“I like the idea of being able to feel those big noises deep in your chest.”

So let the thunder shake the heavens, providing it’s not of the inclement weather variety.

Oh — and let the portable radios boom as well as activities begin at 5:30 p.m. near Ivy Tech Community College on Central Avenue. On tap are games, face-painting for children, a Travis Easterling free magic show at 6 p.m., and plenty more.

Artists to be featured in the 20-minute soundtrack accompanying the picturesque patriotism include Whitney Houston crooning “America the Beautiful,” Lee Greenwood wailing “God Bless the USA” and DNCE singing “Cake By the Ocean,” plus selections from Taylor Swift and other pop artists.

“Because of the theme, you can expect a lot of songs about stars,” Gray said.

One such song might be OneRepublic’s “Counting Stars.” But counting people attending is a different matter entirely. Organizers in most recent years estimate the throng throughout Bartholomew County at 50,000 people. And it’s tough to argue the point. After all, on a clear night, visibility is good for quite a distance, including several locations at least half a mile away. Some people in the past even have spread chairs and blankets off county roads far from the main site and enjoyed a take-out supper.

Back in the city, people line Central Avenue for nearly a mile to visit with one another and watch. Last year, even the northern edge of the Kroger parking lot at Central Avenue and National Road filled with onlookers who had caught the fireworks frenzy.

“We have a group of people we see only once a year — and that’s on the QMIX Musical Fireworks night,” said Gray, overseeing a live remote broadcast for the ninth time. “So, it’s always nice to see those families and see how the kids have grown from the previous year. And I just really love that, and the fact that this is such a family friendly event.

“And it’s neat to see how people have made their own traditions around this.”

For instance, nearby church The Sanctuary, 3939 Central Ave., will once again present its annual Block Party beginning at 7 p.m., featuring free parking, free children’s activities, free bottled water and snow cones, and food for purchase.

“I think all this just continues to grow,” Gray said of the overall event and surrounding hoopla.

On-site food near the QMIX tent includes treats from 240Sweet, Firehouse Ice Cream, Yo Mama Frozen Yogurt, Divine Family BBQ, Grateful Grubb, Tropical Sno, Lorie’s Lemon Shake-ups, Tasty Express Chinese food, and three pizzerias to offer every conceivable kind of slice of the classic Italian pie as possible.

You can be starry-eyed

What: Columbus Regional Health presents QMIX Musical Fireworks 27, “Star Spangled Night.”

When: Activities such as children’s games, bounce houses and more begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday. A free magic show is at 6 p.m. Fireworks set to music, estimated to last about 20 minutes, begin at 10 p.m.

Where: Columbus Municipal Airport and in front of Ivy Tech Community College on Central Avenue.

Concessions: Pizza, Chinese, ice cream, frozen yogurt, barbecue and much more.

Parking: A number of places along Central Avenue.

Listen to the radio: Attendees may want to listen to QMIX 107.3 well before the soundtrack music begins. Live remote hostess Brittany Gray said there will be several on-air contests worth prize money.

Information: 812-379-1073 or

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5672.