Patriotic red, white and oooh will boom over Columbus on July 1 when organizers light the fuse on the free QMIX Musical Fireworks XXXII Sparks Will Fly, presented by Columbus Regional Health.
The event that unfolded on a smaller scale with no food or entertainment booths last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic will return to its full-scale production at AirPark Columbus and Ivy Tech Community College, according to Brittany Gray. She is operations manager and morning show host for QMIX 107.3 FM Radio locally.
She also is the veteran host of the station’s live remote beginning at 5 p.m. from the site. Plus, she helps select song snippets to accompany the fireworks.
Through the years, those musical clips have featured artists ranging from Lee Greenwood to Miley Cyrus to Bruce Springsteen to Imagine Dragons.
“We are very excited to welcome vendors back this year as we return to normal,” Gray said. “Though we are grateful we were able to hold this event last year, it just wasn’t quite the same without being able to gather and talk with 50,000 of our closest friends.”
That figure that organizers have used for a number of years makes this the largest single-day event in Bartholomew County, and one that attracts those of all ages, backgrounds, beliefs and more.
Besides attendees spread about on blankets and lawn chairs on the Ivy Tech grounds, the gathering includes thousands viewers parking along Central Avenue parking lots, nearly county roads and elsewhere to watch the approximate 22-minute show set to musical tidbits played over the radio. Plus, families picnic, light sparklers, play carnival-style games and visit with friends.
The festivities begin at 5:30 p.m., and the actual fireworks show normally begins at 10 p.m. Big Top Productions’ Adam Schill is scheduled to present a free magic show at 6 p.m. in the Ivy Tech Parking lot.
The event is so popular that even long-term health care facilities allow its residents to sit in the parking lots near the site to see the display, visible in part from as far away as Taylorsville.