INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - It is going to be a busy weekend downtown Indianapolis as thousands of people head to the Circle City for the Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration.
“It is a wonderful event and I love the gathering of the people,” said participant Jackie Brown-Cox.
The expo expects big crowds to show up to the health and job fairs, concerts, and other activities downtown.
“This is truly a community endeavor, a community event, and we just want to make sure that everyone comes out and takes advantage of this primary fundraiser for the organization,” said Tanya Bell, President and CEO of the Indiana Black Expo.
More people say they plan to show up because entry to the convention center is free all weekend. There is also a free concert venue set up at the American Legion Mall. Johnny Gill, Zapp, and Atlantic Star will perform.
“I’m so glad that be does this for people from all over the place. We can all come to Indy and celebrate our Indy style,” said Brown-Cox.
Since the crowds are expected to be large this weekend, Black Expo leaders tell me they are working with law enforcement, private security, and the Ten Point Coalition to patrol the crowds and traffic.
“Most of the time we are here for traffic control. This is an event that draws people downtown. There is a lot construction downtown and we will have to close streets and move traffic,” said Commander Chris Bailey of the IMPD Homeland Security Bureau.
At least one rally is planned for this weekend, organized by an outside organization, asking for transparency and accountability following the death of Aaron Bailey. Bailey was shot and killed by two IMPD officers, following a police chase. Bailey was not armed.
“Our role is to protect their right to voice their first amendment disagreements with government,” said Commander Bailey.
Street closures will continue throughout the weekend. Roads surrounding the American Legion Mall downtown will close Friday from 6 p.m. until midnight.