INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Indiana Black Expo (IBE) has canceled its Summer Celebration, which would have marked the event’s 50th anniversary, as well as its Circle City Classic football game, due to the coronavirus pandemic, organization announced on Thursday in a press release.

“Over the last 30 days, IBE’s leadership has been monitoring the impact of COVID-19 across the country and within our city and state. We have abreast of information and data provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) and Marion County Health Department (MCHD).

Advancing our mission – being a voice and vehicle for the social and economic advancement of the African-American community over the last 50 years – includes our responsibility to protect the health and safety of those who attend our traditional community engagement programs and events. Under the current pandemic circumstances and with the concurrence of our Board of Directors, we are cancelling all IBE events that invite physical public gatherings in 2020.

More specifically, this will include:

  • Summer Celebration events involving public gatherings in July including the Free Concert, Exhibition Hall, 50th Anniversary Gala and All White Affair; and
  • Circle City Classic events involving public gatherings in late September.

While the current opinions of the health experts are that the virus is expected to peak in Indiana (as well as other states) by early May, followed by an anticipated trend of decreasing pandemic-related hospitalization and deaths, there are other troubling health risk factors that must be considered as well. Despite the encouraging forecasts, we find ourselves no closer to a vaccine, we continue to be challenged by insufficient testing nationwide, and there are still many unknowns about the virus.

Even more alarming is the impact of COVID-19 within the African American population nationwide. We are suffering disproportionately.”

All public events, including free concerts, luncheons, 50th Anniversary Gala, and the Circle City Classic football game, college fair, and parade are cancelled. Business and education conferences will continue virtually.

The Circle City Classic football game which brings a huge gathering is played between two historically black colleges and universities, as well as provides a college fair the day of the game.

Information about refunds for purchased tickets can be found on the Summer Celebration website.

About Indiana Black Expo

IBE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, has been a pillar of the African American community for decades. As a year-round, multifaceted community service organization with 12 chapters, IBE works to create and advance opportunities for families in central Indiana. For more information, visit

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