CarmelFest 2015: Ready, set, boom! Fireworks to be bigger than ever


Editor’s note: You can read more about CarmelFest 2015 here.

By Joseph Knoop

Ask your neighbor if they thought there’s any way the CarmelFest fireworks celebration could get any bigger, and they’d probably say no. The celebration has already evolved from a mishmash of rain tarps and running pyrotechnicians to a computerized, synchronized symphony playing in time with a local radio station. It’s so big, last year’s shipment of fireworks even required an escort from local law enforcement to arrive safely.

And yet, it’s still growing. At 23 minutes long and 4,500 pounds of explosive weight (that’s without packaging), it’s set to be the largest fireworks display in Carmel by a small, yet significant margin.

Jeff Worrell, former CarmelFest committee chairman has coordinated the fireworks celebration for the past 22 years.

“My job was to man the tarp that covered the shells to be loaded,” Worrell said, referring to the first years of CarmelFest. “That way if we had an accident we wouldn’t explode anything.”

There’s been little worry for an incident in recent years, as CarmelFest began to utilize Melrose Pyrotechnics, a Chicago-based, award-winning fireworks company. Melrose coordinates with clients to produce large-scale productions seen across the Midwest and as far as Japan.

“A lot of the product is stuff others won’t see, because it’s made specially for us,” said Garry Poe, event producer for Melrose Pyrotechnics. “It’s one of the top 12 shows in the state and well worth getting there early.”

For Worrell, there’s one major feat he hopes CarmelFest attendees accomplish.

“I really challenge people to see the smiley-face shell,” Worrell said.

The CarmelFest fireworks celebration will begin at 9:45 p.m. July 4, rain or shine north of the Palladium. Music is provided by tuning into Carmel High School’s WHJE 91.7FM. Any news of time changes will be made via CarmelFest social media.