Bicentennial Unity Plaza Opens with Four Days of Free Public Events August 24-27
BICENTENNIAL UNITY PLAZA OPENS WITH FOUR DAYS OF FREE PUBLIC EVENTS AUGUST 24-27
- Pacers Sports & Entertainment executives, community leaders, and city and state officials will cut ribbon on the Bicentennial Unity Plaza on Thursday, August 24, officially tip off downtown’s newest amenity with four days of free events for the public.
- The Plaza, adjacent to Gainbridge Fieldhouse to the north, showcases must see features enhanced through the generous support of the Lilly Endowment. These include interactive sculptures and large-scale public art, a basketball court that converts to an ice-skating rink, and other spaces that will be programmed for community events and activities throughout the year.
- The four days of free public events will have activities for guests of all ages, including a Friday evening happy hour, a nighttime market on Saturday, a Sunday Jr. Hoops Clinic for kids, arts and crafts, live music, and much more.
INDIANAPOLIS – Pacers Sports & Entertainment (PS&E) and the Capital Improvement Board of Marion County (CIB) announced today that Bicentennial Unity Plaza will officially open to the public with four days of free events beginning Thursday, August 24. The Plaza, which sits adjacent to Gainbridge Fieldhouse to the north, features large must see public art, a basketball court and skating rink in the winter, as well as programmable spaces created through a generous grant in 2022 from Lilly Endowment Inc.
Bicentennial Unity Plaza is a canvas, literally and figuratively, in our downtown, a place where Indy’s eclectic arts and culture will be on display and the backdrop against which visitors can celebrate our shared values. I am so grateful to the CIB for their partnership and leadership and to Lilly Endowment for its generosity in helping bring this vision to life.
Rick Fuson, PS&E CEO
Two show-stopping public art sculptures by international artist Herman Mejia are centerpieces of Bicentennial Unity Plaza. Together, comprising two stainless steel and Indiana limestone-capped arches that don’t quite meet at the center, symbolizes the community’s never-ending pursuit of unity and harmony. The piece spans the width of the Plaza and serves as the gateway to its interactive experiences, and visitors can engage with it from below as they enter the park while mirrored alcoves at each end will be ideal spots for capturing iconic photos. The second sculpture, Sphere, is a dome-like sculpture visitors can experience inside and out, with LED screens that can be programmed with the history of the Indianapolis Bicentennial, art, and other visuals. The dome measures 23 feet, nine inches in height, the distance of the NBA three-point line and an homage to the home of the Indiana Pacers and Fever adjacent to the Plaza.
Bicentennial Unity Plaza is a beautiful new public space infused with art that encourages us to think about Indianapolis’s past, present and future. We are heartened by CIB’s commitment to ensure that Bicentennial Unity Plaza will be a lively gathering place that is affordable, accessible and welcoming to people of all backgrounds.
Ronni Kloth, Lilly Endowment’s Vice President for Community Development
In addition to the public art elements, Bicentennial Unity Plaza features a covered basketball court, which can be transformed into an ice-skating rink during winter months, and open spaces designed to be programmed for community and private events throughout the year. Moreover, PS&E and the Indy Arts Council will later this year unveil the completion of a mural of 43 of the most prominent individuals who helped shape Indianapolis, artwork that will adorn the east wall of the Steak n’ Shake Building overlooking the Plaza.
The diverse set of leaders featured on the mural were chosen by a 40-person committee, which spent six months reviewing and selecting these legends from a group of nearly 200 leaders who helped shape Indianapolis between 1820 and 2020. No individuals still living were considered, but rather the list included only those who have passed away. Other criteria included a strong connection to the city, accomplishments that benefited the common good, memorable personal stories, and an inspirational legacy in Indianapolis and beyond.
The artwork and community assets in this plaza illustrate what the IMPROVEMENT in the Capital Improvement Board is all about. This plaza is sure to further improve Indianapolis's sense of community, bringing us together in an engaging space. This plaza will also wow visitors and prove that Indy continues to improve itself through times of success and times of adversity. We are so grateful to the Lilly Endowment for helping us bring the plaza to life and to Pacers Sports and Entertainment for making it thrive for years to come.
Andy Mallon, Capital Improvement Board Executive Director
PS&E executives, community leaders, and elected officials will officially open Bicentennial Unity Plaza at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, August 24, at 10a.m. A full weekend of events will follow, with activities for visitors of all ages showcasing the diverse uses of this incredible downtown asset.
Events will include:
Thursday, August 24
10-11a.m. Ribbon Cutting Celebration
5-7p.m. Indiana Fever Pre-Game Party
Live music, games, giveaways, face painters, balloon artists, and more will be available for guests of all ages. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. No ticket is required for entry.
Friday, August 25
5-9p.m. Happy Hour on the Plaza
Guests can eat, drink, and dribble with live music from DJ Todd & DJ Space Bunz, games, unique cocktails, and free small plates from Indy’s top chefs and food trucks.
Saturday, August 26
5-10p.m. Indy Night Market on the Plaza
Guests can enjoy basketball-themed face painting, crafts, and coloring stations, as well as inflatables, a bounce house, photo booths, and giveaways. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.
For more information on Bicentennial Unity Plaza, gainbridgefieldhouse.com/bicentennialunityplaza.
About Pacers Sports & Entertainment: Pacers Sports & Entertainment is an integrated sports and entertainment company including the Indiana Pacers, Indiana Fever, an NBA G League affiliate, Pacers Gaming, Pacers Foundation, Inc., and operations of Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Its team of inspired and dedicated employees has a shared purpose of winning through a commitment to excellence, serving the local community and entertaining fans and guests.