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Indianapolis family lights up the sky for the 47th time

Posted: 8:20 AM, Jul 03, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-03 12:45:24Z

INDIANAPOLIS -- Forty-seven years ago, an Indianapolis couple had an idea to put on a fireworks show for kids in their neighborhood.

That show is still a staple for thousands of people. 

Bud Smith and his sister Pam are the second generation involved in the production of the 3rd of July fireworks show on the banks of the White River in Broad Ripple.

But the entire production would be nothing without the matriarch of the family, Charlotte Smith. The fireworks show had very humble beginnings with Charlotte's husband, Meredith.

"Meredith and I, the people in Ravenswood, didn't have the opportunity to see and go [to a fireworks show]," Charlotte said. "And we decided that is what we were going to do."

As a young couple, the two started a tradition that would last decades, even if Charlotte would have to continue on her own.

"When he passed away 10 years ago, I thought, 'Can I do this? Yes, I can do it,'" she said. "He was my rock, and now they are my rock."


The Smith family's hearts go into the production, but the community's donations that keep it going. 

"It's 100 percent donations," Bud Smith said. "Without the volunteers, you would be exceeding $35,000."

The show is a gift to their community and a tribute to a loved husband and father. 

"It's important, the legacy," Bud Smith said. "We end with three memorial shots, one for my sister, one for my brother in law, and one for my dad."

The fireworks show happens Tuesday evening at the Ravenswood overlook on White River. 

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