Previewing Spark!Fishers 2023

Writer / Christy Heitger-Ewing
Photographer / Amy Payne

Marissa Deckert started her career on the West Coast in event management working with the Anaheim Ducks NHL team, where she led a team of 300 to put on a variety of public and private events. After 10 years in California, she accepted a job as senior director of security and guest experience with the Portland Trailblazers and Rose Quarter entertainment campus, where she oversaw more than 600 annual events across three campus venues.fishers

“We had the NBA team, a WHL hockey team, and a variety of other affairs including corporate events and campaign rallies for the presidential election,” Deckert says.

In 2018 her daughter moved to Indiana, and Deckert decided to follow, as she wanted to stay close to her family. She relocated to Fishers and began working for Fishers Parks and Recreation as an assistant director. In March of 2023 she was promoted to director.

“Prior to coming here, my jobs were focused on event planning and venue management,” Deckert says. “Here it’s cool because I get to do a variety of things including community events and smaller programming.”

This month Spark!Fishers returns. The annual weeklong festival will take place in downtown Fishers from Tuesday, June 20 until Saturday, June 24. What started out as a two-day event grew to five days because of attendance growth. Not only does this spread out the crowds, but it also enables people to choose the specific events they want to engage in.

Tuesday will offer a free community concert at the Nickel Plate District Amphitheater at 7 p.m. Wednesday they’ll host an evening 5K run in addition to a 60-yard dash for little ones.

“In the past we’ve seen lots of families come to cheer people on, so we decided to add a post-race atmosphere,” says Gabe Amick, special events experience coordinator. “Anyone who registers for the 5K gets a free beverage, compliments of MashCraft brewery. Also on hand will be a live deejay, games and food vendors.”

Thursday is the Car & Art Show at the Municipal Complex, featuring both vintage and classic cars as well as a mix of artists displaying various mediums such as painting, drawing and woodworking. Last year about 80 cars were part of the show including Lamborghinis, Ferraris, a 1969 Chevelle, and a fully restored 1929 Packard.

“One of my favorite things from last year, which we’ll do again this year, is at the end of the day, having all the cars pull out onto 116th Street,” Deckert says.

fishersFriday offers another free concert at 8 p.m. Saturday is the Street Festival, which runs from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. and features 130 different food, artisan and craft vendors as well as multiple stages with live music. Organizers encourage attendees to park at the FORUM Credit Union headquarters (11313 USA Parkway) and take the free shuttle (nine shuttles will run every 15 minutes).

One of their most popular spots is the Kids Zone, which offers inflatables, face painting, balloon twisting, body glitter and puppet shows (there’s also a Toddler Zone for littles). Older kids can hang out in the Teen Zone with a mobile skate park, arcade, foosball, table tennis, shuffleboard, and a dance floor with a deejay where teens can do hip-hop dance battles to compete for cash prizes.

Fishers Parks has partnered with KultureCity to provide sensory bags with noise-reduction headphones, fidget tools, communication cards, and weighted lap pads for individuals with sensory sensitivities.

“We’re extremely proud of our partnership with KultureCity and the efforts our Parks team has made to create more accessible events,” Deckert says. “We continue to listen, learn and adapt with the valued feedback we receive from our residents.”

They have also partnered with the Milk Bank to provide a quiet, air-conditioned space for mothers to nurse.

The festival’s parade has a new route this year that goes straight through the heart of Fishers. In recent years, Fishers Parks has had to work around a number of different challenges, from COVID to construction. This year is no different, as City Hall is currently being rebuilt.

“We’ve gotten really creative and are able to offer an improved experience from previous years,” Deckert says. “We’re shifting that footprint a little bit north, and I think our shuttle situation is improved as it drops you right in the heart of what’s going on.”

The night culminates with the Aerial Show at 10 p.m. (new this year) that will include 200 drones, followed by a fireworks finale.fishers

“Each year we have an amazing opportunity to bring our community together and showcase our city pride through a unique event experience,” Deckert says. “We’re especially excited to be the first in central Indiana to host an aerial drone show.”

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