City of Carmel preparing for gradual return of in-person events


After enduring a year of cancellations and postponements, the City of Carmel is planning a “robust calendar of events” for 2021, according to Nancy Heck, Carmel’s director of community relations and economic development.

Some of the events — especially those in the coming months — will look different than years past, but by summer Heck hopes many annual traditions will begin to restore a sense of normalcy for Carmel residents.

“People do miss their community events,” Heck said. “There’s something about the dynamic of live performance. It’s the same thing as the difference between watching your favorite band on your huge flatscreen at home and being in the audience and the energy you get from everybody that’s there at that event and that shared experience. There’s nothing that can replace that.”

The following highlights some of the events set to return and what they could look like in 2021.

Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony

Set for noon April 16, this year’s Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony is likely to be a fully virtual affair.

The event is planned to be livestreamed from the Palladium, but Heck said her team is prepared to pre-record the program if needed or open the facility to a limited number of attendees depending on community COVID-19 levels at the time.

Heck said the livestream will be available to view after the program and that the city plans to continue offering the service for most of its events going forward.

“We have gotten really good at live events that can be seen on YouTube or Facebook,” she said. “It opens it up to audiences that would’ve never been able to come.”

Carmel Gala

The Carmel Gala scheduled for April 24 also will be fully virtual this year.

The city and other gala organizers are working with a professional production company to create the program for a virtual audience. The event, which benefits the Carmel Youth Assistance Program, also will include raffles and a silent auction.

Midtown events

Midtown Plaza was one of a few locations to hold events in 2020, although they happened in a modified form.

Some of those changes will remain in place, such as Movies at Midtown having several showings throughout the day rather than a single one in the evening.

“We found there were different audiences throughout the day, so we’re going to keep doing that,” Heck said.

Movies at Midtown showings are set for noon, 2:30 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Mondays May 3 through Oct. 25. Showings will move to Saturdays Nov. 13 to Dec. 18.

The biweekly Music at Midtown performances are expected to return from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning May 4.

Other events

Other events set to return in-person this year include the Carmel International Arts Festival, Artomobilia, Midtown’s Got Talent, Bike Carmel group rides, Art of Wine, the Christkindlmarkt and the Ice at Carter Green.

Of course, that could change if the pandemic worsens as the year progresses, but Heck and other city officials are hopeful the COVID-19 vaccine will lead to lower case numbers as warmer weather approaches. The feasibility of holding each event and how it will be conducted will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


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