Indy 500 Festival Parade 2012 Photo Gallery

My wife and I aren’t sports fans, but in 2011 we decided to try the Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade for our first time together. Each year on the Saturday before the world-famous Indy 500, our city holds a parade downtown with corporate-character floats, scintillating displays, marching bands, celebrities of varying levels of fame, all 33 qualifying Indy 500 drivers, members of the family that owns and/or operates the race, and bellicose street preachers.

Last year’s experience was such a fun date that we agreed an encore was in order. Ninety-degree weather was far from comfy, but we persevered. The following is a fraction of the pics we snapped.

The parade’s Grand Marshal: Australia’s own Olivia Newton-John! She was too far away to take questions and recriminations about Xanadu.

Co-star of "Grease" and "Twist of Fate"

’80s sensation Rick Springfield! The trailer speakers blared “Jessie’s Girl”, the only song of his that our local radio stations remember. As always, they sadden me.

Rick Springfield!

’80s semi-sensation Eddie Money reprises one of his classic hits, “Two Tickets to Parade”. With him is One Tree Hill‘s Jana Kramer, though for some reason all promotional materials avoided mentioning that show in favor of her plans to release her first country music album later this year. All kinds of odd choices in that sentence.

Eddie Money!

Mitch Daniels, governor of Indiana and certified Wild One.

Mitch Daniels, Wild One

TV’s Guy Fieri, of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. It was thanks to his recommendation several years ago that we had the pleasure of trying West Virginia’s Hillbilly Hot Dogs, and we’ll never, ever forget the experience.

TV foodie passes by a Jimmy John's without stopping.

Gladys Knight, well-known Pip-wrangler and midnight train passenger.

Still hearing it through the grapevine after all these years.

Florence Henderson is one of two celebrity staples guaranteed to appear at every Indy 500. The other, Jim Nabors, has bowed out this year. I wish him speedy recovery from whatever ruined a good run for him.

TV's Florence Henderson!

Derek Hough from Dancing with Stars and Maria Menounos from Extra. When their car moved forward to Monument Circle, they got out and had one of their walk-along security men snap their pic together in front of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. Tourism isn’t just for us little people.

Nobody tell them I don't watch either show.

Captain Keith Colburn from TV’s Deadliest Catch. Alongside him but off-camera is a guy from A&E’s Storage Wars. Missed him by that much.

Deadliest Catch, Friendliest Waver

Miss Piggy, strung along by her obedient Kermitlings.

Dread the power of her giant-sized karate-chop!

Papa Smurf, living large after the success of his feature film debut, striding around atop forced Smurf labor.

Words of wisdom, boots of DEATH.

The Cat in the Hat and his goldfish arch-nemesis declare a temporary truce for the occasion.

Now containing 0% Mike Myers.

The Confucius Institute sponsored this golden dragon float as our new front line of defense against Godzilla.

The golden dragon says, "RAAAAAR."

Giant monster bookworm says read or be squashed. Look for him in his upcoming Syfy Original Movie, Giant Bookworm vs. Golden Dragon.

Giant Bookworm!

The Fred Hill Briefcase Drill Team. Even in those classy suits, they looked a lot less dehydrated and suffering than some of the high school musicians in the parade.

White Light, White Collars

THE Mario Andretti. I haven’t watched or listened to an entire Indy 500 race since college, but even I know and respect that name.

Mario Andretti!

Indy driver Takuma Sato. He finished 33rd out of 33 cars in 2011, but his was one of the two best driver photos we took.

Just wait till 2012!

Marco Andretti, youngest racer in America’s favorite racing family. Take THAT, Speed Racer and Racer-X.

Most Photogenic of Show

Special bonus for longtime readers: I’m please to report at least three food trucks were out and about, making the most of the weekend.

The Edwards Drive-In Dashboard Diner wins Best Truck Art.

The Edwards Drive-In Dashboard Diner.

The Chuck Wagon Deli wins Best Truck I Haven’t Tried Yet. This is the first time I’ve seen them downtown. I would’ve given them a shot if we hadn’t had such a decent breakfast this morning.

The Chuck Wagon Deli.

Der Pretzel Wagen wins Best Sugary Treat. Their cinnamon sugar pretzel was a delightful relief after the parade ended and I needed extra energy for the walk back to the car.

Der Pretzel Wagen.

When most people think “Indiana parade”, I imagine this is what comes to mind first: racecars and farmers. Just add a large basketball and a guy taking a nap, and it would be a true salute to Hoosier stereotypes.

Three Little Pigs.

I trust one or more of the other twenty-one images help balance the scales, so let us never speak of this throwback again.

For wallpaper fans, large-scale versions of these pics are on display in my PhotoBucket album. We have plenty more photos not uploaded, if the public demands outtakes of the Dennis the Menace float, a traditional Chinese dragon, non-character floats sponsored by Big Energy, Indy 500 Princesses, obscured 500 drivers, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard’s wife’s hat, a stagecoach, the Hulman family, sweltering marching bands, or clowns. I was afraid to photograph any street preachers, so I can’t help you there.

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About Randall A. Golden
Hoosier since birth, geek since age 6, father at 22, Christian at 30; launched Midlife Crisis Crossover at 39. Full-time service rep; part-time internet contributor; former message board admin; inhabits Twitter as @RandallGolden. Views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of any other corporation, being, or party line.

8 Responses to Indy 500 Festival Parade 2012 Photo Gallery

  1. Red Car says:

    What a lovely article and great photos!!! I’m an old-lady closet Derek Hough fan – and missed watching the parade this evening on t.v. – thanks for gettin g “snap” of him and Maria. You and your wife sound like a very nice couple. I salute you, fellow Hoosiers!

    Like

    • R. A. Golden says:

      Thanks for the kinds words. 🙂 I’ve never seen “Dancing with the Stars” and was unfamiliar with Derek Hough, but he and Maria were pretty animated and seemed to be enjoying themselves.

      Like

  2. Tara Jenkins says:

    If you have any pictures of the Orleans Bulldog Regiment, a sweltering marching band, I would love to see them! Thanks!

    Like

    • R. A. Golden says:

      Alas, I wish I could help. I’ve driven 37 through Orleans many, many times when traveling to see relatives in southern Indy, so when I saw the sign come up, I thought, “Hey, I know that town! Cool!” Definitely well represented in the parade, but we failed to snap pics. Our marching band photos are just two quick shots of Purdue and several shots of Ben Davis.

      Like

  3. Nanci says:

    Derek Hough – rawr! Um, sorry about that. Lol.

    “Gladys Knight, well-known Pip-wrangler and midnight train passenger.”

    Hahahahaha!!!

    Your photo commentaries are always the best.

    Like

  4. Pingback: More Menough From Indy! | Pure Derek Hough

  5. Pingback: My 2012 in Pictures: a Montage of Montages Past and Future « Midlife Crisis Crossover

  6. Pingback: Indy 500 Festival Parade 2013 Photos, Part 1 of 5: the Special Guests | Midlife Crisis Crossover

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