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Indy 500 Festival Parade 2014 Photos, Part 1 of 5: the Special Guests

Florence Henderson!

Florence Henderson, TV’s Carol Brady, Hoosier and patron saint of the Indy 500 Festival Parade.

This year marked the fourth time my wife and I attended the Indy 500 Festival Parade in downtown Indianapolis. It’s become an annual date tradition for us — partly to see the floats and high school marching bands (including our own alma mater), partly for the famous names (even if we’ve never heard of them), and partly because I love the sight of a bustling downtown Indianapolis (which needs to happen a lot more often).

The next five entries (to be posted over the next three days as quickly as time and endurance permit) represent a fraction of the pics my wife and I snapped. In many cases, encores and additional takes of specific subjects may be available if anyone out there is interested in seeing more, or is looking for a loved one who was in one of the many marching bands that day. For first-time MCC visitors, please note my wife and I are relative amateurs, obviously not trained professional photographers, sharing these from a hobbyist standpoint because fun and joy.

First up: publicly known faces who came to town for the occasion. Indianapolis was most excited to see the quickly appointed Grand Marshal of the Parade, Indianapolis resident Josh Kaufman, winner of the sixth and most recent season of NBC’s The Voice.

Josh Kaufman!

Even though Kaufman was born elsewhere, he graduated from IUPUI and has been living here ever since. As you might imagine, our local media absolutely adore him and have been keeping his TV adventures in the headlines on a weekly basis. I’m pretty sure local radio DJs have been arguing over which station will eventually get to adopt him and overplay his singles until no one can stand him anymore. Until then, I hope he enjoys the ride.

Josh Kaufman!

The Honorary Grand Marshal of the Parade was TV’s Jim Nabors, a longtime part of both the Parade and the Indy 500 opening ceremonies, in which he’s performed “Back Home Again in Indiana” for quite a few decades. However, due to retirement 2014 will mark Nabors’ grand finale for us.

Jim Nabors!

Also a musician: country/pop singer/songwriter Josh Kelley.

Josh Kelley!

Another singer with whose work we were unfamiliar: Irish tenor Ronan Tynan. His WikiPedia entry implies he’s more famous in other states than he is here, but maybe he’ll drop in sometime and show us what he’s got.

Ronan Tynan!

Also from out of town: Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.

Andrew Luck!

Also an athlete: Nick Goepper, a 2014 bronze medalist skier from Lawrenceburg, IN.

Nick Goepper!

Also an Olympic bronze medalist: figure skater Gracie Gold.

Gracie Gold!

Another figure As Seen on TV: IU graduate Mark Cuban, costar of ABC’s Shark Tank.

Mark Cuban, ripped from the headlines!

Also in headlines, but on more of a daily basis here in Indiana: our own Governor Mike Pence.

Governor Mike Pence!

Also a key member of our local government: Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. My wife and I met him once, in a brief incident at the Indiana Flower & Patio Show involving her rambunctious grandma.

Mayor Greg Ballard!

Also with leadership positions on his resumé: Bobby “Slick” Leonard, head coach for the Indiana Pacers from 1968 to 1980. None of the Pacers were in today’s parade, presumably due to other commitments, such as practicing for playoffs or catching up on season finales.

Bobby "Slick" Leonard!

Much more well-known to us: actor Cole Hauser, costar of such films as Pitch Black, Good Will Hunting, and A Good Day to Die Hard. He’s currently appearing in the DirecTV original series Rogue and will have a part in Christopher Nolan’s Transcendence.

Cole Hauser! How 'bout THEM apples!

Once more, with feeling and better focus: Indiana’s own Florence Henderson, who as usual will be performing “God Bless America” at the Indy 500 opening ceremonies on Sunday, May 25th, as long as none of the Brady kids have a personal crisis that gets in her way.

Florence Henderson!

To be continued!

* * * * *

Thanks for viewing! Other chapters in this series:

2. Marching Bands and Other Groups
3. Some of Your Qualifying Drivers
4. Floats and Balloons
5. The Blooper Reel

For fans of Indy 500 Festival Parade history, you can also check out the MCC photo collections for 2012 and for 2013. Enjoy!

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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.

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