Indy 500 Festival Parade 2014 Photos, Part 4 of 5: Floats and Balloons!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

This year marked the fourth time my wife and I attended the Indy 500 Festival Parade in downtown Indianapolis. 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.

Part One featured the singers, actors, and other celebrities who joined this year’s parade. Part Two featured glimpses of all the marching bands who rocked the streets. Part Three were the drivers we were fortunate enough to capture. Here in Part Four, we turn to a serious study of the most essential component to any viable parade: floats and balloons!

As a shout-out to our niece, we’ll let sugary-sweet Strawberry Shortcake lead the pack.

Strawberry Shortcake!

Courtesy of the Indianapolis Public Library, here’s Arthur, star of both the Arthur book series by Marc Brown and the long-running Arthur PBS animated series. They’re about this kid named Arthur who likes reading books by people named Arthur. Other books are okay, but books by Arthurs are cooler according to Arthur.


Animal from the Muppets was a predictable favorite, though he kept listing to his right and teetering over the crowd’s heads. I’m not sure if that was a planned stunt or just Animal being his usual, dangerously out-of-control self. No one was smothered, so it’s fun!


One fish. Yep, that’s all this is. One fish.

One Fish.

…followed by Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. If I have to explain the reference, you clearly need more Dr. Seuss in your life.

Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish!

The parade roster says this is “Michael the Eagle”, whom I don’t recognize. Obscure comic strip? New character on Adult Swim? Sam the Eagle’s even more patriotic cousin? Guardians of Ga’Hoole fanfic costar? Reddit meme that never caught on? Beats me.

Michael the Eagle!

Whoever’s in charge of grading the floats named this one Best of Show. It’s called “A Current of Community” and appears to contain replicas of a couple of structures from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The rotating lenticular background changed back and forth from the Indianapolis Power & Light logo. I think the overall theme is “IPS: We’re More Benevolent with Your City’s Power Than Mr. Burns!”

A Current of Community

Another resource openly thanked: milk! It does a stack of cookies good!

Milk Floats!

The Dairy Council even arranged for dancers to accompany the float. They couldn’t pull off moves like this if they avoided milk and were riddled with osteoporosis. Just something to think about before dumping Red Bull on your Cocoa Pebbles tomorrow morning, kids.

Milk Dancers!

Still another resource: Big Pharma! Courtesy of Eli Lilly, one of our city’s largest employers.

Eli Lilly!

The Confucius Institute, a regular contributor to the Parade, presents “Racing with a Dragon Boat Rhythm”. The passengers performed meditative tai chi moves while soothing music wafted from the speakers. Immediately following them was the All-City Marching Band to blare everyone out of their trances.

Racing with a Dragon Boat Rhythm!

The Indy 500 Princesses!

500 Princesses!

Last but not least, especially since it was the first float in the parade: “Feel the Rhythm in May”. See that tiny head nestled inside the second E in “Feel”? I didn’t know till after we came home that that’s the head of another celebrity we overlooked: musician Michael Feinstein! If we’d known, we might’ve gone for the zoom lens.

Feel the Rhythm of May!

To be concluded!

* * * * *

Thanks for viewing! Other chapters in this series:

1. The Special Guests
2. Marching Bands and Other Groups
3. Some of Your Qualifying Drivers
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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