Indy 500 Festival Parade 2015 Photos, Part 3 of 6: This Year’s Guests

Nico & Vinz!

Pop stars Nico & Vinz were among this year’s parade headliners who were more familiar to viewers under 40 than they were to me. But still: Nico & Vinz!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

This year marked the fifth time my wife and I attended the Indy 500 Festival Parade in downtown Indianapolis. It’s an annual date-day tradition for us — partly to see the floats and high school marching bands, partly for the famous names (even if the rest of the audience loves them more than we do), and partly because I love the sight of a bustling downtown Indianapolis (which needs to happen every single weekend ever).

The next six entries (to be posted over the next few days as quickly as time and attention span permit) represent a fraction of the pics my wife and I snapped.

Part Three, then: this year’s lineup of celebrity guests and local personalities of note. Actors, musicians, and athletes are a staple of the Indy 500 Festival Parade, and it’s always interesting to watch their responses and see how many of them and their companions whip out their phones to take pics while they’re on the move.

(As always, photos are clickable for enlargement and resolution and such.)

Local sports fans saw a lot of recognizable faces in the house, and not just from auto racing. Paul George represented for the Pacers.

Paul George!

Also for the Pacers: their mascot Boomer! My wife and I know of him from the one Pacers game we attended a while back.

Boomer!

Rounding out the Pacers trifecta: head coach Frank Vogel.

Coach Frank Vogel!

Also from basketball, the Grand Marshals of your 2015 Indy 500 Festival Parade are straight from the history books: the surviving members of the Crispus Attucks High School 1955 basketball team, the first all-black team to win a state championship in America, despite bigotry and segregation.

Crispus Attucks 1955!

Meanwhile, over in football: Indianapolis Colts tight end Dwayne Allen.

Dwayne Allen!

Retired Colts linebacker Gary Brackett now owns an Indy restaurant called Georgia Reese’s and will be opening a second location shortly.

Gary Brackett!

From another side of sports: Olympic gold medalist and World Championship-winning gymnast Nastia Liukin.

Nastia Liukin!

Coming back around to the world of auto racing: the legendary Mario Andretti, a welcome parade regular.

Mario Andretti!

Another Indy 500 winner from my childhood: Al Unser, Sr.

Al Unser, Sr.!

Same hair color but twenty years younger: Indiana Governor Mike Pence.

Governor Mike Pence!

…or if you prefer a more popular Republican: Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard.

Mayor Greg Ballard!

Or if you prefer entertainment over politics: once again, Nico & Vinz! I didn’t recognize their names at first, but when found out their big hit is “Am I Wrong”, I realized I’d heard it somewhere before, so now I feel slightly less old.

Nico & Vinz!

If you’re the kind of radio listener who loves when stations switch to an all-Christmas format from September to February, you’ll know Straight No Chaser as the guys behind that one wacky a cappella version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” that switches gears halfway through and does a mash-up with Toto’s “Africa”. Y’know, those guys.

Straight No Chaser!

Despite the rush of massive seasonal fame, rest assured their amiable parade presence proved they’re still regular Joes like the rest of us, soaking in that party atmosphere and keeping their trusty phones at the ready.

Straight No Chaser!

Last and the complete opposite of least is another Indy 500 Festival Parade mainstay: the Florence Henderson. Her car began lurching a bit as it approached Monument Circle, but thankfully the driver got it under control before Mike Brady had to come out and give him a long talk about the importance of driving safety.

Florence Henderson!

To be continued! Links to other chapters in this annual MCC miniseries are listed below. Thanks for stopping by, and please feel free to mention these to millions of your closest friends:

Part 1: Drivers!
Part 2: Marching Bands!
Part 4: Floats and Balloons
Part 5: The Nationalities Council
Part 6: Star Wars and Potpourri

(For fans of Indy 500 Festival Parade history, you can also click the following links for the MCC photo collections for 2012, 2013, and 2014. 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.

Comments, questions, and suggestions for future entries welcome. No, really!

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