Indy 500 Festival Parade 2015 Photos, Part 4 of 6: Floats and Balloons


The super-sized avatar of Mike Myers brings you a humongous dose of Memorial Day weekend cheer!

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 Four, then: floats! Balloons! Giant props! People in fuzzy costumes! And other mandatory components of all the greatest parades ever.

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

First among the inflatables: a bouncy-house replica of the Borg-Warner Trophy, which is awarded each year to the Indy 500’s winner and bears every winner’s embossed likeness.

Borg-Warner Trophy!

Rookie One was created for the 1998 parade and has been hanging around every year since.

Rookie One!

Patriotic Eagle is very patriotic, even when it’s swaying.

Patriotic Eagle!

The audience stood in reverence for every American flag that passed by our seats, including this puffy one.

Inflatable Flag!

Special guest Billy Blazes appears from the Fisher-Price “Rescue Heroes” toy line and the animated series that managed three seasons and a movie, making it the envy of a lot of other supposedly classic shows.

Billy Blazes!

Also from the world of toys: “Hot Wheels: Race to Win” presented by the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, pretty much one of our city’s all-time greatest attractions. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been there. If you don’t have kids, go anyway sometime.

Hot Wheels!

Mario Andretti presides over “A Celebration of Legends” presented by Firestone, one of our major tire manufacturing concerns.


“Honoring Our Heroes’ Stories” is a library-inspired piece presented by Anthem.

Anthem float!

The American Dairy Association of Indiana reminds race fans, “Winners Celebrate with Milk!” (WARNING: Lactose-intolerant winners may experience some discomfort and debilitating side effects that should in no way be interpreted as diminishing their outstanding auto-racing achievement.)

Winners Celebratw with Milk!

The Indy Eleven, our local major-league soccer team, entered the parade fray with soccer players, soccer goals, soccer kicking demos, and Soccerballzilla.

Indy Eleven!

This year’s official parade theme was “Celebrating the Stories of May”, as inscribed upon the float ridden by Nico & Vinz in Part Three of this miniseries. “Once Upon a Time in May” is the response from Indianapolis Power & Light. So we have the Tortoise and the Hare, the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, Humpty-Dumpty, and other characters who have never crashed during the first ten laps of the Indy 500.

IPL Float!

Most fitting Memorial Day tribute would be “Sharing the Stories of Military Sacrifice” presented by the American Legion.

American Legion float!

“A Story of Community Growth by Johnny Appleseed” presented by Eli Lilly. Curiously, this is not the first reference to Mr. Appleseed here on MCC this month. Nice timing.

Johnny Appleseed!

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the Indy 500 and some other races I’ve never attended, brought their own float called “ONLY at the 500”.

IMS Float!

The Confucius Institute presented “Celebrating with a Dragon Boat Rhythm”, which I imagine describes a lot of their local activities and contributions.

Confucius Institute!

The first Indy 500 was won in 1911 by Ray Harroun driving a Marmon Wasp. This walking version moves a bit more slowly than the original, which took over 6½ hours to win that inaugural running. (In the distance you can see the guys from Straight No Chaser closing in on it.)

Walking Marmon Wasp!

Not technically a float, the cast of The Jungle Book also marched in the parade. Or rode in it. Whatever.

Jungle Book!

Now these Jungle Book supporting players definitely marched, no riding. If you don’t remember them from the Disney adaptation, keep in mind it was a Rudyard Kipling book first, so maybe these creative performers are going old-school and upholding the original source material.

Jungle Book!

This Jungle Book giraffe struggles to keep up, but swears its identity is totally in Jungle Book canon, unlike that poseur King Louie, who’s straight out of the Jungle Book Expanded Universe.

Jungle Book Giraffe!

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 3: This Year’s Guests
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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