Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:
On October 15th, downtown Indianapolis hosted a very special convention of sorts. The “Hoosier Homecoming” was a celebration held at the Indiana State House in honor of Indiana’s 200th birthday, with a host of well-known local faces in attendance, an opportunity for self-guided tours of the State House, and the closing ceremonies to the Indiana Torch Relay, a 37-day event in which a specially lit torch — not unlike the Olympics’ own, but inspired by the torch on our state flag — traveled through all 92 Indiana counties by various transportation methods until its final stop in Marion County at the Homecoming.
Setting the Indiana government spaces we toured and the politicians we didn’t expect to meet in person, the main event was the culmination of the Torch Relay, the most ambitious and far-reaching commemoration of the Hoosier State’s big 2-0-0. It’s likely we’ll never host the U.S. Olympics in my lifetime, so this is as close as many of us will get to an ostentatious, meaningful torch.
Three stages of varying sizes around the Homecoming hosted musical performances from a variety of local acts. Sadly, we saw no surprise appearances from marquee names with Indiana roots such as John Mellencamp, Florence Henderson, David Lee Roth, Axl Rose, that one guy from Days of the New, or any of the Jackson family.
After traveling through all those counties in a variety of transportation modes — via runners, racecars, trains, motorcycle sidecars, horses, olde-tyme autos, boats, and more — the last stretch across the Robert D. Orr Plaza was navigated courtesy of Sarah Fisher, a nine-time driver in the Indy 500 who now owns her own racing team, along with a kart track and restaurant in Speedway.
From there, one last young runner removed the torch from its mount, carried it onstage, and lit a larger, even more ceremonial torch with the assistance of other helping hands. And thus did thirty-seven days of road-tripping torch conclude in a special moment for the state of Indiana and those of us grateful to watch and to call Indiana home.
In retrospect, if it were up to me, future Indiana tourism campaigns would be centered less on corn, covered bridges, or down-home folksiness and more on our sparkly and potentially weaponizable flag torch, but that’s just me.
To be continued! Other chapters in this six-part MCC miniseries:
Part 1: Adventures in Local Government
Part 3: Bicentennial Cosplay!
Part 4: Notes from the Office of the Governor of Indiana
Part 5: The Art of the Indiana State House
Part 6: The Indiana Bicentennial Bonus Bric-a-Brac Bonanza