Indy 500 Festival Parade 2016: Before the Music

DARK THOMAS.

Meanwhile behind the scenes, things were falling apart.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

This year marked the sixth time my wife and I attended the Indianapolis 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 and partly because I love the sight of a bustling downtown Indianapolis. 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. 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, absolutely not trained professional photographers, sharing these from a hobbyist standpoint because fun and joy.

Part 6, the grand finale: hours before the parade began, Anne and I walked up and down Meridian Street and Pennsylvania, the parallel north-south legs of the parade route, to peek behind the curtains at some of the participating teams and objects as they got their acts together before the official proceedings commenced for an adoring, sweating public. I participated in a 500 Festival Parade myself several years ago, but never took much time to look beyond my own group. Until now.

Right this way for a very special MCC miniseries finale!

Indy 500 Festival Parade 2016 Photos #5: Random Acts of Parading

Indianapolis Chinese Community Center!

Dancers from the Indianapolis Chinese Community Center.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

This year marked the sixth time my wife and I attended the Indianapolis 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 and partly because I love the sight of a bustling downtown Indianapolis. 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. 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, absolutely not trained professional photographers, sharing these from a hobbyist standpoint because fun and joy.

In this entry: parade participant potpourri! Organizations and teams who didn’t ride in on a float or bring any musical instruments with them; random vehicles that showed up and rode along; and a few outtakes from previous entries that I just couldn’t let go.

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Indy 500 Festival Parade 2016 Photos #4: Floats and Balloons

Angry Bird Red!

My wife and I are among the six people worldwide who’ve never played any version of Angry Birds, but I think this one’s the main character and his name is J. Reddington Angryshire.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

This year marked the sixth time my wife and I attended the Indianapolis 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 and partly because I love the sight of a bustling downtown Indianapolis. 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. 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, absolutely not trained professional photographers, sharing these from a hobbyist standpoint because fun and joy.

In this entry: the balloons and floats that are an integral component of every worthy large-scale parade. Cartoon characters, celebrations of local corporate concerns, salutes to worthy organizations, and, most importantly, more Angry Birds.

Right this way for someone’s favorite cartoon characters and more!

Indy 500 Festival Parade 2016 Photos #3: Marching Bands!

Indiana All-Star Band!

The Indiana All-Star Band all but begs me to make the easy Captain America joke. But I can resist. I CAN.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

This year marked the sixth time my wife and I attended the Indianapolis 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 and partly because I love the sight of a bustling downtown Indianapolis. 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. 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, absolutely not trained professional photographers, sharing these from a hobbyist standpoint because fun and joy.

In this entry: the full rundown on all the marching bands that performed in this year’s parade, including several from other states, who brought us the gift of music and an occasional smile when the long walk wasn’t getting them down. My wife was in high school marching band once, remembers those drawbacks all too well, feels your pain, and appreciates your sacrifice and talents.

Super-special note: if you’re in, or know someone who’s in, one of the following bands and would like to see more photos of them, please let us know. Either leave me a note in the comments section below or use the “Contact MCC!” form located up in the masthead. We’re used to receiving a few such requests every year and we’re more than happy to help out band members and their supporters. Between the two of us, though, we took over 700 photos this year. I’m not going into photo overkill mode and uploading hundreds of extra pics until and unless I know someone besides us is genuinely invested in any of them. Not all of them are pro quality, but there’re a few keepers.

The following marching bands performed at the 2016 Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade, and in the order presented here, two shots for each musical act. Non-musical marching acts will be showcased in Part 5.

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Indy 500 Festival Parade 2016 Photos #2: This Year’s Guests

Kevin Sorbo!

TV’s Hercules bids you welcome and asks that you keep your applause to a thundering roar.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

This year marked the sixth time my wife and I attended the Indianapolis 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 and partly because I love the sight of a bustling downtown Indianapolis. 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. 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, absolutely not trained professional photographers, sharing these from a hobbyist standpoint because fun and joy.

In this entry: the actors, musicians, local politicians, and other notable personalities invited to join this year’s procession. We’re finding that we recognize fewer faces with each passing year, but maybe they’ll mean a lot more to you than to us. So enjoy for us!

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Indy 500 Festival Parade 2016 Photos #1: The 33 Drivers in Your Starting Lineup

13 Scott Dixon!

Inside Row 5, car #9, 2008 Indy 500 winner Scott Dixon. (“Quick, while Mommy and Daddy are busy, see if you can find any twenties!”)

This year marked the sixth time my wife and I attended the Indianapolis 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 health 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, absolutely not trained professional photographers, sharing these from a hobbyist standpoint because fun and joy.

First up: your qualifying drivers in the milestone 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, to be held Sunday, May 29, 2016 — i.e., the next day after I’m writing this. This may be the first time we’ve ever captured all thirty-three drivers in a given Indy 500 to at least some degree, as there’s usually a driver or two that totally dodge our cameras and we don’t get so much as a stray hand or a blurry Sasquatch image. A few drivers regrettably suffer here from interfering limbs, long distances, or other barriers, but the overall results for this year’s gallery were more encouraging than ever.

Other than Scott Dixon pictured above (our favorite pic of the bunch), the following drivers are presented in actual Indy 500 starting order from Row 11 to Row 1, barring any last-minute lineup adjustments in the morning. As always, photos are clickable for enlargement and resolution where desirable, or you can print out a copy of this entry and use it as your handy reference guide while you’re watching, listening to, or dreaming about the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Enjoy!

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Indy 500 Festival Parade 2015 Photos, Part 6 of 6: Star Wars and Potpourri

Boba Fett!

By the time this parade was over, Boba Fett, was gonna have someone put in the cargo hold.

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.

The miniseries finale, then: stuff set aside from Parts 1-5. Center of attention in this batch: Star Wars! A bevy of costumed citizens from George Lucas’ far, faraway galaxy marched alongside the Speedway 500 Regiment, courtesy of your friendly neighborhood 501st Legion. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen an Indy 500/501st crossover, but anytime these two teams care to collaborate is fine by us.

Right this way for the conclusion to another six-part saga!

Indy 500 Festival Parade 2015 Photos, Part 5 of 6: The Nationalities Council

Nationalities Council!

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.

Each year our 500 Festival Parade pics always include a few shots of the Nationalities Council of Indiana, a local nonprofit that makes a strong showing every time with a scintillating array of members showcasing their heritage in costumes and clothing from dozens of nations. Their official Facebook page sums up their mission statement:

The Nationalities Council is a non-profit, all-volunteer educational foundation comprised of more than 50 ethnic or national affinity organizations plus other groups, corporations and individuals interested in celebrating Indy’s diversity. For more than 30 years, the Council has worked to increase the visibility of and participation by ethnic groups in the community life of central Indiana. The Council’s website includes links to hundreds of multicultural and international organizations in Indianapolis and Indiana, a comprehensive calendar of international events, and links to thousands more pages of information, including the only comprehensive directory of ethnic restaurants, markets and festivals in the Indianapolis area. The Ethnic Hoosier, a monthly newsletter, is sent free of charge to an electronic mailing list. Since 1976, the Nationalities Council’s annual International Festival, held each fall at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, has been a popular “Celebration of Diversity” that introduces thousands of schoolchildren and adults to the wide range of Indy’s culinary, historical, social, ethnic and linguistic heritage.

This year, rather than narrow down their parade appearance to one or two nominal shots, I’ve decided turn the spotlight in their direction for an entire entry and post every usable shot we have, because that’s how impressive I thought they were. Further information regarding what they do is available at either of those last two links.

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

Shrek!

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.

Right this way for inflatable heroes, sincere floats, and the star of a series that ran three seasons and a movie!

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.

Right this way for Pacers, Colts, singers, a mascot, and more!

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