500 Festival Parade Celebrates 60th Anniversary

The 100th annual Indianapolis 500 came and went this past weekend, and although the race is over the events will be remembered for years to come. With this year being such an important anniversary, the already extravagant events were brought to a higher level than ever before.

The weekend’s festivities began on Friday with an exciting Carb Day concert with Journey serving as this year’s headliner. The events continued on Saturday with Legends Day, which included the 500 Festival Parade throughout downtown Indianapolis and a Blake Shelton concert at the Speedway. The celebrities began their day at the Indianapolis Public Library, where they enjoyed breakfast, completed interviews and addressed their admiring fans waiting outside to see them. The celebrity lineup in attendance was impressive to say the least, ranging from professional athletes like Indianapolis Pacer Myles Turner to The Voice champion Josh Kaufman.

Myles Turner, although he spent the early part of his life in Texas, was chosen by the Indianapolis Pacers in the first round and has since become a major part of this city. Turner recently completed his rookie season with the Pacers and seems to be embracing the city for all that it is worth. He says that he loves the Indianapolis community and was excited to not only be a part of the festival but also a part of the Indianapolis organization.

For some, like Turner, this weekend was a first for being a part of the Indy 500 celebration. But for others, like Voice alum and Indianapolis resident Josh Kaufman, this weekend is something they have been lucky enough to be a part of in the past. In 2014, he served as the grand marshal of the parade but this year his role changed to being not only parade rider but also the performer of “Back Home Again in Indiana” prior to the start of the race. He lives in the area and really believes that it “doesn’t get much bigger than this in Indiana.” Kaufman was really excited to once again be apart of this huge event.

The weekend concluded on Sunday with a sunny and warm race day.  The 200-lap race began around 12:15 pm and ended with a win by 24-year-old rookie Alexander Rossi. In amazing fashion, Rossi completed the race in first place although he had already run out of gas, an unforgettable way to finish the weekend.

See the parade photos by Thomas McFarland at  https://youtu.be/czY0x_nKeIs

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