The Voice of Indianapolis–Definitely the most anticipated participant in the 500 Festival Parade was Josh Kaufman. Coming off of a whirlwind few days (months!), Josh was humble and completely at ease. It seems as if the future place in the spotlight hasn’t quite hit home for his family. His adorable children and wife were quite camera shy, but excited to be taking part in the festivities. When asked what song his children request from their crooner father, Josh jokingly replied that they don’t have any special requests, and are probably tired of hearing him sing. The kids were great fans of his “Happy” performance, but “more from Despicable Me aspect.” Insert the awww and a smiley face! Unsure of the next professional steps, Josh is looking forward to the offerings of home, for a few days at least. Who knows, we might even see a fedora line at your local mall soon.
Always Listen to Your Mom–It is evident that Indy has been extremely lucky to be represented by the young quarterback. Ever so polite and gracious, and always a smile on his face. His fans were a priority, with time taken to sign a few autographs and pose for a number of selfies. Looking forward to the upcoming training camp and regular season, he is optimistic about this year, and new additions to the roster. One thing noticeably missing–was the scruffy beard. When asked about the change, Andrew replied, “My mom said if I was going to be in a parade, I needed to shave.” Change looks good on the young athlete, and will hopefully bring a little “luck” to our beloved Colts this year.
An Exciting Time for Indy–The mayor was genuinely excited for what Indy has to offer to its visitors and residents–and the Indy 500 is just a small part of that. In addition to race festivities and the current Pacers playoffs, Indy is a leader in all venues. Ballard was very excited to take part in Indy’s first road course, despite his injuries from an in-race wreck. As for the 500, the Mayor is hoping for a win from friend Ed Carpenter.
Olympian Trifecta–They look as if they walked off of an Abercrombie and Fitch catalog. Instead, they are coming off of medal wins at the Sochi Olympics. Gracie Gold, Nick Goepper and Steve Langton are up-and-coming stars in their respective sports. Gracie Gold started her dream at the age of 8, a little late according to her calculations. She wanted to “jump and spin as far as she could’ – and has done just that. Her bronze medal shines almost as bright as her impeccable smile and future. A poised young woman, with an incredible future ahead. When asked for words of wisdom for young dreamers, she said that “you have to love every part of your sport, and never give up.”
Nick Goepper, Lawrenceburg native, spends his down time surfing and “having a good time on the trampoline.” The #1 freeskier in the world is the definition of sports enthusiast, and a fun young man. Nick is looking forward to an upcoming surfing trip, and “chilling with friends and family” before the next stage of training and events.
Steve Langton, Bronze medal winning bobsledder, is excited for his first Indy 500. When asked how he would compare his sport to racing, he said he looks at both of them as “adrenaline fueled and focused on the finish line.” Asked if he would like to take a spin around the track, he said he would “look to his pilot as the lead, and hold on tight.”
The entrepreneurial IU grad is excited to be back in Indianapolis, and shared that he always gets the chills when returning to our city. He shared that Indianapolis “is a great city full of opportunity and incredible people.” With his success as owner of the Dallas Mavericks, I asked if he thought to extend that sports success into the field of racing. He explained it is not an easy business, and he would take the advice of his friend Helio Castroneves to heart, and stick to what he knows. Despite his fear of heights, he is eager to be waving the flag at the race, and looking at it as a new challenge.
“Get The Rush”–World renowned musical entertainer Michael Feinstein is helping to set the tone of the parade, with his original song, “get The Rush.” Michael wrote the song from the perspective of the children–those who are in awe of the parade and festivities. Looking forward to the successes of this year’s Great American Songbook winners, Feinstein is looking forward to his place in the parade. Carmel Performing Arts Center will be celebrating along side Feinstein, with their upcoming Encore Gala, featuring performances from musical stars such as Natalie Cole and Linda Ronstadt.
Julia Goodwin, winner of the 2013 Great American Songbook competition, and New York native, will be seen alongside Michael Feinstein in the parade. Julia is excited for this opportunity, and anxious to see what Indianapolis has to offer.
Nick Ziobro, 2012 winner of the Great American Songbook Competition, will be seen alongside Michael Feinstein in the parade. Nick is currently expanding his musical training, and also has the acting bug. No doubt we will see that talented young man gracing the screen soon.
This Weekend is More Than Just The Race–Actor Cole Hauser’s passion and respect for the military are evident. Hauser stated that his “focus isn’t just about the race this weekend, but the meaning behind Memorial Day. Hauser, a self-admitted adrenaline junkie recently competed in the Long Beach Grand prix, and has great respect for those racing at 230 mph around the track. Be on the lookout for Hauser on the big screen, alongside Johnny Depp in “Transcendence,” and starring in DirecTV’s original show “Rogue.”
Indy has a big fan in Josh Kelly, as the music scene has been very supportive of him over the years. Excited about the music he is working on (which might accidentally include some samplings of his young children), and is looking forward to his role in today’s parade. After the race activities, it is back home to his wife, actress Katherine Heigl, and their children, for a Memorial Day picnic.
The Pulse of Indy’s Music Scene–Indy native DJ Lockstar will be making the rounds of Indy 500 events. Lockstar will be performing at the Snake Pit Ball, and “The Big Finish.” Lockstar will look to his audience for inspiration when performing at these events. Excited about what the Indy music scene has to offer, Lockstar takes part in providing entertainment for some of the area’s biggest events, including Zoobilation. Keep your eyes (and ears) open at local clubs for this talent.