Indy 500 Festival Parade

A huge crowd turned out for the 2016 Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. The parade kicked off on Pennsylvania Street, turning on to Washington Street, before eventually heading north on Meridian Street. Organizers expected this year’s parade to be bigger than before with more floats and more bands. The Indianapolis Police Motorcycle Drill Team got things started with a few tight drills and stunts much to the delight of the crowd on Meridian Street. What was really cool is that during those precision drills, they spelled out "Indianapolis 500" with bright red letters attached to their windshields. Various high school marching bands from around the country strutted their stuff to roars of the crowd. I pretty much stayed on Pennsylvania Street so I could catch the race car drivers as they made their way into the parade. And it was at that location where I met former driver Willy T. Ribbs, who was the first black driver to race in the Indy 500 back in 1991. A few minutes later, I met and photographed the Grand Marshall of the parade...Florence Henderson, who we all know as "Carol Brady" from "The Brady Bunch".

Other celebrities included hometown singer and "The Voice" season 3 winner Josh Kaufman, Richard Rawlings(Fast N' Loud), Nick Gehlfuss(Chicago Med), Kevin Sorbo(Hercules), Brad Long(Hoosiers), Myles Turner(Indiana Pacers) and Joe Reitz(Indianapolis Colts). The highlight of the parade for me was at the end when the Indy 500 trophy rode past on the Indy 500 float. The parade went on for approximately an hour and a half, but the memories were long-lasting for those who attended.