An open letter to second-tier celebs, re: 500 Festival Parade

May 24, 2013
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The following is an open letter to second-tier celebrities everywhere ... but especially in Hollywood.

Dear second-tier celebrity:

Greetings from Indianapolis. No, not Minneapolis. The town with the big race this time of year. Maybe you’ve heard of it. “Start your engines” and all that. Ring a bell? Remember the guy who won “Dancing with the Stars” a few years back? Yeah, that one.

In addition to the Indy 500, Memorial Day weekend means a big parade in Indianapolis. Once in a while, a big-name celeb is actually a part of it. (Think mid-“Grey’s Anatomy” Patrick Dempsey.)

But you don’t have to be a star-star to get a positive reaction here. Or even a star. In the past, Indy crowds have offered thunderous cheers for Christopher McDonald. 

No clue?

He’s the guy who played bad guy Shooter McGavin in the movie “Happy Gilmore.” Yeah, that guy.

And that’s where you come in. This year, the 500 Festival Parade is a bit light not just on big-name stars, but even on medium-name and no-name stars.

It’s got the drivers, of course, plus the champion Indiana Fever, and other top-notch athletes (hello, Olympians Shawn Johnson, Jordyn Wieber and Tyler Clary). But apart from the welcome return of the newlywed Jim Nabors, there’s a dearth of celebrities. Actually, if you were here, you—be you Carrot Top, David Spade, Michael Bolton or anyone who dated Barney on “How I Met Your Mother”—probably would be among the most recognizable people in the parade. Journalists would be hounding you with questions (something that might not have happened to you in quite some time, if at all). Fans would scream.

(Side note to Jamie Kennedy and Vivaca A. Fox: You’re coming to town for HorrorHound weekend in September? You couldn’t pay a visit in May?) 

For the record, the 500 Festival has a committee that gives the thumbs-up or -down on parade participants. But surely you—be you Corey Feldman, C. Thomas Howell, Dave Coulier or any non-Alec Baldwin—could pass that test.

So think about it for next year. Have your people (or person) call our people. Indy knows how to take care of those celebrities who somehow find us. And, in return, you get to be a part of a great American tradition. 

No, the 500 Festival doesn’t pay its celebrities. But it also doesn’t demand much. You just have to wave. And you get to see the race.

You might even meet Jim Nabors.

Sincerely,

Lou Harry, IBJ

P.S. Your thoughts?

ADVERTISEMENT
  • Special
    Way to make them feel special Lou. I'm glad you catered to their egos!
  • Easy
    We just gave the IMS $100 million. A super quick Google search reveals that Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw, Loretta Lynn, and Kenny Rogers (!) are going to be in the area this weekend. Make some calls and cut some checks. That's how a real city would do it.
  • Indy 500 no longer needs celebrities?
    Good article, Lou. Your paper reported it costs $7-10,000 to host a "celebrity" at the Indy 500. I would think inviting a half dozen or so stars would add to the festival activities. Too bad the 500 Festival Committee doesn't feel the same way. For example, John McGinley (Platoon, Wall Street, Scrubs), on the JMV radio show, raved about coming to the Indy 500 and said, "If they invited me, I'll be there." But no interest from the Festival poobahs. Guess the Indy 500 is content to ignore getting any kind of celebrity buzz for the race. Oh well, at least Gene Simmons isn't coming.
  • Celebrities
    Note to Committee....you seem to be looking at the wrong age group....we should be featuring teen mom and her baby with a big screen showing her most recent movie, Barbie look a likes and of course all the affluent realty show actors. that will get you on the front page of "E"
  • Sorry - wrong paper
    My apologies, Lou - it was the Indy Star that printed cost for entertaining "celebrities" during Indy 500. Sorry for confusing the always timely IBJ with Indy's Gannett reprint news source.
  • Why bother wih celebrities?
    It is unfortunate that there is a perception that celebrities validate an event. The Indy 500 stands on its own, especially for those coming in from out of town. It was always so disturbing to read the gushing descriptions of Ashley Judd threaded throughout the local coverage. Very happy that era is at an end.
  • ?
    Really?
  • We are so lucky
    Maybe Mayor Bollard could have invited some of his cricket buddies. Perhaps a surtax on everyone who wishes they lived in Chicago would do the trick. The money could be used to bribe B-listers to come here next year. On the bright side, Jim Nabors and Sandi Patty where in the hood. We are so lucky to call Indianapolis home.
  • wow
    What an incredibly defensive, passive aggressive and artless post. Why would anyone, celebrity or not, want to be associated with a city whose ostensible arts thought-leadership writes this way?
  • BORING parade!!
    The motorcycle drill team, the few marching bands and drivers were the most exciting things in the parade! If we can't get quality floats and celebrities that people recognize why bother going!
  • May events
    I attens the parade every year. This was the least exciting and one of the best attended parades in a decade. Where were the clowns? Did we forget to invite the shrine clowns? Where were the parade officials whose job it is to keep the parade from having gaps? Seems trivial until I realize we actually had time to eat lunch between floats/bands. I hope thw new Festval President brings back a mixture of the passion to host quality events that allow locals to participate and spectate. Since what I refer to as the year Disney ruined the parade by limiting local participation in favor of big names and outside contractors, then left town never to return. Without a succession plan the parade has floundered ever since. Thank you to fellow loyal local spectators, fans, and volunteers. I plan to continue to attend events and have high hopes for new leadership.
    • apology
      Maybe typing this on my smart phone wasn't the best decision..... It lines to interpret spellings.....

    Post a comment to this blog

    COMMENTS POLICY
    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
     
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
     
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
     
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
     
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
     

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by
    ADVERTISEMENT
    1. Uh, sorry Johnnie, but you are incorrect. Despite the assertions by yourself and various defenders and captains, sports attendance is NOT off significantly at most sporting events in the US. Variances in attendance has been in the range of single digits, both + & - for years now. MLB has had most of its best overall attendance nubers in the last decade, and that trend has been consistent for most major sporting events. The number one issue cited by most fans when asked about attendance is the overall cost of attending. The presence of HD and big screen televisions in home doesn't even register, as a factor for not attending an event. VALUE in the product is the key, and apparently is something lacking in the current ICS. What other explanation is there when with what is routinely touted as the "best" racing on the planet, fans are staying away in DROVES. A "close" title battle into the last event at Fontana, with the "cars and stars" of the ICS, and who showed up? MAYBE 8K. Sorry, but HD TV isn't to blame for that kind of fan apathy.

    2. Do you need finance to establish your business ? Are you interested in getting a loan at 3% from our private company? If so please Email: suntrust_oil@blumail.org

    3. If she was worth the $ the public outcry over direct tv dropping them would have kept them on their dishes as we have seen with other companies. I too quit watching channel 13 after she showed up since I left channel 8 because of her all show rather than production results. When Randy on 8 corrected her she had a big head and incorrectly challenged his correction for pronunciation of a city. Other antics while she matures was too much for me with her very inaccurate forecasts. All the forecasters were predicting rain until Thursday except Chris. They predicted sunny on Thursday but instead of rain until Thursday upon which the sun would finally make it out in full glory Chris was right on the money just as I too predicted looking at the radar on weather.gov. One thing I love about Angela is the fear you can see in her every time it thunders in the winter. It far exceeds the entertainment value of her body language (high heel noise drags, depression, etc) when her forecasts are so incorrect. Her hair stands on end, you have to see it!!!

    4. Good Day, Apply For A Loan I am Mr Fernadez Antonio, a private Loan lender and a cooperate financial for real estate and any kinds of business financing. I also offer Loans to individuals, Firms and cooperate bodies at 3% interest rate We offer any kind of loans. email us via fernadezloaninvest@outlook.com LOAN APPLICATION FORM First name:......................... Middle name:......................... Last name:........................................ Date of birth (yyyy-mm-dd):....................... Gender:........................................... Marital status:................................... Total Amount Needed............................... Loan Duration.................................... Address:.......................................... City:............................................. State/province:................................... Zip/postal code:.................................. Country:.......................................... Phone:............................................ Fax:.............................................. Mobile/cellular:.................................. Monthly Income.................................... Occupation:....................................... Best Regard, Mr Fernadez Antonio.

    5. i will love to share my testimony to you all the people in world i got married to my husband about 2 year ago we start having problems at home like we stop sleeping on the same bed,fighting about little things he always comes home late at night,drinking too much and sleeping with other women out side i have never love any man in my life except him. he is the father of my child and i don't want to loose him because we have worked so hard together to become what we are and have today .few month ago he now decided to live me and the kid,being a single mother can be hard sometimes and so i have nobody to turn to and i was heart broken.i called my mom and explain every thing to her,my mother told me about DR.okoro how he helped her solve the problem between her and my dad i was surprise about it because they have been without each other for three and a half years and it was like a miracle how they came back to each other. i was directed to DR. okoro on his email:okorospell@gmail.com and explain everything to him,so he promise me not to worry that he will cast a spell and make things come back to how we where so much in love again and that it was another female spirit that was controlling my husband he told me that my problem will be solved within two days if i believe i said OK So he cast a spell for me and after two days my love came back asking me to forgive him i Am so happy now. so that why i decided to share my experience with every body that have such problem contact Dr okoro the great spell caster on his email addresses spellcasterforlove@outlook.com

    ADVERTISEMENT