They say, "You had to be there," to understand the feeling at the Indianapolis 500. They say, "You either get IT, or you don't."
They are right.
Attending this, my very first Indianapolis 500 race, has been illuminating to say the least. After I was invited to be the arts & entertainment advisor for Joe Ulery on his WIBC Saturday Morning News Show, it was discussed that I should include the happenings at the big oval on the west side of Indianapolis.
From Fast Friday to Carb Day to Race Day, the experience has opened another world to me. Although, through Gotta Go I have had many adventures, this one is like no other.
It wouldn't be The Greatest Spectacle in Racing without great performers, including
Florence Henderson and Jim Nabors performing their traditional songs. Henderson sang "America, the Beautiful" and Nabors proved he is still in top form. Nabors singing "Back Home Again in Indiana" may seem odd since he is not from here, however, he is the adopted son the Hoosier state and has stated numerous times, if not for his health, Indiana would be his home.
I must say that it didn't make sense to me, and others per overheard conversations, that Seal sang our national anthem along with Kelly Clarkson. Yes, I am certain he is a great person, and I personally enjoy his talent, but having a non citizen sing any country's national anthem is well, perplexing. With the amount of qualified singers who are actually American, wouldn't it make more sense to have one of those talented Americans singing the American national anthem? What emotional attachment and loyalty can an artist born in England, have for a song about the war for the freedom of another country. Especially considering England is the country from which we separated. I am not hating anyone, or anything, just wondering online what others were saying at the time.
Would like to hear everyone's opinion on this...
The green flag was waved and the 100th anniversary of the Indy 500 began with the new rule of restarts. There is hustle and bustle in the media center in the Pagoda Plaza whenever a car gets too close to the wall, a wreck occurs or when a celebrity like Kathy Ireland walks into the 4th floor press room. Indianapolis draws more than its fair share of celebrities throughout the year, but even more so at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the race.
Photos: Izzy Evans; B. Sawyers
Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, music, restaurant and performing arts critic. Catch her as Indy’s Arts & Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC, on aroundindy.com, and follow her on Twitter @ejmusgrave1 and Facebook.
Gotta Go is published in the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.