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In my nearly forty year Hall of Fame broadcasting career, I got to do something I’ve never done. While local radio and TV personalities are not allowed to ride in the annual 500 Festival Parade, we are allowed to “narrate” the parade. To help parade watchers know what’s coming down the parade route.  For the first time I got to be one of those “narrators” at the 2013 IPL 500 Festival Parade.  AM1310TheLight has been honored to be one of the radio stations participating in this service for the hundreds of thousands watching the parade.  I was perched in a precarious stand at the northeast corner of St. Clair & Meridian Street and watched the parade pass by.  My job was to “narrate” for those on Meridian between Walnut and Ninth Streets. Now, I hadn’t seen a 500 Festival Parade in person in nearly twenty years.  I was struck by how fast moving this year’s parade was.  From the time it arrived at our corner of Meridian Street to the end was a fast paced ninety minutes.  And that included a bunch of “dead spots” where nothing was coming down the street.  The floats were great.  The tall balloons were especially designed to entertain the kids along the route.  My favorite unit was the Golden Band from Henryville High School in Henryville, Indiana.  That town and its high school was devastated last Spring by a tornado.  To see that band marching proudly along the route and getting standing ovations from the crowd was the high point for me.  Unfortunately, the number of African-American celebrities in the parade was down to one – Windell Middlebrooks, from those TV beer commercials. Though the celebrity quotion was down, the 500 Festival Parade still retained the class and quality that’s made it one of the world’s top parades (ala the Rose Parade, Orange Bowl Parade, Macy’s Thanksgiving). In the past some of Indiana’s Hall of Fame Broadcasters have been 500 Festival Parade “narrators”. Glad I got the honor of being one this year.

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