Indianapolis 500 Ball
Indianapolis 500 Festival
Indianapolis, Indiana is home of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing," the Indianapolis 500. There is no other auto race in the world that has the prestige and history that belongs only to the Indy 500.
Begun in 1909, the year the Titanic was built and William Howard Taft was president, the Indianapolis 500 made the city of Indianapolis synonymous with auto racing.
While auto racing is what the Indy 500 is all about, it is accompanied by a festival that is equally exciting. The whole month of May has a festive atmosphere.
The Indianapolis 500 Festival begins with a mini-marathon that draws people from all over the world. This event is followed by no less than six other celebrations culminating in the Snake Pit Ball, where my husband and I along with three other couples spent a splendid evening of fun, food, dancing and entertainment by Rick Springfield.
The event holds 800 people and it was filled to capacity.
Snake Pit Ball
Highlight of the 500 Festival
I always wondered what it would be like to walk the red carpet along with the celebrities who come to the Snake Pit Ball. It would be the only red carpet I would ever get a chance to walk.
My husband and I tried to go last year, but were unable to obtain tickets. We were much luckier for the 2012 Ball, and so were our friends. We all received our tickets and the excitement began.
I must mention that the Snake Pit Ball was named after a part of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that was known for its drunken crowd, that lacked any moral compass. I am trying to be kind.
In keeping with its namesake, the Ball offers lots of funky activities, including temporary tattoos, strange party favors, and photography sessions with interesting accessories to choose from.
Bad behavior, however, is frowned upon. We are, after all, dressed in formal attire.
The photos in these modules were all taken by my husband, except as noted in the intro module.
The Tattoo Session
Since part of the fun of the Snake Pit Ball is to participate in the activities, I decided that I would get a temporary tattoo. There were so many to choose from and so many places to put it.
I opted for a black and white dragon for my left upper arm. Since I've never had a tattoo, temporary or otherwise, I was excited to see how it looked.
Not only do they spray the design on, but they also add sparkles so that it has a great shine. Needless to say I was thrilled with the results and got a second one.
I loved my tattoo so much that I have covered it while showering to see how long I can save it. I also convinced my friends to get them. I was even tempted to duplicate mine with the real thing, but that must have been the wine thinking.
Images of Tattoo Session - Choosing and ApplyingClick thumbnail to view full-size
The main entertainment for the evening was Rick Springfield, who performed his greatest hits from 9:00 - 10:30 pm. What a great performer.
During dinner we sat at table with two Springfield groupies who follow him around to every one of his concerts. They said 150, but I don't know how many Springfield does in a year. How they do it or how they can even afford it is beyond me, but they were thoroughly devoted.
I was only vaguely familiar with Springfield, but I did my research and was looking forward to seeing him perform. There is a dance floor in front of the stage, but when he was performing there was a crowd on that floor clapping and singing along with him.
I have never been so thoroughly entertained. Eventually, we were able to get very close to the stage and watch Springfield sing all his great songs. We clapped when he did and sang into his microphone when he put it in front of us.
Springfield went out into the audience and stopped behind a young man using his cell phone. Boy was he surprised. Then Springfield danced all around us on the dance floor.
This was the first time I have ever been so near to a performer. Sometimes getting up close is not all that comfortable, but Springfield was very easy going and fun, and I enjoyed every minute of the experience.
Rick Springfield Performance Photos - In ConcertClick thumbnail to view full-size
An Evening to Remember
Food, Fun and Entertainment
Needless to say, we had a great time. The Snake Pit Ball is an event I would not want to miss. It is the culmination of the Indy 500 celebrations that leads up to the race on Sunday.
Race day was the hottest day of the year and the hottest Indianapolis 500, just shy of a record. Dario Franchitti won the race this year. It was his third win at the Indianapolis 500.
Franchitti is married to Ashley Judd who was cheering him on and crying when he won.
We did not go to the race. It was way too hot and too crowded, But it is the event of the year in Indianapolis, and I am thrilled that this year I had a chance to be part of the excitement.
Another Year Another 500 Festival
We Shall See What This Year Brings
The 2013 500 Festival will be held on May 15. Foreigner will be the featured entertainment. I am ashamed to say that group name did not ring any bells for me so I had to do a little research.
Foreigner is reportedly one of the most popular rock performers in the world. Now I really am embarrassed. Their smash hits include"I Want to Know What Love is" and "Waiting for a Girl like You." Now those I do know. I feel so much better.
So this year we will be entertained by a rock group known as Foreigner who have multi-platinum albums, nine of which have sales of 70 million. Now they have my attention.
Besides this great entertainment, the party will consists of the unusual preshow, prefood, fun activities and you may get to see me sporting another tattoo or a silly hat.
Photo taken by William Morris Agency
Indianapolis 500 - Books and Shirts
The history of the Indianapolis 500 is as thrilling and exciting as a mystery. If you have any interest in auto racing, then read about the greatest auto racing event in the world.