Mayor backs out of Labor Day Parade

Mayor Greg Ballard and his wife, Winnie, served as Grand Marshals of the Miracle Mile Parade.
Published: .
Updated: .

INDIANAPOLIS - There was a notable absence in Saturday's Labor Day Parade, as Mayor Greg Ballard decided to drop out.

Meanwhile, the Democratic candidate for mayor, Melina Kennedy, was given a prime post in the parade.

"You know, I don't keep the mayor's schedule, but I don't know. All I know is, I am here with families and I am here to support people who work hard everyday," Kennedy said.

"What I had told him is he would be at the front of that group, with all the others," said a parade organizer.

But that may have been at the back of the Labor Day Parade.

"This is our parade. He was in with all the other candidates and elected officials," said Susan Fuldauer, Central Indiana Labor Council, who added, "You will have to ask the mayor" if that spot in the parade wasn't a good thing.

The mayor and his wife, Winnie, were serving as co-grand marshals for the Miracle Mile Parade on the city's south side, complete with motorcycles and hovering helicopters. Ballard admitted that he was originally scheduled to be in the Labor Day Parade.

"Yeah, we were. It just didn't work out, timing-wise, with where we would be in the parade so, we come to this one every year, so we wanted to make sure to continue to support this parade," he said.

"Would you have rather not ridden with the other candidates was that the issue?" Eyewitness News political reporter Kevin Rader asked.

"No, I don't think so. There will be other candidates here also. It will be fine," the mayor replied.

"So I shouldn't make more of it?"

"No, probably not," Ballard said.

But timing is the key issue. If placed at the end of the Labor Day Parade, chances are the mayor would not have made the start of the Miracle Mile, which he did serve as Grand Marshal.

Congressman Andre Carson, a Democrat, was at the front of the Labor Day Parade and therefore was able to make the Miracle Mile, but the mayor?

"The mayor is always invited to be in our parade. This is our parade. It is about the workers in our community. It's our parade," Fuldauer said.

But it's also about working to be mayor.