Grand marshal for 500 Festival Parade still unknown - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Grand marshal for 500 Festival Parade still unknown

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INDIANAPOLIS -

In 16 days, the streets of Indianapolis will be filled for the 500 Festival Parade.

But as of now, we still haven't heard who will be the grand marshal or which celebrities will be in the parade. Time may be running short.

The Indianapolis 500 Festival parade is a big part of race weekend. Olivia Newton John served as the grand marshal last year. Here we are a week into May, and we still don't know who will serve as grand marshal this year.

Megan Bulla serves as Communications Manager for the 500 Festival.

"It might be sports-focused year. What movies are coming out? Who has a tie to Indianapolis and a tie to racing? These are all things we take into consideration each year," she said.

Sports, movie, ties to Indianapolis. If you take all that into consideration, wouldn't the new animated Dreamworks movie "Turbo" set for release in July be at the top of the list? Maybe one of the voice actors will find their way to the real race.

We asked some Hoosiers for their opinions. Carolyne Wallace likes Jim Nabors.

"How about Jim Nabors? I heard he's coming back after being gone last year," she said.

Phyliss Garvey likes the Colts quarterback.

"I think Andrew Luck would be a good candidate."

Scott Crone likes the seasonal option.

"In the spirit of the Pacers-Knicks rivalry I would have to say Reggie Miller."

In fact, Reggie has already been there, done that. So has actor Jimmy Stewart. Comedian Bob Hope, anchorman Walter Cronkite and Peyton Manning has also occupied the big seat.

Many of you on the web recommended a local or national hero like the emergency responders from the Indiana State Fairgrounds Disaster or the Boston Marathon bombing.

Others opted for one of our own: Tamika Catchings, Coach Chuck Pagano or David Letterman.

The point is we are getting into nail-biting territory here, but Megan Bulla is throwing out the caution flag. She says the 500 Festival has been down this road before.

"Sometimes we luck out months in advance when we get someone on our schedule. Sometimes it goes up to parade week as it did with Reggie Miller," she said.

In other words, the folks at the 500 Festival are looking for an opening as they approach the turn two.

Speedway officials may be more concerned with what the governor is going to do. Mike Pence is still reviewing legislation to lend the Speedway $100 million for renovations.

Pence has three options. He can sign it, veto it or let it become law without his signature.

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