Second Annual Parade and Fall Festival Creates Smiles

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(top) Sons of the American Revolution color guard.

(above) Matt Dotlich and his daughters Madison and Micelle

Photos by Linda Karn
(posted Sept 21)

Marion County Health and Hospital Corporation Director Dr. Virginia Caine was delighted to participate in the second annual Speedway Parade and Fall Festival on September 20, organized by the American Legion 500 Post and the Speedway Promoters Club.

The Legion has partnered with Health and Hospital to assist with the development of an emergency disaster plan. If a disaster was to happen, the corporation has to be able to provide medicine to the Marion County population within 48 hours. Caine has been working with two key members of the legion, Bill May and Rex Ikemire, and she is impressed with their knowledge in the area of incident response.

One idea the two men suggested is to use the American Legion Riders to drive their motorcycles when cars and trucks cannot be used. The ALR could serve the homebound and disabled special needs patients in an emergency situation.

Speedway's cable TV crew taped the approximate 60 parade units marching or driving up Main Street, tossing candy and waving to the crowd.

This year's parade included a fly-over by pilot Harry Goss of Pro-Air Enterprises Aerial Advertising. Goss had to circle several times to be in sync with parade start that was delayed due to the Speedway Fire Department treating an emergency incident in the staging area. Goss had fly north of the area to be out of the way of commercial airliners flying to Indianapolis International Airport.

Robynn Alexander described the fly-over as "very cool."

Alexander came to watch her son perform in the Speedway High School Band. The Speedway Junior High Eighth Grade Football team received applause from the crowd for being undefeated. The Ritter High School Band also participated in the parade.

The pet contest was also part of the parade. Anne Dorton's dog Stanley won the adult division, dressed as both a Democrat and Republican.

But it was the Speedway's biggest bunny that had kids running into the street to pet the gray and white furry critter. Owner Erin Dotlich pulled Kyla Griesemer and the 30 pound bunny in a wagon.

The streets were also filled with political candidates, including incumbent Phil Hinkle and Stephanie DeKemper, running for the 92 District seat in the Indiana General Assembly.

Wayne Township Mike McCormack had a different mission. He was educating the public about the November 4 referendum that could end the township assessor's position.

The parade also celebrated Speedway's past Main Street merchants like William Busard of Busard Rentals, Bob Morris of the Trend House, Helen Kellam of Trade Winds Aquarium, Liz Glover of Charlie Brown's Pancake and Steak House, Jerry Bratton of B & W Plumbing, and Sue Rosner of Rosner Drugs. Julie Eppen represented the Eppen Farm where the American Legion 500 Post stands today.

Speedway Industrial Park and Dotlich Crane have also been part of Speedway's industrial base for many years. Donald Dotlich drove four generations of Dotlich on their new 40 ton crane. The two separate businesses both have aspirations to be part of Speedway's future.

Some new Main Street businesses were in the parade, including Don Walker of Speedway Handmade Bicycle Works and Rex Boswell of Naptown Trolley.

The Speedway Public Library staff members added their talent to the parade by performing as the book cart drill team. The book cart drill team promoted the library's 40th anniversary.

Speedway Police Sgt. Sam Alexander wowed the crowd with his motorcycle skills at the start of the parade. He rode for about four blocks standing on the seat of his motorcycle.

Town Manager Barbara Lawrence had parade enthusiasm as she zigged-zagged across the street to meet the town residents. McGruff, the crime prevention mascot, accompanied Lawrence.

The Pacers' Boomer dazzled kids by doing wheelies on his ATV.