Tuesday, September 3, 2013

I didn't expect the unexpected

Saturday's plans to photograph the annual Miracle Mile Parade and "America, We Remember" observance of patriotism on the Southside of Indianapolis turned out to be a bust of sorts.

I got sidetracked from the parade by another matter, arriving at Madison Avenue right about when the final three or four vehicles in the parade line began inching down Madison from Southern Avenue. Oh well. It was so hot and humid that afternoon, I'm not sure I would have lasted out there very long anyway. One of the photos I did manage was the one leading off the post, a backside view of some of the final parade entries making their way south on Madison toward the new Gateway South arch, which sits at the point where East Street and Madison Avenue go their separate ways.

New this year, however, was the Miracle Mile Gateway Fest, an umbrella name to encompass the established parade, classic cars show at Southern Plaza and the nighttime "America, We Remember" in Garfield Park along with a new attraction -- a bike ride, kids' play zone, arts and crafts fair, and live entertainment on a stage in the open area across from McDonald's before during and after the parade.

So, I decided to grab some images of the new "festival" portion of the event, bracketing my shots for later possible processing in high-dynamic range (HDR) renderings (so far, I haven't bothered to render any HDR shots). But I couldn't stay out there long; the weather was so oppressive, I headed home in less an hour's time. The entertainment performing on the live stage when I was there was The Truth.

As the time drew near for "America, We Remember" at MacAllister Center for the Performing Arts in Garfield Park at 6:30 p.m., the weather had changed; rain had moved into the area. During a lull in the downpour, organizers started the program, but no sooner had the Indianapolis 500 Gordon Pipers -- who traditionally open this program -- finished performing when the skies opened up again, and organizers told everyone there would be a delay in the program of about 15 minutes, which is when their information indicated the storm would subside ... and for good. I walked home and waited things out.

It was still raining lightly 25 minutes later, but out of curiosity, I decided to stroll over to the park again, and almost immediately heard amplified electric instrumentation, which perplexed me because, well, it was raining. I could only think that perhaps there had been a brief lull in the precipitation while I was in the house, one I hadn't noticed.

When my return stroll got me to the point where I could see the MacAllister stage, I could make out that the featured band, 7 Bridges, was performing. But even before I could enter the grounds, everyone was frozen by a deafening thunderbolt. Organizers immediately took the stage microphone and announced that to ensure the safety of everyone involved, the rest of the scheduled program would be canceled ... except the closing fireworks, which would begin in about 10 minutes.

I did an about-face and headed back home, and those fireworks sure enough did start quickly, even before I could get to my door. It was not even dark yet; I'd say there was at least another half-hour before total darkness. I didn't have my tripod (it was in the trunk of my car locked in the garage), which I'd normally use when shooting fireworks. So rather than lose time running to the garage and back to the front yard and setting up the tripod, I instinctively decided this might be a good time to try something different. I'll talk more about that adventure in the next post.
Above and next two below: Sun protection in the form of umbrellas and light-reflecting headware were the order of other of the day for parade spectators along Madison Avenue.

Above: The start of pictures taken at the festival grounds across from McDonald's on Madison Avenue between Southern and Troy avenues.

Above: On the Miracle Mile Gateway Festival's Live stage at 2 p.m. was The Truth.

Above: The Kids' Zone

Above: These glassware products resembled fans on a hot day like Saturday. Maybe there were supposed to, and maybe it wasn't just a mirage.
Above and below: Not sure of the nature of this vendor's wares, but these folks were working together.

Above: The gentleman in this picture seemed to make a point of dropping himself into several of my compositions while I walked through the vendor aisles. I decided to include one with him in it to toast his perseverance.

Above: How hot was it Saturday? Ask this dog, who seemed to be checking out refreshment from some ice cubes that had been scattered on the grass.


Above: The Bates-Hendricks Neighborhood Association float, which I ran into as it exited the Christel DeHaan Charter School parking lot along East Street as I strolled home.
Above and next three below: The Indianapolis 500 Gordon Pipers during their pre-rain performance during "America, We Remember" in the evening program at the MacAllister Center for the Performing Arts in Garfield Park. The offers include a monochrome conversion and the Pipers marching off and away from the stage. The rains opened up not longer after that.

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