The Holy Day: Race Weekend is upon us.
Did I mention I live in Indianapolis? I live in Indianapolis. On the same side of the city where the racetrack sits. We can hear the buzz of the cars already as they practice. (The Indy500 is always the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.)
Prior to moving here, I took Memorial Day seriously. Well, I lived and worked at the beach, so never actually had the day off, but I made the requisite social media posts about remembering our troops - AS I DO, ALWAYS - and you know, said a prayer, watched something patriotic, like that.
In Indy, "Memorial Day" sales still happen, and I will still thank our troops on social media, but the weekend is not collectively hailed as "Memorial Day Weekend". Especially this year.
2016 is the ONE HUNDREDTH RUNNING OF THE INDY 500!
They've been celebrating it for months - 100 Days 'til the 100th running. Yep. Parties, concerts, special deals, celebrity events. It was everywhere even before Easter candy came out. The race is sold out. First time ever. Completely sold out. They lifted the television blackout that is usually in place, so we'll be able to watch it live, if we choose! (We don't, generally.)
It occurred to me after I moved here that Indy is really only known for this one thing. It's a race. Great, if you're into racing. But consider other international sporting events:
The Olympics - every 4 years, always in a different place.
The World Cup - every 4 years, always in a different place.
Even the Superbowl, which isn't international, but is arguably the biggest deal in American sporting contests - always in a different place.
The Indy 500 is an international event that is ALWAYS here, EVERY year.
(I mean, yeah, there are golf and tennis tournaments, I suppose, but really? meh.)
My first Race Day living here, I got jammed up in traffic on my way home from church - the EARLY service! The next year I was very clever and left for my parents' house that afternoon - after the race traffic. I couldn't get home. See, on this side of the city, during the mass exodus after the race, the exit ramps going INTO the city are blocked off so people can get out of town without extra traffic coming in. I did not know that. I also did not yet know the area well enough to find an easy way back in. I drove an extra hour up the Interstate until I just plain turned around.
I kinda love that I'm in that situation. It's unique.
This year, we will go nowhere. Just enjoy the buzz of the engines from our balcony. Live and Learn!