After leaving Princeton Wednesday evening, the crew headed to Evansville to spend the night before an early morning departure to New Albany for our second Fan Fest of the week. We enjoyed a wonderful continental breakfast Thursday morning before filling up the cars with gas and loading the coolers with plenty of Gatorade and water to stay hydrated throughout the day. It’s a good thing we did because temperatures reached above 100 degrees and staying hydrated was crucial. Thanks to the Indiana Blood Center who came out to the event to supply fans with water throughout the day!
Record breaking temperatures couldn’t stop these Colts fans from visiting our Fan Fest. Official “Super Fan” Brent Keane waited in the front of the line to get a few more autographs on his signature-filled football. “I’ve got all sorts of players – past and present – that signed this ball. I’m looking forward to getting a few more,” said Keane.
Even Blue came out to take part in the fun. Dancing around and tossing the football, Blue made sure fans were entertained while they waited. I saw one little Colts fan jumping up and down yelling, “Blue! Blue! Blue!”
Colts fan Emma came to the Fan Fest wearing her favorite Colts jersey and blue hair ribbon with a Colts football in hand. Emma, who turns seven in two days, was most excited to meet the cheerleaders. Her mom and baby brother were also excited to get some autographs from the players because the Colts are “daddy’s favorite team!” I suggested to Mom that a trip to Anderson for training camp later this summer would be an excellent belated birthday present. I hope you can make to camp, Emma!
Jerraud Powers and Cassius Vaughn also braved the heat to meet their fans in New Albany. “These fans spend their hard-earned money to come watch us play during the year so it’s great that we can come to see them at Fan Fests,” said Powers.
“It’s an awesome opportunity for us to connect with our fans. We don’t get to do that often.”
New Albany mayor Jeff Gahann stopped by the Fan Fest to show his appreciation for the Colts coming to the city. “It’s so exciting that you guys are here! Despite the heat, we’re so glad you’re here in New Albany. There’s a lot of Colts fans here in the city!” said Gahann.
Gahann complimented the band, Free Fallin’, that played for fans throughout the event. He also filled us in on some restaurants to stop by on our way out of town. I told him I’d be fine eating at any restaurant as long as there was air conditioning. I’m pretty easy to please.
New Albany resident Kevin Fetz was busy taking photos throughout the event. In fact, he even came early. “I was determined to get here an hour before the Fan Fest. I wanted to make sure I could get autographs! It might be hot out, but I wouldn’t miss it!” said Fetz.
Fortunately, Tiny didn’t melt in the intense heat. In fact, I think he enjoyed looking over the event with a view of the Ohio River in the background. When we finally had packed away the last inflatable, closed the doors on Colts In Motion and dumped the melted ice from the coolers it was tempting not to make a run for it and jump into the river. Instead of running to the river, we jumped in the cars and blasted the AC. This was probably a much better decision in the long run.
New Albany fans, you all are awesome! One fan summed it up perfectly as he was leaving: “It might be warm out, but it’s worth it to be here.” Thanks for making Thursday’s Fan Fest a successful event despite the scorching heat.
Tiny and I will be taking a break from the road next week, but don’t worry, we’ll be in Terre Haute Wednesday, July 11th. Fans, get ready – I want to see some crazy Colts spirit!
Tags: Cassius Vaughn, fan fest, jerraud powers, New Albany, Tiny
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Bright and early Wednesday morning, the Colts caravan rolled out of the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center and headed south to Princeton, Ind. The whole crew was on the road for this trip, from our interns in community relations to ticket sales, as well as youth football and sponsorship sales. No one wanted to miss this Fan Fest!
Three hours later, we finally arrived at the Toyota plant in Princeton. I couldn’t believe how massive the place was! Before we started to set up for the event, some of us took a tour of the plant’s Visitor Center. We met Joanie who told us some interesting facts about Toyota. One fun fact being that the man who started the Toyota company was actually named “Toyoda.” However, in the Japanese language the letter D is made with eight strokes and eight is an unlucky number. The company changed the D to T and hasn’t looked back since. Joanie and I both agreed that the T looks much better anyways.
Soon after that, the inflatables were inflated, Colts In Motion was open for business, Free Fallin’ was warming up tunes like Won’t Back Down and American Girl and the players were en route to the event. The dynamic duo of Pat Angerer and Kavell Conner made their second appearance of the summer at Wednesday’s Fan Fest. Two fan favorites, these guys love having fun with Colts fans.
“It’s just always so great to see how many fans want to support you, even during the summer,” said Conner. “It’s awesome to be able to interact with the fans at events like these.”
The fans in Princeton did not disappoint. High temperatures and waiting in line on asphalt didn’t deter these COLTSTRONG fans. From the Toyota workers who came out and waited in their hard hats to the kids who ran up and down the slide for two hours, anyone and everyone came out to meet the Colts.
Corbin, Rilen and Landon were excited because one of their cousins was a cheerleader at the Fan Fest. Corbin said to me: “I know Stephanie! I know one of the cheerleaders!” While Corbin was excited to see his cousin, he also couldn’t wait to get out of line to play in the inflatables. Corbin did have one very important question for me. “So what exactly does that big blow up guy do?” Assuming he was talking about my good friend Tiny, I explained that Tiny oversees all of our Colts Fan Fests to make sure everyone has a good time. I think Corbin was satisfied with the answer, although a little disappointed Tiny wasn’t a bounce house or slide that he could jump around in.
It was great to see all of the Toyota workers that were able to take a break from working to come check out the Fan Fest. Even the company president showed up to meet the Colts! Michelle Jackson, a Public Affairs manager at the plant, was very excited the Colts were able to visit. “It’s so great that the Colts could come to us because not everyone down here can always get up to them,” said Jackson. “And it’s especially great that we can do this for our Toyota team members here at the plant.”
Crowds lingered until the very end of the event, but soon after the fun began it was time to tear down and pack up for the next one. Thanks for the fun time, Princeton! I hope we’re able to come back to visit next year. And as for you all at the Toyota plant, we’re so glad you’re the “Official Vehicle of the Indianapolis Colts!”
Tags: fan fest, kavell conner, pat angerer, Princeton, Toyota
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