Wednesday, July 11 marked a big day for the Indianapolis Colts: the final Fan Fest of the summer. Saving one of the best stops for last, we made sure to go all out for our fans in Terre Haute.
You would think at this point, we would be able to make it to our Fan Fest destination without any problems. After all, we’ve been doing this all summer. However, the Colts summer crew likes to keep things interesting. Tiny led the box truck astray, taking along with him the Play 60 zone, bounce house and inflatable slide. Thankfully, Google Maps didn’t let us down and we were able to arrive in Terre Haute right on time.
Tiny decided to be quite stubborn for us, and making sure he was standing upright for fans to see proved to be more difficult than usual. Personally, I think Tiny was a little sad that it was his last Fan Fest. Can you blame him?
Besides Tiny causing a few issues, the other inflatables proved to be a hit with fans of all ages. Even a few moms and dads tried going down the slide with their kids. No injuries were reported from the bounce house, with the exception of a few head bumps and hard hits.
Adam Vinatieri and Anthony Castonzo came out to meet some of their biggest fans at Deming Park. Vinatieri, Colts kicker as well as a fan favorite, has made countless trips to meet with fans throughout his NFL career. “My favorite thing about interacting with the fans is the stories you hear firsthand,” said Vinatieri. “Like where they were when we won the Super Bowl. You get to relate to the other side of the field.”
Castonzo, the Colts 2011 first round draft pick, has traveled all over the state this summer to meet with fans. Castonzo described his favorite Colts fan as “super die-hard.”
“I love fans that really have a passion for the sport and excitement for the team.” said Castonzo.
It was obvious from the turn out that Terre Haute fans fit Castonzo’s description. A backup on the interstate left fans waiting a little longer to meet the players. Nonetheless, fans waited around so that they could have a chance to show their support for the Colts.
“Not having practice every day [in the off season] allows me to have the chance to spend time in the community,” said Castonzo. “I feel like it’s my duty to give back to the fans because they give so much to the team.”
Fans like the Padgett family enjoyed looking at the newest items in our traveling Pro Shop while waiting for the players to arrive. The Padgetts are avid Colts fans and have traveled to several Colts events over the years. We wanted to know their family’s favorite thing about the Indianapolis Colts. Of course their response was, “Winning!”
The Weaver family was also very excited to attend last Wednesday’s Fan Fest. These season ticket holders love getting out to Colts events in their community to meet other Colts fans.
Tiny and I also love meeting some of our biggest Colts fans at each Fan Fest. Terre Haute fans, you all are great! We loved being able to sing and dance along with you all while the Jai Baker Band took your song requests. Jai and the band told us they don’t do that very often, so you all should feel pretty special!
Thanks again for coming out to our final Fan Fest of the season. We wouldn’t have wanted to spend it with anyone else. We’ll look forward to your COLTSTRONG support this season!
Tags: Adam Vinatieri, anthony castonzo, ColtStrong, fan fest, Terre Haute, Tiny, winning
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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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