Whether they're putting a spring in your step, providing a diversion from searing lung pain, or only mildly annoying you, this much is certain: Local entertainers are as much a part of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon as shin splints and running shoes.
Every one of the fabulously diverse acts—from cover bands to belly dancers to polka players—has sacrificed a Saturday morning for the sake of your enjoyment (and, of course, to find a captive audience). And they all have a story. The Trumans, for example, began when Apparatus founder (and guitarist) Kelly Pfledderer, a longtime volunteer and board member with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana, started jamming with his “little bro” mentee, Vince Truman Holloway. Sometimes described as a “garage band,” The Trumans play a mix of ’90s alternative, modern rock—Holloway has a special affinity for Kings of Leon—and, occasionally, pop country.
“We get to say that we play a show every year to 35,000 people,” says Pfledderer. “And everyone enjoys it—except those that appear to have not trained enough for the run.” You’ll pass The Trumans at Mile 4 on Holt Road.
A few more acts to look for as you sweat it out on Saturday:
Headliner, Verizon Stage, Military Park
10th year playing the Mini
High-energy dance band playing top-40 hits in rock, hip-hop, country, and R&B, with more than 400 songs in repertoire.
“Two people in the band have actually run the Mini,” says manager Lisa Sauce. “The bandleader, Michael Read, used to play, then run, then play again, all in the same day.”
Headliner, Family Reunion Stage, Military Park
2nd year playing the Mini
Up-tempo guitar-band jukebox rock, playing hits from the ’50s to the present.
“It’s a big celebration, and we love being in front of a big Central Indiana crowd,” says singer Aimee Yarwood. “It’s a great venue for that.”
Whitney Erin & Buffalo Creek
Opening act, Verizon Stage, Military Park
1st year playing the Mini (although Erin has performed solo along the course)
Non-twangy “country-rock,” with a range of styles covering artists from Patsy Cline to Tina Turner.
“I happened across the link where you could enter the competition to be one of the main bands,” says singer Erin. “As soon as I saw it, I knew we had to go for it.”
Michigan and Centennial
1st year playing the Mini
Classically trained foursome playing traditional and experimental folk with instruments ranging from mandolin to violin to guitar to hurdy gurdy (and many more)—aka “progressive earth” music.
“We want to show that there are people doing things with folk and experimental forms of music in Indianapolis,” says mandolin, banjo, and hurdy-gurdy player Chris Burrus.
Old Timers Button Box
10th Street in front of Slovenian National Home
6th time playing the Mini
Popular and traditional polka, with an emphasis on Eastern Europe
“My wife and I are members are of the Slovenian National Home on 10th, and a few years ago we were walking the Mini,” says button-box accordionist Tom Bracik. “When we passed the Home, we thought, ‘We need to do something here!’”
Fishers Renaissance Faire
2325 W. Michigan St.
1st time playing the Mini
Rowdy pirates, faeries, and maybe a knight or two (the Queen can't make it), with "fractured Shakespeare," juggling, and hijinx.
"We're from Fishers, so this is opportunity to branch out," says dragonfly faerie Rebecca "Odonata" Holloway. "And it's an opportunity for us to come out and have fun."
Michigan and Exeter
1st time at the Mini
Dance-friendly variety band with a three-piece horns section. Think Blues Brothers.
"We've talked about doing it for a few years, but getting up early and having everyone get Saturday morning off was a challenge," says saxophonist and singer Brad Laub. "This year we committed to it."
Michigan and Luett
8th time at the Mini
'80s rock tribute, covering such bands as The Talking Heads, DEVO, and Flock of Seagulls.
"Our keyboardist used to run the Mini, before he got his kidney transplant," says bassist Ross Olhausen, who's traveling from Atlanta for the gig. "He said, 'If I can't run, why don't we play?' We all used to be in a band at Carmel High and Purdue, and even though we're scattered around the country now, we get together to play the Mini every year."