The 29th Annual Circle City Classic kicked off its big weekend events Friday.
This year the coaches luncheon at Lucas Oil Stadium honors Indiana University football player George Taliaferro, the first African American drafted to the NFL.
"During the afternoon there’s going to be a pep rally, free to the public, outside the museum on Washington, said Vernon Williams, vice president of communications for the Indiana Black Expo. “The bands from South Carolina State and North Carolina Central University will put on a show in the park for everyone, just having a good time."
Many event-goers said the parade is a highlight of the weekend. The route begins at North and Pennsylvania streets downtown.
"We have this incredible parade with more than 80 entries in this year's parade and not just locally, although we have some great local entries, we have entries from all over the country, Texas, Milwaukee, surrounding states and it’s a performance parade,” said Williams. “It’s not the kind of parade where you just go and just look at floats it’s one of those parades where very act stops and puts on a show so it's very exciting and it's free to the public.”
The football game between South Carolina State and North Carolina Central kicks off at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. There is a free tailgate before the game for ticket holders and a halftime performance will feature the bands from both schools.
Williams said so far ticket sales this year are a little ahead of what they sold last year. Organizers decided to offer two for one pricing on certain ticket packages. The Circle City Classic is the main fundraising event for the Indiana Black Expo scholarship program.
"This year we are giving away a record 196,000 dollars,” said Williams. “That means that over the last 29 years our total is just under $3 million, so when people support the game not only are they supporting a worthwhile event they can bring the whole family to but they are supporting a scholarship program that benefits students throughout the state of Indiana.”