Fever Finally Have Their Parade

By Scott Agness | May 25, 2013

As if their year couldn’t get any better, the WNBA Champion Indiana Fever served as Grand Marshal of the 2013 IPL 500 Festival Parade. Saturday afternoon, ahead of the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500, they stood – and waved – atop their float, the same one they were unable to ride around on in October because their championship parade was canceled due to the weather conditions.

“Man, I’m so glad this parade didn’t get rained out and this was maybe even better than the one we would have had,” said guard Briann January afterwards. “It was great to see all the Fever fans out there that came out to support us. Indianapolis showed us love.”

The Fever, wearing the white championship t-shirt that they each received on the court moments after securing the franchise’s first WNBA title in October, were the featured attraction. Near the very front of the parade line in downtown Indianapolis, which covered almost two miles, the Fever brought fans to their feet with the tune “Celebration,” on repeat during the hour-long annual event.

Other participants in the parade included the rock band Foreigner, rock guitarist Eddie Money, Colts punter Pat McAfee, Olympic gymnasts Shawn Johnson and Jordyn Wieber, plus Florence Henderson, Jim Nabors and all 33 drivers in Sunday’s IndyCar race.

When the opportunity was presented, the Fever didn’t take long to accept. They even had to arrange for special transportation because they were in San Antonio Friday night to open the season and weren’t scheduled to return until Saturday afternoon. That effort was well worth it. They were recognized at a breakfast, in front of community leaders and dignitaries, before stepping on to their float.

“It’s exciting,” said team captain Tamika Catchings. “Not a lot of people get nominated to lead the charge. For us to be here, coming off a great win last night – the beginning of our season – and then being able to come out here today and represent not only the Fever but the Pacers, as they’re doing well going against the Heat, and the whole Pacers Sports & Entertainment organization.

“The feeling (of a championship) is still so sweet, especially with coming up on May 31st celebrating the ring ceremony … our first home game to open up the season.”

This time, the parade went on without a hitch. The only member of the 2012 championship team that was absent was Tammy Sutton-Brown, who’s no longer in the league. From the tireless waves, to the dozens of photos snapped and cheers received, the Fever finally had their parade around the city.

“This really takes the place of our parade that got rained out,” coach Lin Dunn said. “It’s wonderful. Everybody knows who the Fever are now that we’re champions.”