CCC 101



Circle City Classic  is one of those events that either you go to or you don't. You're a user or you aren't. It's kind of like Black Expo's Summer Celebration; it has a unique crowd that comes every year but if you're outside of that crowd, you're totally clueless about that event. Well, I thought I knew everything about the Classic. For years it's been my understanding that it was a cultural event in downtown Indy that focuses on a football game between two historically black colleges. There's a concert and there's a parade. That's pretty much it, right? Wrong!

Here are 10 things you didn't know about Circle City Classic. Maybe this will welcome a few new users.

1. Circle City Classic is a partnership between Indiana Black Expo and Indiana Sports Corp., and it was founded in 1970. Indiana Black Expo, Inc. is an organization dedicated to being an effective voice and vehicle for the social and economic advancement of African-Americans and the Indiana Sports Corp is the amateur sports champion, stimulating economic growth, inspiring healthy kids and creating vibrant communities throughout Indiana.

2. The annual Circle City Classic helps to support youth initiatives, awarding more than $3,000,000 in scholarships to deserving youth, who will attend colleges and universities across the country.

3. It's almost always the first weekend of October. It's all day on a Saturday, for the most part, beginning with a parade and ending with a concert and usually a step show.

4. Circle City Classic, or "Classic" for the users, was founded by Rev. Charles Williams. He was the President of Indiana Black Expo, Inc. (IBE) from 1983 to 2004 and was responsible for completely turning the place around and finding funding for a full-time staff. Rev. Charles is highly respected in the black community.

Kentucky State University is a Historically Black College (HBC) and one of the many schools that are regularly involved in Circle City Classic. - COURTESY OF VISIT INDY
  • Courtesy of Visit Indy
  • Kentucky State University is a Historically Black College (HBC) and one of the many schools that are regularly involved in Circle City Classic.

5. You know the drumming that you hear on Monument Circle on that Friday in October? With women in sparkly leotards dancing to their tune? That's the pep rally that happens Friday before the game. It will be at 4:30 p.m. and could be a great way to end the work day.

6. The Battle of the Bands is the best part of the entire thing, if you ask me. People go to the game for the halftime party. It's a grand show, and people dance and sing along and the performance by the two team bands is just very cool. If you're not into football, go for halftime.

7. Since 1986, The Circle City Classic has conducted the Miss Circle City Classic Coronation to recognize the accomplishments of outstanding young women in the African-American community. The Coronation targets area high school females and promotes academic achievement, community service, and leadership development.

8. It's fairly cheap to attend the game.

9. You can spend money on food. There's always interesting food for sale outside and this year, it's on Georgia Street.

10. It's more than a game -- Circle City Classic is a great way to explore culture and pride and color in downtown Indy. It's kind of like Super Bowl, even if you don't go to the game, there's a ton of stuff to see and do that makes it an awesome annual tradition.

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