Circle City Classic draws big crowds to city, raises record-high scholarship funds

Pep rally, Gospel concert fired up crowds Friday

INDIANAPOLIS - Tens of thousands of people -- many of them visitors to Indy -- are filling downtown for Circle City Classic weekend.

The parade and the big game are Saturday, but Friday night, several events got people in the Classic spirit.

Lloyd Johnson came from Kansas to experience Classic weekend.

"This is one of our number-one spots to come to," Johnson told RTV6. "We enjoy the city."

Even on a soggy White River State Park lawn, the pep rally got people pumped.

Getting more people to Indy for Classic events and the football game has been a priority for Indiana Black Expo organizers. Attendance has declined in recent years.

It's New Jersey resident Lucy Smith's first Circle City Classic. She thinks the event should be highlighted more.  

"(It needs) more publicity," Smith said. "It's supporting the traditionally black colleges and it's a positive thing."

Gospel music brought a crowd to the Madam Walker Theater, providing a rousing start for those ready to kick off an action-packed weekend. 

The parade is from 10 a .m. to noon downtown, stepping off at North and Pennsylvania streets.

The football game kicks off at 2:30 p.m. at Lucas Oil Stadium, where South Carolina State University takes on North Carolina Central University.

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