INDIANAPOLIS - Some come to participate – others to observe. And what a place, indeed, to observe the sublime and surreal: Indianapolis is booming this weekend.
Gen Con is back in town for its four-day run inside the Convention Center and filling the streets around it with attendees in street clothes and, sometimes, elaborate costumes.
Gen Con is the longest running, best-attended gaming convention in the world, where a record 50,000 people are expected this year.
Just a few miles away from Gen Con is a second day of racing, leading up to Sunday’s MotoGP Race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It’s an event that brings in big sponsors and an international fanbase that city tourism officials say spends more than $10 million during the weekend.
But it could be the race’s last stop in Indianapolis, with Speedway officials saying they’re evaluating its future because of declining attendance.
“I kinda hope it stays,” Plainfield resident Barry Miller said. “It's exciting to come here and see something different. You always see the IndyCars out here and it's cool to see the bikes run around."
This is also the final weekend for the Indiana State Fair. The 17-day run has been marked by nearly perfect weather that brought out record crowds on the first Sunday.
And Saturday is no different, with visitors filling main street and eating lots of food.
“This weather has brought in tremendous crowds,” Hoosier Ribeye’s Jen Hundley said. “Tuesday and Wednesday are normal days where you see a lull, especially in food. It's been crazy. We've sold out almost every night. We've run out of ribeyes. Brats one night. Hotdogs."
So whether it’s filling your stomach, a feast for the eyes, or the need for speed, all are here on one of the biggest weekends of the year.