Anderson/Madison County Visitors Blog

May 2014

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It is May! The grass is green, the sky is blue, flowers are blooming, and every hair on your body is about to stand straight up. 

Yes, May brings with it the promise of summer, but the month of May always means one other thing in Anderson as well:  it’s Pay Less Little 500 time! And if the sight of 33 sprint cars heading into turn one at the start of the Little 500 doesn’t make your hair stand on end, you either have no hair or no pulse.

Famed driver Dick Trickle once compared driving at Anderson Speedway to flying jets in a gymnasium. That colorful description is probably never truer than at the start of the Little 500. Packing 33 sprint cars on to the quarter mile track is a spectacle in itself. Seeing them all charge into the first turn after the green flag drops is something you won’t soon forget.

The Little 500 this year—the 66th edition—is May 24. If you are interested in attending, you better get your tickets now. In addition to the race, the Little 500 raises thousands of dollars each year for charitable organizations throughout the month of May. At the end of this month the total money raised through the years will likely exceed $2 million!

I often talk about the enviable list of attractions that Anderson and Madison County have to enjoy and promote. The Anderson Speedway is always among the first attractions thought of when thinking of that list. Rick Dawson and his team do a terrific job of operating a facility that provides racing thrills and top notch entertainment. They work hard to promote a safe and friendly environment and re-invest into the facility.

The Speedway brings thousands of visitors to our community every summer. Race teams and fans stay in our local hotels and eat at our restaurants. That has a positive impact on our local economy. That, combined with the positive attention the Speedway and the Little 500 brings to the area and the $2 million collected for local charities shows that the Speedway is an invaluable part of our history, image, economy, and philanthropic efforts. 

If you can’t make it to the Little 500 but want to catch some great racing at Anderson Speedway this summer, racing is every Saturday night through October. It is a fun way to spend a summer night!

News, notes, and thoughts—Thoughts and prayers go out to Craig Sager as he battles leukemia. Craig, best known for his work as a sideline reporter for the NBA, is part of Wigwam Sports and Entertainment, the group that is hoping to purchase and refurbish the Wigwam. The WSE team—including Craig—was in town for a presentation just two days before Craig was diagnosed. Here’s hoping Craig is back to full health and on the sidelines and in Anderson soon…Best wishes to Bobbette Snyder upon her retirement from the Leadership Academy of Madison County. LAMC has been lucky to have her through the years. I am lucky to have her as a friend…Speaking of Bobbette’s retirement, congratulations to Beth Erskine for being named the new executive director of LAMC. She is an excellent choice…The Highway 38 sale is this weekend in Pendleton. The Mayor’s Cup grand Prix was last weekend in Anderson. Farmer’s Markets will soon be opening throughout the county. This is the busy time for fun activities in Madison County. To plan your fun, don’t forget to visit the calendar on VisitAndersonMadisonCounty.com!

--Tom Bannon is executive director of the Anderson/Madison County Visitors Bureau

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