INDIANAPOLIS -- When putting together a story on the BEST things that happened in a year, it’s always hard to pick just one or two things, especially when there were so many good things that happened in Indianapolis in 2015.
It was even harder for me to pick the BEST things that happened in Indianapolis this year, because I moved here in July.
Fortunately, I work with the best and the brightest, and with their help, I think we’ve figured out some of the best BESTS, but I’ll gladly take your suggestions if you think there were better BESTS this year.
BEST ENTERTAINMENT EVENT: The Final Four
When it comes to events, it’s hard to top the Final Four. It was the seventh time Indianapolis hosted the event, but this year was one for the record books.
More than 143,000 people attended two-session Final Four– the highest-ever attendance at a Lucas Oil Stadium event. And an attendance of 71,149 fans at the championship game ranks it fourth in NCAA history.
An estimated 16.4 million people tuned in to the Kentucky-Wisconsin game, making it the most-viewed college basketball game of all time on a cable television network. Twenty-seven million people tuned in to the championship game.
Organizers also praised the Final Four Fan Fest, which set an all-time record attendance of 76,832. An additional 141,000 fans attended the three-day March Madness Music Festival – the second-highest attendance of all time.
BEST CONCERT: The Rolling Stones at IMS
It was an opportunity for people from Indiana and all parts of the country to cross something off their bucket list, and to see Mick Jagger in all his 72-year-old glory.
More than 50,000 people attended the show at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Top-selling country group Rascal Flatts joined The Rolling Stones, and so did Texas-based band Saints of Valory.
The event was also the first-ever standalone concert at the IMS.
This category is too hard to pick just one.
Some people told me Giordano’s had to make the list. The chain from Chicago famous for their deep-dish pizza opened in Indianapolis in February. It was the first Giordano’s to open outside of Chicago in 20 years.
On Facebook, someone said Marrow in Fountain Square was the best new restaurant in Indy this year.
Someone also suggested Popeye’s Chicken.
In addition to the BEST new restaurant, event and concert, there were several everyday BESTS -- the kind that rarely get recognition in a year-end story, but should.
In March, a 14-year-old boy scout saved a 10-year-old girl after she accidentally when into the White River when she was sledding.
In May, an Indiana girl got the surprise of a lifetime, when a man – who she had never met – ran more than 90 miles to raise enough money to send her to Disney World.
The girl had lost her dad a few months before. He was a military veteran, and a friend of the man’s.
In August, a Lawrence apartment manager was checking the complex’s pool for unauthorized visitors.
He noticed a boy at the bottom of the 8-foot-pool. He jumped in, grabbed the boy, and performed CPR. It took a while, but the boy started breathing again.
The man was actually based out of Fort Wayne, and just happened to be working at that property that day.