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Circle City Classic offers Hoosiers a glimpse of life at an HBCU

Final preparations for the Circle City Classic

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — There are no historically Black colleges or universities in Indiana, but the 39th annual Circle City Classic offers Hoosiers a glimpse of life at an HBCU.

Organizers are wrapping up preparations for the event, which runs Sept. 17 – 23 in downtown Indianapolis.

The main event is the Circle City Classic game. Mississippi Valley State University will play North Carolina Central University at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 23.

After the 2019 game, organizers “took a step back to revamp. We want to make sure it’s impactful. We heard loud and clear from the community that they wanted football back, so we brought it back,” said Matthew White, senior director of community initiatives at the Indiana Black Expo.

This year’s event will start with the coronation of Ms. Circle City Classic on Sunday, Sept.17, and the Circle City Classic Praise and Worship event on Sept. 20.

Local universities and historically black colleges and universities will be available to meet with prospective college students on Sept. 22 for the Talent Day Career Fair.

“This is a really cool opportunity for business owners to come out and they’ll be engaging with young professionals’ folks that are just graduating from college and looking to get into the career field,” White told News 8. “We’ve got our coaches luncheon that begins at 11:30. It will go into what we call talent day.”

The classic is part of a greater goal to showcase the spirit, energy, and tradition of America’s HBCUs. These characteristics will be on full display on Sept. 22 during the Pep Rally with the MSVSU and NCCU marching bands and cheerleaders.

“We have our pep rally which will be right out here on South Street. This will be the first opportunity for the community to see the marching band. We have food vendors, merchandise vendors, and it’s all free,” White.

News 8 will be at the Circle City Classic Parade on Saturday, Sept. 23. What started 37 years ago as two college bands marching through downtown Indy has grown into a world-class performance, organizers say.

After the football game, there will be a Divine Nine Greek Stroll Competition. The price of admission is included with game tickets.

Game day tickets start at $12 and go up to $50. The money raised from the classic goes toward scholarships; so far, more than $5 million dollars has been given to Indiana students.

Organizers are also looking for volunteers. Click here to become a Circle City Classic volunteer.

WISH-TV is proud to be the official media partner of the Circle City Classic Business and Entrepreneur Day! The event is happening on September 23 in partnership with InnoPower LLC (InnoPower Indy).