Final Four event guide in Indianapolis

By Joshua Huff

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Final Four weekend is upon us and for those unlucky enough to miss out on the opportunity to snag tickets to Saturday’s games, the pain runs deep.

However, fret not, because although you may be missing the opportunity to watch two potentially fabulous games, the end of the world isn’t upon us. The NCAA has surrounded the games with numerous opportunities to kick back, celebrate and have fun.

Starting on Friday, the festivals begin with the Final Four Fan Fest. An event presented by Capital One, the festival is for basketball fans who want the chance to meet coaches and former players. The event will feature autograph sessions, youth clinics and activities like basketball and hockey. For those looking for music and entertainment, the Final Four Pep Rally is the place to be, as the bands and cheerleaders from the participating schools entertain the guests. Tickets cost $10 for adults, and $5 for children ages 3-11, current college students, military personal and senior citizens ages 55 and older.

Unable to watch the game and low on funds? Why not enjoy a free open practice on Friday? The four teams participate in their final practices before the Final Four games. Coaches will speak after the practices and the icing on the cake will be the Reese’s College All-Star Game at 4:30 p.m. The doors open at 11 a.m. and practices go from noon to 4 p.m.

In the mood to listen to some music? Well, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. White River State Park hosts a three-day outdoor music festival starting at noon on April 3. Rihanna and Bleachers will headline on Saturday. Hold on to your britches for Sunday as the Zac Brown Band hits the stage along with Lady Antebellum. The event runs from 2 p.m. until 10 p.m.

Want to see Indianapolis from afar? Take a ride on the Capitol One Ferris Wheel. Itching to get a run in? Take part in the Northwestern Mutual Road to the Final Four 5K on Saturday. The event benefits the Coaches vs. Cancer program, which supports pediatric cancer research. Participants will receive a T-shirt and free entry into the Final Four Fan Fest. Registration begins at 6:30 a.m. and the race starts at 8 a.m. On-site registration is $30.