On This Day in IUPUI History: August 23, 1982

August 23, 1982

On this day, the IUPUI Calliope took part in a parade down Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago.  The parade featured horse-drawn wagons from all over the country. It was seen by hundreds of thousands of spectators and by many more on television. The Calliope returned to Indianapolis shortly afterwards to participate in the Farmer's Day Parade at the Indiana State Fair at the Fairgrounds.

IUPUI Calliope in 500 Festival Parade, 1976 676-0021-007

The Calliope--a musical instrument from steam being pushed through whistles--was salvaged from an Ohio and Mississippi River showboat bought by Indiana University to stage theatrical shows. In 1976 the IUPUI Office of Alumni Relations assembled a team of IUPUI faculty and staff to restore it. Professor Robert Weaver of the Herron School of Art designed the steel and wood circus wagon, and School of Engineering and Technology personnel built a steam-boiler system. The new Calliope made its debut in 1976 in the 500 Parade (see photo). Over the years, the Calliope has appeared at countless events and rolled in many parades, much to the delight of audiences far and wide. Recently fully restored, the Calliope will continue to spread the word about IUPUI and Indiana University.

For more information about the Calliope, please contact the clowns in IUPUI Special Collections and Archives speccoll@iupui.edu.

Updated Aug 23, 2018 by Editor Name Missing