Editor’s note: You can read more about CarmelFest 2015 here.
By Mark Ambrogi
Gary Sexton can pinpoint where his passion for CarmelFest developed. In fact, it was a Kodak moment.
“It began with my kids sitting along the curb on Range Line watching the parade,” Sexton said. “One of our family pictures has the girls wearing red, white and blue T-shirts and wearing sunglasses. So we’ve always had a spot in our heart for the parade.”
While his three daughters are older now, CarmelFest remains a family tradition. The 50-year-old Sexton, who has lived in Carmel for 18 years and been a volunteer for Carmel for five years, has succeeded Jeff Worrell as the CarmelFest chairman this year.
“Jeff has been a fantastic mentor and obviously left very large shoes to fill,” said Sexton, who had been in charge of facilities. “I’ve learned a lot of working with different groups we have to work with. He’s helped me learn how to work with sponsors, volunteers and work with our community members and city to bring all the different groups on the same page for an event that has 50,000 people that runs and has the largest and best parade in the area and the largest and best fireworks display in the area.”
Sexton said the position is basically year-round.
“As you get closer to the event there are lots of details, emails and meetings to attend to so the time commitment escalates,” Sexton said. “I plan to be at the event from sun up to tear down. By the morning of July 5th, we will have cleaned up and it won’t look like we were on the grounds of City Center at all.”
Along with his love of the parade, Sexton said he enjoys watching the live entertainment with a cold Sun King.
“Our tradition is to watch the fireworks as a family in the North zone,” he said.
Sexton and his wife Beth have three daughters, Kim, Kelly and Kate. Kim is a graduate of University of Dayton and lives in Columbus, Ohio. Kelly will be a senior at Indiana University and Kate a Guerin Catholic High School senior in the fall.
Sexton owns four Sport Clips shops, including one in Carmel on 12570 Gray Rd. The others are in Noblesville, Indianapolis (Geist) and West Lafayette.