(NEXSTAR) — For some, tomorrow’s Indy 500 isn’t about the race, but the party that comes with it.
Nearly 50 years ago, a group of fans started what’s known as the “snake pit.”
On Saturday, it’s filled with a concert.
For the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the best way to describe it is to not describe exactly what went on.
From streaking, booze, and brawls, fans transformed turn one into the ultimate party.
A celebration some of them still wish was going.
People crammed, drinking and dancing are apart of IMS’ in field party, but to a certain group, this is nothing.
“The snake pit is now what they call turn three.” “That’s not the snakepit. That’s a cheap imitation.”
Meet Tater, the twin, el durado, the photographer, the cook, the nut and their leader.
“The governor of the snakepit.”
This group might look tame, but don’t let that fool you. A trick perfected years ago as this group was a part of the original IMS snake pit in the mid 1970’s.
“I mean, we had a thing. It was a special thing to us down there.”
For nearly 30 years, when tires hit the track, they made their way inside.
“We didn’t do anything else the rest of the year. When May came, I mean it was all we could do to get there,” said Jeff Cox, the Governor of the Snake Pit.
A place this group would share food, drinks and a little fun.
“People put a dollar or five dollar bill on a dring, on a fishing pole, throw it out there. You’d be walking by and you’d see that money and all of a sudden, you reached down and pick it up and they’d jerk it back.”
“Chase that dollar bill.”
Attitudes changed 30 years ago, giving the speedway a new look and earning this group a new nickname.
“This was the beginning of the riff-raff social club.”
IMS altered and re-located the snake pit.
“Used to be you’d go in the morning, you could find the grill that you left there last night with the hamburger still burning on them,” said Cox.
But, those days are only found in photo albums.
“There’s the mud puddle.”
Age may have caught up to the riff-raff, but if these signs were still in turn one, they wouldn’t be sharing memories on a front porch.
“We’d be over there in a rocking chair, wearing our support stocking and sipping on geratol spiked cocktail.”