In Indianapolis in May, residents are all about toasting the biggest events celebrating sports in Indianapolis, and the biggest of all is the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race (Indy 500)! The 500 Festival Victory Circle Celebration is the conclusion to the non-stop celebrating that goes on during the month and is the biggest party of all. This celebration takes place at the conclusion of the Indy 500, when the winner crosses the finish line and steps into Victory Circle for the legendary sip (or chug!) of milk awarded to the winner, along with a wreath and the coveted Borg-Warner Trophy. Known as the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the Indy 500 defines the month of May for Indianapolis citizens, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is where it all takes place.
If you’re a racing fan, you won’t want to miss all the celebrating leading up to those final exciting moments when the winner crosses the finish line and earns his or her well-deserved award, when the 500 Festival Victory Celebration begins. The 500 Festival, an organization formed with the purpose of celebrating Indianapolis citizens and the success of the Indy 500, is the undisputed party planner extraordinaire in the Circle City in May.
Downtown Indianapolis becomes a hub of activity as streets are blocked off for various events during the few weeks leading up to the race, including the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, the largest half-marathon in the world; and Kids’ Day, a whole Sunday set aside for Indianapolis kids involving face painting, games, and arts and crafts. Another event not to be missed is Community Day, which allows race fans to drive their very own car around the track at the Speedway. And if that isn’t enough, there’s also the famous televised 500 Festival Parade, led by the 33 drivers. This centerpiece features giant balloon characters as well as celebrities. Indianapolis kids of all ages turn out in droves for these fun events.
The celebrating picks up speed in the last few weeks before the big day. The night before the race, the party continues late into the night at the Regions 500 Festival Snakepit Ball, where Indy citizens can mingle with celebrities and dance the night away with the race car drivers and even the ambassadors and the faces of the Festival, the 500 Festival Princesses. The Princesses are an important part of every aspect of the commemorating of the race, including the 500 Festival Victory Circle Celebration, when they join in the chaos in Victory Circle and wave to the fans who fill the stands on race day.
Race day in Indy, whether you’re cheering on your favorites right up next to the action at the track in Speedway, Indiana or having your own backyard picnic and relying on the Indianapolis media to broadcast the day’s events into your celebration, is a festive occasion not to be missed. The city’s sporting claim to fame offers plenty of opportunities for fun for the whole family!