500th Festival Parade
Held on Saturday just before the 500-mile race electrifies the streets of downtown Indianapolis as Indy stars join other celebrities from across the country and the world to celebrate the world’s biggest racing spectacle. This parade is an annual event in Indianapolis since 1957.
The 500 Festival Parade features balloons of famous cartoon characters, marching bands, dance troupes, themed sails, 33 Indy 500 festival princesses, popular celebrities and fearless young runners. Take care of your favorite movie star or music artist. See and be seen. On the Saturday before the world’s most famous car race, this is the place to be. The event will also be broadcast on Indianapolis WISH TV-8.
The atmosphere is family by design. Parade organizers are always sure to provide entertainment that can be enjoyed by the whole family, especially younger fans. The parade starts at noon, but be sure to get there early as this event is expected to attract more than 300,000 fans, and if you haven’t purchased a reserved seat, the place to watch for free along the edge of the hoop is the patrons.
Former Grand Marshals include Jimmy Stewart, president, Walter Cronkite, Gerald Ford, vice president Dan Quayle, Mickey and Minnie Mouse. The Grand Marshal for the 2010 parade is expected to be announced on May 1, 2010 or around it.
The parade route begins at the intersection of Pennsylvania and North streets, leads south toward Washington Street, turns right (west) in Washington Street one block to Meridian Street, turns right (North), and continues to 11th Street where the parade route ends. The streets will be closed in the morning with parades from Illinois in the west to Delaware in the east, and from 16th Street in the north to Washington Street in the south. The streets start closing at 6:00 a.m., so plan your route carefully to avoid those areas. Bleachers and reserved seats are available and secured by purchasing a ticket. Adult tickets are available for $ 18.00 for reserved chairs or $ 14.50 for reserved white seats. Special wheelchair accommodation can also be provided, if arranged at the time you order tickets.
Tips you might find useful:
1. Buy parade tickets in advance. Unlike most parades, tickets for the Indy 500 Parade Festival are required. They are easily available through many outlets, and this event sells regularly.
2. Make travel plans to get to Indianapolis. If you are lucky enough to live within driving distance of the city, it will be easier for you. If you have to fly, book as early as possible, as this is the toughest weekend for Indy, and most flights sell out. If you can’t get a flight, check flights to nearby airports like Louisville and Chicago.
3. Secure your hotel room early. Just like flights, hotels in the Indianapolis area will be just as scarce. The closer to the trail you try to find a room, the harder it will be for you. Be prepared to drive a little to get to the festival.
4. Be sure to arrive early on the day of the parade. Round up the family early and find a seat in the front row to watch the festivities. It is recommended that you arrive a few hours before the start of the parade. Which brings us to …
5. Bring lawns and some snacks. Don’t forget the water. Indianapolis usually has a great time at this time of year and the time before the parade offers fantastic people to watch. Once you have the spot, have a good time and wait for the action.