INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indy’s biggest weekend is finally here! The 101st running of the Indy 500 takes place Sunday, so as long as Mother Nature cooperates (more on that later). So with that in mind, here’s a race themed Top 8 List for this weekend!
- Memorial Service
If you’re not heading to the Carb Day festivities early on, swing by the Indiana War Memorial at noon Friday to honor our fallen heroes. Memorial Day is Monday, so the 500 Festival is embracing the important holiday a few days early. This year’s Memorial Service will feature Keynote Speaker General Robert B. Abrams, Commanding General of the United States Army Forces Command. The service will also include remarks from Major General Courtney P. Carr, the Adjutant General of Indiana. You can also catch the LIVE telecast of the event right here on WISH-TV. Fore more info, click here.
- Carb Day at IMS
We’ll get the race filled weekend started with Carburetion Day, or as it is now more commonly known, Carb Day – Friday. This used to be a day that racers had to make final adjustments to, you guessed it, their carburetors. The last Indy 500 racers to use these devices on their cars were Lotus car drivers Jim Clark and Dan Gurney in 1963. Nowadays, there is a final practice opportunity for the field of 33 racers between 11am and noon, the Indy Lights Freedom 100 Race at 12:30 p.m. and the pit stop competition at 2 p.m. After the racing and tuning for the day is finished, head to the Turn 4 Infield Stage for a concert featuring the Barenaked Ladies and the Steve Miller Band starting at 3:30 p.m. For itinerary and tickets, click here.
- Carb Night Burger Bash
If you don’t have tickets to Carb Day at IMS, here’s a FREE, family oriented event at the Pan Am Plaza downtown. The event starts at 5 p.m. and will feature several of this year’s Indy Car Series drivers, DJ Indiana Jones through the evening leading up to Trent Harmon taking the stage at 9 p.m. Click here for more information.
- IPL 500 Festival Parade
This year marks the 60th Anniversary of what has become one of the signature events for the Month of May in Indy. Get downtown early to fight an estimated 300,000 people for a parking spot to catch the start of the parade at noon Saturday. This year’s Grand Marshal for the Accelerating the American Spirit themed parade is Eva Mozes Kor, a survivor of the Holocaust and a forgiveness advocate. There will be 14 bands, at least 8 large floats as well as numerous VIPs and celebrities.For street closings and parking info, click here.
- Legends Day
After the parade, head over to IMS for Saturday’s Legends Day festivities. Gates open at 7 a.m. with autograph sessions, historic race car laps and of course the concerts later in the day. This year’s headliner is country music superstar Keith Urban, who will take the stage at 6:30 p.m. Before he performs, Dustin Lynch and Clayton Anderson will play beginning at 4:30 p.m. Separate tickets are needed for the musical performances. For a full schedule, click here.
- Snakepit Ball
You don’t need to be a celebrity to be a VIP guest at this year’s Snakepit Ball! Now you can travel in style, mingle with celebrities and snag a one-of-a-kind fitted dinner jacket, as part of the Color Me VIP Package. The theme for this year’s KeyBank 500 Festival Snakepit Ball is The Art of the Race, and this year’s party will be legendary. With platinum-selling rock band X Ambassadors headlining the entertainment, an art-themed party will transform the Indiana Roof Ballroom like never before. WISH-TV will be broadcasting the red carpet arrivals, which will be hosted by Indy Style’s Tracy Forner and Amber Hankins. Coverage will begin at 6 p.m. For more info, click here.
- IndyHumane 500 Porch Party
Remember the Mutt Strut earlier this month that got cancelled due to foul weather? The 500 Porch Party will provide Mutt Strut participants and friends of pets from all over the Indy community a chance to come together, have fun and raise funds for IndyHumane! The event will take place at the Humane Society of Indianapolis, located at 7929 N. Michigan Road from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 28th. Admission is free for Mutt Strut registrants, and other donation and ticket options are available for those who had not registered for Mutt Strut 2017. For more info, click here.
- Bike to the 500/Indy 500
Last…but definitely not least, the big race (and an alternative way to get to the track). If you’re a cyclist and a race fan, head to the east plaza of the City Market at 7 a.m. to Bike to the 500. There will be music, food, drinks and family fun to get you ready for the four-mile, police escorted route between downtown and Daredevil Brewing Company in Speedway. Your bike will monitored while you enjoy the race. Tickets are $10 ahead of time and $15 this Sunday.
The 101st running of the Indy 500 is scheduled to begin at 12:19 p.m., but parking lots open as early as 5 a.m. With Vice President and former Governor Mike Pence possibly attending this year’s race, expect even tighter security with slow moving lines. You are urged to get there early!