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AES 500 Festival Parade sets off through downtown Indianapolis

AES 500 Festival Parade happening today

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Thousands of people will line the streets of downtown Indianapolis for the annual AES 500 Festival Parade.

The parade has been part of Indy 500 traditions since 1957, and over 200,000 people are expected to come out to either march in or watch the parade.

Lindsay Labas, vice president of the 500 Festival, says the main excitement of the day comes from bringing together the community. “We’re the third largest parade, we’ve got 200,000 people that will be downtown Indianapolis today to (just) be here,” she said.

The parade route kicks off at North and Pennsylvania streets. It will head south down Pennsylvania, then wrap around Monument Circle. The parade will wrap up at North and Meridian streets.

Labas says she believes the best viewing spots include spaces in Monument Circle. “My two favorites are the TV Zone and Monument Circle – it’s always nice to see those balloons with the monument in the backdrop.”

Indiana Fever legend Tamika Catchings will serve as grand marshal of the parade. The parade will also feature 15 marching bands and 12 floats.

Parade festivities kick off at 11:45 a.m., with the actual parade stepping off at noon.

This year’s opening production will be led by American musician and singer-songwriter, Phillip Phillips, with performances by the Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders and the Indiana Pacemates.

More information on the parade can be found at the festival’s website.