The 100th Running of the Indy 500 takes place at the racing capital of the world, Indianapolis, on 29th May 2016. The first Indy 500 race took place back in 1911 and drew 80,000 spectators, and now, as the race heads towards the 100th running, an average of 300,000 people head to Indy each year to take part in the celebrations, which surpasses the number of people in attendance at the British F1 Grand Prix.
The Indy 500 is popular the world over, with international visitors spending over $100 million during the race weekend alone, a third of the total spend in Indianapolis during the Indy 500 celebrations.
This year, however, with the massive anniversary, the city is planning a citywide celebration with more parties, concerts, traditions, upgrades to visitor experiences, and more. It will be a once-in-a-lifetime celebration in honour of this bucket-list event. Events are taking place throughout May in the build up to the Indy 500; the qualification takes place 21st May; the 500 Festival Parade takes place in downtown Indianapolis on 28th May followed by the Snakepit Ball on the same evening.
The 2016 500 Festival Parade will be held on May 28, the eve of the Indianapolis 500. Thousands of spectators are expected to line the streets of Indianapolis to get a taste of the 100th race celebrations. The 500 Festival Parade invites everyone to witness pageantry and larger-than-life floats that light up the streets of downtown Indianapolis. Well-known celebrities, costumed characters, marching bands, patriotic units, spectacular floats and giant helium balloons will fill the streets to celebrate the world’s largest single-day sporting event, the Indianapolis 500.
On the night before the race, the Indiana Roof Ballroom will be transformed into a mystical black and white circus for the 2016 KeyBank 500 Festival Snakepit Ball. This year’s event promises cirque-style performers and enchanting characters interacting with guests.
President and CEO of Visit Indy, Leonard Hoops, has expressed his excitement: “On 29th May, the world’s eyes turn to Indianapolis, Indiana, the epicentre of auto racing. This year’s 100th running of the Indy 500 is a historic ‘bucket list’ event with more activities, pageantry and excitement surrounding the ‘Greatest Spectacle in Racing’ than ever before. For those seeking a must-see experience, Indy is your place in May.”
Grandstand Motorsports are offering package to the Indy 500, more information can be found here: http://www.grandstandmotorsports.co.uk/indy-500.html
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway track opened in 1909 and is the world’s largest spectator facility. It is so large that you could fit the Roman Coliseum, Vatican City, Wimbledon Campus, Rose Bowl, Yankee Stadium and Churchill Downs inside the 2.5-mile oval.
Tickets can be purchased for the Indy 500 here: http://www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com/events/indy500