- Guest contributor Brooke Hubler is the General Manager of Hubler Chevrolet in Indianapolis, Indiana. As the third generation of the Hubler Automotive family, Brooke brings a lifetime of experience and a well-rounded education from Sarah Lawrence College to her dealership. She helped launch the group’s online presence with DriveHubler.com and continues to bring innovation to the 10 location Hubler Automotive Group. She writes as a guest contributor on family, shopping, and automotive industry issues.
The Indy 500 festivities are upon us. The city is in the throes of its most exciting and eventful weekend of the year. The downtown sidewalks are being loaded with bleachers in preparation for the 500 Festival parade. The Hublers are, of course, long-time fans of the race and the city’s booming energy throughout the festivities every May.
Whether or not you plan to go to the race, you’ve had plenty of opportunities to celebrate the 500 throughout the month. You probably have a favorite event or ceremony; I know I have a few. This post highlights all the memorable things that I love about the 500 festivities each and every year.
The 500 Festival Parade – May 24
The 500 Festival Parade really kicks off race weekend. Starting on Pennsylvania Street, the parade makes its way through Monument Circle and up north on Meridian Street. Every year, the parade features a fantastic line-up of celebrities. I know some folks who are getting pumped to see Rick Springfield, Eddie Money, and Chuck Pagano in this year’s parade line-up. Thousands gather on the streets to watch as floats, balloons, and, of course, cars parade through the city in celebration of the Indy 500.
Chevy Military Parade Lap – May 26
Here at Hubler Auto, we’re especially excited for the Chevrolet Military Parade Lap that takes place minutes before the big race. Every year, a large set of Chevy trucks parade around the track with current and past military personnel and heroes waving to the crowd from the truck beds. Members of the Hubler Auto team fill the driver and passenger seats of a few of the trucks each year. I drove one of them a couple of years ago!
Community Day at the Track – May 22
Community Day is a full day event at the track which encourages everyone to come and experience the track for themselves. Race drivers will be around to sign autographs and take pictures with fans. The best part—and my favorite—of Community Day is the chance to actually cruise the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in your own vehicle. Taking a lap in your car connects you so tangibly to the 97 years of racing tradition.
500 Festival Memorial Service – May 24
The Indy 500 events and festivities are held around Memorial Day Weekend, and Indy doesn’t forget the importance of the holiday weekend. The Friday before the race is always host to the 500 Festival Memorial Service. Held on the north steps of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument in Monument Circle, the service features notable speakers—like Mayor Ballard and Governor Pence—and a wreath-laying ceremony. Even if you aren’t able to make it to the service at 12pm, you can still enjoy it on your TV on WNDY.
These are some of my favorite events of the Indy 500 festivities each and every year. What are yours? Share your favorite memories and events with us in the comments sections below!