500 Forward

The Greatest Community in Racing

Formed as a natural evolution of the 100th Running Host Committee, 500 Forward is a collaborative community effort to elevate and extend celebrations surrounding the Indianapolis 500, consisting of 13 partner organizations paired with IMS to execute programming and events that celebrate the Greatest Month in Racing and drive the Indianapolis 500 into the next 100 years and beyond.

Organizations participating in 500 Forward include the 500 Festival, Arts Council of Indianapolis, City of Indianapolis, Downtown Indy, Hamilton County Tourism, Harrison Center for the Arts, IMS Museum, Indiana Humanities, Indianapolis Airport Authority, IndyHub, IndyCog, Speedway Chamber of Commerce and Visit Indy.

Indy 500 Porch Parties

In partnership with the Harrison Center for the Arts, Central Indiana residents are once again encouraged to celebrate the Month of May with officially registered porch parties. Last year, more than 500 events took place in backyards and neighborhoods throughout the state! Register your party now to be eligible for special surprises, deliveries, celebrity drop-ins and ticket giveaways. Party hosts are also encouraged to deck out your homes and front yards all month long to show us that you have the Greatest Porch in Racing. Be sure to tag photos with #PorchPartyIndy.

Porch Parties

A partnership with Downtown Indy, Inc. encouraging downtown workers to incorporate racing and the Indianapolis 500 into their Friday outfits. Wear your finest racing fashion every Friday in May to receive special discounts on lunch city-wide at participating restaurants. If you’re feeling competitive, post a photo of your outfit with #500FashionFridays for a chance to win special prizes. Be sure to keep an eye out for checkered step-and-repeat banners throughout the city and strike a pose in your best Indy 500 wardrobe. Find more information about 500 Fashion Fridays on Downtown Indy's website.

Bike to the 500

Join the second annual group bike ride to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the morning of the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500, organized by our partners at IndyCog. This year’s ride will take place on Race Day, Sunday, May 28. Riders will gather at City Market in downtown Indianapolis before heading out together on a safe, monitored bike route to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Last year, more than 800 fans participated. Help us set a new record this year! For more information, visit IndyCog’s website.

Bike to the 500
Welcome Race Fans

Five local artists have been commissioned by the Arts Council of Indianapolis to create unique, racing-themed pieces of art that will debut in late April and be placed throughout the community during the Month of May. Keep your eye out for the original artworks in the 500 Festival office windows along the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, as well as graphics featured on the Artsgarden building in downtown Indianapolis. For more information, visit www.welcomeracefansindy.org.

Welcome Race Fans
Georgia Street Activations

Enjoy activities and programming in downtown Indy all month long by checking out Georgia Street on Wednesdays and Fridays in May. Work on your fitness each Wednesday in May by joining IMS and other racing personalities for Workout Wednesday on Georgia Street from noon-12:45 p.m., rain or shine. You can also fuel up for the weekend by joining IMS and Downtown Indy, Inc. for Food Truck Fridays on Georgia Street. Grab lunch from your favorite food truck from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. each Friday in May. Enjoy special Month of May festivities to get you geared up for the weekend, and don’t forget to dress in your finest #500FashionFridays outfit for special offers and lunch discounts!

Georgia Street Takeovers
Main Street Speedway Activations

Join us for “Racing Through the Decades,” a decade-inspired tour throughout Main Street in Speedway. Taking place Friday, May 12 after INDYCAR Grand Prix qualifications, stop by Main Street to celebrate your favorite decade of the Indianapolis 500, hosted at Speedway’s best restaurants and bars. The event will feature vintage race cars, live music, specialty cocktails, delicious food and kid-friendly activities. The event is free and open to the public. Fans can also visit Main Street for the 11th annual “Rockin’ on Main” on Miller Lite Carb Day evening. Visit the Speedway Chamber of Commerce for more information.

Main Street Speedway

Count down to the 101st Running by taking a lap around Monument Circle, where you’ll find number panels from the historic IMS scoring pylon tracking the #500Countdown. Take a peek at the IPL sidewalk window display starting 33 days from the “500.” Also follow IMS on Instagram as we deliver #101Bottles of milk to race fans across the globe in the days leading up to the race.

500 Countdown
Downtown Décor Invasion

A collaboration with Visit Indy to deck out downtown Indianapolis in racing-themed décor. The Indianapolis skyline again celebrates the Month of May and the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 with a JW Marriott façade installation greeting residents and visitors from across the globe with a special, larger-than-life message. The 101st Running logo will be presented alongside a message that celebrates the iconic race and the city it calls home: ”The Greatest CITY in Racing.”

You can also strike a pose as you stroll through our city’s neighborhoods and cultural districts. Look for the #indywings art installations in Fountain Square, Broad Ripple and Irvington – and be sure to share your photo on social media.

Downtown Decor Invasion
Welcome Program

A collaboration with Visit Indy, the Indianapolis Airport Authority and Hamilton Country Tourism to ensure amped-up hospitality for visitors during the Month of May. This will include welcome signage at Indianapolis International Airport and 30-plus hotels in Indianapolis and Hamilton County. Taxi drivers also will receive special Indy 500 advocate training and checkered car flags.

Welcome Program
Midwest Engagement

IMS Historian Donald Davidson has expanded his speaking tour throughout the region promoting the Indianapolis 500 and its century-long ties to communities throughout the state and beyond. Last year, the popular program saw Davidson talk in most of the counties in the state of Indiana as part of the buildup to the historical 100th running of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” last May.

Davidson, believed to be the only full-time historian at a racetrack in the world, is participating in nearly 50 speaking engagements to promote the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on Sunday, May 28 at IMS. The program remains centered in Indiana, but additional dates are scheduled in Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio and Wisconsin through May and beyond. You can follow along Donald’s adventures on the road by following the IMS Museum on Twitter.

Midwest Engagement
500 Gives Back

A grant program administered by the 500 Festival as a legacy of the 100th Running Host Committee, 500 Gives Back supports community organizations implementing life-enriching events, activities and programs while also celebrating the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500. This year 10 organizations have been chosen to receive $33,000 in grant funding through the program: Indiana Recycling Coalition, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, Indy Reads Books, Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County, Christamore House Family and Community Center, Hearts and Hands of Indiana, New Hope of Indiana, George T. Goodwin Community Center and Englewood Community Development Corporation. For more information on the grant program and recipients, please visit www.500Festival.com.

500 Gives Back
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May 21