Month of May Community Initiatives

Community Engagement

In the buildup to the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and numerous partner organizations will join forces to celebrate the collective impact and influence of The Greatest Spectacle in Racing. This community-focused initiative will generate several worthwhile programs and events that connect a wider audience to the Month of May and provide opportunities for individuals and groups to showcase their creativity, energy, fandom and civic pride.

Organizations revving this effort into high gear 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, Bike Indianapolis, Speedway Chamber of Commerce, Visit Indy, the Indiana Pacers, Indianapolis Colts, Indy Eleven and more to be announced.

This isn’t just any month. It’s ours, the one we live for all year long. Raise Your Flag. May is Here. #ThisIsMay.  View community calendar.

Learn more about specific programs already underway below.

Porch Parties
500 Fashion Fridays
Bike to the 500
Welcome Race Fans
Main Street
Downtown Decor
Welcome Program
Midwest Engagement
Milk Bottles
Handlebar Hot Laps
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 by registering for official porch parties. Everyone loves a good party and Indy 500 Porch Parties are no exception. There’s no better way to welcome the arrival of spring and the most magical month of the year in Central Indiana than by holding your own racing-themed porch party. Share your Porch Party photos on social media with the hashtag #PorchPartyIndy to show off how you May.

Porch Parties

Not only are 500 Fashion Fridays back, we’ve partnered with Downtown Indy, Pattern, Rev, and Simon Malls to turbocharge fan engagement! Before heading to a participating restaurant to receive your discount, race over to select malls and take a photo at one of the IMS Vignettes. Wear your best Month of May attire and share it on social using #500Fashion along with #PickMe for a chance to win prizes from both the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Simon Malls.

With the help of Susan Decker Media, we are teaming with restaurants around the city to offer discounts every Friday in May when you come in rockin’ your best #500Fashion Friday style. Check out this list of participating locations.

500 Fashion Fridays
Bike to the 500

Join the fourth annual group bike ride to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Race Morning of the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, organized by our partners at Bike Indianapolis. This year’s ride will take place on Race Day, Sunday, May 26. Riders will gather at City Market in Downtown Indianapolis before heading out together on a safe, monitored bike route to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

For the first time ever, participants will have easy and convenient access to the facility as riders will be able to park right outside of Gate One at the Racing Capital of the World. This is as close as it gets to all of Race Day’s most exciting action. Let’s keep the wheels turning to the track for year four!

Bike to the 500
Welcome Race Fans

The most popular words you’ll see hanging from balconies and porches during the Month of May in Indianapolis! Once again, a fantastic collaboration with the Arts Council of Indianapolis has created original artwork themed around “Welcome Race Fans”. This year’s artists are: Amiah Mims, Sharon Jiskra Brooks, Kat Silver, Daren Redman and Armando Arced. Art will be on display downtown in the windows of IPL’s building on the circle and on the Arts Garden, but you can also spot installations on the Indy Reads Building, The Lodge in Irvington and along Main Street in Speedway!

Welcome Race Fans
Main Street Speedway Activations

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway almost never sleeps during May, and neither does nearby Main Street in the Town of Speedway. One of the events to highlight and circle on your calendar should be “Taste of Speedway” on Thursday, April 18th! Sample delicious appetizers from various Speedway Establishments and network with neighbors and local business leaders. If you’re more on the athletic side, make sure to sign up for “Run with Racers” and join the Speedway Running Club and Speedway Bike Club as walkers, runners, and bikers venture through the streets of Speedway. Be sure to grab a brew or two after! As Race Weekend quickly approaches, make sure you stop on Main Street for the 13th annual “Rockin’ on Main” on Carb Day evening, Friday, May 24.

Main Street Activations
Downtown Décor Invasion

Downtown Décor Invasion is a collaboration with Visit Indy, the Indianapolis Airport Authority and Hamilton Country Tourism to ensure the characteristic hospitality of Indianapolis is obvious for visitors during the Month of May. Make sure to grab your photo with the huge Month of May-themed decal on the JW Marriott (we hear the view from the parking garage across the street can’t be beat!) or search the streets for your favorite driver with our commemorative street signs! View Street Sign Locations.

Traveling in or out of the city? Make sure you snag a photo with the Indy car in Civic Plaza at the Indianapolis Airport. When staying in the Indy area, ask your concierge or check out one of our information tables with schedules, maps, great local restaurants and more!

Downtown Decor
Welcome Program

In another collaboration with our friends at Visit Indy, the Indianapolis Airport Authority and Hamilton County Tourism, we are working to ensure hospitality is turbocharged for visitors during the Month of May! Visit one of the more than 30 hotels throughout downtown and Hamilton County and ask the front desk for anything you need to know about May. They’ll be ready to help!

Welcome Program
Midwest Engagement

IMS Historian Donald Davidson is continuing his speaking tour throughout the region promoting the Indianapolis 500 and its century-long ties to communities throughout the state and beyond. This is the fourth consecutive year the popular and beloved Davidson has shared his incredible knowledge with fans through these chats and question-and-answer sessions.

Midwest Engagement
Milk Bottles

Milk bottles are presented to a wide swath of groups and organizations in the greater Indianapolis area that work tirelessly and often behind the scenes to help ensure the “500” remains a thrilling, unforgettable event for hundreds of thousands of fans at IMS.

Commemorative Indianapolis 500 milk bottles are delivered every year to various celebrities, VIPs and civic officials across the globe.

HandleBar Hot Lap

Does your team have what it takes to take on other Downtown Indy businesses in a 48-team, single elimination HandleBar race? Grab your colleagues and get them revved up for the HandleBar Hot Lap!

Races will start at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, May 17th on Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis.

Outrun The Sun

If you filled IMS to capacity 12 times, you’d see the number of Americans diagnosed with skin cancer every year. Don’t be one of them! IMS is teaming with Outrun the Sun and IndyCar Series drivers Josef Newgarden, Conor Daly and Jack Harvey to remind fans to be sun safe.

When you’re heading to IMS, wear sunscreen, hats and sunglasses. Attending the Indy 500? Visit sun safety stations near Gates 1, 3, 6, 9 and the Midway for free sunscreen and UV wristbands. Watch for sun safety messages on the video boards and in your race program.

First Responders Day

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is excited to announce First Responders Day will return on Wednesday, May 15. We will thank our First Responders by admitting free attendance for practice of the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 Presented by Gainbridge*. First Responders can also show their department badge or proof of employment at our Trackside Credential Office to receive 2 wristbands allowing pit and garage access for the day (must be 18 years or older).

If you have any questions about First Responders Day please email us at

*Tickets are still required for gate admission. First Responders are encouraged to contact their public information officer for more information on how to access tickets.

IMS Community Coaster Answers

Be on the lookout for our This Is May Community Coasters at local Indianapolis bars and restaurants! The answers for this year’s community coasters can be found below.

Month of May Word Scramble
HandleBar Hot Lap - Teams race head to head on HandleBar pedal bikes around Monument Circle.
Mini Marathon - The Greatest Spectacle in Running is a 13.1-mile foot race that includes a lap around the IMS oval.
Carb Day - Features the final practice before the Indy 500, Freedom 100, Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge, and a loaded concert lineup.
Welcome Race Fans - 5 local artists chosen by the Indy Arts Council to create pieces which must include these 3 words to traditionally welcome visitors to Indy in May.
Snake Pit - The ultimate concert party inside turn 3 on Indy 500 Race Day.
INDYCAR Grand Prix - The first official race in May on the road course at IMS.
500 Fashion - Fans are encouraged to show off their Month of May style every Friday in May to celebrate and get discounts at participating restaurants.

Show the World How You May Crossword
1. Porch Parties
3. Milk
5. Legends Day
6. Bike to the 500
2. Indy Wings
4. Indy 500

Indy Wings

Give a local artist creative freedom to rethink the famed Wing and Wheel and what do you get? A really fun, really cool, interactive art piece that’s perfect for sharing on social media! #IndyWings are back in places like Fountain Square, Mass Ave, Broad Ripple, Speedway, Westfield and Noblesville. We’re excited to announce you can also grab a photo in several new locations this year: Fishers, Franklin Township and Simon Malls (Circle Center, Greenwood, Castleton, and The Fashion Mall at Keystone).