CityBeat: Race Weekend Takes Over

Month-long Excitement Culminates.  Take Part In What The City Offers To Celebrate The 500!


In the Community

The 500 Festival completes its month-long celebration of all things Indy with a final week of celebration.

Friday, May 26th – Memorial Service

Honoring the true tradition of Memorial Day, the event includes a wreath-laying ceremony dedicated to the memory of all Hoosiers in all wars and conflicts who sacrificed their lives in defense of the nation. Names of Indiana service members who have died in the past year are read aloud and memorialized. Monument Circle, 12 noon.

Friday, May 26th – Carb Night Burger Bash

Join Kevin Lee and Curt Cavin for a broadcast of Trackside Live at the Carb Night Burger Bash. The family friendly event is at Pan Am Plaza on Georgia Street for the second straight year, and features food, drinks, and a concert from Trent Harmon to conclude the event.

Pan Am Plaza for a family-friendly event with food and music, 5pm.

Holocaust survivor, Eva Kor, will be the Grand Marshall in the 2017 IPL 500 Festival Parade
Holocaust survivor, Eva Kor, will be the Grand Marshall in the 2017 IPL 500 Festival Parade

Saturday, May 27th – IPL 500 Festival Parade

The annual grand celebration carries the theme Accelerating the American Spirit, recognizing individuals who have overcome obstacles to achieve great things.

Holocaust survivor, activist, and charitable organization founder Eva Kor has the honor of being this year’s Grand Marshal. X Ambassadors, with their hit song “Renegades” – which also celebrates the theme of the parade – will kick off the event at the opening performance. All 33 drivers are honorary grand marshals and will appear in the parade along with scores of bands and floats from local organizations.

The parade starts at noon, and will travel south on Pennsylvania Ave and north on Meridian; click here for spectator information and the route map. 12 noon.

Saturday, May 27th – Snakepit Ball

Indy’s premier black-tie optional gala features the theme The Art of the Race: An Interactive Art Event. Elevated food, art, and music from X Ambassadors build up the night. 6pm.

Layout 1

At the Track

Qualifications wrapped up on Sunday, May 21, with the last practice held on Monday, so the field is set. (See early May’s post about how qualifications worked this year.) But there’s still lots to do before the green flag drops.

Friday, May 26th – Miller Lite Carb Day


The Indy Lights Freedom 100 race (40 laps in length) begins at 12:30pm, but there is a brief practice session for the main event drivers at 11am.

The Pit Stop Challenge, a popular event every year, follows the race and ends at 3pm.


Following the Pit Stop Challenge, Barenaked Ladies performs at the Turn 4 Carb Day stage, followed by headliner Steve Miller Band at 4:30.

Saturday, May 27th – Legends Day


The track opens in the morning for spectators to see the memorabilia show, the public drivers’ meeting, watch laps from historic race cars, as well as attend an autograph session with the field of 33.


Following the Indy Lights Freedom 100, Keith Urban with special guests Dustin Lynch and Clayton Anderson perform

Sunday, May 28th – The Indianapolis 500


Gates open at 6am. Tune to 1070 The FAN or 93.1 WIBC for up-to-the-minute traffic reports, parking lot capacity information, and anything you’d want to know about getting to the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing”: the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500.


Yep, there’s a concert on race day, now, too. The Snake Pit keeps its hard partying reputation and will feature a lineup of EDM and hip hop artists, headlined by Zedd, Marshmello, and Action Bronson.

Start your engines!

Zedd (left), Marshmello (top), and Action Bronson (bottom) will be performing at this years Snake Pit.