The 500 Festival Parade will not happen for a second consecutive year, organizers said Tuesday.
The 500 Festival organization also canceled in-person participation for most other events during the month of May, although some events will happen as “invitation only” with strict adherence to health guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic, organizers said in a news release. The 500 Festival events were scheduled in advance of the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 30.
In place of the canceled parade, the 500 Festival group and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will have “500 Spectacle of Homes,” an effort to encourage people to decorate their homes and yards for the race. The event also will include a caravan of the 33 Indianapolis 500 drivers, who will make their way from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to surrounding neighborhoods and downtown Indianapolis on May 29.
Here is the list of cancellations along with virtual and invitation-only events:
- The Kickoff to May Coloring Contest will return in April for Indiana children 12 and younger.
- The 500 Festival Kickoff to May on May 5 will be open only to the news media.
- The OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and 5K, as announced March 1, will be virtual.
- 500 Festival Kids’ Day on May 15 will not happen. An online interactive Kids’ Day will happen the same day.
- 500 Festival Rookie Run for kids ages 3-10 will be virtual.
- 500 Festival Breakfast at the Brickyard on May 22 will be invitation-only at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
- The American Legion 500 Festival Memorial Service on May 28 will be invitation-only at the Indiana War Memorial. WISH-TV will provide a livestream of the event, and rebroadcast it on Memorial Day, May 31.
- 500 Festival Off the Grid, a black-tie event, will not happen.
The festival is turning its volunteer program into a virtual experience as well.
Also, The 500 Festival & Indianapolis 500 Education Program will not happen. Instead, teachers in the program will receive information on virtual resources for classrooms. Wish-TV