500 Festival princesses
The celebrities, color, pomp, and pageantry of the 2015 Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade, captured in photos.
Saturday in downtown Indianapolis, the 500 Festival Parade featured floats, fans, celebrities, and plenty of excitement as the city gets in the mood for the 2015 Indianapolis 500. Notables in attendance included Pacers Paul George and Frank Vogel, Indy 500 drivers Helio Castroneves and Scott Dixon, and former Colt and restaurateur Gary Brackett.
Colts punter Pat McAfee, Mayor Greg Ballard, IMS president Doug Boles, and others help the 500 Festival get the party started.
IM staff photographer Tony Valainis was on hand to capture the moments.
Andrew Luck, Josh Kaufman, Gracie Gold, Nick Goepper, and more chat with us about Race Day—but Michael Feinstein wins for the best answer.
"It is so nice to have a virgin experience at this stage in my life," says Michael Feinstein. "And so I will be coming with great expectations but no attachment to any particular driver."
The Ball State student earned a crown, a $2,500 scholarship, and a busy schedule of events.
Among more than 200 applicants, Allison Jacob was crowned this year's 500 Festival Queen at the Breakfast at the Brickyard on May 18. The three-month process whittled down those applicants to 32 princesses and a queen who serve as ambassadors of the 500 Festival and the Indianapolis 500. The young women selected represent 21 Indiana communities and nine Indiana colleges and universities.
With selection of the 500 Festival Queen set for Saturday, contestant Sydney Willmann details the rigors of competing for the honor.
After the January interviews, the girls wait nervously for results that same evening from the judges. Good news is given to 66 finalists, who are scheduled for a final interview in early February.