A 500 Festival Queen is more than great hair and a camera-ready smile. In a competition of communication skills, poise, academic performance, community and volunteer involvement, these young women—princesses for a time—are beyond beautiful smiles. 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.
“Being a 500 Festival Princess was always a dream of mine since I was a little girl,” says Jacob. “I vividly remember attending the 500 Festival Parade and pointing the float of princesses out to my mom. I would then ask her, ‘Who are they?’ and ‘How come they are princesses?'”
Those questions were answered when Jacob was not only crowned a princess, but later also a queen. Because of this, she was given a $2,500 educational scholarship for her junior year at Ball State University, where she studies public relations and communications. But to whom much is given much will be expected: Along with her scholarship and crown comes a list of activities to fill the next year.
Among making appearances throughout the week leading up to the race, participating in the pre-race and victory circle celebrations, or representing the 500 Festival for a year, being royalty is sure to keep Jacob and the princesses busy.
“I knew from the beginning that I was going to get out of it what I put into it,” says Jacob. “Therefore I was going to give it my all. My eye was never set on the G. Thrapp Jewelers queen crown, but more importantly on getting everything I could out of the opportunity I was given.”
BONUS: See what Jacob had to say about participating in the 500 Festival Memorial Service honoring fallen Armed Forces personnel.
Photo by Michael Schrader