A tiara-clad princess dancing to a cover of Mellencamp’s “Hurt So Good” while wearing a four-foot IndyCar can mean only one thing: The month of May has arrived in Indianapolis.
The 500 Festival’s Kick-Off to May took over Monument Circle today and was just the first of over a dozen events that will lead up to the running of the Indy 500 on Sunday, May 29th. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the first race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
It was a cold start for the 500 Festival‘s premiere party as temperatures struggled to reach 50 degrees. Yet even the slightly chilling temperature couldn’t keep away race fans like David Chambers, who showed up nearly an hour early.
“I’ve been looking forward to the kick-off for a longtime,” said Chambers. “The buildup, the hype, I’ve just been waiting for the month of May to hit. Once May gets here, all other things don’t matter,” he added.
Chambers, a life-long Indy resident and race fan is so geared up for this year’s 100th anniversary race that he kitted out his automated scooter with a brand new IMS logo this morning. “I want people to know I’m a real race fan,” he said.
Just as the band took to the stage to officially open the festivities, the sun crested over the IPL building and provided some extra heat to the hundreds of passersby waiting for their free food. I suppose even Mother Nature is a 500 fan.
South Meridian was closed off during the community cookout so those in attendance could get their picture taken with the twelve 500 Festival Princesses on hand, as well as all 33 of the Chevrolet Camaro SS pace car replicas that have been speeding around town these last few weeks.
Race month is here Indianapolis, so gentlemen (and ladies), start your engines.