Memorial Day and Indianapolis 500 guide

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Indianapolis is gearing up for Memorial Day weekend. As always, 2013 is packed with family-friendly events. Use this guide to get you started and plan your weekend!

First, be aware of street closures. Several streets will be closed and many downtown streets that normally have parking will be closed to parking.

Friday, May 24:

Join Indianapolis officials and residents as they pay special tribute to our military and fallen Hoosier soldiers at the 500 Festival Memorial Service presented by Rolls Royce taking place on Monument Circle at noon. General Daniel B. Allyn, 20th commander of United States Army Forces Command will be the featured speaker. Afterwards, head to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Coors Light Carb Day, featuring legendary rock band Poison starting at 3:30 p.m. Admission is $20.

Saturday, May 25: 

The IPL 500 Festival Parade takes place on Saturday, May 25, from noon to 1:30 pm in downtown Indianapolis. Tickets cost $32-$14.50. You can see the 33 starting drivers, the Indiana Fever as grand marshal, plus dozens of floats and giant helium balloons.

See the parade route here.

Head to the Elbow Room Pub and watch the parade from the patio or dining room!  Breakfast is served from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Family dining will also be available in a smoke-free environment. The Skyline Club is offering a 500 Parade Brunch at 10 a.m. for $24.95 for brunch only or a combo price (brunch and parade) of $42.95 for adults and various discounted prices for children. Reservations required; call 263.5000.  Reserve a seat for parade viewing at Hoosier Park's Winners Circle patio. Guests 18 and older will have a front row seat - $20, plus $15 minimum purchase each. Reserve ahead at 656.7223 or pay at the door.

At the Motor Speedway, check out Legends Day at the Indy 500 honoring legendary racer, Parnelli Jones. Other events include a memorabilia show, vintage Spring Car and Midget Displays and the world's largest autograph session with Indianapolis 500 veterans from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Sunday, May 26:

The Indianapolis 500 takes place Sunday, May 26.

Need a ride to the race?  Take a roundtrip bus from one of three Downtown locations: Sodrel Truck Lines Lot, IUPUI campus or Hampton Inn.  Pre-race shuttles will run from 8 a.m. - noon to the track.  Return shuttles run for two hours post-race.  The cost is $25 per person (round-trip or one-way) or $40 per person (guaranteed seat at specific time) for the premium upgrade. For more information for Downtown locations visit or look below to see which color coded route works best:

1. Pink Route
 Downtown South location - Sodrel Truck Lines North Lot
1220 S. West St., Indianapolis (Corner of West and Morris streets)

2. Black Route
Downtown North location – IUPUI
IUPUI Parking Lots 73 & 92 (Corner of Michigan and California streets)

3. Purple Route
Downtown location – The Hampton Inn
105 S. Meridian St., Indianapolis (Across from Circle Centre and Hard Rock Café)

Beat the Heat!
The Pacers have advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2004! Game three against the Miami Heat takes place at Bankers Life Fieldhouse Sunday, May 26 at 8:30 p.m. The crowd will be "checkered-out" for race day – every fan in attendance will receive a Pacers checkered t-shirt! A pre-game will begin on Pennsylvania Street outside the Fieldhouse at 5 p.m. with a fenced-off area serving beer for fans 21 and older. The Pacers are anticipating another sell-out crowd of 18,165.

Indy 500 Sunday schedule:

5:30 am - Gates Open - Track
7 am - 4:00 pm - Snake Pit presented by Miller Lite - Inside Turn 3
7 am - 6:00 pm - Social Media Garage Open - Garages 34 and 35
8 am - Parade of Bands - Track
9 am - 2:00 pm - Kids Zone - Lot N
9:30 am - Celebrity Red Carpet - Plaza
9:45 am - 500 Festival Princesses Lap - Track
10 am - Performance by Diplo - Snake Pit
10:15 am - "Banks of the Wabash" Performed by the Purdue University All-American Marching Band - Track
10:40 am - Winning Drivers Lap - Track
10:50 am - Decade Race Car Laps - Track
10:55 am - 60th Anniversary Chevrolet Corvette Pace Car Lap - Track
11:10 am - Military Parade Lap - Track
11:33 am - Driver Introductions - Track
11:40 am - Military March - Track
11:43 am - "America the Beautiful" - Track
11:45 am - Military Recognition - Track
11:47 am - "God Bless America" performed by Florence Henderson - Track
11:49 am - Invocation - Track
11:52 am - Taps - Track
11:54 am - National Anthem - Track
12:03 pm - "Back Home Again in Indiana" Performed by Jim Nabors - Track
12:03 pm - Balloon Spectacle - Track
12:04 pm - "Ladies & Gentlemen, Start Your Engines" by Mari Hulman George - Track
12:12 pm - 97th Running Of The Indianapolis 500 (200 Laps) - Track
12:30 pm - Performance by Afrojack - Snake Pit
6 pm - Gates Close - Track

Other Downtown fun this weekend:

Humanoid automatons and landspeeders are coming to life at the Indiana State Museum! The museum will be hosting the grand opening of the Star Wars®: Where Science Meets Imagination exhibit May 24 from midnight to 4 a.m. Tickets are $50 and include admission, the Millennium Falcon interactive experience, a chance to win prizes and a commemorative gift. Unable to attend the midnight opening? The exhibit runs through Sept. 2 and is $10 in addition to general admission. Explore the six films, the science used behind them and see actual props and costumes. Call 317.232.1637 for ticketing information or visit
Head over to Fountain Square this weekend for a night of dancing and dining. Beginning Swing Dance Lessons start at 7:30 p.m. May 24 at The Fountain Square Theatre and are followed by The Stardusters at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $12 at 7:30 and $10 at 8:30 p.m. Afterwards, head over to the seasonal opening of the Rooftop Garden for dinner provided by End of the Line Public House. Guests must be 21 or older. For more information, visit

The Indianapolis Museum of Art hosts the "Hold It!" family activity on May 25 from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m., offering the whole family hands-on experience with different types of art, artist materials and art samples. Visit for more.

Chef Joseph's at The Connoisseur Roomis the place to be on Friday and Saturday night if you are looking to enjoy good music and great meals in a relaxing ambiance. Enjoy FREE entertainment during your dining experience provided by John Phillips May 24 and Barbara Randall May 25. Visit

There is something for all ages at the Indianapolis Propylaeum. On May 24, the Prop hosts a Wine Pairing and Eight Course Dinner from 7 – 10 p.m. for $75. Bring the children to the Teen Mystery Dinner May 25 from 5 – 8 p.m. for $20.  Call 638.7881or visit

Luenell: The Uncut Diva performs live at Old National Centre May 24 at 9 p.m. Tickets range from $32 - $62. Visit for ticket information.

Bring the family and friends to Lucas Oil Stadium Friday at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. or Saturday at 2, 4 and 6 p.m. to receive special "Parade Day" tours of the facility. Adult admission is $10 and children ages 4-12, seniors and military are $7. Visit or call 262.8600.

Visit the Children's Museum through May 31 and receive $6 off adult admission prices with a paid youth admission.  Get your discount coupon here  Be sure to check out the Hot Wheels For Real exhibit, which ends May 27.  Keep the race spirit alive with full-sized Hot Wheels® cars.

As part of the Blue Star Museums program, the following museums will offer FREE admission from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2013 to all active duty military personnel and their families. Visit to learn more.

Cap off your Memorial Day weekend at Victory Field for the Indianapolis Indians game against the Pawtucket Red Sox the evening of Memorial Day.  Come hungry to the ballpark because Monday Dollar Menu will be in full-swing! Hot dogs, peanuts, Cracker Jack, popcorn and potato chips are all $1 each. Game time is 6:05 p.m. Visit

Downtown parking and traveling tips:

Everyone can find parking, arrive at their destination on time and enjoy all the excitement this weekend if a few simple tips are followed. 


  • Plan your driving & walking route into and through Downtown ahead of time.
  • Use interstates to travel to and leave Downtown.
  • Enter Downtown from the side on which you plan to park. 
  • Allow plenty of extra travel time to Downtown.
  • Be aware that travel through Downtown will be limited to streets away from the core area.
  • Relax during peak exit times.
  • Wear comfortable shoes, park once and enjoy the walk.
  • Carpool or use IndyGo if possible.
  • Download the "Indy Downtown" App for iPhone or Android phones at   


  • Downtown parking is abundant.  There are more than 72,500 parking spaces Downtown.
  • Log onto for Downtown maps with attraction and parking information.  Print out the map and bring it with you. 
  • Select a couple of parking alternatives before you leave home.
  • Plan to use a garage or lot.  Most meters near the event sites are restricted during this time. 
  • Some parking facilities and lots may not be open to the public.
  • NOTE: Parking meters will be FREE all day Sunday, May 26 and Monday, May 27 (Memorial Day holiday).

(Info from