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Read this before you go to the 500 Festival Parade

Whether you still need tickets or just need advice on where to pee, we've got essential tips if you're heading to downtown.

INDIANAPOLIS — It's about that time! Downtown Indianapolis is readying to shut down for the 2023 AES 500 Festival Parade! But don't head to downtown Indy without getting a lay of the land. 

Parade festivities start at 11:45 a.m., with the parade beginning at noon along Pennsylvania Avenue. WTHR Channel 13 will air the parade on all its platforms.

You do need a ticket for the stands, so make sure to get one here if that's where you want to sit. 

Who to see 

Indy 500 drivers, Colts players and Indiana public officials will all be featured in the 500 Festival Parade. Here's the official lineup of who to expect and when: 

Opening Production

  • Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Motorcycle Drill Team and Trolley
  • Joint Services Color Guard
  • National Anthem
  • Flyover
  • Opening Performance by Colts Cheer, High Octane Drumline, and the Pacemates

The Lineup

  • Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Motorcycle Drill Team
  • Purdue University “All American” Marching Band, Purdue University
  • Sarah Fisher O’Gara – Chair of the 500 Festival Board
  • Kristina Lund – AES Indiana
  • AES Indiana Float – “AES Indiana”
  • Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Mounted Patrol Unit
  • Eric Holcomb – Governor of Indiana
  • Joe Hogsett – Mayor of Indianapolis
  • Indianapolis Public Schools All-City Marching Band
  • Official Indianapolis 500 Pace Car – Chevrolet Corvette Z06
  • 500 Festival Fuleing May Float with Grand Marshal Frank Shorter
  • La-Or-Ma Shrine Club’s Hiram’s Hot Rods
  • Kenny Moore II – Indianapolis Colts with Colts Cheer
  • Indianapolis Chinese Community Center, Inc.
  • Doug Boles – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
  • Row 11 Drivers: Sting Ray Robb, Jack Harvey, Graham Rahal
  • Tim Trilk – Indy Eleven
  • Gordon Pipers Float
  • Boy Scouts of America, Crossroads of America Council – Chevrolet Corvette C8
  • American Eagle Balloon
  • Big Idaho Potato Tour
  • Kevin Lin – Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
  • Clearfield Bison Band, Clearfield Area Jr./Sr. High School
  • Row 10 Drivers: RC Enerson, Katherine Legge, Christian Lungaard
  • Auburn, Indiana Car Museums, sponsored by DeKalb Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Regions Bank Float – “Regions Bank LifeGreen ‘Big Bike’ “
  • Private Adam Gaudin – Indianapolis Fire Department’s Firefighter of the Year
  • Sargent Ronald Shelnutt – Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s  Police Officer of the Year
  • Row 9 Drivers: Devlin DeFrancesco, Agustin Canapino, Callum Ilott
  • Renegade Equestrian Drill Team
  • Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers with Indiana Pacemates
  • IndyHumane’s Pet Adoption Wagon
  • The Force of Winchester, Winchester Community High School
  • Tara Cocanower – Indiana Teacher of the Year
  • Eli Lilly & Company Float – “Make Life Better”
  • Row 8 Drivers: Simon Pagenaud, David Malukas, Marco Andretti
  • Culver Mounted Color Guard
  • “Hoosiers” Movie Vehicles
  • Sydney Parrish and Mackenzie Holmes – Indiana University Women’s Basketball and IU Cheerleaders
  • Nationalities Council of Indiana
  • Carl Erskine Family + Ted Green
  • 500 Festival Princess Program Float, presented by The National Bank of Indianapolis
  • Row 7 Drivers: Romain Grosjean, Helio Castroneves, Colton Herta
  • Indiana All-Star Marching Band, National Band Association
  • Meijer Historic Delivery Truck
  • Republic Airways Float – “Your Takeoff Begins in Indy”
  • Ben Davis High School Diamondettes
  • Row 6 Drivers: Conor Daly, Josef Newgarden, Ryan Hunter-Reay
  • OneAmerica Walking Flag
  • Military Dept. of Indiana, Ceremonial Unit Caisson Horses
  • General Paul Nakasone – Commander, U.S. Cyber Command
  • Major General R. Dale Lyles – Adjutant General, Indiana National Guard
  • 38th Infantry Division Band, Indiana National Guard
  • Row 5 Drivers: Ed Carpenter, Scott McLaughlin, Kyle Kirkwood
  • Indiana State Festivals Association
  • Murat Shrine Indy 500 Club
  • Ballet Folklorico Mosaicos
  • Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Float – “A Healthier Future Ahead”
  • Mid-America Cowgirls Rodeo Drill Team
  • Row 4 Drivers: Marcus Ericsson, Benjamin Pedersen, Will Power
  • Tiger Pride Band, Northwestern High School
  • Ronald McDonald
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities Family
  • Shell / Pennzoil Float – “Shell V-Power NiTRO+ Performance Unbound Indy Car”
  • Susan G. Komen Engine of Hope
  • Row 3 Drivers: Alexander Rossi, Takuma Sato, Tony Kanaan
  • USIC Trucks
  • Montgomery County United Band
  • Rookie One Balloon, sponsored by WTHR
  • American Dairy Association Indiana Inc. Float – “Fueling Victory!”
  • Oscar Mayer Frankmobile
  • Row 2 Drivers: Santino Ferrucci, Pato O’Ward, Scott Dixon
  • Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum
  • Budweiser Clydesdales
  • Indianapolis Motor Speedway Float – “This is May”
  • Speedway 500 Regiment Band, Speedway High School
  • Row 1 Drivers: Rinus VeeKay, Felix Rosenqvist, Alex Palou

Where to watch 

The parade route will kick off at the American Legion Park and make a block around Michigan, Washington and Pennsylvania routes. 

Don't want to leave the house? Perfect. Tune into WTHR 13News at noon for the start of the parade. 

Where to park 

Arrive early downtown to give yourself plenty of time to find parking, according to parade organizers. Just relax and k now metered parking is limited, according to organizers. 

Here are a few downtown parking and traveling tips:

  • Arrive early and relax during peak exit times.
  • Parking is abundant. There are more than 66,000 parking spaces downtown.
  • Plan where you will park ahead of time. Plan your route ahead of time and carpool if possible. Prepare to park away from the event site.
  • Enter downtown from the side on which you plan to park and park facing the direction you intend to depart.
  • Plan to use a parking garage or lot. Metered parking is limited around special event areas.

Gate Ten is also an option for parking. 

Gate Ten is located directly across from Lucas Oil Stadium and close to the AES 500 Festival Parade. Shuttles will be available for parade day drop-off from Gate Ten Parking lot to the Indiana Convention Center (Door #6 at the Maryland Street Entrance) and back to GT Parking lot. 

It has easy access to I-70, so there’s no need to fight downtown traffic. 

Book with Gate Ten here.

Where to eat

Vendors like Moe's Southwest Grill, That Vegan Joint, Chef Dan's Food Truck and so many more will be set up along the parade route along Michigan, Washington and Pennsylvania.

Where to pee

We know you want to know. Keep these spots in mind. 

Before You Leave, Check This Out