SPEEDWAY, Ind. — All month long, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is encouraging fans to fill their yards with Race Day decorations for its Spectacle of Homes.
The spectacle is a month-long initiative to excite fans in advance of the Indy 500 after many traditional events like the 500 Festival Parade have been cancelled by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Michelle Lidy's home is practically next door to the Motor Speedway. So, sprinkling touches of race day throughout the front yard is not a new tradition. "It's been an investment over the years, adding to the experience and the festivities" she explained.
This year, though, there is a new sign in the yard designating that she's participating in IMS' Spectacle of Homes.
Lidy picked up a decorating kit at one of the track's designated pick-up locations. Each kit comes complete with checkered flags, yard signs and more to get you started.
As IMS President Doug Boles explained, "There's no specific criteria" when it comes to decorating your home. "We enjoy seeing just different interpretations of what the Indy 500 means to different people."
Boles said it's all about expressing creativity and passion for the Speedway community, which is something Lidy hopes her yard embodies with plenty of unique pieces.
She proudly shows off a homemade Borg-Warner Trophy. It's hand-crafted using a trash can and has been a staple in her front yard for the last 12 years.
"One year, there was a knock on my door the day before the race and my daughter said 'there's two guys here from Borg-Warner.'" she said. "And I thought, 'I am going to be in so much trouble for copyright infringement or something' and I'm panicking."
Instead, Lidy said they explained they saw her trophy while driving by and wanted to take pictures in front of it. "They gave us some Borg-Warner hats, and that was the coolest thing," she said.
There's a digital map online that includes Lidy's home and others that have decorated so you can drive by and see some for yourself.
With no 500 Festival Parade this year, some decorated homes could get a drive-by visit from IndyCar drivers the Saturday before the race.
"We'll have bout 30 or 40 homes or neighborhoods that we'll stop by and thank them for participating," Boles said.
The stands at the track certainly won't be packed this year since capacity has been significantly limited. Still, Lidy is expecting a full house of Race Day visitors and plans to leave a lasting impression. "What a huge surprise that would be to have a race car driver show up at the place you're camping," she said. "That's super cool."
IMS is encouraging its spectacle participants to show off their homes on social media too.