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Eleven Ways Indy is Revving Up for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing

MAY 17, 2022

The Month of May is in full swing, and Indy is overflowing with all sorts of engaging activities, events and initiatives to help race fans get excited for the 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500.

From adopting a pet to throwing a porch party, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has laid out all sorts of ways that residents and visitors alike can rev up their excitement for the race on May 29. Read through their list below, and don’t forget to use the hashtag #ThisIsMay when posting about across social media.

The 500 Spectacle of Homes

Exemplify the spirit of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” by being a part of 500 Spectacle of Homes to help build anticipation and excitement for the 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge! Decorate your yard or home in race-themed fashion, host a fun Porch Party and show off that amazing civic pride that runs deep with all of us Hoosiers. This month-long celebration culminates Wednesday, May 25 as lucky chosen homes will be selected to get a visit from NTT INDYCAR Series drivers. The selected homes will also be entered into a drawing for a chance to ride on the IMS float in the AES 500 Festival Parade on Saturday, May 28. Register your home at IMS.com/Spectacle!

Welcome Race Fans” 

Art depicting the most popular words you’ll see during the Month of May will “Welcome Race Fans” Back Home Again to Indianapolis. This collaborative project between the Arts Council of Indianapolis and IMS will connect art to this historic race as five commissioned artists will have their artwork displayed all across Central Indiana. Artwork will be displayed at the following location: Main Street in Speedway, Simon Malls (Castleton, Keystone, Greenwood, Hamilton Townsquare), Indianapolis International Airport, Saks Fifth Avenue at Keystone Mall, Arts Council Artsgarden and select areas at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

This year’s artists are JD Bills, Mirvia Sol Eckert, HH, Mary Mindiola and Lucie Rice. Their “Welcome Race Fans” signs will also be featured on posters, postcards and coasters at select bars and restaurants.

Downtown Décor

The Indy 500 Downtown Décor Invasion is a collaboration with the Indianapolis Airport Authority and Visit Indy to ensure the characteristic hospitality of Indianapolis is obvious for visitors during the Month of May. Beautiful signage will take over the following locations: the Indianapolis International Airport, the JW Marriott, Georgia Street, the Artsgarden, Simon Malls (Castleton, Keystone, Greenwood, Hamilton Townsquare) and Harry and Izzy’s. Downtown Indianapolis streets will also be renamed after the star athletes of the Indianapolis 500.

Indy 500 Porch Parties

Porch Parties are an incredibly popular part of the Indy 500 celebration and serve as a great example of the community spirit this city has for the Indianapolis 500. In collaboration with the Harrison Center for the Arts, race fans are encouraged to celebrate the Month of May by hosting a fun racing-themed porch party that helps neighbors connect, build local communities and celebrate the spirit of the Indianapolis 500.

500 Fashion

500 Fashion unites race fans, fashionistas and everyone who wants to show some Month of May style — because the best way to show off your racing spirit is by wearing it! Central Indiana residents are encouraged to incorporate racing and the “500” into their attire on the remaining Fridays of May, called #500Fashion Fridays: May 20 and May 27.

Bike to the 500

For several years, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Bike Indianapolis have collaborated to offer race fans a safe and healthy commute to the Speedway on Race Day through Bike to the 500. New this year, the Race Day commute starts at the AMP at 16 Tech and follows a police escort to the racetrack, where cyclists will then park outside the famed Gate 1. This year, Bike to the 500 is expanding to allow for bike parking at IMS all month long. This is as close as it gets to all of Race Day’s most exciting action! To secure your spot in line, be sure to register today at Biketothe500.eventbrite.com.

106 Animals Adoption

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is partnering with Indianapolis Animal Care Services to drive fans and the community to adopt, donate and support the shelter during the Month of May. The goal is to encourage the community to support/adopt 106 animals currently available through the shelter. For those that can’t adopt, race fans are encouraged to donate a minimum of $1.06 toward the shelter.

Handlebar Hot Laps

Every year, the IMS revs up excitement for the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge by bringing local businesses and race fans together. Handlebar Hot Laps make colleagues work together and take on other Indianapolis businesses in a 48-team tournament-style Handlebar race with the ultimate bragging rights on the line. This year’s Handlebar Hot Laps will take place Friday, May 20. Be sure to register here.

Community Day

Indianapolis 500 Community Day was created to teach students in kindergarten through 8th grade about the importance of nutrition, well-being and physical fitness, and to offer a real-world perspective into the motorsports industry. Each year, the IMS focuses on bringing together drivers entered in the Indianapolis 500 and children in local Indianapolis schools. On Wednesday, May 25, several drivers will visit Wayne Township Schools, Speedway Schools and charter schools located around Speedway, impacting more than 2,000 students.

AES 500 Festival Parade

The AES 500 Festival Parade is one of the nation’s largest and most respected parades, earning national acclaim alongside the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. After a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the parade returns to Indianapolis’ downtown streets on Saturday, May 28! More than 300,000 people will line the city to experience larger-than-life floats, giant helium balloons, celebrities and dignitaries, award-winning bands and all 33 drivers competing in the Indianapolis 500.

Indy Wings

Indy Wings returns this year bigger than ever as an integral part of the welcoming décor around Central Indiana. Indianapolis Motor Speedway graphic designer Shae Beechler created this year’s “wings” – an ode to the famed IMS “Wing and Wheel” logo and the Back Home Again marketing campaign. Indy Wings provide a perfect Instagram photo opportunity for fans, pedestrians and business customers. Stay on the lookout because 2022 Indy Wings locations will be around Downtown Indianapolis, Main Street in Speedway, Clay Terrace Mall, Noblesville and Westfield.






Living in Fountain Square, Seth is an arts and entertainment writer, often covering Indy's burgeoning music and theatre scenes.