Adding color to downtown Indy since 1957!
One of the original events produced by the 500 Festival, the IPL 500 Festival Parade, has grown to be one of the signature events held in the United States each year. The parade is the only 500 Festival event that has taken place every year since our founding in 1957. The parade is held on the eve of the Indianapolis 500. 300,000 spectators are expected to line the streets of Indianapolis, joined by another one million watching from their televisions around the country, to view one of the nation’s premier parades, alongside the Pasadena Tournament of Roses and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
The IPL 500 Festival Parade allows all spectators to witness the pageantry and larger-than-life floats light up the streets of downtown Indianapolis. Well-known celebrities, costumed characters, marching bands, patriotic units, specialty units, spectacular floats and giant helium balloons will fill the streets to celebrate the world's largest single-day sporting event, the Indianapolis 500.
Grammy Award-winning violinist and producer Miri Ben-Ari, and entertainment technology dance group iLuminate, will perform live at the 2018 IPL 500 Festival Parade.
The opening production, performed in the VIP Zone, located on Pennsylvania Street, between Michigan Street and Vermont Street , will include an electrifying, high-energy performance from Miri Ben-Ari and iLuminate will lead a group of dancers, led by the Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders.
Miri Ben-Ari is a Grammy Award-Winning violinist, producer, and humanitarian, a “UN Goodwill Ambassador of Music” to the United Nations, a featured blogger, and CEO of the not-for-profit organization, Gedenk. Originally from Israel, she has created her own unique music; a revolutionary fusion of classical, Hip-Hop, soul and dance.
A classically trained violinist who once studied under the late classical master Isaac Stern, Ben-Ari has helped sell millions of records by collaborating with other Grammy award-winning artists such as Kanye West, Jay Z, Wyclef Jean, Alicia Keys, Wynton Marsalis, Britney Spears, Maroon 5, Akon, Patti Labelle, Brandy, Donna Summer, Janet Jackson, John Legend, Aventura, and Armin Van Buuren. Her album "The Hip Hop Violinist" on Universal Records features many of these collaborations.
Ben-Ari has been the face of many promotional campaigns, including Reebok, Vodafone, Pepsi, Coca-Cola and Harman Kardon.
Among Ben-Ari’s accolades are the “Grammy Award” for “Best Rap Song”, an “Apollo Legend” by the Apollo theater in New York City, “International Jewish Woman To Watch”, the “Martin Luther King Award” from Israeli President, Shimon Peres, “Remarkable Woman” by First Lady, Michelle Obama, “Girl Up Advocate Award” from the United Nations Foundation, and the “Ellis Island Medal of Honor” by Neco.
iLuminate is an entertainment technology dance group that combines state-of-the-art technology with electrifying entertainers who perform in the dark to create the ultimate performing arts experience. Founded by dancer and software engineer Miral Kotb, the group’s lighting effects and choreographed performances take viewers on an exhilarating ride. Once called “the best new act in America” during their run on America’s Got Talent in 2011, they’ve also performed alongside Grammy-winning superstars like Christina Aguilera, The Black Eyed Peas, David Guetta, and more. In 2012, iLuminate debuted, Artist of Light – their first theatrical production off-Broadway, in the heart of New York City and it continues to tour throughout the country today. On top of America’s Got Talent, they’ve been featured on Dancing with the Stars, X Factor, American Music Awards, MTV, BET, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and more.
The tradition continues with the 33 starting drivers of the Indianapolis 500 serving as honorary grand marshals the day before the race, riding in the traditional rows of three, with the winner of the pole position bringing up the rear.
This year's theme is "Illuminate. Innovate. Indianapolis."