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 the organization’s founding in 1957. The 2018 IPL 500 Festival Parade will be held on May 26, 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.
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.
The Parade will be telecast locally on WTHR, Channel 13 and nationally on NBC Sports Network.