500 Festival Princess Program

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Ambassadors for the 500 Festival


The 500 Festival Princess Program celebrates Indiana’s most civic-minded, poised, academically driven young women. Each year, 33 college-aged women are selected as 500 Festival Princesses and serve as ambassadors of the 500 Festival, their hometowns, and their colleges/universities. Since the program's founding in 1959, more than 1,800 Indiana women have experienced the honor of being selected as a 500 Festival Princess. Serving as a 500 Festival Princess provides young women with once-in-a-life-time experiences and countless opportunities for leadership and professional development.


In the months leading up to May, the 33 500 Festival Princesses are involved with statewide outreach programs, including visits to hospitals, schools and various youth programs. Princesses will attend and volunteer at all 500 Festival events throughout the month of May, are present at various Indianapolis Motor Speedway® functions, and participate in the pre-race ceremonies and Victory Circle celebration for the Indianapolis 500®.


Each 500 Festival Princess will participate in the program’s personal and professional development initiative, further empowering participants to make a profound impact within their community and the state of Indiana. In addition, each 500 Festival Princess will receive a $1,000 scholarship, made possible in part by Marlyne Sexton, an Indianapolis philanthropist and president of The Sexton Companies.


Additional support of the program is provided by: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Vera Bradley, The Sanctuary on Penn, retro 101, Macy’s, and the 500 Festival Foundation.

    • Sponsor Secondary