Princess Program 2017 Eligibility Requirements

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To participate in the 500 Festival Princess Program, you must:

  • Claim legal residence in the state of Indiana and be able to demonstrate proof of residency via a valid Indiana driver’s license.
  • Presently be enrolled as a full-time student at a fully accredited college or university located in the state of Indiana; be a full-time student through the spring 2017 semester, taking a minimum of 12 academic hours for undergraduate studies or a minimum of nine (9) academic hours for graduate studies; in good standing and not on scholastic probation.
  • Have maintained a cumulative college GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. If a candidate’s most recent semester’s GPA is above a 3.0, yet her cumulative GPA remains below a 3.0, the candidate will NOT be eligible for the 2017 500 Festival Princess Program.
  • Be female.
  • Be actively involved in at least one worthwhile extra-curricular college or community service activity.
  • Be 18 years of age by January 1, 2017, but no older than 23 years of age by May 31, 2017.
  • Be unmarried with no children, have never married and agree not to marry before May 31, 2017.
  • Candidates who have an immediate family member currently employed by the 500 Festival, currently serving on the 500 Festival Board of Directors, or currently employed by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are not eligible to apply.
  • Be able to attend and willing to make a 1-2 minute speech about herself at the 500 Festival Princess Reception on Saturday, April 22, 2017. 
  • Attend all mandatory 500 Festival events during the month of May (unless participating in graduation ceremonies).
  • Be able to provide their own transportation and parking (when determined) to and from all 500 Festival events and activities.
  • Each candidate must submit an online application by 11:59 pm ET on Sunday, January 8, 2017. 
  • Each candidate must submit an application packet by Friday, January 13, 2017. The application packet must contain the following: 
  1. Copy of valid Indiana driver’s license
  2. College transcript (can be official or unofficial)
  3. Three character references. Please include only the reference’s name, phone number and email address. Character references must not be family members. No letters please.
  4. Cover letter 
  5. Resume 
  • Each candidate must attend the first round of interviews for 500 Festival Princess selection, occurring on Saturday, January 21, 2017 in downtown Indianapolis. Failure to attend the selection interview will result in disqualification.
  • The top 66 candidates will proceed to the second round of interviews for the 500 Festival Princess Program, held on Saturday, February 4, 2017 in downtown Indianapolis. Failure to attend the selection interview will result in disqualification. 
  • All Princesses are eligible to be selected 500 Festival Queen.

Additional 500 Festival Princess Program Policies

  • Selection as a 2017 500 Festival Princess prohibits eligibility in any future 500 Festival Princess selections.
  • 500 Festival Princesses are expected to act professionally at all times. Inappropriate behavior and/or attire at 500 Festival, Indianapolis Motor Speedway (heretofore referred to as "IMS"), IndyCar, or related events can result in immediate dismissal. Immediate dismissal will occur after any of the following instances, but is not limited to: conviction of a felony or misdemeanor, illegal use of alcohol and/or drugs, public indecency, public nuisance, and/or any behavior deemed by the 500 Festival and/or the IMS as detrimental to the interest of the 500 Festival and/or the IMS, its representatives, sponsors, or licensees. In cases of dismissal, the Princess shall forfeit all rights, titles or claims to any title designations, prizes or awards.
  • Smoking and/or drinking alcoholic beverages are not allowed at 500 Festival/IndyCar/IMS events. We also ask that you refrain from drinking during your time as a 500 Festival Princess. Any Princess smoking and/or drinking at aforementioned events and/or while wearing Princess attire will be immediately dismissed.
  • 500 Festival Princesses may take part in contests, leadership development or other scholarship programs throughout their time in the 500 Festival Princess Ambassador Program. However, if another title is held and a scheduling conflict should arise, the Princess agrees to make the 500 Festival events and activities her top priority throughout the months of April and May.
  • The Princesses acknowledge it is in the interest and benefit of the 500 Festival and the IMS to make personal appearances on behalf of the 500 Festival and the IMS, including but not limited to, radio, television, other broadcast media, charitable service appearances, endorsement or advertising appearances, without compensation.
  • Fraternization between IndyCar staff, drivers, crew members, and guests of the IMS and/or the 500 Festival by Princesses during their term is forbidden by the 500 Festival. Such conduct may result in immediate dismissal and is at the sole discretion of the 500 Festival. The 500 Festival will act as the final decision maker on all issues of conduct as outlined in this agreement.
  • Concerning all outlets of social media: Inappropriate content posted on the internet, as determined by the 500 Festival, may lead to dismissal and/or other appropriate action by the 500 Festival. This rules also applies to sites and/or web pages with "private" settings.
  • Dismissal requires the relinquishing of all gifts you have received as a 2017 500 Festival Princess.
  • No Princess will participate in any outreach, media appearance, social media endeavor, or event as a 500 Festival Princess without the express consent from the 500 Festival's Vice President of Marketing & Communication. Additionally, all outreach endeavors must be coordinated with the Princess Program Manager.
  • Mandatory events are noted below. Excessive absenteeism and/or tardiness can result in your dismissal as a 500 Festival Princess.
  • One 500 Festival Princess will be selected to serve as the 500 Festival Queen. The 500 Festival Queen is required to attend all of the 500 Festival and Indianapolis Motor Speedway events throughout May. In addition, she will be asked to make media and publicity appearances on behalf of the 500 Festival. She will work closely with the 500 Festival staff to develop messaging, talking points and presentations.

Mandatory events for 2017 500 Festival Princesses:

Event Date
500 Festival Princess Program Orientation Friday, February 17 (evening) – Saturday, February 18
500 Festival Princess Program Reception Saturday, April 22
500 Festival Mini-Marathon Expo Thursday, May 4 & Friday, May 5 Each Princess must volunteer for one shift
OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Saturday, May 6
Chase 500 Festival Kids’ Day & Rookie Run   Saturday, May 13
500 Festival Breakfast at the Brickyard, presented by Midwestern Engineers, Inc.   500 Festival Volunteer Appreciation Day Saturday, May 20
500 Festival Memorial Service, presented by Rolls-Royce   Friday, May 26
IPL 500 Festival Parade   Saturday, May 27
KeyBank 500 Festival Snakepit Ball Saturday, May 27
Indianapolis 500 Sunday, May 28

NOTE: All dates/times are subject to change

As ambassadors for the 500 Festival, the 500 Festival Princesses play a critical role in the organization’s statewide outreach initiative. Each 500 Festival Princess will be responsible for securing appearances within her community. She will work closely with the 500 Festival staff to develop messaging, talking points and presentations. These appearances will take place February through May of 2017.

Encouraged Events for 500 Festival Princesses:

In addition to the mandatory activities, the 2017 500 Festival Princesses are encouraged to participate in other community and 500 Festival activities, including:

  • 500 Festival 6-Miler, presented by OrthoIndy: Saturday, March 11 (NOTE: professional development session will occur on this date as well)  
  • 500 Festival 10-Miler, presented by OrthoIndy: Saturday, April 8 (NOTE: professional development session will occur on this date as well) 
  • 500 Festival Kickoff to May: Wednesday, May 3
  • 500 Festival Princess Program’s personal and professional development sessions scheduled throughout Spring 2017
  • Mobile study trips for the 500 Festival & Indianapolis 500 Education Program, presented by Indiana University Health: March 2017
  • The Indianapolis St. Patrick’s Day Parade: March 2017
  • Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway: April 2017
  • Study trips for the 500 Festival & Indianapolis 500 Education Program, presented by Indiana University Health: April 2017
  • Visits to community centers, hometown schools, community organizations/associations and hospitals: February – May 2017

NOTE: All dates/times are subject to change