Eligibility Requirements

500 Festival Princess Eligibility Requirements

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500 Festival Princess Eligibility Requirements

How are the 33 Princesses selected?
Selection is based on personal projection, motivation and commitment. The 33 women chosen to represent the 500 Festival should possess the following characteristics:

  • Strong desire to serve others through community service – volunteerism
  • Team player with the ability to work well with others
  • Maturity and responsibility
  • Exceptional poise and professionalism          
  • Academic achievement
  • Hard worker
  • Patience and flexibility
  • Great sense of humor
  • High energy level
  • Unselfish and willing to give of herself to others

A panel of independent and diverse judges will interview all candidates on January 24, 2015. The top 66 candidates will proceed to a second round of interviews on February 7, 2015. The final 33 Princesses will be selected and notified on that day. 

Criteria for the 2015 500 Festival Princess Program:

  • Be a resident of Indiana and presently be enrolled as a full-time student through spring semester at a fully accredited college or university located in the state of Indiana; 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 2015 500 Festival Princess Program. 
  • Be female. 
  • Be involved in at least one worthwhile extra-curricular college or community service activity. Please keep in mind that simply being a member of a sorority is not enough; we need to know that you are actively involved in your college/university or hometown. 
  • Be the age of 18 by January 1, 2015, but be no older than 23 years of age by May 31, 2015. 
  • Be single with no children, and have never married and agree not to marry before May 31, 2015. 
  • Claim legal residence in the state of Indiana and be able to demonstrate proof of residency via a valid Indiana state driver’s license. 
  • Candidates who have at least one immediate family member either currently employed by the 500 Festival, currently serving on the 500 Festival Board of Directors, or is an employee of 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 18th as part of the Public Speaking Competition for the selection of the 2015 500 Festival Queen. 
  • Be available for all 500 Festival events during the month of May (unless participating in graduation ceremonies).
  • Be able to provide their own transportation to and from all 500 Festival events and activities.
  • All Princesses are eligible to be selected 500 Festival Queen. When a Princess is selected as the 2015 500 Festival Queen, she must furnish evidence of her intent to continue her formal education in order to take advantage of the 2015 500 Festival Queen’s scholarship.
  • Each candidate will submit an online application by Friday, January 9, 2015. 
  • Each candidate will submit an application packet which must contain the following: copy of her valid Indiana driver’s license, college transcript (can be either official or unofficial), cover letter and resume. The application packet must be received or postmarked by January 16, 2015. No exceptions.
    • First Round of Princess Selection will occur on Saturday, January 24, 2015. Failure to attend the selection interview will result in disqualification and the applicant will not be allowed to make up the interview.
    • The top 66 candidates will proceeded to the Second Round of Princess Selection on February 7, 2015. If selected for the second round of interviews, candidates must provide by Tuesday, January 27, 2015, three (3) character references who are not family members—name, phone number and email address only. No letters please.
    • Selection as a 2015 500 Festival Princess prohibits eligibility in any future 500 Festival Princess selections.
    • Participants may not endorse products or appear in advertisements as a representative of the 500 Festival without written consent of the President/CEO of the 500 Festival.
    • 500 Festival Princesses may take part in any other type of pageant or contest throughout their reign. However, if another pageant 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 Month of May.
    • The decision of an independent panel of judges for the 2015 500 Festival Princesses and the selection of the 500 Festival Queen will be final.
    • While representing the 500 Festival, Princesses will conduct themselves at all times in such a manner as is consistent with the highest moral and ethical standards. This includes, but is not limited to, avoidance of all of the following: a conviction of felony or misdemeanor; alcohol or other drug abuse/solicitation; nudity, full or partial; public nuisance; inappropriate posts and pictures within any and all social media outlets; and/or behavior deemed by the 500 Festival as detrimental to and in depreciation of the interests of the 500 Festival, its representatives, sponsors or licensees. The Princesses will forfeit all rights, title, or claim to any title designations, gifts, or awards, conferred upon her immediately as a result of any conduct which, in the sole discretion of the 500 Festival, is deemed to be adverse to the interests of the 500 Festival, their representatives, sponsors or licensees. In addition, an alternate Princess with the 34th highest Princess Selection score will be selected to replace the dismissed Princess in all of her duties, activities, and gifts.
    •  The Princesses acknowledge that it is in the interest and benefit of the 500 Festival to make personal appearances on behalf of the 500 Festival and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, including, but not limited to, appearances and performances on radio, television, or any other broadcast media and charitable service, endorsement, or advertising appearances, without compensation. The Princesses will comply faithfully with such reasonable requests for personal appearances. Absence or habitual tardiness will constitute the relinquishment of the 2015 500 Festival Princess title and gifts. 

A 500 Festival Princess Will:

  • Represent the 500 Festival by actively supporting its mission, values, and goals.
  • Serve by attending and actively participating in 500 Festival statewide outreach initiatives in their hometown, as well as serving at required events and social functions.
  • Volunteer in activities surrounding the 500 Festival and Indianapolis Motor Speedway throughout the Month of May.
  • Learn by taking advantage of opportunities for personal development, volunteerism, and community involvement.
  • Contribute by working and volunteering at 500 Festival activities side by side with your fellow Princesses.
  • Have fun and make new friends through festival volunteerism – one of the most rewarding and enjoyable aspects of participation in the 500 Festival Princess Program.

Please review the following schedule of important dates in the 500 Festival Princess Selection process. If selected as a 500 Festival Princess, you MUST attend the following events. Failure to do so will result in immediate disqualification from the 500 Festival Princess Program. ALL EVENTS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

In 2015, the 500 Festival Princesses will commit to the following MANDATORY events:

  • 500 Festival Princess Program Orientation Weekend:
    • Friday, February 20th (evening)
    • Saturday, February 21st (all day)
  • 500 Festival Princess Program Reception: Saturday, April 18
  • 500 Festival Princess Program Queen interviews: Saturday, April 25
  • 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Expo: April 30-May 1
  • OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon: Saturday, May 2  
  • Chase 500 Festival Kids’ Day & Rookie Run: Saturday, May 9
  • 500 Festival Breakfast at the Brickyard: Saturday, May 16
  • Volunteer Appreciation Day: Saturday, May 16
  • 500 Festival Memorial Service, presented by Rolls-Royce: Friday, May 22
  • IPL 500 Festival Parade: Saturday, May 23
  • Indianapolis 500: Sunday, May 24

As ambassadors for the 500 Festival, the 500 Festival Princesses will be asked to play a role in the 500 Festival statewide outreach initiatives. Each 500 Festival Princess will be responsible for securing appearances close to or in her hometown and will work closely with the 500 Festival’s Program and Event Manager  to develop messaging, talking points, and presentations. These appearances will take place in February through May of 2015. In addition to the above REQUIRED activities, the 2015 500 Festival Princesses are also encouraged to participate in the following activities. If a Princess chooses to participate in one of these activities, she is responsible for her own transportation.

  • 500 Festival Miler Series, presented by OrthoIndy: Saturdays—March 7 and April 11
  • 500 Festival Princess Program Royalty Roundtable: these dates will be scheduled throughout the spring of 2015
  • 500 Festival Education Program Study Trip: these dates will be scheduled throughout the spring of 2015
  • Indianapolis' St. Patrick’s Day Parade: Tuesday, March 17
  • Visits to community centers, hometown schools, community organizations/associations and hospitals.
  • And more!

**Important Note: The 500 Festival Queen will be REQUIRED to attend all of the above 500 Festival and Indianapolis Motor Speedway events. In addition, she will be asked to make extensive media and publicity appearances on behalf of the 500 Festival and will work closely with the 500 Festival’s Princess Program and Event Manager on messaging, talking points, and presentations.

Each of the 2015 500 Festival Princesses will receive the following:

  • Opportunity to serve as an ambassador for the 500 Festival, your hometown, and your college or university
  • Personal and professional development experiences 
  • Networking opportunities with Indiana's top business and civic leaders
  • Scholarship
  • Complimentary clothing to wear to various appearances
  • 500 Festival Princess Program sash
  • Custom-made jewelry, compliments of G.Thrapp Jewelers
  • A tiara compliments of G.Thrapp Jewelers

One of the 33 500 Festival Princesses will be selected to serve as the 500 Festival Queen in May, 2015. The 500 Festival Queen will receive the following additional awards:

  • A $2,500 scholarship to be applied towards her college education
  • Opportunity to wear the 500 Festival Queen’s crown throughout her reign. The crown was created by G.Thrapp Jewelers and valued at approximately $30,000.

Application Requirements
In addition to your online application (which is due Friday, January 9, 2015), the below items must be submitted via mail to ensure your application packet is complete. Please mail these items to: Ms. Kelby Hicks, 500 Festival Princess Program, 21 Virginia Avenue, Suite 500, Indianapolis, IN 46204. The application packet must be received or postmarked by January 16, 2015. No exceptions.


_____                   Copy of your valid IN driver’s license

_____                   Copy of your current college transcript (can be either official or unofficial)

_____                   Cover Letter

_____                   Resume


Please keep a photocopy of your application materials for your records.