It’s More than Just a Race: 8 Big Events in and Around Indy 500

chekered racing flag

Indiana may seem to be the most unlikely of places to host the greatest spectacle in racing. But every May, on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, over 500,000 people gather at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) while millions watch from their homes, for what has become one of the largest sporting events in the world.

Thirty-three racers from all different countries race 500 miles around the 2.5 mile track at speeds over 220mph competing for that moment in victory lane and a drink of the illustrious champions milk.

Here are 8 events you don’t want to miss out on:

  • Carb Day (Friday May 22)

Carb day is full of activities! Starting with a vintage car show in the morning, followed by the IMS midway open. Later on there will be a firestone pin distribution, Indy lights drivers will be introduced. Afterwards the Tag Heuer pit stop challenge will happen followed by three concerts.

  • Time trials: (May 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 20, 22)

Tickets can be found online here…you may have missed most of the trials this year but next year plan ahead and spend the weekend in indy. There is enough going on to spend the entire week staying in the great city of Indianapolis.

  • Parade (Saturday May 23)

One of the original events produced by the 500 Festival, happens Saturday before the race. 300,000 spectators are expected to line the streets of Indianapolis, many more watch from the comforts of their own home. After the event there is a great place to grab some local lunch afterwards at shappiro deli.

  • Driver meeting (May 23)

Saturday before the race there will a time to meet and get autographs from the 33 drivers. The meet and great goes from 9:00- 10:00.

What occurs: Meeting your favorite driver, getting their autographs autographs, and access to seeing the garage. Following will be a public drivers meeting from 10:30-11:00.

Click here to get tickets 

  • Ivy tech tours (May 14, 15, 16, 17, 22)

Where you can gain access to the garage areas, see drivers, cars, and much more!

  • IMS museum

Come learn about the 100 year history of the race. The museum is open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is $8 an adult and $5 for kids 6-15, and free for anyone 5 and under. (Tickets must be purchased separately)

  • Golf course inside the track

Come down anytime to play on Brickyard Crossing Golf course. 3 holes of the course are inside the track.

Click here to schedule your tee time!

  • Race day (May 24)

Gates open at six am and will be open until 6 pm. The race day is filled with all kinds of activities:

    1. Tailgating, move down here: Grab your fried chicken, your family/friends/buddies.  You can tailgate at the track or at home.
    2. Purdue marching band will play before the event starts
    3. Singing of “Back home again in Indiana”
    4. Air force fly over
    5. Race, 99th running, starts at 12:15


If you live in the surrounding areas, these are some events you won’t want to miss out on!



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