The 500 Festival Parade takes place on the eve of the Indianapolis 500! This year, that is Saturday, May 25th at noon but you MUST, MUST get there so much earlier if you want to find a place to see — not sit, you’ll have a hard enough time seeing, a seat is probably too much to ask for unless you buy a ticket.
The 500 Festival Parade is one of the top three parades in the nation — right here in Indianapolis! That makes it a MUST do on my list and it should be on yours too! Expect large crowds (over 300,000 people line the streets each year), bring lots of water and snacks, wear sunblock and a hat and sunglasses.
In the past, there has been seating available on the steps on the south end of the Circle, which is nice if you have children, but you have to get there early (my friend Gretchen sits here every year and she thinks that 10 or 10:30am would be early enough but recommends sending one person early and bringing the young ones later). Seriously, EARLY! Otherwise, it’s quite alright to stand BEHIND the folks that have paid for a ticket to watch. Be prepared to move if needed in order to see or in case you are in a space that is otherwise reserved for something else.
You’ll see beautiful floats, celebrities, mascots, marching bands and have a fantastic time!
My name is Katy Mann, and I'm the creator of Indianapolis with Kids. With over 10 years of experience working with children, and my excitement towards the great city of Indianapolis; I offer readers guidance about great events and activities to do around Indianapolis with their kids and grandchildren. Join us on our family travels and adventures across the country!