The 500 Festival

The 500 Festival

Spirit & Legacy Of The Indianapolis 500

OUR MISSION
The mission of the 500 Festival is to produce life-enriching events and programs that celebrate the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500 and foster a positive impact on the city of Indianapolis and the state of Indiana.

ABOUT US

The 500 Festival, a not-for-profit community organization, was created in 1957 to organize civic events celebrating the greatest race in the world. Over the past 60+ years, the 500 Festival has grown to become one of the largest festivals in the nation. Each year, 500,000 Hoosiers and visitors participated in festival activities throughout the month of May. Whether they were athletes running the Mini-Marathon, fourth-grade students participating in the Education Program, families enjoying the state’s largest festival for kids, or spectators being dazzled by one of the nation’s premier parades, they were there, celebrating the legacy.

No other singular sporting event in the world has a legacy like the Indianapolis 500. No other event has shaped and defined a city and state and its people like the Indianapolis 500.

Spirit & Legacy Of The Indianapolis 500

OUR MISSION:
The mission of the 500 Festival is to produce life-enriching events and programs that celebrate the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500 and foster a positive impact on the city of Indianapolis and the state of Indiana.
ABOUT US

The 500 Festival, a not-for-profit community organization, was created in 1957 to organize civic events celebrating the greatest race in the world. Over the past 60+ years, the 500 Festival has grown to become one of the largest festivals in the nation. Each year, 500,000 Hoosiers and visitors participated in festival activities throughout the month of May. Whether they were athletes running the Mini-Marathon, fourth-grade students participating in the Education Program, families enjoying the state’s largest festival for kids, or spectators being dazzled by one of the nation’s premier parades, they were there, celebrating the legacy.

No other singular sporting event in the world has a legacy like the Indianapolis 500. No other event has shaped and defined a city and state and its people like the Indianapolis 500.

ALL ARE WELCOME!

National in scope, homegrown in spirit, the 500 Festival provides multiple events and programs, as an organization providing multiple events and programs, many of which are free to attend and impact over 500,000 people annually, our mission to enrich lives and positively impact our community is wholly inclusive and applies to everyone. The Festival delivers community spirit, volunteerism, participation, inclusion, entertainment, social connecting, business networking, and even health initiatives. Whether attending the AES 500 Festival Parade, participating in the Salesforce & JPMorgan Chase 500 Festival Kids’ Day, running in the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, or serving as a volunteer, the 500 Festival welcomes participation from everyone, and we’re confident that our participants will continue to experience the Hoosier hospitality that we pride ourselves on.

500 FESTIVAL LEADERSHIP

Get To Know Our Team

Bob Bryant

President and CEO

Jen Lowe

Senior Vice President of Administration

Sara Adams

Vice President of Operations

Glenn Amos

Vice President of Operations

Laura Bliss

Vice President of Operations

Bryce Bonin

Annual Giving Manager, 500 Festival Foundation

Abbie Dunipace

Marketing Coordinator

Helen Khamis

Marketing Manager

Lindsay Labas

Vice President of Marketing & Communications

Patrick Merna

Vice President of Strategic Partnerships

Joshua Reichart

Director of Strategic Partnerships

Diana Richardson

Executive Assistant

Christin Kelly-Hooks

Registration, Ticketing, and Customer Service Manager

Michael Spagnolli

Program and Event Coordinator

Jamie Stremming

Program & Event Manager

Christine Swarm

Executive Director, 500 Festival Foundation

Lydia Thurston

Director of Registration, Ticketing, & Customer Service

Heather Williamson

Event & Program Manager

500 FESTIVAL INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS

Bryan Apolskis, Parade Logistics Coordinator

Steve Patterson, Princess Program Logistics Liaison

Max Jones, Parade Marching Band Consultant

The 500 Festival is governed by a committed Board of Directors and led by 500 Festival CEO, Bob Bryant. The board, comprised of community leaders, guides the strategic vision of the 500 Festival and its members act as trustees, representing the organization within the community. Committed to bettering the organization, members serve on various committees that support and enhance the 500 Festival and its more than 30 events and programs.

OFFICERS

Mike Boatright

Chairman of the Board

Sarah Fisher O’Gara

Immediate Past Chair

Dr. Jim Callaghan

Vice Chairman of the Board

Jeffrey Harrison

Secretary

Christina Moungey

Treasurer

DIRECTORS

Bill Beck, Community Volunteer

Doug Boles, President, Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Scott Bove, Regional President, STAR Bank

Travis Brown, CEO, Mojo Up Marketing + Media

Patricio Daneri, President and CEO, Energy Harness Corporation

Brandi Davis-Handy, President, AES Indiana

Bowman Elder, President, Southern Indiana Commerce Corporation

Phyllis Barkman Ferrell, Global Head, External Engagement, Alzheimer’s disease, and Neurodegeneration, Lilly BioMedicines, Eli Lilly & Company

John F. Gause, President and CEO, Apex Benefits Group

Troy Gilstorf, Regional Managing Partner, FORVIS

Juan Gonzalez, President, Central Indiana KeyBank

Roger Harvey, Principal and Managing Director, Bose Public Affairs Group

Doug Heath, President, Bravia Services

Bali Heir, Chief Business and Talent Development Officer, Krieg DeVault

Jeffrey Holley, OneAmerica (retired)

Dr. Aleesia Johnson, Superintendent, Indianapolis Public Schools

Larry Jones, Founder and President, Teagen Development / CCIC

Tom Kilian, President, Hamilton County Community Foundation

Dr. Patrick McGill, Executive Vice President, Chief Analytics Officer, Community Health Network

Erik Miner, Indiana Market Executive, Regions Bank

JJ Nelson, Executive Director of Indiana, Delta Dental

Nicole Paulk, SVP and Chief Strategy Officer, Indiana University Health

Mario Rodriguez, Executive Director, Indianapolis Airport Authority

Ellen Saul, Senior Director to Vice President, Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Kevin Speer, Senior Vice President and Ministry Market Executive, Ascension St. Vincent

Sara Tait, Partner, Ice Miller

Roger VanDerSnick, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Indianapolis Colts

Economic Impact

POSITIVELY INFLUENCING THE COMMUNITY

A recent economic impact study revealed the 500 Festival events generate a significant tangible economic impact on the city of Indianapolis each year. In 2013, this amounted to $19.7 million in financial impact, including $5.5 million of direct spending by out-of-area visitors.
Each year hundreds of thousands of people from around the world embrace the month of May in Indianapolis. Last year alone, more than 500,000 people attended nearly 50 events and programs produced by the 500 Festival. The 500 Festival celebrates the spirit and legacy of the largest single-day sporting event in the world, the Indianapolis 500®. Enriching the lives of Hoosiers and visitors, 500 Festival events which are mostly free and produced largely by volunteers also enhance the image of Indianapolis and Indiana by showcasing the city and state’s cultural, educational and social benefits to the world.

With the 500 Festival producing reoccurring events in Indianapolis since 1957, the overall economic benefit to the city since its inception is estimated to be more than $400 million. Based on current growth rates, the impact of the 500 Festival is likely to be greater than $210 million in this decade (2010-2020) alone. A significant contributor to the economic benefit is the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and 500 Festival 5K runs which collectively attract more than 30,000 participants on the first Saturday of every May. The “Indy Mini” is one of the largest half marathon races in the country and is one of the top five largest in the world.In addition to measurements of economic impact in terms of dollars, the 500 Festival in 2013 created an estimated 215 jobs (15 directly by the organization, 62 from payments to vendors and contractors and 138 as a result of visitor spending). Furthermore, the 500 Festival organization and events generated an estimated $950,000 in additional state and local taxes in 2013.

There are a number of economic benefits that are not easily measured, therefore, were not included in this estimation including, but not limited to:

  • Spending by local residents who attend or participate in 500 Festival events such as the AES 500 Festival Parade and OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon
  • Health benefits of 17,000 local residents training for and participating in the Mini-Marathon
  • Attracting visitors to Indianapolis that may return for other reasons
  • The 500 Festival events are designed in part to help promote the Indianapolis 500®, which in turn may increase awareness and attendance of the race

The 500 Festival Economic Impact study was authored by Kyle J. Anderson, Economist at the Kelley School of Business.