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 state of Indiana.
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 their people like the Indianapolis 500.
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, 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.
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.
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.
Indianapolis is largely defined by the historic Indianapolis 500 and the grand community festival that surrounds it. With nearly 50 annual events and programs, the 500 Festival fuels the entire magical month of May.
By offering a wide variety of cultural, educational and social events, the 500 Festival touches more than 500,000 people annually…and in such meaningful ways. Its signature events – like the AES 500 Festival Parade and OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon – connect the community in large proportions…and showcase our city on a world stage.
The Festival delivers community spirit, volunteerism, participation, inclusion, entertainment, social connecting, business networking and even health initiatives.
As one of the nation’s largest festivals, 500 Festival events draw both exposure and people. Families from across the globe attend the AES 500 Festival Parade, which is nationally-televised on NBC Sports Network. The AES 500 Festival Parade is one of the nation’s three largest, along the likes of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and Pasadena Tournament of Roses. One of only a few nationally televised parades, it attracts an estimated 300,000 curbside spectators – locals and tourists alike.
With over 30,000 participants, The Indy Mini is one of the nation’s largest half marathons and one of Indiana’s largest health initiatives. The OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon alone draws more than 20,000 participants from outside greater Indianapolis, becoming more and more of a valuable tourism and economic impact driver. By getting nearly 35,000 people moving, we’re helping people focus on their health and well-being.
The 500 Festival is a self-funded, not-for-profit organization deriving its revenue streams from ticket sales, event registrations, sponsorship and corporate memberships. Hundreds of local, regional and national companies participate in a variety of ways. And it works.