INDIANAPOLIS (May 24, 2017) – The 500 Festival, a nonprofit organization committed to enriching the quality of life for Indiana residents and visitors, today announces the Float award winners for the 2017 IPL 500 Festival Parade. Floats were judged on a number of different criteria and were evaluated by a panel of judges, including Downtown Indy’s Bob Schultz, WTHR’s Ben Hill, and IndyStar’s Amy Bartner. The floats are honored for recognition and tradition as no monetary prizes are awarded. However, the annual competition brings prestige to the IPL 500 Festival Parade, the float designers and sponsors.
Tickets for the IPL 500 Festival Parade start at $15 and can be purchased at www.500festival.com/tickets, or at the 500 Festival’s Ticket Office, located at 21 Virginia Ave. in Downtown Indianapolis.
The 2017 IPL 500 Festival Parade float honors go to the following:
SWEEPSTAKES TROPHY: Best Overall Entry
Float: Anthem Angels, American Heroes
Sponsor: Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield
Description: Anthem’s float proudly salutes the men and women who have served our country and recognizes all five branches of our armed forces; a naval destroyer as the base, a fighter jet flown by the Indiana Air National Guard, a U.S. Army helicopter, a seven-foot sculpture of the Marines’ iconic eagle, globe and anchor, and an inflatable boat representing the Coast Guard.
QUEEN’S AWARD: Most Effective Use of Color
Float: Better Science. Better Lives.
Sponsor: Eli Lilly and Company
Description: The Lilly float boasts a rotating globe of eight feet in diameter with a variety of molecules swirling around it. The front half of the float features periwinkle and other Indiana wildflowers as a nod to some of the ingredients founder Colonel Eli Lilly used in his early medicines.
THEME AWARD: Best Development of 500 Festival Theme, “Accelerating the American Spirit”
Float: The Greatest Fans in Racing
Sponsor: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Description: A salute to the Greatest Fans in Racing; the Indianapolis Motor Speedway boasts the tallest float in this year’s Parade as the iconic pagoda stands over 18 feet tall and overlooks the Borg Warner trophy and replica IndyCars. Over 35 pounds of glitter were used to cover middle section of this float.
PRESIDENT’S AWARD: Most Original Concept
Float: Accelerate Power
Sponsor: Indianapolis Power & Light
Description: This 54-foot float features the iconic and patriotic IPL building with the American Flag window lights display. You can catch a glimpse of “Bolty” the IPL mascot showcasing a banner that says “Accelerate Power.” The extension cord plugged into the building communicates the message that IPL is looking toward a future powered by solar and wind.
CHECKERED FLAG AWARD for Best Integration of Corporate Marketing Plan
Float: Indy Fans Save More With Every Fill
Sponsor: Shell Fuel Rewards
Description: This IndyCar replica consists of more than 700 cubic feet of Styrofoam and is based off Helio Castroneves car for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500. The Shell-sponsored gold racecar represents rewards for Indy fans who can get Instant Gold status starting June 5, and save at least five cents per gallon on every fill-up!
CHECKERED FLAG AWARD for Positive Community Impact
Float: Hot Wheels: Race to Win
Sponsor: Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
Description: The museum’s Race to Win exhibit is a tradition in May and a family favorite. Families and kids can design their own custom made tracks and test real Hot Wheels cars at the Children’s Museum. This 45-foot long, giant IndyCar races down the Hot Wheels track in search of the checkered flag.
CHECKERED FLAG AWARD for Historical Recognition
Float: Accelerating our Legacy Forward
Sponsor: American Legion
Description: Representing 100 years of service, the American Legion float honors one of the founding members, Eddie Rickenbacker. Rickenbacker made four appearances in the Indianapolis 500. The float’s plane is a replica of the fighter plane Eddie flew in World War I.
CHECKERED FLAG AWARD for Spirit and Legacy of the Indianapolis 500
Float: Spirit of the Champion
Sponsor: American Dairy - Indiana
Description: Winners drink milk! The American Dairy float celebrates the time-honored tradition that began with Louis Meyer in 1936 when he grabbed a bottle of buttermilk to cool off after the Indy 500. The checkered flag cow stands over nine feet tall and rests on 14 cubic feet of grass.
One of the original 500 Festival events, the IPL 500 Festival Parade is one of the nation’s largest, most respected parades, consistently earning national acclaim alongside the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. More than 300,000 people will line the streets of downtown Indianapolis to experience the larger-than-life floats, giant helium balloons, celebrities, all 33 drivers competing in the 101st running of the Indy 500, specialty units, and award-winning bands from across the country.
In 2017, we turn the corner on last year’s celebration that highlighted many milestones, including the 40th OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, the 60th IPL 500 Festival Parade and the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. It was a great year, but no one is waving the checkered flag just yet. With many laps still to go, May 2017 is a chance to refuel and punch the gas. And with this year’s celebration covered in star-spangled spirit, it’s sure to be an inspiring salute to America on Memorial Day Weekend. The 500 Festival’s 2017 theme, Accelerating the American Spirit, gives Hoosiers the green light to ignite that red, white and blue passion.
The 2017 IPL 500 Festival Parade will take place on Saturday, May 27, with Parade festivities starting at 11:45 am. The IPL 500 Festival Parade will be nationally televised on NBC Sports Network and broadcast to the Indianapolis market on WTHR, Channel 13. Tickets for the IPL 500 Festival Parade start at $15 and can be purchased at www.500festival.com/tickets, or at the 500 Festival’s Ticket Office, located at 21 Virginia Ave. in Downtown Indianapolis.
For more information about the IPL 500 Festival Parade, please visit www.500festival.com/parade or search #IPL500Parade on social media.
About the 500 Festival
Founded in 1957, the 500 Festival is a not-for-profit organization that produces more than 50 life-enriching events and programs while celebrating the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500 and fostering positive impact on the city of Indianapolis and state of Indiana. One of the largest festivals in the nation, each year more than half a million people attend an event or program produced by the 500 Festival. Since its founding, the 500 Festival has contributed more than $400 million in economic value to Indianapolis. To learn more about the 500 Festival, please visit www.500festival.com, follow us on Twitter @500festival, or on Facebook.