500 Festival Announces 2018 IPL 500 Festival Parade Float Honors

500 Festival Announces 2018 IPL 500 Festival Parade Float Honors

INDIANAPOLIS (May 23, 2018) – 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 2018 IPL 500 Festival Parade. Floats were judged on a number of different criteria and were evaluated by a panel of judges. 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 $10 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 2018 IPL 500 Festival Parade float honors go to the following:



Float: Illuminating Indianapolis

Sponsor: IPL – Indianapolis Power & Light Co.

Description: IPL’s float is a collaborative and innovative partnership between IPl and the City of Indianapolis to retrofit more than 27,000 high pressure sodium street lights to LED technology over the next three years. IPL’s float features three dozen strobe lights and is covered in over 1200 feet of glitter.


QUEEN’S AWARD: Most Effective Use of Color

Float: ILLU-MOO-NATE Tradition

Sponsor: American Dairy

Description: This float celebrates the time-honored tradition that began in 1936 – the drinking of the milk in victory circle – thanks to driver Louis Meyer. The American Dairy float is one of the tallest units in the Parade. It features a checkered flag cow that’s twice the size of an ordinary dairy cow, and 57 ears of corn on the back.


THEME AWARD: Best Development of 500 Festival Theme, “Illuminate. Innovate. Indianapolis”

Float: Lilly for Better

Sponsor: Eli Lilly & Co.

Description: The Lilly float unites care with discovery. It features a rotating, 6-foot- globe with depictions of molecules and antibiotics developed by the organization. Generations of employees are charged to follow founder, Colonel Lilly and his mission to “Take what you find here and make it better and better!”


PRESIDENT’S AWARD: Most Original Concept

Float: Peace Through Strength

Sponsor: American Legion

Description: The American Legion float features a replica of the “America’s Response” Monument that overlooks the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City. On Parade day, the float will carry real-life heroes of Task Force Dagger 595, the first Green Beret Special Forces Unit sent to Afghanistan following September 11, 2001.


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: Anthem Angels – Honoring Our Military Heroes

Sponsor: Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield

Description: On the tiered platforms, the Anthem Angels represent each branch of the military. Surrounding the service men and women are vessels unique to their work in the armed forces. They were crafted to model real combat vehicles.  


CHECKERED FLAG AWARD for Spirit and Legacy of the Indianapolis 500

Float: This Is May

Sponsor: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Description: This is May, a month-long celebration of speed, adrenaline, tradition and thrill. Eleven days of on-track action. Concerts, parades and porch parties. A road race, a foot race and THE race. This is a community like no other, celebrating a month like no other.


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, award-winning bands, and all 33 drivers competing in the 102nd running of the Indy 500.

The 2018 IPL 500 Festival Parade will be themed, Illuminate. Innovate. Indianapolis. Every May, the world turns its focus on Indianapolis. Beaming with civic pride and radiating a racing spirit, together we can present a city that shines bright at the forefront of a cutting edge world. This May, our community and guests will come together to illuminate the history, tradition, and sacrifices of our heroes on Memorial Day Weekend, while looking forward and saluting Indy’s commitment to innovate the world around us. So let’s turn the lights up high, point the camera on Indy, and take action for the 102nd Running of the Indy 500. Illuminate. Innovate. Indianapolis.

The 2018 IPL 500 Festival Parade will take place on Saturday, May 26. Parade festivities will start at 11:45 am ET in downtown Indianapolis. IPL 500 Festival Parade tickets start at $10 and can be purchased at 500festival.com/tickets, by calling (317) 614-6400, or at the 500 Festival Ticket Office, located at 21 Virginia Ave. in Downtown Indianapolis. The Ticket Office is open on weekdays from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm.

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 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. 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 or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.