500 Festival Announces 2023 AES 500 Festival Parade Float Awards

500 Festival Announces 2023 AES 500 Festival Parade Float Awards

The 500 Festival today announces the float award winners for the 2023 AES 500 Festival Parade. Floats were judged on several different criteria and were evaluated by a panel of judges. The floats are awarded for recognition and tradition as no monetary prizes are given. This annual and fun competition brings prestige to the AES 500 Festival Parade, the float designers, and partners.  


The 2023 AES 500 Festival Parade float awards go to the following:  



Float: “Fueling Victory” 

Sponsor: American Dairy Association Indiana Inc.  

Description: Coming in at fifty-five feet long is the American Dairy Association of Indiana’s float, celebrating “Fueling Victory.” Milk has been a tradition of the Indianapolis 500 since 1936, when Louis Meyer requested a bottle of buttermilk to celebrate his win. This larger-than-life float honors the celebratory milk handoff from an Indiana dairy farmer to the Indy 500 winner in Victory Circle. 


CHAIRMAN’S AWARD: Most Entertaining  

Float: “Your Takeoff Begins in Indy” 

Sponsor: Republic Airways 

Description: The Republic Airways – LIFT Academy float, 28 feet in length, is soaring through the streets of Indianapolis at this year’s parade. Rooted in Indianapolis for nearly 30 years, Republic Airways is an innovative airline industry leader, operating 1,000 daily flights, many of which depart from Indiana.  


500 FESTIVAL QUEEN SCHOLAR AWARD: Outstanding Presentation of Hoosier Spirit & Pride 

Float: “AES Indiana” 

Sponsor: AES Indiana 

Description: AES’s float is focused on accelerating cleaner, greener energy solutions for customers. They are undertaking a strategic plan for our energy future which reduces costs and risk for customers, while making investments in renewable energy and leading an inclusive, clean energy transition. Their eighty-five-foot-long float is bringing electricity to downtown Indianapolis, featuring renewable energy sources such as solar to shine a light on the new direction to power Central Indiana. 


PRESIDENT’S AWARD: Most Original Concept  

Float: “This is May” 

Sponsor: Indianapolis Motor Speedway 

Description: Don’t miss the biggest celebration in all sports at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The IMS float celebrates the race that is The Greatest Spectacle in Racing. The sounds. The speed. The spectacle. THIS is May. 


MARI HULMAN GEORGE AWARD: Best Display of Philanthropy, Arts, or Education 

Float: “A Healthier Future Ahead” 

Sponsor: Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield 

Description: Dedicating their float to a healthier future ahead, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield has called Indiana home since 1944. Since then, they have offered health benefit plans and support services to improve the health of all Hoosiers! 


GRAND MARSHAL AWARD: Most Creative Concept & Execution 

Float: “Make Life Better” 

Sponsor: Eli Lilly & Company  

Description: For nearly 150 years, Eli Lilly and Company has united caring with discovery, to create medicines that make life better for people all around the world, with speed and purpose! The “Make Life Better,” theme has supported the help of medicine for more than forty-seven million people across the globe. With each step toward a healthier world, Eli Lily is motivated by one thing: making life better for millions more. This reflects the diversity of our world and working to ensure Lily’s medicines are accessible and affordable. 


Checkered Flag Award- Honoring the Spirit and Legacy of the Indianapolis 500 

Float: “Shell V-Power NiTRO+ Performance Unbound IndyCar” 

Sponsor: Shell and Pennzoil  

Description: When you think Performance, Think Shell! Shell’s float, a larger-than-life model of an IndyCar, is one you can’t miss! Shell V-Power NiTRO+ is now new and improved, removing up to 100% of performance-robbing deposits to rejuvenate your engine’s performance.  


One of the 500 Festival’s original events, the AES 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.  

Tickets are still available for the AES 500 Festival Parade, taking place on Saturday, May 27, at noon, and starting at $25. Tickets may be purchased at 500festival.com/tickets or by calling (317) 614-6400. 


For more information about the AES 500 Festival Parade, please visit 500festival.com/parade or search #aes500parade on social media.