500 Festival Announces 2024 AES 500 Festival Parade Float Awards

500 Festival Announces 2024 AES 500 Festival Parade Float Awards

INDIANAPOLIS (May 24, 2024)– The 500 Festival announces the float award winners for the 2024 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 with no monetary prizes given. This annual and fun competition brings prestige and recognition to the AES 500 Festival Parade, the float designers, and partners.  

The 2024 AES 500 Festival Parade float awards go to the following:  


Float: “Powering All Lanes to Indy” 

Sponsor: AES Indiana 

Description: AES Indiana is the title sponsor for the 500 Festival Parade and has had a float in the parade since 1957 – the only company to participate in every 500 Festival Parade since its inception! The AES float embodies the theme “All Lanes Lead to Indy” and celebrates the US Olympic Swim Trials, highlighting our city’s central role in this iconic moment while spotlighting AES’s commitment to sustainability and accelerating the future of energy together. 

CHAIRMAN’S AWARD: Most Entertaining  

Float: “Your Takeoff Begins in Indy” 

Sponsor: Republic Airways and LIFT Academy 

Description: Republic Airways is an innovative aviation leader, operating nearly one thousand daily flights — many of which depart from Indiana, the Racing Capital of the World! LIFT Academy, founded in 2018, and with a specialized curriculum designed to fly you right to a career at Republic Airways, is a commercial aviation flight program offering opportunities for those who dream of becoming a pilot, and those who may not have thought it possible. The plane aboard this float has a wingspan of eleven INDYCAR tires back-to-back, reaching about 14 feet! 

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

Float: “Makers of Medicine” 

Sponsor: Eli Lilly & Company 

Description: Eli Lilly is a medicine company turning science into healing to make life better for people around the world. They’ve been pioneering life-changing discoveries for nearly 150 years, and today their medicines help more than 55 million lives across the globe. Harnessing the power of biotechnology, chemistry and genetic medicine, Lilly scientists are urgently advancing new discoveries to solve some of the world’s most significant health challenges. This year’s float features key medicine makers and Lilly locations across the state. 

PRESIDENT’S AWARD: Most Original Concept  

Float: “Building Healthier Communities” 

Sponsor: Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield / Elevance Health 

Description: Since 1944, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield has offered health benefit plans and support services to improve the health of all Hoosiers. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield has invested more than $19.9 million dollars in Indiana to fight food insecurity and health inequities – both of which are represented on this year’s float. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield focuses on the whole health of a person — beyond their physical health — to include the behavioral and social drivers that have a major impact on the lives of individuals. 

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

Float: “The Sexton Properties INDYCAR” 

Sponsor: The Sexton Properties 

Description: The Sexton Properties, founded in 1962, builds and manages apartment communities in the Midwest. The company’s first apartment community was built just minutes from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with one of their first tenants being A.J. Foyt. Their float this year is modeled after an INDYCAR, sporting the Sexton Properties logo and the number 14 in representation of their sponsorship of A.J. Foyt Racing.  

GRAND MARSHAL AWARD: Most Creative Concept & Execution 

Float: “A Monumental Milk Moment Since 1936” 

Sponsor: American Dairy Association of Indiana, Inc. 

Description: The American Dairy Association of Indiana’s float represents the milk that your 2024 Indy 500 winner will drink! Alex and Abbie will be on Victory Podium in representation of the 700 dairy farmers in Indiana. They will deliver milk to this year’s winning driver, chief mechanic and team owner at the Indianapolis 500. Winning drivers choose between ice cold whole, 2%, or fat-free milk!  

CHECKERED FLAG AWARD: Honoring the Spirit and Legacy of the Indianapolis 500 

Float: “THIS IS MAY” 

Sponsor: Indianapolis Motor Speedway  

Description: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is home to the Greatest Spectacle in Racing! This intricate float focuses on the iconic symbols of May, including an INDYCAR, the BorgWarner trophy, and the IMS Pagoda. May is for the fans. May is for the spectacle. May is for the celebration. This Is May. Purchase your tickets to the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge at IMS.COM 

ROOKIE AWARD: Best First-Time Float Participant 

Float: “The Persistent Pursuit of the Next Giant Leap” 

Sponsor: Purdue University 

Description: Purdue University is ranked among the top 10 most innovative public universities in the country. They are relentless in their pursuit of the NEXT giant leap, including to Mars! This legacy made Purdue home to Amelia Earhart’s transformative work in flight and the alma mater of 27 Purdue graduates that have become astronauts, including Neil Armstrong. Now, Purdue is bringing that innovation and spirit to its new campus in Indianapolis — opening on July 1, 2024. 


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 25, 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 and the float lineup, please visit 500festival.com/parade or search #aes500parade 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 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 $500 million in economic value to Indianapolis. To learn more about the 500 Festival, please visit 500festival.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.   

About AES | The AES Corporation is a Fortune 500 global energy company accelerating the future of energy.  Together with our many stakeholders, we’re improving lives by delivering the greener, smarter energy solutions the world needs.  Our diverse workforce is committed to continuous innovation and operational excellence, while partnering with our customers on their strategic energy transitions and continuing to meet their energy needs today.  For more information, visit aes.com