Media Contact: Sabrina List, 500 Festival
317.954.3203 | firstname.lastname@example.org
INDIANAPOLIS (March 18, 2020) – The 500 Festival is suspending all planned, in-person events scheduled through May 9, 2020. The suspension of these events is in accordance with the CDC’s updated guidance to cancel, postpone or provide virtual options for all large events for the next 8 weeks in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The 500 Festival is doing everything possible to minimize the economic impact and ramifications that will be experienced as a result of canceling these in-person events.
The following 500 Festival in-person events will need to be conducted as virtual events, rescheduled or canceled:
- OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, Delta Dental 500 Festival 5K (May 2) – All 2020 Indy Mini events will move to virtual races. Individuals registered for this year’s races will receive details on how to participate virtually and still earn their 2020 shirt and medal. Other options, including lending a hand in support of the 500 Festival’s free programs for kids or rolling registration over to next year, will be communicated to participants in the coming days. The in-person events will NOT take place.
- 500 Festival Kick Off to May, presented by STAR Bank (April 29) – The in-person event will NOT take place. There will be an announcement soon regarding ways the community can participate virtually.
- Salesforce & JPMorgan Chase 500 Festival Kids’ Day and Rookie Run (May 9) – The in-person event will NOT take place. We will reschedule this event to another date as guidance related to public events is provided.
- 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Expo (April 30 & May 1) – The in-person event will NOT take place. Virtual goodie bags will be sent to participants.
- All 500 Festival & Indianapolis 500 Education Program Study Trips at IMS (April 2020) – All in-person events will NOT take place. Schools will be mailed some additional materials.
- This list is in addition to the other 500 Festival event cancelations that were announced last week
“The 500 Festival recognizes the unique and challenging times that we are all facing together. May will certainly look different than the last 60+ years but with options to participate virtually or to reschedule some events to a future date we are confident that the future looks bright and the things we hold dearly will continue albeit in a different form,” said Bob Bryant, president and CEO of the 500 Festival. “As a community nonprofit organization, the 500 Festival looks forward to providing events and programs that enrich lives, foster positive community impact and celebrate the Indy 500. To our participants, volunteers, interns, corporate and civic partners – Thank you for your support!”
To the registered participants of the 2020 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and Delta Dental 500 Festival 5K, we know that many of you have logged countless hours of training and have made numerous commitments to experience the thrill of crossing the finish line. We don’t take your commitments lightly and want you to know that we have exhausted all possible solutions to provide the Indy Mini experience that you’ve come to expect over the last 43 years. We have also been cognizant of the resources that help us produce this community event which includes thousands of volunteers, medical personnel, IMPD, the Indiana National Guard, Homeland Security, Indianapolis Motor Speedway staff, corporate partners and many others. Given our current situation and out of respect for the ever-changing needs of those resource partners as well as the health and safety of our participants, it has become clear that moving our 2020 races to virtual runs is the best possible choice. In addition to the participant options, we are also committed to providing you with an on-track running and walking experience at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway at a to-be-determined date later this year.
Regarding 500 Festival events for the remainder of May, please be patient as we respond to new health-related guidance and develop alternate plans as necessary. Any additional measures or announcements will be communicated to impacted participants, ticketholders, and volunteers via email. It will also be shared on our social media, websites (www.500festival.com and www.indymini.com) and to the media, as they occur.
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 or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
CLICK HERE for up to date guidance and information from the Indiana State Department of Health
CLICK HERE for up to date guidance and information from the Marion County Health Department