Application Process Opens for the 2017 500 Festival Princess Program

Application Process Opens for the 2017 500 Festival Princess Program

Tue, 2016-10-18

500 Festival Princess Program celebrates Indiana’s next generation of female leaders


INDIANAPOLIS (October 18, 2016) – The 500 Festival, a nonprofit organization providing life-enriching events for Indiana and celebrating the legacy of the Indianapolis 500, today announced it is accepting applications for the 2017 500 Festival Princess Program. Since 1958, the 500 Festival Princess Program has celebrated Indiana’s up-and-coming, college-aged leaders. The online application is available on the 500 Festival’s website and the deadline for online applications is Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017.


Each year, 33 of Indiana’s most civic-minded, academically driven young women are selected to serve as a 500 Festival Princess. Serving as a 500 Festival Princess provides young women with countless opportunities for leadership and professional development. 500 Festival Princesses will participate in the program’s personal and professional development initiative, which empowers participants to make a profound impact within their community and Indiana. Key components of program include:

  • Discussions and learning opportunities, led by business and community leaders, on topics including: goal setting, office etiquette, networking, personal branding, budgeting, resume and interview best practices
  • Professional evaluations and personality assessments
  • Networking and professional development events with 500 Festival Princess alumnae, members of the 500 Festival board of directors, community and business leaders


Each 500 Festival Princess will receive a $1,000 scholarship, made possible in part by the 500 Festival Foundation and Marlyne Sexton, an Indianapolis philanthropist and president of The Sexton Companies. 500 Festival Princesses are also provided with once-in-a-life-time experiences, including involvement with the 500 Festival’s statewide community outreach programs, volunteering at 500 Festival events and participating in various Indianapolis Motor Speedway functions, including the pre-race ceremonies and Victory Circle celebration for the Indianapolis 500.


“Participating in the 500 Festival Princess Program was a life-changing experience. From the networking opportunities to the leadership development program and the scholarship, the Princess Program has given me the tools necessary to make an impact within my community upon graduation,” said Caitlyn Foye, the 2016 500 Festival Queen and a junior at Butler University majoring in Biology.


The online application deadline for the 2017 500 Festival Princess Program is Jan. 8, 2017. The top 264 applicants will be interviewed by an independent panel of judges on Saturday, Jan. 21. The top 66 applicants will participate in a second round of interviews on Saturday, Feb. 4. The top 33 applicants will be selected to serve as 500 Festival Princesses. 500 Festival Princess selection is based upon the following categories: communication skills, commitment to service, leadership, scholarship, professionalism. 


To be eligible to serve as a 500 Festival Princess, applicants must:

  • Claim legal residence in Indiana
  • Currently be enrolled as a full-time student at an accredited college or university located in Indiana; taking a minimum of 12 academic hours for undergraduate studies or a minimum of nine academic hours for graduate studies
  • Maintain a cumulative college GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Be actively involved in at least one extra-curricular activity
  • Be the age of 18 by January 1, 2017, but no older than 23 by May 31, 2017
  • Be single, never married and with no children

The online application is available HERE. To learn more about the 500 Festival Princess Program and its rules and regulations, please visit:


Support of the 500 Festival Princess Program is provided by: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Vera Bradley, The Sanctuary on Penn and the 500 Festival Foundation.


To learn more about 500 Festival’s events and programs, please visit


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, follow us on Twitter @500festival, or on Facebook.



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