The 500 Festival will begin the two-part selection process to choose 33 young women to represent the 2012 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500® at this year’s events and statewide outreach programs. First-round interviews will be on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 9 a.m. at the Indiana Farm Bureau on East Street in downtown Indianapolis.
The 500 Festival received 274 applications from young women representing 87 Hoosier cities and towns and 24 colleges and universities across the state.
The 500 Festival will narrow the field to 66 finalists who will then return for second-round interviews on Feb. 11 at 8 a.m., when judges will select the final 33 who will serve as ambassadors for the 2012 500 Festival.
Newly selected 2012 500 Festival Princesses will be notified by e-mail after 8 p.m. on Feb. 11. The finalists will be expected to confirm that they accept the honor within five days.
Applicants must be between 18 (by May 19, 2012) and 23 years old, single and legal residents of Indiana. Candidates must also be full-time students in a fully-accredited Indiana college or university and maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.8 on a 4.0 scale. The ladies will be judged on poise and appearance, communication skills, community involvement and their answers to questions during two, four-minute interviews with a panel of judges.
The 500 Festival Queen will be crowned at the 2012 500 Festival Breakfast at the Brickyard, presented by ProLiance Energy at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway®. The queen will receive a $2,500 scholarship, and the queen and princesses will also serve as ambassadors for the 2012 Indianapolis 500® on Sunday, May 27.
Sponsors of the 500 Festival Princess Program include G.Thrapp Jewelers, WTHR and Indiana Blood Center. Apparel and accessory providers include Secret Ingredient, Indianapolis Motor Speedway® and Vera Bradley.