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Indianapolis 500 Festivities
Greater Indianapolis comes alive in the month of May in preparation for the most famous annual event in Central Indiana, the Indianapolis 500. While the Indianapolis 500 itself is a must-see event, there are plenty of other great events held on May surrounding the race.
Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis
For the third year in a row, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will host the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis. This race starts at 3:50pm on Saturday, May 14th, and it is held on the road course. The race is a total of 82 laps. Gates on race day open at 8:00am, and they close at 7:00pm. There is a practice on Thursday, May 12th, that is open to the public. Qualifying, which is also open to the public, is held on Friday, May 13th.
On the Monday following the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, May 16th, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will have its first public practice for the Indianapolis 500. Practices are held every day between May 16th and May 20th this year. There is one final practice on Monday, May 23rd.
Indianapolis 500 Qualifications
There are two qualification days for the Indianapolis 500. The first qualification day is May 21st, and the second is May 22nd. Gates open at 10:00am and 7:00am, respectively, on May 21st and May 22nd. They close at 6:00pm on both qualification days. Sunday, May 22nd, is famously known as the Armed Forces Pole Day. The pole winner will be determined by the end of the day.
Miller Lite Carb Day
Carb Day, Friday, May 27th, is another special day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This year, Journey will perform at 3:30pm. The Indy Light Freedom 100 is also held on Carb Day at 12:30pm. Practice and qualifying for this race is held on Thursday, May 26th. Between 10:00am and 11:00am, there is an Indy Lights autograph session open to the public. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is open between 8:00am and 6:00pm on Carb Day.
Legends Day, which is on May 28th this year, is the last day before the main event, the Indianapolis 500. Legends Day is headlined by the IPL 500 Festival Parade, which is held in Downtown Indianapolis. The parade has all 33 Indianapolis 500 participants and many local celebrities. The parade is held between 12:00pm and 1:30pm. Later, Corey Cox, Chris Janson and Blake Shelton will all perform at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway starting at 3:30pm. Blake Shelton is the headline performing act. He comes on stage at 5:00pm.
The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 will be held on Sunday, May 29th, in 2016. The gates open at 6:00am and close at 6:00pm. While the race does not start until 12:12pm, there are plenty of notable events leading up to the race. Starting at 8:00am, there will be a parade of marching bands. At 9:45am, the Indianapolis 500 Princesses will make a lap around the track. Former Indy 500 champions, famous Indianapolis 500 cars and military servicemen and servicewomen will take laps around the track between 10:40am and 11:10am. Drivers will be introduced starting at 11:33am, and the famous words “Drivers start your engines!” will be spoken at 12:04pm.