From the Indy 500 to concerts and race parties, Downtown will make your holiday a “memorial” one. Here is our day-by-day guide to Memorial Day weekend in Downtown Indy.
Friday, May 27
The 2016 Indianapolis 500 weekend – culminating with the 100th Running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing kicks off on Friday, May 27. Join Indianapolis officials and residents as they pay special tribute to our military and fallen Hoosier soldiers at the 500 Festival Memorial Service at the Indiana War Memorial at noon. After, make your way to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Miller Lite Carb Day featuring a concert with rock band Journey. The concert is free with Miller Lite Carb Day admission of $30. The Final Indy 500 Practice starts at 11 a.m. followed by the concert at 3:30 p.m.
While Downtown, make a “pitstop” at Food Truck Friday on Georgia Street on May 27 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Head back to Georgia Street in the evening for Curt Cavin’s Carb Night Burger Bash. Indy 500 fans will gather on Pan Am Plaza starting at 5 p.m. for steakburgers and milkshakes, plus appearances by Indy 500 drivers including Graham Rahal, Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Ed Carpenter. The Flying Toasters will perform at 9 p.m.
Saturday, May 28
300,000 spectators from around the country will come Downtown for the 60th IPL 500 Festival Parade starting at noon. Local celebrities, costumed characters, floats, marching bands, giant balloons and the 33 starting drivers of the Indianapolis 500 will fill the streets to celebrate the largest single-day sporting event, the Indy 500. The Skyline Club offers a brunch and parade viewing. Brunch begins at 10 a.m. followed by the parade with reserved first row seating.
Following the parade, attendees will don red carpet attire and enjoy entertainment from nationally recognized artists, food stations, cirque-style performers and more at the sold-out KeyBank 500 Festival Snakepit Ball at the Indianapolis Roof Ballroom. This event begins at 6 p.m. and includes a red carpet with celebrities in town for race weekend and special VIP guests.
At the track, country music superstar Blake Shelton will headline the Legends Day Concert presented by Firestone at 3 p.m. The opening acts for Shelton will be Chris Janson and Corey Cox. Tickets are $40, $75 for pit access and FREE for kids 3 and under.
Sunday, May 29
Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines… it’s race day! Whether you are continuing a tradition or starting a new one, this is the year the 100th Running of the Indy 500 cannot be missed. IMS gates open at 6 a.m. and the green flag is raised at 12:20 p.m. General admission tickets are $40 and reserved seat tickets start at $50. Attendees can arrive early for the Indy 500 Snake Pit with headliner Skrillex and other electronic music acts including Zed’s Dead and DJ Mustard. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $90 for VIP. Attendees must have an Indy 500 race day ticket to enter the grounds.
Indy 500 attendees can participate in Bike to the 500, a group bike ride to the track. Participants will gather at the Indianapolis City Market starting at 7:30 a.m. for music, games and food trucks. Secure bike parking at the IMS will be provided by Pedal and Park. The bike ride is $10 for those with a race ticket, $50 for the bike ride and a race ticket and $86 for the bike ride and an Indy 500 Race Day Reserved Seat.
Need parking options or a ride to the track? Park n Party offers reserved parking spots at Speedway 22, a lot located less than a mile from IMS. Parking is $60, $100 for VIP parking, $150 for a 3-day pass and $200 for RV parking.
Take a roundtrip bus from one of four locations: Sodrel Truck Lines Lot, IUPUI campus, the Hampton Inn or the Indianapolis International Airport. Shuttles will run from 6 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Return shuttles run for two hours post-race. The cost is $29 per person (round-trip or one-way). Premium shuttle tickets are sold out. Visit http://indysportsparking.com.
Monday, May 30
Attend the Indianapolis Indians game at 6:05 p.m. and enjoy a special postgame fireworks show. Players and coaches will wear special camouflage jerseys, and as a fundraiser to benefit WGU Indiana scholarships, the jerseys will be sold via an in-game, live online auction.
More Downtown fun
To kick off the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Hilbert Circle Theatre and the 100th Running of the Indy 500, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra is having a film series on May 27 and 28. See Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby on May 27 at 7 p.m., Cars on May 28 at 4 p.m. and Turbo on May 28 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5.
Families will enjoy a visit to the Indianapolis Zoo to see their newest temporary exhibit: Nature Connects: Art with LEGO bricks. Opening May 21, this exhibit uses tens of thousands to create sculptures of a polar bear and her cubs, a snow leopard, a monarch butterfly and more. All 12 sculptures are set throughout the stunning outdoor gardens. This exhibit is included with Zoo admission.
Play a round or two of mini golf at the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Mini Golf featuring 18 holes designed by local, regional and national artists. To celebrate Indiana’s bicentennial, each hole is inspired by Indiana history and landmarks. After playing, grab refreshments from King David Dogs and Sun King Brewing at the course’s clubhouse, open Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.