To say the May 2017 was epic in Downtown Indy is an understatement. The way our Downtown residents and workforce came together to celebrate was like none other!

There were huge signs promoting the Indy 500 on the JW Marriott, Harry & Izzy’s, The ArtsGarden, Circle Centre Mall and Pan Am Plaza. There were street pole banners throughout the Mile Square with 101st Running decor and the cherished traditions of the 500 Festival. There were checkered porches, front yards and fences. There were Workout Wednesdays and Food Truck Fridays full of Indianapolis Motor Speedway famed faces, sunglasses and fans every week! And please tell me you saw those black and white checkered columns all around Monument Circle…seriously, how spectacular were those?! Everywhere you looked, Downtown Indy screamed “It’s May! It’s the Indy 500!”

The way that our city embraced the renewed energy of the World’s Largest Single-Day Sporting Event was beyond refreshing! But let’s talk about my favorite part, the fashion. I loved the way so many people dressed each Friday.

This year was the launch of 500 Fashion Fridays, a collaboration between Downtown Indy, Inc. and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. We recruited a street team full of spirited folks who all share a love for our Downtown and an equal love for the Indy 500. And let me tell you, they did not disappoint! Every Friday our street team posted their pics with #500fashionfridays and encouraged others to do so as well. Hundreds of people posted their black and white inspired photos to social media and with each passing week, there was more and more participation. And speaking of participation, some of our Downtown restaurants and food trucks offered discounts on to those wearing their checkered best!

The momentum this new program created and the excitement our community demonstrated showed us all that this was definitely the start of something special. 500 Fashion Fridays allowed everyone to be a part of a Downtown community and demonstrate pride for an event that means so much to so many Hoosiers. It reminded us of the traditions that our parents and grandparents had. It nudged people to find those crazy photos of their Snake Pit days in their checkered best. And most importantly it showed us all, once again, why Indianapolis is the undisputed Greatest City in Racing.

So, here is your 337 day warning to get stocked up on your black and white wardrobe because 500 Fashion Fridays will be back on May 4, 2018! And don’t worry, it will be even bigger next year.