All year, you’ve been asking, “Is it May yet?” Finally, the answer is yes!
But you don’t have to wait until the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge — scheduled for Sunday, May 26 — to celebrate. Fast-track your May festivities by attending any (or all) of these Indy-related events.
REV PRESENTED BY FIFTH THIRD BANK
Tickets: SOLD OUT
When: Saturday, May 4, 7 p.m. ET
Where: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (4790 W. 16th St., Indianapolis, IN 46222)
Old-school drivers used to pair up with ride-along riding mechanics — valiant passengers who monitored, maintained and even repaired the car during the race. In this same spirit, today’s drivers have partnered with top local chefs to concoct racing-inspired cuisine and cocktails for party-goers at the annual Rev event at IMS. The event — which benefits the IU Health Foundation — is so popular, it’s already sold out in what has become the must-attend official kickoff to May activities at IMS.
DAN WHELDON MEMORIAL PRO-AM KARTING CHALLENGE
Tickets: Free for spectators
When: Sunday, May 5; gates open at 9 a.m.; race starts at 1:45 p.m.
Where: New Castle Motorsports Park (5816 S. 125 West, New Castle, Indiana 47362)
We get it: You can’t wait until the INDYCAR Grand Prix on May 11 to watch top NTT IndyCar Series drivers compete. You don’t have to. Many top drivers — we’re talking Scott Dixon, James Hinchcliffe, Tony Kanaan, Josef Newgarden, Alexander Rossi and more — have signed on to compete at this year’s karting challenge in memory of the two-time Indy 500 winner. This popular event benefits the Dan Wheldon Foundation.
CHILDREN’S THERAPLAY #HORSEPOWER 500
Tickets: $25 for ages 13 and above, $15 for children ages 3-12; children 2 and under free
When: Monday, May 6, 3 p.m.
Where: Children’s TherAplay (9919 Towne Rd., Carmel, Indiana 46032; parking and free shuttle service available at nearby College Park Church, 2606 W. 96th St.)
As NTT IndyCar Series driver Matheus Leist can tell you, racing on three wheels is generally a bad thing, unless you’re competing in the annual Children’s TherAplay #Horsepower500 tricycle race. During this event, drivers share trike duties with special-needs kids to turn laps inside the TherAplay horse barn. All proceeds go to the Children’s TherAplay Foundation, which provides innovative “hippotherapy” (physical and occupational therapy involving horses, in case you never took Latin) for kids with autism, Down syndrome, traumatic brain injuries and others.
500 PRELUDE BENEFITING THE SURVIVORS OF VIOLENCE FOUNDATION
When: Wednesday, May 8, 6-9 p.m.
Where: Prime 47 (47 S. Pennsylvania St., Indianapolis 46024)
“First Lady of Motorsports” Linda Vaughn, racing legend Mario Andretti and three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart headline this annual event. It benefits the Survivors of Violence Foundation, which provides free care to those who experience pain or disfigurement due to injury or violence. The foundation also maintains a special fund for wounded racing drivers and crew. Expect to see a slew of drivers and other racing insiders at this event!
MARIO ANDRETTI WINE EVENTS AT CHARBLUE AND PRIME 47 CARMEL
Tickets: $150 (CharBlue) and $125 (Prime 47)
When: Thursday, May 9, 6:15 p.m. (CharBlue) and Thursday, May 16, 6:15 p.m. (Prime 47)
Where: CharBlue Indy (14 E. Washington St., Indianapolis 46204) and Prime 47 (14300 Clay Terrace Blvd., Carmel, Indiana 46032)
Info: https://charblueindy.com/ or http://prime47carmel.com/andretti-wine-event/
Face it: Unless you manage to win the Indy 500, the Daytona 500, a Formula One championship, and four Indy car titles, you’ll never taste victory quite the way Mario Andretti has. But you can taste Andretti’s award-winning wines at two separate wine events. Both feature a multi-course meal with wine pairings from Andretti Winery in Napa Valley, with Mario on hand for photos and autographs.
BREAKFAST AT THE BRICKYARD
Tickets: SOLD OUT (visit https://500festival.wufoo.com/forms/qdwffju02v8mqo/ to be added to the wait list)
When: Saturday, May 18, 8:30-10:30 a.m.
Where: Indianapolis Motor Speedway Plaza Pavilion
Q: What do you get when you mix Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, a host of civic leaders and local luminaries and 33 500 Festival Princesses? A: the annual Breakfast at the Brickyard. Guests at this gathering enjoy a hearty Hoosier breakfast while taking in talks by executives from IMS and the 500 Festival. Following that: a rousing Q&A session featuring famed broadcaster Bob Jenkins and racing legend/team owner Sam Schmidt. Afterward, attendees are free to tour Gasoline Alley and witness the first day of qualifying activities for this year’s Indy 500.
TALES FROM THE TRACK FEATURING DARIO FRANCHITTI
Tickets: Start at $65
When: Wednesday, May 22, 6-8 p.m.
Where: Emmis Communications (40 Monument Circle, Indianapolis 46204)
Food: Check. Drink: Check. Charming Scottish storyteller to regale you with tales from a racing career that included four NTT IndyCar Series championships and three Indianapolis 500 wins: check, check, and check! That’s what’s on offer at Tales from the Track, hosted by WIBC’s Hammer & Nigel. This event, presented by Relay Indiana, which provides free access to telecommunications services to people who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or speech impaired, is sure to entertain!
RACING TO RECOVERY 2019 INDY GALA
Tickets: Start at $250
When: Thursday May 23; VIP cocktail hour 6-7 p.m.; gala 7-10 p.m.
Where: Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum
Attire: Cocktail or black-and-white attire
The annual Racing to Recovery Gala raises funds and awareness for Conquer Paralysis Now (CPN), a charity founded by former Indy car driver and current team co-owner Sam Schmidt. For Schmidt, curing paralysis is personal. He suffered a spinal-cord injury in 2000 that left him a quadriplegic. And in 2018, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver Robert Wickens sustained a spinal-cord injury from which he is still recovering.
“Some type of treatment is going to come,” Schmidt says of paralysis. Funds raised during the gala, which features a buffet, a bar, entertainment and live and silent auctions, will go toward finding that treatment and potential cures.
LAST ROW PARTY
When: Thursday, May 23, 7-10 p.m.
Where: Indianapolis Motor Speedway Pagoda
The Last Row Party toasts and roasts the three drivers set to start this year’s Indianapolis 500 from the 11th (last) row. This event is always a fan favorite, featuring free food and drinks, stunning views from the IMS Pagoda and entertainment in the form of gentle ribbing of the honorees (all in good fun, of course). Due to a surplus of race entrants, some unlucky drivers will fail to qualify for the race at all — meaning the drivers at this year’s Last Row Party will have real reason to celebrate. Come on out and join them!
CARB DAY KARTING FOR CANCER
When: Friday, May 24, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Where: Speedway Indoor Karting (1067 N. Main St., Speedway, Indiana 46224)
Help put the brakes on cancer — ironically, by pressing the throttle (of a go-kart, that is). Guests at this event, which benefits Racing For Cancer, the charity founded by NTT IndyCar Series driver Ryan Hunter-Reay following the death of his mother from the disease. Enjoy unlimited karting on Speedway Indoor Karting’s road and oval tracks. Also: brunch!
Keep an eye out for Ryan’s son Ryden participating to raise funds.
MILLER LITE CARB DAY CONCERT: KOOL & THE GANG AND FOREIGNER
Tickets: Start at $30
When: Friday, May 24; concert gates open at 2 p.m.; Kool & the Gang at 3:30 p.m.; Foreigner at 5 p.m.
Where: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
If you’re up for the “Celebration” on Carb Day featuring Kool & the Gang and Foreigner, you need to “Get Down On It.” Don’t play “Head Games” or waste your time “Waiting for a Girl Like You!” You’ll be left in the “Cold As Ice.” For real: If you’re thinking, I’m “Hot Blooded” and “I Want to Know What Love Is,” then be a “Jukebox Hero” and buy your tickets today. Oh, and don’t forget to check out the on-track action that features the final practice before the Indy 500 and the Freedom 100 race in Indy Lights, too. No matter how many days you’ve spent at the track, it’ll still “Feel Like the First Time.”
FIRESTONE LEGENDS DAY CONCERT: CLAYTON ANDERSON, CARLY PEARCE AND ZAC BROWN BAND
Tickets: Start at $45
When: Saturday, May 25; concert gates open at 1 p.m.; Clayton Anderson at 2:30 p.m.; Carly Pearce at 3:15 p.m.; Zac Brown Band at 4:30 p.m.
Where: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
The multi-platinum, Grammy award-winning Zac Brown Band headlines this country-music concert on Legends Day. Other Legends Day activities include a driver autograph session with the entire 2019 Indianapolis 500 field from 9-10 a.m., the traditional Indy 500 public drivers meeting and a second session with legendary drivers from noon-2:30 p.m. Historic cars will also be on track and on display.
IPL 500 FESTIVAL PARADE
Tickets: Start at $10
When: Saturday, May 25, 11:45 a.m.
Where: Downtown Indianapolis
There are parade laps, like when all 33 drivers pack up for the green flag before the start of the Indianapolis 500. Then there are parade laps, like when all 33 drivers take a lap around downtown Indianapolis in an actual parade: the IPL 500 Festival Parade. Joining them will be more than a dozen marching bands, costumed characters, celebrities, military personnel, dignitaries and a series of spectacular floats and super-sized helium balloons. Former driver and current team owner Sam Schmidt will serve as grand marshal.
500 FESTIVAL OFF THE GRID, PRESENTED BY KEY BANK
When: Saturday May 25 at 6 p.m.
Where: Indiana Roof Ballroom (140 W. Washington St., Indianapolis 46204)
Attire: Black tie
Nine out of 10 race fans agree: There’s no better way to spend Indy 500 eve than at the 500 Festival Off the Grid event (formerly the Snakepit Ball). (Not sure what was wrong with the 10th fan.) Guests enjoy a walk down the televised red carpet alongside local and national celebrities and dignitaries, gourmet food, creative cocktails, a silent auction (which features a once-in-a-lifetime ride around IMS with Mario Andretti) and world-class entertainment. Proceeds benefit the 500 Festival.
INDY 500 SNAKE PIT PRESENTED BY COORS LIGHT: SKRILLEX, ALESSO, ILLENIUM AND CHRIS LAKE
Tickets: Start at $50 (not including race day general admission ticket)
When: Sunday, May 26, 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Maybe the siren song of 33 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged, V-6 Indy car engines screaming into Turn 1 at IMS just isn’t your thing. Fear not. The 2019 Snake Pit presented by Coors Light offers an eardrum-bleeding alternative in the form of an EDM show. The concert, which runs before and during the Indianapolis 500, features top acts like Skrillex, Alesso, Illenium and Chris Lake.
INDIANAPOLIS 500 VICTORY CELEBRATION
When: Monday, May 27, 7 p.m.
Where: JW Marriott (10 S. West St., Indianapolis 46204)
Come celebrate with the 103rd Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge winner (and commiserate with everyone else) at this lively event. Guests enjoy a sit-down dinner with drinks and entertainment in the form of speeches by many of the participating drivers. Don’t miss this chance to relive the excitement, emotion and pageantry of “The Greatest Spectacle of Racing!”