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500 Festival alters month of May events due to pandemic for 2nd straight year

Traditional parade is canceled for 2021
PHOTOS: 2018 Indy 500 Festival Parade
Posted at 11:03 AM, Mar 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-30 11:03:36-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Many of the events scheduled during the month of May in Indianapolis will be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic for the second year in a row.

The AES 500 Festival Parade will not take place in 2021, according to a news release from 500 Festival. Representatives with the organization will contact ticketholders with more information.

A new community celebration event called 500 Spectacle of Homes will take the parade's place this year. The event will culminate in a "reverse parade" on May 29, which will include a caravan of the 33 Indy 500 drivers who will drive from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway through surrounding neighborhoods and downtown.

“As a non-profit organization that produces large-scale community events held in public spaces, we have faced a number of unique challenges compared to events hosted in standalone venues,” 500 Festival CEO and president Bob Bryant said in a news release. “After careful consideration, it was ultimately determined that many of our events would not be able to take place in their traditional, in-person formats.”

On March 1, organizers announced the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and Delta Dental 5K scheduled for May 8 would be virtual races.

The 500 Festival provided updates on Tuesday about other events during the month. They include:

May 5: 500 Festival Kickoff to May — The event will take place in-person from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. on Monument Circle. It will only be open to members of the media and people will be required to follow health guidelines. The Kickoff to May Coloring Contest will return in April for children ages 12 and under.

May 15: Salesforce & JPMorgan Chase 500 Festival Kids' Day — The in-person event is canceled, and an interactive Kids' Day Map will be available on May 15. More than 3,000 Kids' Day-themed backpacks will be distributed to organizations that serve children in Marion County.

Salesforce & JPMorgan Chase 500 Festival Rookie Run — The event will be held virtually in 2021 with no in-person race. Parents and guardians can register their child online.

May 22: 500 Festival Breakfast at the Brickyard — The in-person event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is invitation-only, and individual tickets or tables will not be available for purchase.

May 28: The American Legion 500 Festival Memorial Service — The in-person event at the Indiana War Memorial will be invitation-only with a limited capacity.

May 29: 500 Festival Off the Grid — The in-person event will not take place. Funds that would have gone toward the eventn will be used to create and deliver an Off the Grid gift box for Central Indiana health care workers. People can donate by texting the code HEALTHCAREVIPS to 44-321.

500 Festival Volunteer Program — People will have the opportunity to volunteer virtually in 2021.

500 Festival & Indianapolis 500 Education Program — The in-person events, including the Education Program Study Trips and Mobile Trips, will not take place.