All 500 Festival in-person events canceled for 2020

Breakfast at the Brickyard, Parade and Mini-mini are just some of the events not happening this year.
Posted at 10:44 AM, Jul 22, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — The 500 Festival announced Wednesday that all remaining in-person events for 2020 are canceled.

In April, the 500 Festival moved its lineup of events in correlation with the Indianapolis 500 to August. Due to the continuation of the coronavirus pandemic the 500 Festival's board of directors decided to cancel in-person events for the interest of protecting the public's health.

The following events will not take place in 2020:

  • 500 Festival Kickoff to May, presented by STAR Bank
  • Salesforce & JPMorgan Chase 500 Festival Kids’ Day and Rookie Run
  • 500 Festival Breakfast at the Brickyard, presented by Midwestern Engineers, Inc.
  • 500 Festival Volunteer Appreciation Day, presented by Citizens Energy Group
  • 500 Festival Memorial Service, presented by Rolls-Royce
  • IPL 500 Festival Parade
  • 500 Festival mini-mini

This is the first time in 500 Festival history that the organization’s schedule of events will not take place.

Every year, for 64 years, the 500 Festival produces almost 50 events and programs leading up to the Indy 500. According to the 500 Festival, the events have contributed more than $500 million in economic value to Indianapolis.

“We appreciate the overwhelming support of the community, our sponsors, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and city and state officials throughout this process. We are in lockstep with our longtime partners at IMS and together, both organizations are united in our core focus of accomplishing the Indy 500," Bob Bryant, president and CEO of the 500 Festival, said. "By removing the 500 Festival’s events from the public calendar, we are able to shift our efforts and resources towards making this year’s Indy 500 race a success. We are proud to continue our nearly 65-year tradition of supporting the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,’ the Indianapolis 500, however we can."

While the organization cannot help the community celebrate the Indy 500 with big events and crowds, virtual events are in the works. Details regarding new virtual events for 2020 will be announced as they are finalized, according to the 500 Festival.

The 500 Festival says that those who bought event tickets for this year can expect direct communication from the organization in the coming days.

“We worked closely with local and state officials as well as local health experts, our partners at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and corporate partners to ensure that every potential option was evaluated. As an organization that produces large community events held in public spaces, we faced a number of unique challenges compared to an event hosted in a standalone venue,” Bryant said.

“This decision was not made lightly," Bryant continued. "With a wide range of programs and events that engage various audiences, the 500 Festival reached this conclusion with the utmost respect for the history and family traditions that will be impacted. We’re disappointed but we know that this is in the best interest of public health as well as the vitality of the 500 Festival for generations to come.”