SportsIndy 500


Record number of floats at this year's IPL 500 Festival Parade

Saturday's extravaganza steps off at 12:10 p.m.
Posted at 11:38 AM, May 24, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS — What do Jerry Mathers of Leave it to Beaver fame, NFL Hall of Famer Terrell Davis and Pacer Domantas Sabonis have in common?

All will be in downtown Indianapolis Saturday as participants in the IPL 500 Festival Parade.

It's the 63rd edition of the parade, with thousands of spectators lining the two-mile route.

They will see 14 floats, which 500 Festival organizers say is a record.

14 marching bands from four states will provide the music, and all 33 drivers in the 500 will be there, each at the wheel of a Corvette Grand Sport, this year's Pace car.

Sam Schmidt, the IndyCar driver left paralyzed by an accident in 2000, is the grand marshal and will be driving the Semi-Autonomous Motor Car (SAM) — the first time in parade history that a grand marshal has driven themselves along the route.

The SAM is controlled by Schmidt's head movements.

21 celebrities and dignitaries will march in the parade including The Swon Brothers, Jake Short of the Disney Channel, and singer Jim Cornelison.

The parade steps off at 12:10 p.m. at Pennsylvania and North streets and heads south on Penn to Washington Street.

From there, it's one block west to Meridian Street and north on Meridian to 10th Street.

Many downtown streets will be closed, some starting as early as 7 a.m.

Spectators are urged to arrive early in order to find a parking space.

The parade is expected to end around 2 p.m.