Indy 500 Décor, Community Initiatives Celebrate, Extend Iconic Month of May

Chris Owens Photo

May is community, and nothing brings people together like the stunning art and fan-friendly events that signal “This is May” throughout Central Indiana.

Whether a lifelong resident or a first-time visitor, these elements energize everyone across Central Indiana and way beyond to celebrate the 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, May 26 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“Community is one of the many ways May is special,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “Throughout the city, our neighbors, partners and local organizations roll out the checkered carpet to welcome visitors and gather together to ensure the Indy 500 is truly ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.’”

Countdown Signage installed this week includes the renaming of downtown Indianapolis streets after Indianapolis 500 drivers and the takeover of the JW Marriott hotel façade and Indianapolis International Airport Civic Plaza.

Additional décor includes the latest collection of Welcome Race Fans art. In collaboration with the Arts Council of Indianapolis, the artwork of Anna Afshar, Lindsey Lord, Miracle Hall (Ratat Rayay), Jaylei Marie Osting and Carlos Sosa Pagán has been installed at locations throughout Indianapolis. Look for the art on Main Street in Speedway, the Indianapolis International Airport, Indianapolis Arts Garden, The Amp at 16 Tech and Clay Terrace Mall, among other locations. Snap a photo and share it on your social media pages with #WelcomeRaceFans to help welcome fans to Indy.

As the calendar turns to May, neighborhoods around the state begin to proudly display their own festive, race-themed decor. It’s common to see black-and-white drapes, checkered pennants, race flags and even homemade decorations at Hoosier homes and businesses.

Embrace the sense of community that embodies Indy during the Month of May by adorning your homes in race-themed decor and by hosting a porch party with neighbors and friends. The community-centric, porch party initiative works in partnership with the Harrison Center for the Arts. The first porch party celebration of the year will take place Friday, May 3 at the Harrison Center. Register your porch party at

Race fans also are encouraged to dress themselves in their best and most festive “500” items every Friday in May. 500 Fashion Fridays is a creative and unique outlet for fans to show their Indy 500 pride and excitement for the race. Be sure to share #500FashionFridays photos!

Once you’re dressed in your best, there are numerous ways to celebrate community.

IMS is partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana to support the “Rally for MENtors: 300 Men in 3 Months” recruitment campaign. To learn more about BBBSCI and how to get involved, visit

For the third year in a row, IMS will host a naturalization ceremony. On Tuesday, May 14, which is also opening day of practice for the Indianapolis 500, 33 individuals from around the world will be inducted as United States citizens at the Racing Capital of the World. The event will be held in Pagoda Plaza and is open to the public for those attending practice.

Bike to the 500 presented by Bike Indianapolis continues this year with two departure times, allowing the most loyal fans to arrive in time for prerace ceremonies. With parking sold out for Race Day, Bike to the 500 offers fans a safe, environmentally friendly and healthy commute to the Speedway on Indy 500 Race Day. The Race Day commute will begin at the AMP at 16 Tech, and hundreds of bikers will depart that morning for the track. To secure a spot in line on Race Day, cyclists must register in advance here.

To explore the full list of Indy 500 community initiatives and programs, visit To see an up-to-date calendar of events IMS will have a presence at this May, click here.


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