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Memorial Day Weekend Events in Indianapolis
By Taylor Newell
Indianapolis Downtown, Inc.
From museum events to race parties to Pacers playoff hysteria, Downtown will make any occasion a “memorial” one! Be sure to check out the travel and parking tips below before you head Downtown.
500 Festival and race activities:
Friday, May 24
Join Indianapolis officials and residents as they pay special tribute to our military and fallen Hoosier soldiers at the 500 Festival Memorial Service presented by Rolls Royce taking place on Monument Circle at noon. General Daniel B. Allyn, 20th commander of United States Army Forces Command will be the featured speaker. Afterwards, head to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Coors Light Carb Day, featuring legendary rock band Poison starting at 3:30 p.m. Admission is $20.
Saturday, May 25
Don’t miss the IPL 500 Festival Parade starting at noon, featuring celebrities, costumed characters, breathtaking floats, marching bands, giant balloons and the 33 starting drivers of the Indianapolis 500. The 2012 WNBA Champion Indiana Fever will serve as Grand Marshal. For more information, visitwww.500festival.com/parade.
Head to the Elbow Room Pub and watch the parade from the patio or dining room! Breakfast is served from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Family dining will also be available in a smoke-free environment. The Skyline Club is offering a 500 Parade Brunch at 10 a.m. for $24.95 for brunch only or a combo price (brunch and parade) of $42.95 for adults and various discounted prices for children. Reservations required; call 263.5000. Reserve a seat for parade viewing at Hoosier Park’s Winners Circle patio. Guests 18 and older will have a front row seat – $20, plus $15 minimum purchase each. Reserve ahead at 656.7223 or pay at the door.
At the Motor Speedway, check out Legends Day at the Indy 500 honoring legendary racer, Parnelli Jones. Other events include a memorabilia show, vintage Spring Car and Midget Displays and the world’s largest autograph session with Indianapolis 500 veterans from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday, May 26
The 97th running of the Indianapolis 500 will start at noon at the IMS. Need a ride to the race? Take a roundtrip bus from one of three Downtown locations: Sodrel Truck Lines Lot, IUPUI campus or Hampton Inn. Pre-race shuttles will run from 8 a.m. – noon to the track. Return shuttles run for two hours post-race. The cost is $25 per person (round-trip or one-way) or $40 per person (guaranteed seat at specific time) for the premium upgrade. For more information for Downtown locations visit www.indy500parking.com or look below to see which color coded route works best:
#1 Pink Route
Downtown South location – Sodrel Truck Lines North Lot
1220 S. West St., Indianapolis (Corner of West and Morris streets)
#2 Black Route
Downtown North location – IUPUI
IUPUI Parking Lots 73 & 92 (Corner of Michigan and California streets)
#3 Purple Route
Downtown location – The Hampton Inn
105 S. Meridian St., Indianapolis (Across from Circle Centre and Hard Rock Café)
Beat the Heat!
The Pacers have advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2004! Game three against the Miami Heat takes place at Bankers Life Fieldhouse Sunday, May 26 at 8:30 p.m. The crowd will be “checkered-out” for race day – every fan in attendance will receive a Pacers checkered t-shirt! A pre-game party will begin on Pennsylvania Street outside the Fieldhouse at 5 p.m. with a fenced-off area serving beer for fans 21 and older. The Pacers are anticipating another sell-out crowd of 18,165.
Other Downtown fun this weekend:
Humanoid automatons and landspeeders are coming to life at the Indiana State Museum! The museum will be hosting the grand opening of the StarWars®: Where Science Meets Imagination exhibit May 24 from midnight to 4 a.m. Tickets are $50 and include admission, the Millennium Falcon interactive experience, a chance to win prizes and a commemorative gift. Unable to attend the midnight opening? The exhibit runs through Sept. 2 and is $10 in addition to general admission. Explore the six films, the science used behind them and see actual props and costumes. Call 317.232.1637 for ticketing information or visit www.indianamuseum.org.
Head over to Fountain Square this weekend for a night of dancing and dining. Beginning Swing Dance Lessons start at 7:30 p.m. May 24 at The Fountain Square Theatre and are followed by The Stardusters at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $12 at 7:30 and $10 at 8:30 p.m. Afterwards, head over to the seasonal opening of the Rooftop Garden for dinner provided by End of the Line Public House. Guests must be 21 or older. For more information, visitwww.fountainsquareindy.com.
The Indianapolis Museum of Art hosts the “Hold It!” family activity on May 25 from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m., offering the whole family hands-on experience with different types of art, artist materials and art samples. Visit www.imamuseum.org for more.
Chef Joseph’s at The Connoisseur Room is the place to be on Friday and Saturday night if you are looking to enjoy good music and great meals in a relaxing ambiance. Enjoy FREE entertainment during your dining experience provided by John Phillips May 24 and Barbara Randall May 25. Visitwww.chefjosephs.com.
There is something for all ages at the Indianapolis Propylaeum. On May 24, the Prop hosts a Wine Pairing and Eight Course Dinner from 7 – 10 p.m. for $75. Bring the children to the Teen Mystery Dinner May 25 from 5 – 8 p.m. for $20. Call 638.7881or visit www.thepropylaeum.org.
Luenell: The Uncut Diva performs live at Old National Centre May 24 at 9 p.m. Tickets range from $32 – $62. Visit www.livenation.com for ticket information.
Bring the family and friends to Lucas Oil Stadium Friday at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. or Saturday at 2, 4 and 6 p.m. to receive special “Parade Day” tours of the facility. Adult admission is $10 and children ages 4-12, seniors and military are $7. Visit www.lucasoilstadium.com or call 262.8600.
Memorial Day (May 27) is your final chance to check out the Hot Wheels For Real™ exhibit at The Children’s Museum. Keep the race spirit alive with full-sized Hot Wheels® cars. All ages will receive youth admission rates through the end of May. To print the coupon, visit www.childrensmuseum.org/may-discount.
Cap off your Memorial Day weekend at Victory Field for the Indianapolis Indians game against the Pawtucket Red Sox the evening of Memorial Day. Come hungry to the ballpark because Monday Dollar Menu will be in full-swing! Hot dogs, peanuts, Cracker Jack, popcorn and potato chips are all $1 each. Game time is 6:05 p.m. Visit www.indyindians.com.
Downtown parking and traveling tips:
Everyone can find parking, arrive at their destination on time and enjoy all the excitement this weekend if a few simple tips are followed.
- Plan your driving & walking route into and through Downtown ahead of time.
- Use interstates to travel to and leave Downtown.
- Enter Downtown from the side on which you plan to park.
- Allow plenty of extra travel time to Downtown.
- Be aware that travel through Downtown will be limited to streets away from the core area.
- Relax during peak exit times.
- Wear comfortable shoes, park once and enjoy the walk.
- Carpool or use IndyGo if possible.
- Download the “Indy Downtown” App for iPhone or Android phones at www.indydt.com/IndyDowntownApp.cfm.
- Downtown parking is abundant. There are more than 72,500 parking spaces Downtown.
- Log onto www.indydt.com for Downtown maps with attraction and parking information. Print out the map and bring it with you.
- Select a couple of parking alternatives before you leave home.
- Plan to use a garage or lot. Most meters near the event sites are restricted during this time.
- Some parking facilities and lots may not be open to the public.
- NOTE: Parking meters will be FREE on Friday, May 24 during the 500 Festival Memorial Service in a three-block radius of Monument Circle. Meters will also be FREE all day Sunday, May 26 and Monday, May 27 (Memorial Day holiday).
Categories: attractions, events, exhibits, Indiana, Indianapolis, Indians, Indy, live music, Memorial Day, museums, Pacers, sports, theatres, things to do, tourism 500 Festival, 500 Festival Parade, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Chef Joseph's, Children's Museum, Elbow Room Pub, Fountain Square, Indiana Fever, Indiana Pacers, indiana state museum, Indianapolis Indians, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis Propylaeum, Lucas Oil Stadium, Skyline Club, Star Wars