INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — With the 500 Festival Parade canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the 500 Festival and the Harrison Center wanted to assure Indianapolis didn’t go another year losing out on tradition.
So, they are putting on what they call a “reverse parade.”
“So, we took porch parties and said, ‘Let’s step it up a notch,’ and the 500 Spectacle of Homes really is make your home a float,” said Doug Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) president.
IMS is offering starter kits that include flags, yard signs and other décor for people who register their homes. The event is open to homes in Marion County only. The speedway also partnered with a few people to set up sample homes to give inspiration. One of them is where high school student Luke Hern lives.
“The goal of this is to get people involved. Obviously can’t come and participate in a parade like happens most years, and so this is a way for people to just use any resources they have in their garage or in their house and just be able to participate,” Hern said.
A committee will pick 33 homes to be listed as the official “parade route” so people can drive around and enjoy the excitement of the month of May that leads up to the May 30 Indianapolis 500.
“Kind of like going around to see Christmas lights, this is going around to see checkered flags and Indy 500 décor,” said Bob Bryant, the 500 Festival president.
The day before the race, May 29, a special entourage will make its rounds through Indianapolis to greet the winning homes and race fans. Bryant said, “500 Festival Pace cars with all 33 of the Indy Car drivers will be taking through the streets of Indianapolis and then ultimately to visit 33 different homes.”
When decorating his home, Hern took the starter kit and then built the rest of his “float” out of stuff he found in his garage.
“The theme I have here is a beach theme,” Hern said.
He worked with his family and neighborhood kids to build a seascape out of lawn chairs, goggles, palm trees and spray-painted cardboard.
“Create something really cool that people want to come out and see,” Boles said.