The month of May is about so much more than going fast around an iconic American race oval, it is about community and fun, and traditions. 2022 is when the month of May gets back to normal in Indianapolis after two years of COVID -19, and that may be the most welcome part of Indy’s extensive hospitality gifts to the people who will travel from all over the world to their borders.
It will be just like coming home again.
According to a press release: Indy 500 Décor, Community Initiatives Welcome Race Fans ‘Back Home Again’ This May
500 Spectacle of Homes, Naturalization Ceremony, Bike to the 500
among Expanded Community Programs
INDIANAPOLIS (Thursday, April 28, 2022) – Hoosiers living around Central Indiana and visitors to downtown Indianapolis only need to take one look around to realize: It’s time to come “Back Home Again.”
Stunning visuals alongside messaging centered around this year’s marketing campaign “Back Home Again” are blanketing Central Indiana to help energize the local community and Hoosiers at heart for the 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, May 29.
Signage installed this week includes the renaming of downtown Indianapolis streets after the star drivers of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and the takeover of the JW Marriott hotel. This year’s Indy 500 logo on the front of the skyscraper measures 127 feet high and 118½ feet wide, and “Back Home Again” written along the north side of the building comes in at 206 feet tall.
“One of the most important lessons we learned here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway over the last two years is that the Indy 500 is nothing without its incredible fans and passionate community that support this race in ways that no other sports organization experiences,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “I’m proud to show off our signature Hoosier hospitality and work with so many community partners to offer fun, exciting and meaningful events and programs that get race fans involved and support the organizations that help our community thrive.”
Other signage promoting the entire Month of May, including the GMR Grand Prix on Saturday, May 14, PPG Presents Armed Forces Qualifying Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22, the Miller Lite Carb Day Concert Friday, May 27, Firestone Legends Day Concert Saturday, May 28 and the Indy 500 Snake Pit presented by Coors Light Sunday, May 29 will be displayed at the Indianapolis International Airport, along Georgia Street, the Artsgarden, Simon Malls, Harry and Izzy’s and more in collaboration with the Indianapolis Airport Authority, Downtown Indy, Inc. and Visit Indy.
Additionally, this year’s Welcome Race Fans signage in collaboration with the Arts Council of Indianapolis will see the artwork of H. Herin, JD Bills, Mirvia Sol Eckert, Mary Mindiola and Lucie Rice at locations such as Main Street in Speedway, Simon Malls (Castleton, Keystone, Greenwood, Hamilton Townsquare), Indianapolis International Airport, Saks Fifth Avenue at Keystone Mall and the Artsgarden.
Plus, Indy Wings murals will return to Indianapolis neighborhoods to offer Instagram-worthy photo opportunities for fans, pedestrians and business customers. The mural, an ode to the famed IMS Wing and Wheel logo, was designed by IMS graphic designer Shae Beechler, daughter of four-time Indy 500 starter Donnie Beechler. Multiple murals will be displayed around downtown Indianapolis, Main Street in Speedway, Clay Terrace Mall, Noblesville and Westfield.
These visuals that put Indianapolis’ signature Hoosier hospitality on display for race fans coming from around the world are just one aspect of a strong community-first focus that drives “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
After a massively successful campaign in 2021, 500 Spectacle of Homes returns in 2022 to encourage race fans to decorate their yard or home in race-themed fashion, host a fun porch party and show off their amazing civic pride that runs deep within all Hoosiers. This initiative works in tandem with the Harrison Center for the Arts as porch parties become an integral part of 500 Spectacle of Homes. The first porch party celebration of the year will take place Friday, May 6 at the Harrison Center.
This year’s month-long 500 Spectacle of Homes celebration culminates Wednesday, May 25 as lucky chosen homes will be selected to get a visit from NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers. The selected homes also will be entered into a drawing for a chance to ride on the IMS float in the AES 500 Festival Parade on Saturday, May 28. Race fans must register their home to participate at IMS.com/Spectacle.
New this year, IMS will be the site of a naturalization ceremony Tuesday, May 17, also opening day of practice for the Indianapolis 500. In honor of the 500-Mile Race, 33 individuals from around the world will be inducted as United States citizens at the Racing Capital of the World in a first-of-its-kind event at IMS. The event will be held in Pagoda Plaza and is open to the public for those attending practice.
IMS also has expanded its incredibly successful Bike to the 500 initiative in collaboration with Bike Indianapolis to offer fans a safe and healthy commute to the Speedway on Indy 500 Race Day. New this year, the Race Day commute starts at the AMP at 16 Tech and follows a police escort to the racetrack. Bike to the 500 is also expanding to allow for bicycle parking at IMS all month long. To secure a spot in line on Race Day, May 29, cyclists must register in advance here.
Kari is an ex-Community Organizer who writes about Cultural Marxism, grassroots activism, music, IndyCar racing and political campaigns. @Saorsa1776