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October 21, 2014
12:43 p.m.
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Memorial Day weekend

Memorial Day

From sports events to race parties to adorable orangutans, Downtown will make your holiday a “memorial” one! 

500 Festival and race activities:

Friday, May 23
Join Indianapolis officials and residents as they pay special tribute to our military and fallen Hoosier soldiers at the 500 Festival Memorial Service on Monument Circle at noon. After, make your way to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Coors Light Carb Day Concert with Sammy Hagar and Sublime. The concert will take place on the new Turn 4 Coors Light Stage in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway infield and starts at 3:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 24
Don’t miss the IPL 500 Festival Parade starting at noon, featuring celebrities including Gracie Gold and Nick Goepper, costumed characters, floats, marching bands, giant balloons and the 33 starting drivers of the Indianapolis 500. Following the parade, rock out to Hardwell, NERVO and Dillon Francis during the Snake Pit Ball at the Indiana Roof Ballroom. Snake Pit music and festivities start at 7 p.m.

Head to the Elbow Room Pub and watch the parade from the patio or dining room.  Breakfast is available from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Enjoy a parade brunch at the Skyline Club and then watch the Parade on Meridian Street in your reserved seating. Brunch begins at 10 a.m. and is $24.95, or brunch and reserved seating at the parade is $42.95 for adults. Various discounted prices available for children.

At the Motor Speedway, check out Legends Day at the Indy 500 honoring Mario Andretti. The inaugural Legends Day concert will feature country music star Jason Aldean performing at 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, May 25
The 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 kicks off at noon. If the kids are tagging along, join the Radio Disney Road Crew in the FREE Kids Zone from 5:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. for music, dancing, games and prizes.

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. Visit www.indy500parking.com.

Other Downtown fun

Relax outside over a glass of wine, your favorite cocktail or a brew and enjoy shrimp cocktail and other appetizers from Harry & Izzy’s and Severin Bar at the Omni Severin Hotel during Happy Hour on Georgia Street. Visit with friends and co-workers as live, local jazz fills the air. Unwind from the work week with a casual evening on the Boardwalk every summer Friday from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Gather the entire family and head to the Indianapolis Zoo for the opening of the world's largest International Orangutan Center on May 24. Enjoy live entertainment, family photo ops, and of course, up-close interactions with the orangutans themselves. Guests are encouraged to plan ahead for their visit and purchase advance tickets online to save time and money.

Head to The Children’s Museum for its newest exhibits. Terra Cotta Warriors tells the story of the tomb complex of China’s first emperor, and features real Terra Cotta Warrior. This is your only chance to see the warriors in the U.S. in 2014! While you’re visiting the Children’s Museum, check out Take Me There: China. “Fly” over the Great Wall of China, “land” in Beijing and embark on a journey through contemporary China.

Catch spring sports! The Indiana Fever play the Washington Mystics on May 23 at 7 p.m. at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Indianapolis Indians take on the Buffalo Bisons at Victory Field on May 26 at 6:05 p.m.

Head to Fountain Square Theatre for a night of dancing and dining. Beginner Swing Dance Lessons begin May 23 at 7:30 p.m. and are followed by dancing with Terry Lee and the Rockaboogie Band until 11:30 p.m. Since you will likely work up an appetite dancing, stop by the seasonal opening of the Rooftop Garden for dinner provided by End of the Line Public House. Guests must be 21 or older.

Enjoy a magical evening at the Indianapolis Propylaeum during Dinner and a Magic Show on May 23 at 7 p.m. Also at the Prop, attend Backwards Dinner on May 25 at 4 and 6 p.m. Start with the dessert course, then move to the entrée and end with a salad or soup. Make reservations quickly – these two events will likely sell out.   

Celebrate race weekend with comedian Bill Engvall at Hilbert Circle Theatre on May 24 at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Bill Engvall is best known for his work as a stand-up comic and his signature "Here's Your Sign" bit. 

Looking for live music? Chef Joseph’s at The Connoisseur Room is the place to be on Friday and Saturday night if you are looking to enjoy live music while eating at a favorite local hotspot. Enjoy FREE live music from Melissa Schott on May 23 and Toni Tolliver on May 24. Enjoy live music from Three at Last and local wine at Easley Winery’s Groovin' in the Garden May 24 from 2 – 5 p.m. Also, listen to favorite racing songs including The Eagle’s Life in the Fast Lane and Florida Georgia Line’s Cruise at Howl at the Moon’s Indy 500 Party on May 25. Doors open at 5 p.m. Drink specials are available all night.

Downtown parking

  • 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 all day Sunday, May 25 and Monday, May 26 (Memorial Day holiday).

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