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Indianapolis 500 Festival is a month-long celebration of the Indianapolis 500 casting city-wide programs and events during May. Four of Indianapolis businessmen started the idea of a gala parade and a dance ball during the 1957 celebration of Indianapolis 500. These four men were Joe Quinn, J. Worth Baker, Howard Wilcox, and Indianapolis Mayor Alex Clark.

The parade gala in 1957 became the kick-off event for the Indianapolis 500 Festival. More than 150,000 people formed an audience line along the streets where the parade passed by. A ball in the Woody Herman?s Orchestra in Indiana Roof Ballroom for Governor?s Ball was filled with 500 people who danced and enjoy the celebration. Since that first success in 1957, the organizers aimed for a more successful, more grandiose, and bigger Indiana 500 Festival.

Every year, the festival comes up with a theme where each event and activities should be anchored to. One of the most popular events on the festival is the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. It is considered as the largest half-marathon in the United States and recorded as the seventh largest running event in the entire America. The marathon started in 1977 and known prior as Indianapolis 500-Mile Race. It was included in the line-up of Indianapolis 500 Festival official events in 1979.

Meanwhile, the grand parade of the festival usually takes place in the downtown of Indianapolis. There are giant floats designed with ornaments, novelties, famous characters and places. Famous personalities are usually coming during the Snakepit Ball where red carpet, dinner party and a black tie party are held.
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