Monday, May 2, 2011

May in Indy

It's officially May in Indianapolis. Perhaps one of my favorite times of the year. While the hoopla and excitement surrounding the Indy 500 has tapered off in the last decade or so, there is still so much fun to be had around here throughout the month.

We'll kick things off this weekend with a morning at the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. It's the largest mini-marathon in the U.S. with 35,000 runners and walkers. We'll be cheering on several friends and family, a few of which are participating for the first time. We can't wait to see them cross the finish line. If you're planning to attend the race, check out my tips for fans at the Indiana Insider.

The next few weekends, the activity will center around the track itself as the car tries to qualify for a spot in the big event. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a great place to visit if you're ever passing through town. Even if you're not a race fan, you'll be fascinated by the history of this place. We're excited for the arrow to get a little older to take in qualifying festivities. I remember sitting in the stands as a little girl with my dad and a stopwatch, as he taught me how to time the laps to see which driver was fastest.

So while the cars are too loud for his 2-year-old ears, I have hopes of bringing the arrow to the parade this year. It runs through downtown Indianapolis the day prior to the race, and all the drivers participate, along with colorful floats and bands. I've never been to this big parade and it's been on my list of things to do for a while now.

I don't have plans to attend the actual race this year, although I've been a handful of times. I'm sure my husband will go, but I think instead I'll listen to it on the radio and spend the day at my parent's pool (oh hey Mom, I'm inviting myself over!). The race is actually not shown on television locally, so listening to it on the radio has long been a family tradition. We usually draw drivers' names out of a hat and cheer on our chosen racers.

So it's Indy in May... can't beat it. If you don't get goosebumps when Jim Nabors belts out "Back Home Again in Indiana," then you're just not a Hoosier. Since the arrow is too young for the noise of the race cars, if you'd like one family's take on experiencing the Indy 500, check out 500 Places with Kids, a blog about experiencing Frommer's 500 Places to Take Your Kids Before They Grow Up. Anne wrote about the pre-race festivities and the race itself.

This post is a part of Mondays are for Dreaming at the Mother of All Trips.