INDIANAPOLIS – The IPL 500 Festival Parade, scheduled for Saturday, May 25, at noon in downtown Indianapolis, will once again feature a diverse line-up of celebrities.
The 500 Festival announced today that in addition to previously announced WNBA Champion Indiana Fever as Parade Grand Marshal and The X-Factor winner Tate Stevens as the Parade’s opening entertainment, US Olympians Shawn Johnson, Jordyn Wieber and Tyler Clary, Foreigner, Eddie Money, Florence Henderson and Jim Nabors, are among the celebrities and VIP’s to be scheduled to participate in this year’s celebration. Also appearing will be the 33 starting drivers of the 2013 Indianapolis 500, as well legendary Indianapolis 500 winner Mario Andretti.
Shawn Johnson is a retired U.S. Olympian gymnast. In the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing she earned gold medal in balance beam and silver medals for the team all-around and floor exercise. Johnson competed and won Season 8 “Dancing with the Stars.” She was named to U.S. National Team in 2010.
Jordyn Weiber is a U.S. gymnast who was a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. Women’s Gymnastics teams at the 2011 World Championships and the 2012 Summer Olympics. She was also the 2011 World Women’s All-Around Champion.
Tyler Clary is a U.S. competition swimmer and Olympic gold medalist. In his Olympic debut at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Clary won Gold in the 200-meter backstroke in Olympic record time. In total, he has won 11 medals in major international competitions: one gold, seven silver, and three bronze spanning the Summer Olympics, the FINA World Championships, the Pan Pacific Championships and the Pan American Games.
Foreigner is a British-American rock band whose career spans five decades and has sold more than 70 million albums in the US including nine Top 10 and 16 Top 30 hits. Foreigner has dominated the music charts with hits including “I Want to Know What Love is,” “Double Vision,” “Hot Blooded,” “Feels Like the First Time,” “Cold As Ice,” “Juke Box Hero” and many more. The band was named #49 on Billboard’s Hot 100 All Time Top Artists Chart.
Eddie Money is an American rock guitarist, saxophonist and singer-songwriter who has had numerous Top 40 hits including “Two Tickets to Paradise,” “Walk on Water,” “Take Me Home Tonight” and more.
David Soren is a storyboard artist and a director at DreamWorks Animation. His most notable work are TV specials based on the Madagascar film franchise. At DreamWorks he worked as a story artist on Chicken Run, Shrek and Over the Hedge, and as a head of story on Shark Tale. He is the director for the upcoming 3D animation film Turbo, about an ordinary garden snail whose dream is to win the Indianapolis 500.
Michael Peña is a film and television actor, and musician. He is best known for his roles in the films Crash (2004), World Trade Center (2006), Shooter (2007), Observe and Report (2009), 30 Minutes or Less (2011), Tower Heist (2011), and End of Watch (2012). He will star in the upcoming 3D animation film Turbo, about an ordinary garden snail whose dream is to win the Indianapolis 500.
Windell Middlebrooks is a film and television actor that is best known for his Miller High Life beer commercials. Middlebrooks has also worked on The Suite Life on Deck, Hannah Montana, My Name is Earl, Chocolate News, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Body of Proof. He has appeared in HBO’s Entourage and was a recurring character in the ninth season of Scrubs.
Pat McAfee is a punter for the NFL Indianapolis Colts. He holds Colts career records in kickoffs (301), kickoff touchbacks (123), kickoff yards (20,729), punting gross average (45.5) and punting net average (38.3).
Florence Henderson is an actress and singer best known for playing the role of Carol Brady in the television program The Brady Bunch. Since the mid-1990s, Henderson has performed the song “God Bless America” at the Indianapolis 500® accompanied by the Purdue University “All-American Marching Band.” Since 2008, Henderson has hosted the TV talk show The Florence Henderson Show.
Jim Nabors, one of America’s most beloved personalities, has done it all from a number one rated situation comedy and top ten variety show to a talk show and a successful recording career. He his best known for his role as Gomer Pyle on the Andy Griffith Show and Gomer Pyle USMC. For more than 30 years he has sung “Back Home Again in Indiana” with the Purdue All-American Marching Band before each Indianapolis 500®.
General Daniel B. Allyn will serve as the featured speaker at the 500 Festival Memorial Service, presented by Rolls-Royce on May 24. As Commanding General of U.S. Army Forces Command he is responsible for manning, equipping and training 265,000 active component soldiers. He also oversees the training and readiness of 560,000 soldiers of the Army National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve.
Those drivers who qualified for the Indianapolis 500® on May 26 will be riding as part of the starting field. Past champion Mario Andretti (1969) will be part of the procession on the Firestone float.
The more than 300,000 spectators who are expected to line the two-mile Parade route will get a glimpse of these celebrities, the 33 starting drivers of the 2013 Indianapolis 500, more than 80 specialty units, floats, marching bands and entertainment groups and giant inflatable balloons. Tickets to the IPL 500 Festival Parade are available at the 500 Festival Ticket Office on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased by calling 317-614-6400. Reserved bleacher seats are $14.50; reserved chair seats $18 and reserved VIP/TV Zone seats are $32. For more information, visit www.500festival.com.
The 500 Festival, a not-for-profit volunteer organization, was created in 1957 to organize civic events celebrating the greatest race in the world. Over the past 56 years, the 500 Festival has grown to become one of the largest festivals in the nation.