Dropping the Green Flag: The Best Way to Kick off Race Week in Indy
Photos courtesy of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and VisitIndy.com.
There’s nothing quite like the Month of May in Indianapolis. And Race Day? Simply incomparable. If you haven’t experienced the Indy 500 just yet, this is definitely the year to do it. Whether you are a townie who finds oneself at the Speedway every year around this time, are checking out the Indy 500 for the first time, or are just jumping on the 100th Running bandwagon because the excitement in the city is undeniable everywhere you go, here’s the absolute BEST way to kick off Race Week in Indy:
Rock IN Roar | Friday, May 20th | 5-10:30PM | Georgia Street | Free
Downtown Indy is officially "dropping the green flag" with a once-in-a-lifetime music festival and community celebration! Star radio personality Kristi Lee will be joining IndyCar driver Townsend Bell as hosts and MCs. Food trucks and beer and wine will be on-site to keep the party going late on this Friday before qualifications. This is a free and family-friendly event.
500 local musicians, led by John Mellencamp keyboardist Troye Kinnett and IndyCar driver Will Power, will join together to perform One Republic’s “Love Runs Out” in a musical tribute to the spirit of the 100th Indy 500. Troye Kinnett will conduct 500 local singers, dancers and musicians of all ages in the night’s main event on the Pan Am Plaza while Will Power plays drums. Terry Lingner, who helped organize the Georgia Street Super Bowl Village back in 2012 has been charged with organizing the ROAR 500 performance.
Lingner recently told David Linquist at the Indy Star the performance will include:
- 9 Drummers
- 25 keyboard players
- 15 bass players
- The entire Ben Davis High School drum corps
- 100 people playing tambourines
- As many singers and dancers as possible. "If it ends up being 600, who cares?” says Lingner
“A community event that everybody can participate in.”
– Terry Lingner, NBC Sports IndyCar Telecast producer
5 - 6:30 p.m. The Doo!
7 - 7:10 p.m. “ROAR 500”: performance by 500 local musicians
7:30 - 8:30 p.m. Beauty Slap
8:45 - 10 p.m. Living Proof
Lingner’s inspiration for ROAR 500:
While you’re there, be sure to find the Indiana Donor Network #driven2savelives team. Their street team will be on-site promoting the #Driven2SaveLives campaign in support of organ, tissue and eye donation and transplantation. IndyCar driver Stefan Wilson’s late brother, Justin Wilson, died in August 2015 from injuries he sustained in an IndyCar crash at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania. Justin had previously registered his decision to become an organ donor and saved five people with his gift of life. Together with Indiana Donor Network, Stefan wants to honor his brother by registering 2,500 new donors. Show the heart on your license or register to be a donor to win cool race-related prizes.
Don’t forget to share your Rock IN Roar pics using the hashtag #driven2savelives to be entered to win a ticket to the100th Running of the Indianapolis 500!
photo courtesy of VisitIndy.com.
Rock IN Roar attendees will also be treated to the debut of an Indy 500-themed light show SPECTACLE: Sights and Sounds of the Indy 500 on Georgia Street, featuring the sounds of the 500 and some of the most memorable radio calls from 100 years of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Following Rock IN Roar, the nightly light shows will continue until Race Day with nightly light shows at 9, 9:20, 940 and 10 every night on Georgia Street.