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[Banner]: The Confucius Insitiute at Indianapolis

Indy 500 Parade





The Confucius Institute is looking for people (age 16 and older) who are interested in volunteering and participating in this year’s Indy 500 Festival Parade on Saturday May 25th in downtown Indianapolis.  Our Institute will be a sponsor and will have a giant balloon that will require several handlers (no experience required).  If interested please send an email to that you are planning to volunteer and let us know your shirt size.  Please forward this to anyone (friends, family, students, etc..) you think would be interested.

Further Details and Event-day Timeline

  • You will need to wear the Confucius Institute t-shirt (we will send out an announcement on when you can pick up at our Institute)
  • We will work on getting parking passes for everyone, but it would be best if you can carpool. Parking is normally in the REI Lots which are towards the end of the parade route around Meridian and 11th and 12 street.  You will need to display the parking pass on the windshield of your car.
  • You will need to wear black pants (no jeans or shorts)
  • Make sure you eat a good breakfast before you arrive. They normally have bananas, doughnuts and water as supplies last.
  • Prepare to put on sunscreen if the weather is hot or you can wear a hat. I would suggest that you leave bags and purses behind.
  • Balloon volunteers will report to the American Legion Mall, on North Street between Meridian and Pennsylvania Streets at 8:00 am.
  • You will check-in at the balloon check-in tent with one of the committee chairs who normally wears a 500 Festival polo shirt.  Let them know you are with Confucius Institute and with the Underdog Balloon.
  • Balloon inflation will begin at 8:15 am.
  • At 10:30 am you will be instructed on “balloon handling”.
  • At 11:30 am balloons will line up on North Street for integration into the parade line-up.


Held on the eve of the Indianapolis 500, 300,000 spectators from around the country lined the streets of Indianapolis for one of the nation’s premier parades, alongside the Pasadena Tournament of Roses and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The IPL 500 Festival Parade allows all spectators to witness the pageantry and larger-than-life floats light up the streets of downtown Indianapolis. Well-known celebrities, costumed characters, marching bands, patriotic units, specialty units, spectacular floats and giant helium balloons will fill the streets to celebrate the world’s largest single-day sporting event, the Indianapolis 500.

The tradition continues with the 33 starting drivers of the Indianapolis 500 serving as honorary grand marshals the day before the race, riding in the traditional rows of three, with the winner of the pole position bringing up the rear.

2018 Indy 500 Parade (Photos)