Before you watch the racers set their marks, festivities start with a tradition that’s been held since 1957: the 500 Festival Parade, where auto patrons across the world line up to watch floats of their favorite cars and drivers who serve as grand marshals to the event. So, how can you incorporate this tradition into your 500 party? Get the kids involved.
"If it’s a neighborhood 500 party, have the kids bring over their bikes decorated, and create your own neighborhood parade," suggests Greenlee. Or if you operate on a smaller scale, allow the little ones to build their own floats in the backyard made out of old boxes, while you prep for the party with parade-perfect snacks like homemade soft pretzels and gourmet popcorn.