Jeff Castner is an Indianapolis civic booster. He has lived and worked in the capital of Indiana for many years, and today is the Assistant Director of Operations at a leading university there. He calls Indianapolis one of the greatest places to live in all of the United States and says that there is no shortage of things to do there.
Jeff Castner is a big sports fan, but he is mostly partial to team sports. He likes to catch as many Pacers and Colts games as his schedule allows. But he is mindful of the fact that Indianapolis is home to the Indy 500, often called "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing."
As Jeff Castner knows, the Indy 500 was officially born in 1911 and has been a staple of summertime in Indiana ever since. It takes place ever year in May, over the Memorial Day weekend.
The Indy 500 is a huge event every spring. As Jeff Castner knows, the Indianapolis 500 Festival has been a mainstay in Indianapolis ever since it was created in 1957. The purpose of the festival is to organize community events that celebrate the race and its participants. It includes a big parade that is one of the most anticipated events of the season, and it culminates on race day.
Race day, says Jeff Castner, always begins bright and early with a rendition of "Back Home Again in Indiana," which is sung prior to the waving of the flag. 500 excitement-filled laps later, a winner is crowned with great ceremony. The winner steps into Victory Lane to be adorned with the traditional winner's wreath and receive the coveted sip of milk from the 500 Festival Queen, who is chosen from the group of princesses. The following Monday, the drivers and community members gather for the final farewell to that year's Indy 500, the Victory Banquet, where the drivers are honored and the festivities come to a close.