The 2011 500 Festival princesses represent 11 Indiana colleges and universities and 24 cities and towns across the state. The young women were selected from 278 applicants based on communication skills, poise, academic performance, and community and volunteer involvement. The 500 Festival has narrowed the field to 33 princesses who will serve as ambassadors for the 2011 500 Festival.
In this blog series we will introduce you to the 500 Festival Princesses, share what they are doing in Indiana communities and their tips for the month of May. We will also share their dream line-up of 33 drivers from TheGreatest33.com. Want to earn bragging rights by sharing your line-up with friends and family too? Be sure to click the “share” feature after finalizing and submitting your line-up!
With 45 days remaining until the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, we’re pleased to introduce you to Brandi and Chelsi!
Name: Chelsi Kitchen
School: University of Indianapolis
Number of Years you’ve have been to the Indy 500 _____? To the 500 Festival Parade____? I haven’t had the chance to attend either of these events yet, but I cannot wait to attend my first Indy 500 this year!
Your tips for someone attending the Indy 500 for the first time: I would say enjoy it and just try to take it all in!
Your tips for someone attending the 500 Festival Parade for the first time: Make a sign if you want someone’s attention, and embrace all the different aspects of the event.
This is what I am doing in my community as a representative of the Princess Program: As a representative for the Princess Program, I’ve done many community outreaches in order to inform the community about the Indianapolis 500 as well as the Princess Program. I’ve attended a Students vs. Staff basketball game where I played on a team and then spoke to the players about the Festival. I also went to a boys and girls after school program for at-risk children and played Indy 500 themed games. All of the princess are working their hardest to reach the community with their creative outreaches, and we are all looking forward to going as a group to many community outreaches also!
My Dream 33 line-up for the Indianapolis 500 on TheGreatest33.com: To view my dream line-up on TheGreatest33.com click here!
This May, I’m most looking forward to seeing: Carb Day!
Name: Brandi Jarrett
Hometown: Kokomo, Indiana
School: Butler University
Number of Years you’ve been to the Indy 500? 1 To the 500 Festival Parade? 2
Your tips for someone attending the Indy 500 for the first time: Be sure to get to the track early in order to watch the pre-race activities and ceremonies. Make sure that you do not leave early because the last 10 laps of the race have always been the most exciting. Try to get your picture in front of all the landmark signs and statutes that signifies you attended the Indianapolis 500. Then take as many pictures as possible throughout the whole race. If you can, visit the Hall of Fame Museum to learn as much history as you can possibly can before the green flag drops. Grab some food and get ready for an action packed afternoon that you will never forget. Do not forget to buy a souvenir t-shirt and program on your way out. Most importantly, MAKE IT MEMORABLE!
Your tips for someone attending the 500 Festival Parade for the first time: The 500 Festival Parade is a sight to see. All the floats are spectacular and getting the chance to all 33 drivers who will start in Indianapolis 500 the following day is exciting. If you can, try to sit as close to Monument Circle as possible. For me, I enjoyed feeling the spirit of the City of Indianapolis while watching the 500 Festival Parade. Before the 500 Festival Parade begins make sure to take the little ones to the 500 Festival Character Breakfast that feature the characters that are starring in the parade. However, the best way to view the 500 Festival Parade is to be a volunteer with the 500 Festival. Being a volunteer is how I received the chance to view my first 500 Festival Parade and it was an experience I will never forget!
This is what I am doing in my community as a representative of the Princess Program: I will be visiting the Golden Living Center Nursing Home in Kokomo, Indiana, to help with their residents and it will be a day filled with the racing theme. Throughout April, I will be visiting four elementary schools promoting the 500 Festival, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500.
At one school in Kokomo, I will be putting on a “Mini Indy Day” where the 4th and 5th graders will get a chance to learn about the history of the Indianapolis 500® and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, have an opportunity to sit in and get their picture taken with different race cars from three series and the chance to meet one of the Firestone Indy Lights driver’s, Bryan Clauson. Also, I will be participating in Indianapolis’s Lemonade Day and the Annual March of Dimes Walk in Kokomo, Indiana.
In the coming months, I will also be making appearances on the local radio stations in Kokomo, Indiana, promoting the 500 Festival, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indianapolis 500®.Along with a group of other princesses, we will be attending an Indiana Pacers game, Pinewood Derby for the Boy Scouts of America, visiting the children at Peyton Manning’s Children Hospital, participating in the Susan G. Komen’s Race for the Cure in Downtown Indianapolis, volunteering at Mutt Strut at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and volunteering at The Greatest Spectacle in Tasting in Kokomo, Indiana, benefiting Bona Vista Programs. Most importantly, myself along with the other thirty-two princesses will be attending the events put on by the 500 Festival and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway promoting the Indianapolis 500!
My Dream Line-up on TheGreatest33.com and what’s cool about the site: View my dream Indianapolis 33 line-up on the TheGreatest33.com My line-up of the Greatest 33 drivers are the best at their trade who have ran numerous laps at the famous 2.5 mile oval. Growing up in a racing family, all the names on my starting grid have been drivers that I learned to familiarize myself with when their names appeared. The drivers on my starting grid have led the most laps, led the most miles, have won over 50 Indianapolis 500 races and have turned the fastest lap in the history of the race (only to name a few statistics). Ray Harroun was given the pole position because he is the pioneer. Harroun paved the way for the rest of the 32 drivers in the starting grid and each driver that has had the opportunity to race in the Indianapolis 500. Names like Foyt, Andretti, Unser, Bettenhausen, Jones and Mays are the reason that the Indianapolis 500 is as special today as it was when it first started in 1911. Not only have the 33 drivers complied some of the best statistics in auto racing, but each one of them have played a part in making the sport become more successful. As much of a race fan that I am, I wish that this line-up could become reality, but I could not begin to decide who would win….
Being able to learn more about the top 100 drivers that are chosen to pick from to make the Greatest 33 line-up is fantastic. I really enjoyed learning fun facts about the drivers throughout the history of the Indianapolis 500. Also, the opportunity to enter a sweepstakes by making a Greatest 33 line-up is an added bonus. Another added bonus was the ability to incorporate social media when creating the Greatest 33 line-up.
This May, I am most looking forward to seeing: Pace Car Reunion