Verizon IndyCar Series team owner and driver Ed Carpenter and his wife, Heather, ushered in this monumental month of May with a 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500-themed porch party at their Indianapolis home.
A celebration that honored the upcoming May 29 race and doubled as a baby shower for friends Ethan and Betsy Braden (at left in photo below with the Carpenters), the Carpenters’ gathering had everything from Indy car-shaped cookies to 100th running banners and cups.
“We’ve got bottles of milk, which goes with babies, and we’ve added a sunshine theme in because we’re hoping for sunshine this May with all of our 100th running activities,” Heather Carpenter said.
The May 1 event was one of hundreds planned throughout Indiana and registered as official “porch parties” with the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Host Committee at 500festival.com/PorchParty. Committee members are encouraging the parties as a way for everyone in the state to embrace this year’s historic Indianapolis 500.
Registered parties could receive surprise visits from Verizon IndyCar Series drivers or local personalities. Official party decor, including plates, cups, can holders and banners, is available at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum and online at shop.ims.com/front-porch/. Proceeds from decor sales benefit Snowball Express, serving the children of veterans.
All of the activities and decorations, big and small, make the atmosphere electric for Verizon IndyCar Series drivers, teams and fans, who come to Indianapolis from around the world.
“I was driving on 71st (Street), just east of Meridian (Street), and I saw people already putting up checkered flag banners,” Ed Carpenter said. “Indy always does it right. But, this year, everyone really feels how monumental the moment is with it being the 100th.”
Several public porch parties, with bands, vintage race cars, racing poster giveaways and children’s activities, are scheduled, too. One of the first will be from 6-10 p.m. ET Friday at the Harrison Center for the Arts, 1505 N. Delaware St., Indianapolis. The Town of Speedway, Ind., hosts its porch party from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET May 13 in conjunction with its Festival on Main Street.