500 Festival Announces Celebrity and VIP Lineup for the 60th IPL 500 Festival Parade

Last Updated on May 26, 2016 by cassnetwork

INDIANAPOLIS  – Movie stars, TV stars, musicians, athletes, Hoosier heroes and racing legends will take to the streets of downtown Indianapolis for the 60th IPL 500 Festival Parade, scheduled for Saturday, May 28. Inspirational teen and philanthropist, Emma Stumpf, will serve as the Grand Marshal of this year’s event. Platinum-selling pop group, Walk Off The Earth, will headline the Parade’s opening entertainment. Kevin Sorbo, Myles Turner, Nick Gehlfuss, and Richard Rawlings are among the celebrities and VIPs scheduled to participate in this year’s celebration. Also appearing will be the 33 starting drivers of the historic 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.    

Emma Stumpf_1
Emma Stumpf

Emma Stumpf: Serving as the Grand Marshal of the 2016 IPL 500 Festival Parade, 14-year-old Stumpf is the youngest person to be awarded with this honor. At age 7, Emma was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and underwent 70 weeks of chemotherapy and six weeks of proton radiation to stabilize the tumor. Determined to find a way to make lengthy hospital stays easier for other children, Emma founded her program, Emma’s Art Cart, to provide art kits to children that are hospitalized and often confined to their bed. Since then, Emma’s Art Carts have provided more than 1,500 customized art kits. Despite recent setbacks with her health, Emma continues to demonstrate her inspirational spirit, strength and unwavering resolve, coupled with her generous spirit and desire to put others before herself.

Walk Off The Earth

Walk Off The Earth: Platinum-selling pop group, Walk Off The Earth is an unconventional, multi-talented five-piece musical phenomena that is taking the world by storm. The chart-topping viral hit-makers, Marshall, Gianni Luminati, Taylor, Joel Cassady, and Sarah Blackwood, established a significant global following when their cover of Gotye’s “Somebody I Used To Know,” ignited the blogosphere, garnering more than 171 million YouTube views. To date, they’ve accumulated almost a half billion cumulative views and more than 2 million subscribers.

Roger Penske: IndyCar icon Roger Penske will drive pace car for 100th running of Indianapolis 500. 2016 also marks 50 years that Penske has been a race team owner. In addition to his duties as pace car driver, Penske serves as honorary co-chair of the 100th Running Host Committee.

Kevin Sorbo

Kevin Sorbo: Kevin Sorbo received international stardom as the lead role in Hercules, the Legendary Journeys, the most watched TV show in the world. Some of his many television credits include Two and a Half Men, Psych, Hawaii 5-0, and a recurring role in the final season of The OC. Sorbo also starred alongside Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt in Soul Surfer as well as the faith-based movie, God’s Not Dead.

2015-16 Indiana Pacer Media Day
Myles Turner

Myles Turner: Selected by the Indiana Pacers with the 11th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Myles Turner is one of the NBA’s emerging stars. Turner was named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month after averaging 13.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game in February. With 31 points against the defending-champion Golden State Warriors on Jan. 22, Turner became the first Pacers’ rookie since 2002 to score 30 or more points in a game.

Nick Gehlfuss: Known to fans as Dr. Will Halstead on the hit NBC medical drama, Chicago Med, Gehlfuss has also appeared on Chicago P.D. as well as Chicago Fire. A native of Cleveland, Gehlfuss also starred in the Showtime’s Shameless and HBO’s The Newsroom.

David Anspaugh
David Anspaugh

David Anspaugh: Born in Decatur, Indiana, Emmy and Golden Globe winner David Anspaugh directed episodes of St. Elsewhere and Miami Vice before producing and directing the Academy Award-nominated movie, Hoosiers. Anspaugh also directed Rudy, named one of AFI’s Most Inspiring Movies.

Drew Lynch
Drew Lynch

Drew Lynch: In 2015, comedian Drew Lynch captured the hearts of America, landing him first runner-up on season 10 of America’s Got Talent. Originally from Indianapolis, an unexpected softball accident left Drew with a severe stutter. But his continued drive to become an entertainer, coupled with his ability to make it relatable to real-life situations propelled his career forward. Drew recently garnered a recurring role on the Marc Maron Show and has appeared on Dr. Oz.

David Boudia
David Boudia

David Boudia: A native of Noblesville, Olympic diver David Boudia won a Gold and Bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics. With 16 National titles and two Olympic medals, David Boudia is the top 10-meter platform diver in the U.S. and one of the best in the world. David hope to defend his gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio this summer.


Joe Reitz
Joe Reitz

Joe Reitz: Hoosier native Joe Reitz is a guard for the Indianapolis Colts. Signed by the Colts as a free agent in 2011, Reitz was the recipient of Indianapolis’ 2015 Ed Block Courage Award.


Richard Rawlings
Richard Rawlings

Richard Rawlings: The star of The Discovery Channel’s television show, Fast N’ Loud, Rawlings is the owner of Gas Monkey Garage. A veteran of transcontinental road rallies, Richard has won the Gumball 3000 and the Bullrun — twice. He is the current world record holder in the Cannonball Run, having broken the record that stood since 1979. He covered the 2,811 miles from New York to Los Angeles in 31 hours and 59 minutes with an average speed of 87.6 miles per hour.

Josh Kauffman
Josh Kauffman

Josh Kauffman: The winner of the sixth season of The Voice, Indianapolis-based singer/songwriter, Josh Kauffman, burst onto the national stage. Kaufman’s kept busy since his win, sitting in with The Roots on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, headlining the Indy Jazz Fest, and making his Broadway debut in the Tony Award-winning Pippin (for which he played the lead and title role).

John Tibbs
John Tibbs

John Tibbs: Award-winning Christian recording artist John Tibbs’ most recent album, Dead Man Walking, has taken over the radio. Coming off the heels of a nationwide tour with Newsboys in 2015 and Matt Maher in 2016, Tibbs will perform his hit song, “Dead Man Walking” at IndyCar Ministry’s Public Chapel service race morning at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

Lieutenant General Joseph Anderson: Lieutenant General Joseph Anderson serves as the Deputy Chief of Staff, Headquarters, Department of the Army. With more than 34 years of service, Lieutenant General Anderson has commanded units from platoon to corps. His operational deployments and combat tours include Operation Just Cause, Task Force Hawk-Albania, Task Force Falcon-Kosovo, Operation Joint Guardian, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Major General Courtney P. Carr: As Adjutant General of Indiana, Major General Courtney P. Carr’s primary focus is leading the Indiana Army and Air National Guard, the Indiana Guard Reserve and State employees all totaling over 15,800 personnel to meet state and federal missions.

Governor Mike Pence: Governor Mike Pence is a lifelong Hoosier, currently serving as the 50th Governor of the State of Indiana. Prior to being elected governor, Pence represented Indiana’s Sixth Congressional District in Congress

Mayor Joe Hogsett: Mayor Hogsett is the 49th mayor of Indianapolis. A lifelong Hoosier with deep roots in the city. Before serving the City as Mayor, he served as a federal prosecutor.

Bob Jenkins: A native Hoosier, Bob Jenkins has been broadcasting the Greatest Spectacle in Racing for more than 35 years. Bob served in the iconic role of the “Voice of the 500” before making the leap to television as an announcer for the Indy 500’s national broadcast. Today, Bob serves as the public address announcer for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Bob served as an announcer for the IPL 500 Festival Parade’s national broadcast for many years and 2016 marks his first year of retirement.

Florence Henderson: An actress and singer best known for playing the role of Carol Brady in the television program The Brady Bunch, Henderson’s become a beloved figure on race weekend. Since the mid-1990s, Henderson has performed the song “God Bless America” at the Indianapolis 500 accompanied by the Purdue University “All-American” Marching Band.

Mario Andretti: Mario Andretti is the 1969 Indianapolis 500 Champion. He is one of only two drivers to win races in Formula One, IndyCar, World Sportscar Championship and NASCAR. Mario won the Indy Car National Championship four times and was named the Associated Press Driver of the Century in 2000.

Johnny Rutherford: Johnny Rutherford, dubbed ‘Lone Star JR’ is one of only nine men to have won the Indianapolis 500 three times or more. Rutherford’s Indy 500 victories came in 1974, ’76 and ’80.

Rick Mears: Famed IndyCar driver, Rick Mears is one of three men to win the Indy 500 four times (1979, 1984, 1988, 1991), and hold the record for most pole positions in the race with six.

Dean Norris: Actor Dean Norris is best known for portraying DEA agent Hank Schrader on the AMC series Breaking Bad and James “Big Jim” Rennie on the CBS series Under the Dome. A South Bend, Ind. native, Norris has a long list of movie credits, including Little Miss Sunshine, Evan Almighty and Lethal Weapon 2.

Goran Visnjic: Visnjic became a fixture in American television playing Dr. Luka Kovac on ER for 10 years. He went on to appear in the TV series Pan Am and Extant. His success has spanned beyond TV, having appeared in the Oscar-winning movie, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Hugh Thornton: Thornton plays Guard for the Indianapolis Colts. He was selected by the Colts in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Since joining the Colts, Thornton has been engaged within the community, visiting various schools within Central Indiana.

Sam Hornish Jr.: Sam Hornish Jr. is the 2006 Indianapolis 500 Champion. After beginning his career in IndyCar, Hornish Jr. went on race in NASCAR. He most recently drove the No. 9 Ford Fusion for Richard Petty Motorsports full-time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Lyn St. James: Lyn St. James made history in 1992 when she was the first woman to win the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year award. St. James went on to start seven Indianapolis 500 races and was named one of Sports Illustrated for Women’s Top-100 Women Athletes of the Century

Willy T. Ribbs: Willy T. Ribbs qualified for the 75th Indianapolis 500 on May 19, 1991, becoming the first African American ever to participate in the race. Beyond IndyCar, Ribbs also competed in the Trans-Am Series, IMSA, and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Craftsman Truck Series.

Gary Long & Brad Long: This father-son duo was part of the movie, Hoosiers. Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Member Gary Long played the role of Jasper Coach and Brad Long played the role of Hickory team captain, “Buddy” Walker.

One of the original 500 Festival events, the IPL 500 Festival Parade is one of the nation’s largest, most respected parades, consistently earning national acclaim alongside the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. More than 300,000 people will line the streets of downtown Indianapolis to experience the larger-than-life floats, giant helium balloons, celebrities, all 33 drivers competing in the 100th running of the Indy 500, specialty units, and award-winning bands from across the country.

Not only does 2016 mark the 60th running of the IPL 500 Festival Parade, it’s a once-in-a-generation year for Hoosiers, filled with celebrations including 40th OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil,  as well as the State of Indiana’s Bicentennial. To honor these celebrations, the theme for the 2016 IPL 500 Festival Parade is Experience the Celebration, a call-to-action, reminding Hoosiers that the celebration surrounding these iconic events is not to be missed!

The 2016 IPL 500 Festival Parade will take place on Saturday, May 28, with Parade festivities starting at 11:45 am. It will be nationally televised on NBC Sports Network and locally on WTHR. For more information about the IPL 500 Festival Parade, please visit www.500festival.com/parade or search #500Parade on social media.

The 500 Festival Parade airs Saturday from noon – 2 p.m. on WTHR Channel 13

About the 500 Festival

Founded in 1957, the 500 Festival is a not-for-profit organization that produces more than 50 life-enriching events and programs while celebrating the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500 and fostering positive impact on the city of Indianapolis and state of Indiana. One of the largest festivals in the nation, each year more than half a million people attend an event or program produced by the 500 Festival. Since its founding, the 500 Festival has contributed more than $400 million in economic value to Indianapolis. To learn more about the 500 Festival, please visit www.500festival.com, follow us on Twitter @500festival, or on Facebook.

SOURCE: News release from 500 Festival


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