The 500 Festival announced the float award winners for the 2022 AES 500 Festival Parade. Floats were judged on several different criteria and were evaluated by a panel of judges. The floats are honored for recognition and tradition as no monetary prizes are awarded.
The 2022 AES 500 Festival Parade float honors go to the following:
SWEEPSTAKES TROPHY: Best Overall Entry
Float: Accelerating the Future of Energy, Together.
Sponsor: AES Indiana
Description: AES, the title sponsor for the AES 500 Festival Parade, is bringing electricity to downtown Indianapolis with their 85-foot-long float featuring wind turbines around the Soldiers and Sailors monument paying, homage to the 1,500 AES employees who call Indiana home!
CHAIRMAN’S AWARD: Most Entertaining
Float: The Greatest Spectacle in Floating
Sponsor: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Description: Celebrating the 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presenting by Gainbridge is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Riding on the float are Matt and Maggie Novak, winners of this year’s 500 Spectacle of Homes contest. Joining them will be Michael Donohue, son of driver Mark Donohue, who was the first champion driver for Team Penske, and Karl Kainhofer, the lead mechanic of the team.
MARLYNE SEXTON 500 FESTIVAL QUEEN SCHOLAR AWARD: Outstanding
Presentation of Hoosier Spirit & Pride
Float: Driving to Dairy in Victory Circle
Sponsor: The American Dairy Association of Indiana
Description: The American Dairy Association of Indiana’s larger-than-life float honors the tradition of a celebratory milk handoff from an Indiana Dairy farmer to the winner of the Indianapolis 500 in Victory Circle. Two Indiana Dairy farmers, Time Haynes and Kerry Estes will be riding on the float, representing the over 700 dairy farm families in the state.
PRESIDENT’S AWARD: Most Original Concept
Float: A Healthier Future Ahead
Sponsor: Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Description: Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s celebratory float reflects their promise to take a broader view of health and to strive for a healthier future ahead. This celebratory float pays tribute to Indiana frontline heroes during the pandemic, the power of neighbors, and Indiana’s passion for sports and basketball.
MARI HULMAN GEORGE AWARD: Best Display of Philanthropy, Arts, or Education
Float: We Stand Together
Sponsor: Eli Lilly and Company
Description: In 2020, Lilly Launched its Racial Justice Commitment with a mission to advance racial justice for Black and other marginalized Americans and in the lives of patients. To commemorate the commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion for all, their float showcases the words “We Stand Together.”
GRAND MARSHAL AWARD: Most Creative Concept & Execution
Float: Your Takeoff Begins in Indy
Sponsor: Republic Airways – LIFT Academy
Description: The Republic Airways – LIFT Academy float, 28 feet in length, is soaring through the streets of Indianapolis at this year’s parade. Rooted in Indianapolis for nearly 30 years, Republic Airways is an innovative airline industry leader, operating 1,000 daily flights, many of which depart from Indiana.
Tickets are still available for the AES 500 Festival Parade, taking place on Saturday, May 28, at noon, and starting at $25. Tickets may be purchased at 500festival.com/tickets or by calling (317) 614-6400.
For more information about the AES 500 Festival Parade, please visit 500festival.com/parade.