If you’re a fan of the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, there are few things that compare to being “at the track.” That spine-tingling roar that arrives just after noon on the last Sunday in May, when 33 cars zoom down the most famous straightaway in motorsports at 220 miles per hour while the hair on the necks of a quarter-million awe-struck spectators stand straight up. Fans come in all shapes in sizes – old and young, natives and transplants, newbies and old-timers. No matter your relationship status with the Speedway, driving through the tunnel and towards the historic Pagoda is enough to make anyone feel “Back Home Again, In Indiana.”
Among the history collected within the 2.5 mile oval, are stories of families. It is the dad who brings his daughter to her first Indy 500 so they can sit in the same seats in the same turn he and his father sat in, and his grandfather sat in before them, and his great-grandfather before them — because there’s no place on the planet they’d rather be.
For it’s second year, IMS is bringing new memories to generations of families – at Christmastime. Lights at the Brickyard at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway features 2.5 million bright lights in festive holiday displays on an expanded route that stretches over 2 miles through the IMS infield and crosses the iconic Yard of Bricks. It’s enough lights to make even Clark Griswold speechless! And, in celebration of United Way’s 100th anniversary, Lights at the Brickyard is featuring United Way Mondays and a United Way light display.
“We’re proud to partner with United Way of Central Indiana to provide guests an opportunity to support their fellow Hoosiers during the holiday season,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “As our friends at United Way are celebrating their 100th birthday, this is the perfect time to remind everyone of the vital services they provide to so many individuals and families.” In its debut last year, Lights at the Brickyard received rave reviews from thousands of visitors who experienced the colorful light displays and enjoyed the chance to cross the Yard of Bricks in a personal vehicle.
This year, when fans visit Lights at the Brickyard on Monday nights, $5 of their admission will go to United Way to help struggling families this holiday season. Tickets can be purchased in advance at ims.com/lights or at the gates. On Monday night, tickets are $25 per car. “With supportive partners like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and with the generosity of the visitors to Lights at the Brickyard on ‘United Way Mondays,’ we inch closer to tackling the toughest problems our neighbors face, especially during the holiday season,” said Ann D. Murtlow, president and CEO of United Way of Central Indiana.
So, gather up the family, grab some hot cocoa, hop in your car, turn on that holiday music and head to 16th and Georgetown for Lights at the Brickyard tonight! Don’t worry, instead of triple digit speeds, you’ll be going about 5 miles per hour – but one thing’s for sure, just like the Indy 500 in May, it will a cherished family memory that will last a lifetime. “There was nothing else like it,” says Donald Davidson, the track’s venerable historian. “It just took off. There was Christmas, there was Easter, and there was the Indianapolis 500.”
We can’t bring you the late Jim Nabors or great Florence Henderson, but let’s sing anyway. On the seventh Day of Giving, United Way gave to me … seven Honda engines, six ways to support United Way, five volunteer hours, four Christmas ornaments, three Merry Money vouchers, two cheerful bothers, and one way to help my community.
You’re in luck. You can #LiveUNITED under the lights when you attend United Way Mondays at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Visit tonight and $5 of your ticket will be donated to United Way of Central Indiana to help make the holiday brighter for a family in need. For tickets visit ims.com/lights.