500 Festival seeks 33 new ambassadors for the 500 Festival Princess Program

Becoming a 500 Festival Princess is an experience of a lifetime. The 2011 Princesses will serve as ambassadors of the 500 Festival, the 2011 Indianapolis 500® and their hometowns.  The princesses will attend and volunteer at 500 Festival events throughout the month of May.  In addition, the 33 princesses will be involved with statewide outreach programs, including visits to hospitals, schools, nursing homes and media outlets, among others leading up to the month of May.

Princesses are also present at various Indianapolis Motor Speedway® functions and participate in the Indianapolis 500 Victory Circle celebration. One princess will be selected to serve as the 500 Festival Queen, and receive a $2,500 scholarship.  The Queen and Princesses will participate in the pre-race ceremonies for the 2011 Indianapolis 500® on Sunday, May 29.

The 500 Festival will interview applicants from across the state of Indiana on Saturday, Jan. 29, narrowing the selection to 66 women. The judges will then conduct second-round interviews on Saturday, Feb. 12, selecting the final 33 to serve as ambassadors.

Applicants must be between the ages of 19 and 23, single and legal residents of Indiana. Candidates must also be full-time students in a fully-accredited Indiana college or university and maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.8 on a 4.0 scale.

In addition to the online application process, completed applications may be downloaded and mailed to: 500 Festival Princess Program, attn: Colleen Bartel, 21 Virginia Avenue, Suite 500, Indianapolis, IN 46204. For more information, visit www.500festival.com or call (317) 614-6131 for an application to be mailed. Applications will not be accepted after the Jan. 7 deadline.

G.Thrapp Jewelers, WTHR and Indiana Blood Center are proud sponsors of the 500 Festival Princess Program.  Apparel and accessory providers include Secret Ingredient, Indianapolis Motor Speedway® and Vera Bradley.

The mission of the 500 Festival is to advocate and celebrate the spirit, heritage and legacy of the Indianapolis 500®. Through social, cultural and educational events and programs, the 500 Festival enhances the quality of life for all citizens of our communities.

The 500 Festival, a not-for-profit volunteer organization, was created in 1957 to organize civic events celebrating the greatest race in the world. Over the past 53 years, the 500 Festival has grown to become one of the largest festivals in the nation.

Last year, over 500,000 Hoosiers and visitors participated in nearly 50 events and programs throughout the month of May. Whether they were athletes running the Mini, fourth grade students participating in the Education Program, families enjoying the state’s largest festival for kids or spectators being dazzled by one of the nation’s premier parades, they were there, celebrating the legacy.

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