As I mentioned previously, I did quite a few outreaches in the last few weeks for the 500 Festival. Outreaches are classified as any time that a princess goes out and meets with the public basically in any form. I did some in the Indianapolis area, and I organized a few on my own in southern Indiana. This way I had something to get up and do while I was at home for a whole week…ha, like I needed to find something to do..
I was most excited about just going to schools in my hometown, because unlike in Indy, we don’t hear about it all the time, and the hype doesn’t extend all the way down to the southernmost part of the state. So, I kind of took it as my job to get the kids in the schools excited about it, and also to inform them of many of the things they just aren’t aware of. I met with two groups of fourth graders, and focused on the history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the race itself with those groups. In Indiana, fourth grade is when you focus on Indiana history, so I gave those kids a taste of Indiana history…just in a different way. I also spoke with the third graders from my elementary school, the kindergarteners from the school my Mom teaches at, and a variety of different classes from another school. The biggest challenge of all was tailoring the material to each group, because they each have such different personalities, so they all respond to things very differently. So, with the third graders I let them ask lots of questions (which were very insightful), I made sashes and pit passes with the kindergarteners, and did short and fun lessons with the variety of classes. This way, I could switch things up quickly and easily whenever it was necessary.
Even though working with so many different groups of kids all in one week was rather overwhelming, it was so much fun to get to see how the kids reacted to the poster I had with the cars on it, or what they said when I told them that the Indy cars go over 200 miles per hour. Sometimes you forget what it felt like to be a kid….and I loved being able to be reminded of that!
The fourth graders from my elementary school...
Once I finished my finals, I spent most of my time doing outreaches in the Indy area and in my hometown for the 500 Festival. This is what the Princess Program is all about, being active in the community, and being an ambassador for the 500 Festival, the Indianapolis 500, and my hometown. So in two weeks I did about 7 outreaches that ranged from going to a school fundraiser, to giving presentations at schools, to attending a schools “Kindy 500”. They each were unique and special in their own way…so here is a bit about each.
Brownsburg Pup Putt
This event was a school fundraiser, and for me it was a great break from studying for finals (I went the night before my last two finals). We got to mingle with kids, parents, and staff members while we participated in putt putt golf and other games they had. But, the highlight of the night was when we got to meet an ice road trucker…in the flesh. It was pretty great, and my sister is jealous. So the event was a success.
- The princesses who attended the event, and the ice road trucker…
This was quite possibly the coolest/cutest thing I have ever seen. Each kindergartener at the school made cars out of boxes or some other material with their parents, and then they had a parade and races for the kids where all the students at the school came as well. One of the drivers, Alex Tagliani, was even there, so we were able to meet him as well. At the time, he was the first driver that I had met, and its really cool now that he is sitting on the pole for this Sunday’s race! He was very nice, and I hope he wins, since I do have so many photos with him now…
- The princesses at the event with Alex Tagliani…
- A few of us and some of the kids….cool cars and all.
To see a little bit more of the Kindy 500, check out this video. It isn’t from this school, but it looks like a pretty similar event!
As a 500 Festival Princess, we always help out with the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. It is the biggest half marathon in the country, and from start to finish…we were at our station for 7 hours, or from 5:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Our job was to provide water at about mile 1 and mile 12 (the route loops around, so the group passed us twice) so we had to be ready with plenty of water….which is a pretty big task when you are providing this water for almost 40,000 people. So we set up tables, then set out the little cups all over the tables and filled them with water. Then, we laid cardboard on top of those cups, repeated the process, and then did that about 4 more times. In the end, we had a lot of cups. I’m not sure exactly how many….but it was a lot. Check it out….
- This was even after the bulk of the people had passed us twice…so imagine how many we started with.
It was a great time spending that 7 hours with the other girls, but I’m not going to lie, watching the people that ran for a couple hours straight wore me out, which made me realize that I needed to get more into working out….or maybe start working out period. But instead of going and walking, running, or doing anything active after….I ate a big brunch and then sat down for the rest of the day. You can always start being proactive about that kind of stuff (getting into shape…or attempting to) later…right?
As a part of the Princess Program, once they select the 33 princesses, we have interviews and do some other things to help select the queen and court members. So, one of those things is that at a reception for the program we give speeches about ourselves, or anything we want to talk about, in front of our parents and family members, the directors, and past princess. It was a beautiful reception, and I loved having all of my family there at an event for the first time. We don’t get to be all together much anymore, because we basically each live 2.5-3 hours away from each other (imagine a triangle that reaches from southern Indiana to central Indiana to central Illinois). So getting to be a real family again was rather great…..
My family and I....
The reception was in downtown Indianapolis at the Westin, and there were all different 500 Festival or race themed decorations. Like….
- The fancy ice sculpture…
- The 1969 Camaro pace car….which is the car that this year’s pace car is modeled after.
This weekend is race weekend, so my time as a 500 Festival Princess is winding down quickly. It has been an amazing ride and opportunity so far, and I absolutely cannot wait to get to experience my first Indy 500 ever this weekend. (I am now officially a racing fan!) From the Memorial Service to the Parade to the actual race and everything else that is happening this weekend, it will be wonderful but still outrageously busy. So keep checking back, because I have so many events to still blog about!
- All 33 Princesses with Gary Thrapp of G. Thrapp Jewelers…
Tagged: 1969 pace car, 500 festival princess, camaro, family, G. Thrapp Jewelers, indianapolis 500, indy 500, Memorial Day weekend, pace car, princess program, reception
A few weeks ago, the 500 Festival Princesses went to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Mutt Strut. Not only was it a great way to avoid studying for finals for as long as humanly possible (it was the Sunday before finals started) but it was also so much fun to support the Indy Humane Society while hanging out with the other girls. It was a very chill event where we got to visit with each other while supporting the event, which I loved.
- All of the princesses together…
The best part of all though….is that we got to see some beautiful dogs….and I decided that someday I will have dogs coming out of my ears, because I fell in love with almost every one of them! I personally love large dogs…the bigger the better…so when I saw this beauty….I was obsessed.
- My new best friend…the English Mastiff.
We were also lucky enough to get to see Blue II, because he was one of the Grand Marshals for the day. It’s always a good day when you see Blue….its like he gives you luck or something….
- Blue II and I….
- My sister, Natalie, and Blue II….she had never met him before, and she just happened to wear her Butler shirt!
But of course, any event where Butler is represented isn’t complete without Hink….so the Butler princesses that were there just had to get a photo with him as well…
- Some of the Butler princesses and Hink….
To round out the day, we were all resting in the VIP area, where we found a very nice spread of dog treats from Three Dog Bakery. I have always been jealous of these treats, because they look absolutely delicious, and they always make me hungry. Luckily, a few of the other girls agreed….so we decided to try them. And we did. There are photos, but I choose not to include those because they aren’t that pretty. Let me just tell you, the cake part of the treats just tastes like very dense bread….and the icing….isn’t that tasty. It wasn’t bad at the time, but I did have recurring day dreams about it later…that made my stomach turn. But, everyone should probably try it for themselves at some point, so I highly encourage you to give them a shot….and they look delicious….so that helps at least…right?
- Don’t they look delicious??? I think so. Too bad that looks can be deceiving.
This is something I have been absolutely dying to blog about for some time now…but I waited….and now that April is here I think it is finally time. Every year there are 33 ladies from across Indiana who are selected to represent the Indianapolis 500 and the events that lead up to it, and this year I am fortunate enough to be one! It all started over Christmas Break, when I sent in my application to be a 500 Princess. After that, they interviewed all 278 applicants, and narrowed that group down to 66. Then those 66 went through another interview round, and they selected the final 33 princesses from that group. So now, we go around the state of Indiana to spread the word about the 500 Festival, the race itself, and everything else that has to do with the celebration throughout the month of May.
We have already had a few events, so I am already behind. But, today I am going to share some photos with you from our Princess Orientation. Even though it has been over a month since this event, it was a pretty important one that I want to share. You will see why here in a few….
All 6 of the Butler Princesses...
This was the day that we got our sashes....
....and our tiaras!
The Butler girls in all of our Princess glory...
Also, just so you all know….the fact that there are 6 Princesses from Butler is a pretty big deal. Only two schools have more, Ball State and Purdue (7 Princesses each), and when you consider how many more students they have than we do…..it definitely tells you how awesome Butler students really are. I am so excited to be able to spend an outrageous amount of time with all 32 of the other girls over the next few months…I am sure that it will just be the time of my life!
Over the next month and a half I will be blogging about all of my 500 Princess experiences, from appearances, service events, and social events that I have the opportunity to take part in. So, check back frequently, and see what I have been up to!