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American Country Music Artist Kellie Pickler to Perform Opening Number for
IPL 500 Festival Parade


INDIANAPOLIS (May 13, 2011) –The 500 Festival announced today that American country music artist Kellie Pickler will perform the opening number for the IPL 500 Festival Parade. Pickler will be singing her new unreleased single, “Tough,” from her upcoming 19 Entertainment/BNA Records release. Accompanying Pickler in the opening festivities are the Indianapolis Children’s Choir and Anita’s Dance Companies of Wisconsin. After the opening number, Pickler will ride in the Parade. The IPL 500 Festival Parade is Saturday, May 28 at noon in downtown Indianapolis.

Pickler is an American country music artist and television personality. She gained fame as a contestant on the fifth season of the Fox reality show American Idol, eventually finishing in sixth place. In 2006 she released her first album, certified gold Small Town Girl. In 2008, she released her self-titled sophomore album producing the hit singles "Don't You Know You're Beautiful", "Didn't You Know How Much I Loved You" and “Best Days of Your Life,” which sold more than one million digital singles.

More than 300,000 spectators are expected to line the two-mile parade route to see the 33 starting drivers of the 2011 Indianapolis 500 ®, more than 80 specialty units, floats, marching bands, giant inflatable balloons and costumed characters.

Themed “Miles of Memories: Celebrating the Most Important Race in History” this year’s parade is a true representation of the power and pageantry of the month of May - a Hoosier tradition for 54 years with a television package that will bolster the Parade’s national presence. The IPL 500 Festival Parade will be televised nationally on the VERSUS Cable Network at 5 p.m. EDT and locally on WISH-TV at 8 p.m.

Tickets to the IPL 500 Festival Parade are available at the 500 Festival Ticket Office weekdays starting next week from 8:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased by calling (317) 614-6400.   Reserved bleacher seats are $14.50; reserved chair seats $18 and reserved VIP/TV Zone seats are $32. For more information, visit www.500festival.com.

Please click here to download a photo of Kellie Pickler.

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 54 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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