Friday, May 18

Olivia Newton-John named Grand Marshal for 2012 IPL 500 Festival Parade

Singer/actress/author Olivia Newton-John has been named Grand Marshal of the 2012 IPL 500 Festival Parade. The 55th IPL 500 Festival Parade is Saturday, May 26 and will celebrate the 2012 500 Festival theme: "A New REVolution." In addition to being the Grand Marshal for the Parade, Newton-John will also be an honorary guest at the Regions 500 Festival Snakepit Ball.

In addition, Newton-John will give the command to start engines for the Firestone Indy Lights Freedom 100 race on Friday, May 25. Newton-John will have more than just passing interest in the race as her nephew Emerson Newton-John will be making his debut as a driver in the series. She will also be on hand for the running of the 96th Indianapolis 500 and will participate in the annual red carpet walk at the track.

“I am so excited to be the Grand Marshal for the IPL 500 Festival Parade! The combination of this honor and being in Indianapolis to support my nephew, Emerson Newton-John, during the Firestone Indy Lights Freedom 100 race is sure to make for a wonderful weekend,” said Olivia Newton-John.

Olivia Newton-John is a four-time Grammy award winner who has amassed five No. 1 singles and 10 Top Ten Billboard Hot 100 singles. With more than 100 million albums sold worldwide, her music has been successful in multiple formats including pop, country and adult contemporary. She co-starred with John Travolta in the most successful movie musical in history, Grease, which featured one of the most successful film soundtracks in Hollywood history.
She recently released her first book, LivWise: Easy Recipes For A Healthy, Happy Life, with all of her royalties benefitting the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre. Since surviving breast cancer in 1992, Newton-John has been an advocate for health awareness becoming involved with various charities, health products and fundraising efforts.

More than 300,000 spectators are expected to line the two-mile parade route to see the 33 starting drivers of the 2012 Indianapolis 500, more than 80 specialty units, floats, marching bands and giant inflatable balloons.
Tickets to the IPL 500 Festival Parade are available at the 500 Festival Ticket Office weekdays from 8:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased by calling (317) 614-6400. Reserved bleacher seats are $14.50; reserved chair seats $19 and reserved VIP/TV Zone seats are $32.

For more information, visit

For bleacher locations click here.
Photos: 500 Festival
Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC, and follow her on Twitter @GottaGo and Facebook. Gotta Go is published on and in M magazine and the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.

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