April 12, 2010

Bulldogs Named Grand Marshal Of The 500 Festival Parade

INDIANAPOLIS (April 12, 2010) –   The 500 Festival announced today the Butler Bulldogs men’s basketball team has been named Grand Marshal of the IPL 500 Festival Parade. The 53rd IPL 500 Festival Parade is Saturday, May 29 and will be a celebration of the 2010 theme:  Embrace the Pace: Honoring the 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway®.  

The Butler Bulldogs just completed their most successful basketball season in school history, finishing as runner-up in the NCAA Basketball Championships.  The Bulldogs fell just two points shy of Duke, 61-59, in the national championship game in Indianapolis.

“The 500 Festival is honored to pay tribute to the Butler Bulldogs men’s basketball team by naming them as Grand Marshal of the IPL 500 Festival Parade,” said Kirk Hendrix, President and CEO.  “Grand Marshal is the 500 Festival’s highest distinction.  Over our 53-year history, we have recognized as Grand Marshal those who have significant accomplishments and a body of work worthy of a grand celebration.  The Bulldogs certainly have earned that,
and most impressively, have done so with a spirit that exemplifies commitment and teamwork.”

Butler’s memorable season included a 33-5 record and a 25-game winning streak; the nation’s longest.  The Bulldogs finished the Horizon League schedule with an undefeated 18-0 mark, winning both the league’s regular season and conference tournament.  The Bulldogs were the only unbeaten conference champions in the nation this season.   They were the first Horizon League team to ever reach the NCAA Final Four.  

Butler’s march to the NCAA Western Regional Championship included victories over top-seeded Syracuse, 63-59 and second-seeded Kansas State, 63-56.  The Bulldogs defeated Michigan State, 52-50, in the national semi-final game.  Butler was ranked in the Top 25 of the ESPN/USA Today national poll every week of the season and finished No. 2 in the final coach’s poll.

The more than 300,000 spectators who are expected to line the two-mile parade route will get a glimpse of the Butler Bulldogs, the 33 starting drivers of the 2010Indianapolis 500 ®, more than 80 specialty units, floats, marching bands and entertainment groups, giant inflatable balloons and costumed characters including Fred and Wilma Flintstone and the Powerpuff Girls.    
                                                           
The IPL 500 Festival Parade has grown to be one of the signature events in the U.S. each year. It consistently ranks among the top three parades in the nation including the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The IPL 500 Festival Parade will be televised nationally on VERSUS Cable Network and locally on WISH-TV.

Tickets to the IPL 500 Festival Parade are available at select  AAA Hoosier Motor Club locations, any Ticketmaster outlet or by calling (317) 614-6400.  Reserved bleacher seats are $14.50; reserved chair seats $18 and reserved VIP seats are $32. For more information visit www.500festival.com.