SPEEDWAY, Ind. — The first day of May brought chillier temperatures and dreary rain, but that didn’t match the emotions of the folks living and working in Speedway.
This month marks the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 and the festivities before the race are really getting started.
All around Speedway, you’re already seeing front stoops decorated with checkered flags and glass jugs of milk as communities prepare for the porch parties in the days leading up to the greatest spectacle in racing.
”It’s fun to watch the residents, they start to decorate their porches and the town brings out things for the roundabout and along Main Street. So it comes to life and it’s fun,” said Jeff Matthews, the owner of Founders Grounds Coffee Company along Main Street.
May is a big month for Matthews shop, this is their second year in business and also the second year they will open a second location inside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“We’re going to be doubled up and it’ll be fun,” Matthews said.
The month of May gets especially busy for them but he wouldn’t have it any other way. Last race day, Matthews said they dealt with hours long lines inside the track while the store on Main Street was packed, as well.
”It’s special for us,” Matthews said. “We’re local and it’s a pretty big deal for us.”
For one business, May 1 is also opening day. The Famous Soda and Candy Company closes its doors for the winter and reopens for May each year.
”It’s pretty crazy, especially the day before the race. That’s the busiest day we have here,” said Karen Denny, one of the workers at The Famous Soda & Candy Company.
The shop has vintage candy and sodas, along with shelves and walls filled with Indy 500 memorabilia.
”We have to have multiple staff members here just to keep all the customers flowing through with their purchases,” Denny said.
The month of May gets started this Saturday with the 500 Festival Mini Marathon. May 14 is the 500 Festival Kids’ Day, May 16 is opening day of Indy 500 practice, May 19 is Fast Friday, Carb Day is May 26, the 500 Festival Parade is May 27 and the Greatest Spectacle in Racing is May 28.