Tips for Family Comfort & Fun at the Indy 500

Start your engines!

The city of Indianapolis is living and breathing the Indy 500 right now!  You are going to bring your family to the track for the first time and you have a few questions….well I might be able to help! I will keep it simple and if you don’t find what you need here check out or

Tips for family comfort and fun at the Indy 500:

  • First and foremost there are plenty of bathrooms and ATM’s sprinkled throughout the Speedway. So if you need extra money for souvenirs or if you hear “I have to go to the bathroom,” you need not worry! Speaking of souvenirs, the kids will want something to remember their fun experience at the race. There are plenty of low priced items you can purchase.
  • Keep cool. Race day will be HOT! So drink lots of liquids and use lots of sunscreen. Bring your own sunscreen because you will end up spending too much money for a little travel size if you buy it at the track. Bring bottled water and make half of the bottles frozen. Throughout the day they will melt and will be quite refreshing. Plus, you will not need to pack ice! Another idea to keep cool is to put some wet towels in your cooler so that you can put them around your child’s neck when they get hot. Buy a few ‘misters’ before the race so you can mist yourself to cool down.
  • Pack your lunch and snacks. You will save money. A variety of sandwiches, fruit, pretzels, cheese sticks, granola bars and peanuts are just some easy ideas.
  • Other items to bring:
    • Earplugs – the little ones will need these.
    • Moist wipes – you can leave home without those!
    • Strollers (and lawn chairs) are allowed but you can’t bring them in the stands.
    • Bags are permitted but cannot exceed the size of 14” by 14”

Remember to have fun and make memories. Take the camera to capture the moments. After the race you can refuel your body the same way the winning driver does and drink an ice cold bottle of MILK!!

Meet the 2012 Rookie Milkman

By Duane Hill

Never in my life when I was a little boy milking cows would I have thought about the privilege of handing milk to the winning race team at the Indianapolis 500.  Hard work and desire have always paid off in my life in some surprising ways.

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The Indy 500 Milkmen Experience

By Dave Forgey

Last year I was able to be the “Rookie Milkman” following the direction of Richard Thomas who was the official “Milkman”. This year I’ll have that honor and will be sharing the experience with Duane Hill as the “Rookie Milkman” during the 97th running of the Indy 500. Continue reading

Win Free Chocolate Milk for 6 Months!

How does free chocolate milk for 6 months sound?

If you are a twitter user, follow us at INDairy and enter our Free Chocolate Milk Twitter Contest!

We’d love to see you “Refuel with Chocolate Milk” in a photo after the Mini this weekend!

To enter to win, just tweet the photo using the hashtag #WinnersDrinkMilk after the race.

Winner will be chosen at random.

Top 10 Memories from 2011

We had another busy year and made many memories.  It’s tough to choose just 10; but here, in no particular order, is my top 10 list:

Celebrating 80 years of nutrition education in Indiana through our Dairy Council.  Indiana dairy farmers are long time supporters of nutrition research and education for the health of Hoosiers.

Dining at the home of Jim Irsay!  We partner with the Colts to bring improved nutrition and fitness experiences to Indiana school students.  That partnership yielded an invitation that I was thrilled to accept and gave me a rare opportunity to chat with Mr. Irsay about our Fuel Up to Play 60 program.

Celebrating 100 years of Indy car racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Indiana dairy farmers and the racing fraternity have a special bond:  milk.  We produce it.  They drink it to celebrate winning the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.  That’s why, in Indiana, we know that Winners drink milk!®

Helping our two dairy farmer milkmen get ready to present the famous bottle of milk in Victory Circle following the Indianapolis 500.  This year I was very close to the action!  How exciting!

Attending our annual Dairy Summit.  More than 250 registered dietitians and school nutrition professionals came to the conference to learn from experts about the new dietary guidelines, the benefits of flavored milk at school and chocolate milk as a sports recovery drink.

Visiting several dairy farms during the Kentuckiana Dairy Exchange in Indiana.  Each year, dairy farmers from Kentucky and Indiana get together to tour farms and swap ideas.  We have a varied and vibrant dairy industry in Indiana and it was great to spend some time on several fascinating farms.

Watching Diane Ruyack receive her 35-year service award at our annual meeting.  I’ve had the privilege to work with Diane for many years and was so grateful to see her be recognized for a long career sharing the good nutrition news about dairy products on behalf of Indiana’s dairy farmers.

Unveiling the cheese sculpture at the Indiana State Fair.  For several years, we’ve brought Sarah Kaufmann, cheese sculptor, to our great state fair to create a work of art from huge blocks of cheese delighting thousands of fair-goers!

Hosting Dairy Day at Victory Field.  We entertained Indiana dairy farmers at the beautiful ball park in June.  It was a great time for visiting and showcasing dairy at the ball game.

Announcing that 2012 is the Year of Dairy Cows at the Indiana State Fair!

Fuel Up to Play 60

By Diane Ruyack

Nicholson Elementary School has been participating in NFL’s and National Dairy Council’s Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP 60) program all school year.  The students have had challenges built around the Colts’ football season and Indiana basketball’s “March Madness.”  The goal of the FUTP 60 partnership is to encourage children to be physically active and to eat nutritious food, such as dairy products, whole-grains, and fruits and vegetables.

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The Tradition Continues…

IMS Photo by Jim Haines

For those of you who haven’t spent time in Indiana during Memorial Day weekend, you may not know that the Indianapolis 500 is celebrated far and wide throughout the Hoosier state. And you also may not realize that in most parts of Indiana, the race is broadcast live via radio, not television. And, finally you also may not understand the importance of certain Indy 500 traditions, the most important one being the drink of milk by the winning driver at the end of the race (also dubbed the “Sports World’s Coolest Prize” by 

The American Dairy Association of Indiana is in charge of providing the milk that gets handed to the winning driver. Each year, an Indiana dairy farmer is selected to be the person who gets to hand over the bottle of ice cold milk to the winning driver. This is a two year commitment with the first year being a “rookie” year, and the second year being a “mentor” year. The rookie hands a bottle of milk to the winning driver’s chief mechanic and team owner; the “mentor” hands a bottle of milk to the winning driver.  Richard Thomas was the mentor and Dave Forgey was the rookie.

The Milkmen had to be at a designated parking lot in downtown Indy by 7:00 a.m. on race day or else the police escort would leave without them. What would have been a two to three hour drive through traffic became a less than 10 minute zip through traffic. Once inside, the milkmen had to take the milk and secure it in their suite. They came back down and talked with fans, handed out Indy 500 pins, and held several interviews on television stations.

Once the milkmen were done giving interviews, they were able to relax and enjoy the pre-race festivities a bit. Again, for you non-race fans, the pre-race festivities are steeped in tradition, including the singing of “Back Home Again in Indiana”, balloons being released before the start of the race, the singing of the national anthem, a fly over by a U.S. military aircraft, the famous line “Ladies and gentlemen start your engines”, and finally the official start of the race—the pace lap. As the green flag waved, the cars take off.  

At lap 175, the milkmen were escorted to Victory Circle where they waited to greet the 100th Indy 500 winner, Dan Wheldon, the team owner and the chief mechanic with a cold bottle of milk. The race was over, the milk was delivered, and Richard and Dave were homeward bound to go back to their dairy farms to continue to produce that wholesome, nutritious product – milk- that will be given to next year’s winner of the Indy 500.