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Olympic Gold Medalist Joins 2015 Chase 500 Festival Kids’ Day Lineup

8 May, 2015


Shawn Johnson to be Celebrity Starter for Children’s Rookie Run

The 500 Festival, a nonprofit organization providing life-enriching events for Indiana and celebrating the legacy of the Indianapolis 500, announced that Olympic gold-medalist Shawn Johnson will participate in the 2015 Chase 500 Festival Kids’ Day on Saturday, May 9. Johnson will host a meet and greet with fans at the USA Gymnastics booth at Kids’ Day and she will also be the celebrity starter for the 5 – 6 year-old age group of the Chase 500 Festival Rookie Run

At 23 years-old, American gymnast Shawn Johnson has accomplished a lifetime of achievements that include Olympic and World medals, a “New York Times” best-selling book, a business, and working as a broadcast analyst, as well as taking classes through Pennsylvania State University. Kids’ Day and Rookie Run aren’t Shawn Johnson’s first 500 Festival event; she participated in the 2013 IPL 500 Festival Parade. 

Schedule for Shawn Johnson at Kids’ Day:
10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.: Meet Shawn and get an autograph at the USA Gymnastics booth on Monument Circle
11:45 a.m.: Shawn will be the Chase 500 Festival Rookie Run Celebrity Starter for the 5 - 6 year-old age group. CLICK HERE to view the Rookie Run course map.
12:30- 1:30 p.m.: Meet Shawn and get an autograph at the USA Gymnastics booth on Monument Circle.  

 “With landmark successes including an Olympic gold medal and a ‘Dancing With The Stars’ championship, Shawn is a great example for today’s youth of a fit and active healthy lifestyle,” said Bob Bryant, president and CEO of the 500 Festival. “Not only does Shawn set the example for the importance of fitness and wellness, her work as a ‘New York Times’ best-selling author and entrepreneur and as a student of Penn State University reinforce the importance of education. We are proud to host her at Kids’ Day and are grateful for her participation.”

Johnson’s love of gymnastics started when her parents, hoping to channel the energies of their rambunctious toddler, enrolled her in classes at the age of three. Years later, hundreds of millions of viewers worldwide watched as a 16-year-old Johnson won four medals including gold on the balance beam at the 2008 Olympics Games in Beijing, China. Outside of gymnastics, Johnson was crowned the Season 8 champion of “Dancing with the Stars,” and competed on the most recent season of “Celebrity Apprentice.” She has also published two books, and last year launched TheBodyDepartment with Shawn Johnson, a website (TheBodyDepartment.com) dedicated to healthy discussions surrounding body image, wellness, and fitness. 

Chase 500 Festival Kids’ Day is the state’s largest free outdoor festival for children. The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 9, 2015 on Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis. In addition to meeting Shawn Johnson, kids and families can enjoy a free performance from global pop sensation, Carly Rae Jepsen. Kids’ Day also offers fun, interactive, educational displays in a carnival-like atmosphere. Attendees can interact with local mascots, race mini cars, bounce in giant inflatables, get free kids haircuts by Great Clips, make sashes with the 500 Festival Princesses and so much more. 

Sponsors for Kids’ Day include: Chase, AAA Hoosier Motor Club, Indianapolis Colts, Meijer, Pacers Sports & Entertainment and WTHR, Channel 13. 

For more information on Kids’ Day or other 500 Festival events and programs visit www.500festival.com.

About the 500 Festival: Founded in 1957, the 500 Festival is a not-for-profit organization that produces more than 50 life-enriching events and programs while celebrating the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500 and fostering positive impact on the city of Indianapolis and state of Indiana. One of the largest festivals in the nation, each year more than half a million people attend an event or program produced by the 500 Festival. Since its founding, the 500 Festival has contributed more than $350 million in economic value to Indianapolis. To learn more about the 500 Festival, please visit www.500festival.com, follow us on Twitter @500festival, or on Facebook.

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