Grace Worcester’s experience as a 500 Festival Princess has been a flurry of activities.
But it has been all highs for the Guerin Catholic High School graduate from Westfield.
“It’s been like a rollercoaster from the end of February when we met the Princess orientation until now. I’ve been to so many different schools and nursing homes, coffee shops and restaurants,” Worcester said. “I’m meeting people who are race fans and some that are not. I’m teaching them the importance of the 500 Festival and how important racing is to Indiana. That’s been the most fun part about it, meeting so many people.”
Worcester said she is most excited for the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 May 28.
““I’ve been going to the 500 ever since I was little. I haven’t been to the parade yet, so that is something I’m also most looking forward to, along with getting to spend time with the other girls and meeting them,” she said.
To be a Princess, individuals ages 18 to 23 must apply through an application process and are required to attend college full time in Indiana. Those who are selected are evaluated based on their leadership, academic stewardship, community involvement and embodiment of the Hoosier spirit, according to the 500 Festival Princess program website.
Worcester’s voice was hoarse at the April 22 Princess reception at The Club at Crosspoint in Fishers.
“I’ve had five outreaches in the past few days, so my voice is gone,” she said.
Worcester also said getting to know the other 32 Princesses has been a favorite part of the overall experience.
“I already feel at home with them,” she said.
Worcester, a Butler University sophomore majoring in sports media, plans to go into sports marketing after graduation. Her mentor for the 500 Festival is Roger VanDerSnick, chief sales and marketing officer for the Indianapolis Colts.
“It’s been great working with him and everyone else that works with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the 500 Festival,” she said. “It’s great networking all around for sports media.”
Worcester said she has more outreaches planned this month, including the Westfield Washington Public Library and a few more schools in the area.