Taken directly from Wikipedia:
"The Little 500, also known popularly as the "Little Five" and part of "The World's Greatest College Weekend"), is a bicycle race held annually at Bill Armstrong Stadium on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. The race was founded in 1951 by Howdy Wilcox Jr., Executive Director of the Indiana University Student Foundation, who modelled the race after the Indianapolis 500, which his father had participated in and won in 1919. Racers compete in teams of four, racing relay-style for 200 laps (50.98 miles) along a quarter-mile (410-meter) cinder track. Thirty-three teams are selected in qualifications trials to compete in the main race. Money raised by the event goes towards a scholarship fund for working IU students."
There are a ton of events surrounding the race, including the Women's 500, which is tonight. In the past, Lance Armstrong has attended the race, calling it "the coolest thing I have ever attended." Last year, Barack Obama came to greet all the riders.
There is also a series of concerts - many of them happening tonight - and big stars such as Soulja Boy, Ludacris, and Young Jeezy will be performing.
Also from Wikipedia: "The events of the Little 500 were dramatized in the 1979 movie Breaking Away, which depicts a group of Bloomington townies who enter the race as the "Cutters" (from the local Indiana limestone stonecutters) to defeat the favored fraternity team."
I've heard that Breaking Away is a really great movie - it is on my Blockbuster queue right now.
Anyway - I just think it's so much fun that something so big and fun happens in Bloomington, of all places! I am really looking forward to all of the commotion this weekend. I'm not sure if Mr. Smith and I will actually go to the races - the ticket prices are a little steep - but I certainly want to go check it out from afar, at least! I can't wait to give you a full report on Monday.
Happy weekend, y'all!
*photo taken from 2009little500.wordpress.com*