History Of The Snake Pit

The Snake Pit has a long, colorful history at IMS. It’s part urban legend, but some of the craziness described by your parents, grandparents or aunts and uncles definitely happened!

Fans started to gather in the infield at IMS as early as the 1920s. But the hearty partying didn’t start until the 1970s in the infield inside Turn 1, which became known as the infamous Snake Pit.

What exactly happened in those days in the original Snake Pit? It’s probably easier to describe what didn’t happen. Let’s just say almost anything went in the quest for a good time among the young and the young at heart of the Midwest.

Streaking. Stripping. Booze. Brawls. Football. Frisbees. Music. Bikers. Students. The Snake Pit was a combination of Woodstock and Spring Break for thousands of Midwestern kids.

But times and attitudes changed, as did the look of the Speedway. Grandstands were built inside Turn 1, which crimped the style of many in the Snake Pit.

The Snake Pit eventually faded away by the mid-1990s. But it’s back, baby – now in Turn 3 and with the blessing of the brass at IMS.

No, this isn’t your mom and dad’s Snake Pit. That was a one-of-a-kind place, for better or worse. But the new Snake Pit still has the attitude, spirit and mojo of the original. It’s the ultimate place to party during the Indianapolis 500.