Group cancels protests of KDF, Pegasus Parade; Separate festival - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Group cancels protests of KDF, Pegasus Parade; Separate festival set

Trena Waddles (Source: WAVE 3 News) Trena Waddles (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Ray Barker (Source: WAVE 3 News) Ray Barker (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Marcellus Love (Source: WAVE 3 News) Marcellus Love (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Concerns over children's safety and control have prompted cancellations of protests planned for this year's Kentucky Derby Festival Pegasus Parade on May 5 and a demonstration scheduled outside KDF's downtown offices Monday evening, organizers said.

"It's all about them (the children) no need for them to get hurt," dance team coordinator Trena Waddles told a news conference Monday.

Earlier this month, Waddles had claimed racial considerations prompted KDF to "disinvite" her Kentucky Dance & Step Team from this year's Pegasus Parade. KDF has denied the allegations, saying it based the decision on difficulties following rules regarding conduct and size of the group.

Monday however, organizer Ray Barker denied any conflict with KDF and insisted the focus was on producing a separate, successful Kentucky Love, Peace and Heritage Festival parade May 21.

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"It will be the final event in a series of events," Barker said. "We will have a kids party Derby Day, that will be free."

Organizers had vowed the separate parade would be held Derby Day. They reconsidered, citing many of the same concerns for canceling the protests.

Neither Louisville Metro police nor the Festival asked the group to postpone its separate inaugural parade two Saturdays from Derby Day, KDF's Mike Berry told WAVE 3 News.

"We realize there are a number of separate events," Berry said. "We're grateful that we're able to maintain the Festival's inclusive heritage, and that these events will promote diversity as well."

"That alone was enough," Marcellus Love, a dance-team organizer, said. "Just to be a voice for the children at that time, to let them know that, you know, these kids look forward to the parade every year. However, we understand the circumstances as to why they didn't do it this year."

The Heritage Festival is still securing the parade permit for May 21, Waddles said. The event's costs are expected to be considerably less than the Pegasus Parade; no constructed floats.

The Festival has not set entry fees yet, but will be selling t-shirts to help cover operating costs.

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