Kentucky Derby Festival organizers shake up Pegasus Parade traditions

Changes include a ‘touring’ parade, earlier dates

Kentucky Derby Festival organizers shake up Pegasus Parade traditions
During a traditional year, the Pegasus Parade takes place on Broadway and includes the giant, inflatable Pegasus, 'Peggy Bank.'
During a traditional year, the Pegasus Parade takes place on Broadway and includes the giant, inflatable Pegasus, 'Peggy Bank.'

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Kentucky Derby Festival’s Pegasus Parade could be coming to your neighborhood this year, organizers announced Tuesday.

In light of COVID-19 precautions, this year the parade will not march down Broadway for the first time in its history, but instead will wind through 35 different neighborhoods, spanning more than 60 miles over two days.

In addition, KDF will host the parade much earlier than usual on April 10 and 11, from noon to 5 p.m. both days.

“Knowing that we cannot gather for our events this year, this is just one of the ways that our goal is coming to life to bring the festival to the community as a whole,” Matt Gibson, KDF President and CEO said.

The 2021 parade will include 20 units, mascots, floats and local V.I.P.’s, including the 2021 Kentucky Derby Festival Royal Court.

The theme is set as “A Tribute to the Community,” which Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer agreed is fitting this year.

“What gets us through challenges as a city, it’s the backbone of who we are, it’s the people, so to be able to take the parade into our neighborhoods and have people sitting on their front porches or out on the streets, waiving as the parade goes by, this will be a once in a lifetime experience that people will never forget,” Fischer said.

An exact route for the parade will be announced in the coming weeks. Those living along the route are asked to decorate their front porches, yards and cars with Kentucky Derby themed items to get into the festival spirit. Organizers encouraged the public to post photos of their decorations to social media, using the hashtags #PegasusPorchParade or #DerbyFestivalSpirit.

Zoeller Pump Company was slated to take over as the parade’s title sponsor last year before the COVID-19 crisis caused the cancellations of all festival events. It will be the title sponsor this year and in 2022.

WAVE 3 News will air special parade programming on April 29, the Thursday before the Kentucky Derby when the Pegasus Parade has traditionally taken place.

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WAVE 3 News Now. Watch Anytime. Anywhere. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

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