February 2, 2024, Louisville, KY. –  Hot off the presses! A sign that spring and the Kentucky Derby Festival are just around the corner was unveiled  this morning as the Festival’s 2024 Official Poster rolled off the presses at Louisville’s Welch Printing. Spring style was also front and center as pieces of this year’s Official Kentucky Derby Festival Merchandise Line were released. This year’s poster, called “Liberated,” was designed by Louisville artist Richard Sullivan, a former professional baseball player for the Atlanta Braves.

“Growing up in Louisville, spring was my favorite time of year because of the magic of the Kentucky Derby Festival and the Kentucky Derby,” said Richard Sullivan. “There’s so much celebration, the city feels like it’s flying. I wanted to capture that spirit of flight in my artwork by merging the competitive spirit of the thoroughbred with the magic and beauty of the Pegasus.”

Sullivan’s watercolor artwork captures the spirit of the Derby Festival through the use of bright colors and the Pegasus, the signature symbol of the Festival. The winged horse of Greek mythology was chosen back in 1956 to symbolize the magic, energy and excitement of the Festival’s events.

“Richard’s use of color in this year’s Poster screams spring and his watercolor style adds whimsy to the Festival’s Pegasus mascot,” said Jennifer Morgan, Kentucky Derby Festival Merchandising Manager. “And with fashion playing a key role in the Derby Festival season, we also can’t wait to see our Festival fans soon wearing our festive new merchandise collection out and about in the community.”

The Derby Festival’s Official Merchandise Line features more than 100 products, including colorful t-shirts, caps and mugs. All items are produced by the Derby Festival’s Official Merchandise Partner, 12/13 Apparel by Synergism. Posters and merchandise are available for purchase online at KDF.org. Merchandise will be available at select Kroger stores and A Taste of Kentucky beginning in March.

ORDER DETAILS: Festival fans can order the 2024 Official Poster and Merchandise online beginning today (Friday, Feb. 2) and receive a 20 percent discount (excluding all Pins) through Friday, Feb. 9. The Official Poster retails for $30. Limited Edition of 500 signed and numbered posters retails for $60. Post Card Size: $5. A selection of shirts and giftware items are also available, with prices ranging from $5 to $45.

Welch Printing is a longtime print partner of the Kentucky Derby Festival. While the Louisville based company has worked with the Festival on other print projects, 2024 marks the third year that Welch has printed the official poster image. It’s the 44th poster in the Festival’s iconic poster series, which launched in 1981 and has showcased a stylistic and geographical mix of artists over the years.