March 16, 2021. Louisville, KY. – The Kentucky Derby Festival is taking the annual Pegasus Parade to neighborhoods around the community in 2021. Plans for the annual event were announced this morning at Louisville-based Zoeller Pump Company, the new title sponsor of the event. With public health and safety a top priority, the Festival developed a new approach to producing the event.
“This is just one of the ways the Derby Festival is working to bring our events to the community,” said Matt Gibson, Kentucky Derby Festival President & CEO. “With the help of our sponsors, this year’s parade will be a ‘touring’ event that will help us kick off the 2021 Festival.”
The Zoeller Pump Company Touring Pegasus Parade will take place during the afternoon on Saturday, April 10, and Sunday, April 11. The 2021 parade, themed “A Tribute to the Community,” will feature nearly 20 units, including some colorful inflatables, mascots, and Festival VIPS, like the 2021 Royal Court. It will travel over 60 miles and through more than 35 neighborhoods around Louisville over the two days.
Zoeller Pump Company stepped up as title sponsor of the parade in 2020, but plans were paused due to the pandemic. The family-owned water pump manufacturer is headquartered here in Louisville. Zoeller will return as title sponsor in 2022.
“Zoeller is so proud to be part of the Pegasus Parade and the whole Kentucky Derby Festival family. As a family business we know what it takes to get through tough times and the Festival has shown resiliency and pride,” shared Dwight Newton, Chief People Officer, Zoeller Company. “We are excited to work with them to bring some good times and positive excitement to our Louisville hometown.”
The Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana and T-Mobile are Contributing Sponsors of the 2021 parade. This is the first year T-Mobile has sponsored the parade, and the third year the Girl Scouts have been a partner on the event, joining Kentucky Venues and The Official Hotel, The Galt House. WAVE 3 News, official TV broadcast partner of the parade, will produce a special that will air on the traditional parade date of Thursday, April 29.
Said Gibson, “As a not-for-profit, the Festival could not produce our events each year without the support of our sponsors and partners. They understand what events like the Pegasus Parade mean to the community.”
The Festival is also calling on residents to decorate their porches, yards and homes in honor of this year’s Derby Festival season. Then, post photos on social media using the hashtag #PegasusPorchParade or #DerbyFestivalSpirit, as part of this year’s festivities.
“Spring is a special time of year in Kentucky. We hope everyone will help us share the Derby Festival and Louisville spirit we’ve all been missing,” said Gibson.
The Pegasus Parade is the founding event of the Kentucky Derby Festival. The first parade marched in 1956 to create a way for the community to celebrate before the historic horse race. It was organized by just a handful of volunteers on a budget of $640. Since then, the Festival has become a whirlwind of many events.
Zoeller Pump Company is the Title Sponsor of the parade, joining Contributing Sponsors Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana, Kentucky Venues and T-Mobile, and The Official Hotel, The Galt House. Broadcast special on WAVE 3 NEWS
2021 marks the 66th year for the Kentucky Derby Festival. The Festival is an independent community organization supported by 4,000 volunteers, more than 400 businesses and civic groups, Pegasus Pin sponsorships and event participation. It entertains more than 1.5 million people in a two- week period and has a local economic impact of more than $127 million. This involvement has made the Festival the largest single attended event in Kentucky and one of the leading community celebrations in the world.