PEGASUS PARADE MARCHES ON DESPITE WET WEATHER
April 30, 2023. Louisville, KY. – The Zoeller Pump Company Pegasus Parade kicked off Derby Week this afternoon, as it marched on a Sunday for the second straight year. Fans lined downtown Louisville streets and braved chilly and rainy weather to celebrate the founding event of the Kentucky Derby Festival. The theme of this year’s parade – “Celebrating Derby Traditions,” showcased all that is special and unique about the Derby Festival season to the community.
Secretariat was honored as this year’s Grand Marshal to mark the 50th anniversary of his historic Triple Crown win. A bronze monument of Secretariat in full stride made its way down the Parade route, as part of the “Secretariat: Larger Than Life 50th Anniversary Tour.” The monument was accompanied by Kate Chenery Tweedy and Sarah Manning, daughters of Penny Chenery, Secretariat’s owner.
The Derby Festival and Zoeller Pump Company also unveiled a new Pegasus inflatable, which is part of the first unit and helps open the Parade each year. The Pegasus is the Derby Festival’s mascot, and the large inflatable balloon has been a signature part of the event since the 1980s. The new Pegasus is a cold-air inflatable that was designed and created by Dynamic Displays out of Michigan and Canada. The process took about four months of careful artisanship. Pegasus is 30 feet tall, 25 feet long, and 16 feet wide. She weighs 189 pounds and is made from 223 yards of nylon fabric. The Pegasus floated on a cloud bearing the Kentucky Derby Festival logo, and even without helium, she appeared to fly.
The parade has been bringing the community together annually for 68 years. VIPs appearing in the 2023 Pegasus Parade included Miss Kentucky Hannah Edelen; Ethan, American Hero Dog; Darnell “Superchef” Ferguson; Jason Clayborn, International Gospel Recording Artist and more. The parade also featured equestrian units, marching bands and more than 30 specialty units.
Several of the units participating in the 2023 Zoeller Pump Company Pegasus Parade received awards for their participation, including:
Norton Healthcare took home the Addison McGhee Grand Champion Award for best overall float; Second Chance at Life won the 2nd Place KDF Board Chair’s Award; Hwang’s Martial Arts received the 3rd Place KDF President’s Award; Louisville Parks & Recreation won the Grand Marshal’s Award for best representation of the theme; and TCB Otis Entertainment won the Queen’s Award.
West Allegheny Marching Pride won the Grand Prize in the Basil Caummisar Battle of the Bands competition. The parade is known for its beautiful equestrian units. The first-place award for Best Mounted Equestrian Unit went to Young Guns 4-H Rodeo Drill Team. The Hardin County Company B Equestrian Drill Team won the Pooper Stars Award.
Zoeller Pump Company has been the Title Sponsor of the Pegasus Parade since 2020, joining Contributing Sponsor, Goodwill Industries of Kentucky. Official Health Care Provider: UofL Health. Official Hotel: The Galt House Hotel. Media Partner: WAVE.