January 11, 2018 Louisville, KY. –The Kentucky Derby Festival is combining nostalgia and a familiar social media trend for the 2018 Republic Bank Pegasus Parade set for Thursday, May 3rd. The theme of this year’s event will be “#ThrowbackThursday.” Traditionally held on the Thursday of Derby week since 1956, the parade is the Festival’s oldest and inaugural event. Different themes have been chosen each year to help guide the decorations and music used by the participants.

“This year’s theme was inspired by all the energy and creativity that’s gone into the production of our parade since it started,” said Mike Berry, KDF President & CEO. “We’re inviting participants to pick their favorite parade themes when they decorate their units. Then, Broadway will become a trip down memory lane in May.”

The Festival is currently looking for participants for the 2018 march down Broadway. Participants are needed in the following categories: Equestrian, Specialty Unit, Marching Band, Inflatable and Float. Applications can be downloaded at KDF.org.

The parade theme is used by sponsoring companies to help direct the building of floats and costuming of the inflatable handlers and crew. The floats compete for various awards based on originality, eye appeal, theme representation, animation, attention to detail and enthusiasm. Marching bands use the theme to help with musical selection and it is the basis of costume and concept design for the other marching units.

Republic Bank, title sponsor of the event since 2002, returns in 2018. “For the 17th year, Republic Bank is delighted to be the sponsor of the Republic Bank Pegasus Parade,” said Republic Bank Chairman and CEO, Steve Trager. “We are very appreciative of our local communities that have helped us grow to become Kentucky’s largest locally owned community bank and honored to bring the Derby Festival’s oldest event to hundreds of thousands of spectators annually.”

KentuckyOne Health also returns as Contributing Sponsor. New this year, the Galt House will be the Official Hotel of the Pegasus Parade.

The Pegasus Parade – the Derby Festival’s founding event – is one of nearly 70 events produced by the Kentucky Derby Festival in the spring and provides an estimated economic impact of more than $22 million.

The Derby Festival is an independent community organization supported by 4,000 volunteers, 400 businesses and civic groups, Pegasus Pin sponsorships and event participation. It entertains more than 1.5 million people annually. This involvement has made the Festival the largest single attended event in Kentucky and one of the leading community celebrations in the world.