October 18, 2021. Louisville, KY. – The search continues for new Kentucky Derby Festival royalty! The deadline to submit applications for the 2022 Royal Court has been extended one week to October 24th. Young women from Kentucky or Southern Indiana who are full-time college students (in at least their 2nd year) are eligible. Applications must be submitted online at KDF.org/RoyalCourt by midnight on Sunday, October 24.

“Seeing the Derby Festival Royal Court out in the community has been one of the most visible and anticipated signs that the fun of Derby Festival season is just around the corner,” said Matt Gibson, Kentucky Derby Festival President & CEO. “It’s a once-in a-lifetime experience and we look forward to crowning the 2022 Court.”

The Royal Court program celebrates the state’s most civic-minded and academically achieving college students. Each year, five young women are chosen as Derby Festival Princesses to represent The Fillies®, the Kentucky Derby Festival, the City of Louisville, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky as official ambassadors for the springtime tradition of the Festival. Then, one of the Derby Princesses® is crowned the Derby Queen® by a spin-of-the-wheel at the annual Fillies Derby Ball®.

Each member of the Royal Court receives two $1,000 scholarships – one from The Fillies, Inc., and one from the Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation. In addition to other sponsor gifts, each woman also receives a complimentary wardrobe.

The Derby Festival Royal Court® program is overseen by members of The Fillies, Inc., a non-profit organization with 250 community volunteers. Since 1957, past Derby Festival Queens and Courts have been making an impression on their community. They include Martha Layne Collins, Kentucky’s first woman Governor, and a number of other community leaders.

The Royal Court selection process is a self-nominating procedure. Applicants must be residents of Kentucky or the metropolitan area, including Clark, Floyd and Harrison counties of Indiana, and full-time college students (in at least their 2nd year), with a minimum accumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Candidates must also be poised, outstanding in the community and 18 years old on or before December 31, 2021. All applicants must attend a screening on either Saturday, November 6, or Saturday, November 20, at the Goldberg Simpson Law Firm, 9301 Dayflower St. in Louisville. Contact Cindy Lewandowski, Vice President of the Fillies, Inc., at (916) 276-6740 or email at FilliesVP@gmail.com.

More information about the program and the 2022 application can be found online at KDF.org/RoyalCourt. Planning is underway for the 2022 Kentucky Derby Festival. Event dates and information will be released in the coming weeks and months.

Since 1956, the Derby Festival has worked to bring the community together in celebration. The Festival is an independent community organization supported by 4,000 volunteers, 400 businesses and civic groups, Pegasus Pin sponsorships and event participation. This involvement has made the Festival the largest single-attended event in Kentucky and one of the leading community celebrations in the world.