November 2, 2022. Louisville, KY. – If you’ve ever wanted to participate in the Kentucky Derby Festival’s annual parade, this could be your chance. Applications open this Friday, November 4, for the 2023 Zoeller Pump Company Pegasus Parade, which will return on a Sunday for the second year and march down Broadway on April 30 at 3 p.m. The Derby Festival is looking for participants in the following categories: Equestrians, Specialty Units, Marching Bands, Inflatables, and Floats. Interested participants can submit their applications online at KDF.org/PegasusParade.

“We started a new tradition by moving the parade to Sunday and the response from the community has been overwhelming,” said Matt Gibson, Kentucky Derby Festival President & CEO. “The parade now helps kick off all the Derby week festivities and we’re able to share the historic event with even more Festival fans and their families. We look forward to seeing them lining the sidewalks again next spring as we march down Broadway.”

The 2023 parade theme is “Celebrating Derby Traditions” to showcase all that is special and unique about the Derby Festival season to the community. In designing their units, participants are encouraged to consider all that makes Derby Festival and Derby time a memorable time of year – everything from Derby Festival events, fashions and fascinators to family traditions, horse racing and springtime.

A theme is chosen each year to help guide the decorations and music used by the participants, including 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.

Louisville based Zoeller Pump Company returns as the Title Sponsor of the parade for the third consecutive year.

“Zoeller Pump Company is so excited to continue our support of the Pegasus Parade. We had a great time with all the Parade activities last year,” said Dwight Newton, Zoeller Pump Company Chief People Officer. “I constantly hear about the family atmosphere of the entire event and how excited our employees are for this year. We love Louisville and we support her where we can. We want to be part of celebrating, and there is no better place than the Kentucky Derby Festival, and for us, the Pegasus Parade.”

2023 marks the 68th year for the Parade, which is the founding event of the Kentucky Derby Festival. The first Parade was produced in 1956 to create a way for the community to celebrate before the Derby horse race. It was organized by just a handful of volunteers on a budget of $640 and has become one of the Festival’s largest events with an estimated economic impact of $22 million.

Zoeller Pump Company is the Title Sponsor, joining Contributing Sponsor Kentucky Venues, The Galt House as the Official Hotel, and Media Partner, WAVE.


June 21 - June 21