January 29, 2016 Louisville, KY. – Kentucky’s own Jordan Smith, winner of season 9 of The Voice and Republic Records recording artist, will serve as Grand Marshal of the 2016 Republic Bank Pegasus Parade. The 61st annual parade is themed “Fun for the Arts,” and is set to march down Broadway on Thursday, May 5th.
“Our list of Grand Marshals is a who’s who of notable Kentuckians and we are thrilled to add Jordan to the top of that list,” said Mike Berry, Kentucky Derby Festival President and CEO. “He joins a long line of Kentuckians who are making our Commonwealth proud, in many walks of life. He’ll no doubt have everyone singing as he makes his way down the parade route.”
Jordan, 22-years-old, wowed the judges on The Voice. From Harlan, Kentucky, he grew up in a musical family, so making the decision to pursue singing at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, was easy. He stands out as the highest-selling artist to ever emerge from NBC’s EMMY AWARD®-winning The Voice. In less than six months, he sold over 1 million singles and made Voice history by landing 4 songs in the Top 10—the most of any artist from the show. Meanwhile, eight of his songs went Top 10, 6 hit Top 3, and 3 captured #1 on all of iTunes. He is one of only two artists, alongside Cassadee Pope, to notch three #1’s during the show’s season. Smith released a full-length album, Jordan Smith: The Complete Season 9 Collection, on iTunes one day after his win. Overnight, the album skyrocketed to the Top 5 on the iTunes Overall Album Chart and debuted on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart at #11. His take on Queen’s “Somebody To Love” unseated Adele’s “Hello” from #1 on iTunes Overall Top Songs chart in a matter of hours, moving 164 thousand-plus copies first week and clinching #1 on the Billboard Digital Songs Chart. The following week his performance of “Mary Did You Know” also shot up to the #1 spot on iTunes and topped SoundScan’s Digital Songs Chart at #1, selling 161 thousand copies in the first week. “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” and “Hallelujah” went #1 on Billboard’s Hot Christian Songs Chart, and he became “the first artist to replace himself at #1 on the chart.” Jordan also holds the record on Billboard’s Hot Christian Songs Chart for “the first act to own both the #1 and #2 titles concurrently” with “Mary Did You Know” and “Hallelujah”.
This year’s parade theme was inspired by the Fund for the Arts, Louisville’s local and the country’s oldest united arts fund. “We are incredibly excited that the Derby Festival and Republic Bank have selected ‘Fun for the Arts’ as the 2016 parade theme,” said Christen Boone, Fund for the Arts President and CEO. “Our world-class Arts community makes our region exceptional and we’re thrilled to showcase the power of the Arts up and down Broadway and across all of Derby city.”
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.
The Kentucky Derby Festival is still looking for participants for the parade in the following categories: Equestrian, Specialty Unit, Marching Band, Inflatable and Float. Applications can be downloaded online at www.kdf.org. Those seeking additional information about participating in the parade can contact Jon Pollock at (502) 572-3833 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Republic Bank, title sponsor of the event since 2002, returns in 2016. “We are thrilled to once again be the title sponsor of the Kentucky Derby Festival’s oldest event – the Republic Bank Pegasus Parade. As the largest locally owned community bank in Kentucky, we are delighted to be able to bring this Festival favorite to our community,” said Republic Bank Chairman and CEO, Steve Trager.
The Pegasus Parade – the Derby Festival’s oldest 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 annual spectacle marches west on Broadway from Campbell to Ninth Street. The parade is broadcast live on WAVE 3 News.
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.