Thursday, February 26, 2015. Louisville, KY.   – Spring was in the air tonight as a sold out crowd joined the Kentucky Derby Festival to unveil elements of its upcoming festivities, including the 2015 Official Poster and Merchandise line.  The first Official KDF event of the New Year – Festival Unveiled presented by Citizens Union Bank and Four Roses Bourbon – was held at The Ice House in Downtown Louisville, with 700 guests in attendance.

The 2015 Poster Artist – Karen Boone – was on hand at the event to sign copies of her image. The 2015 Kentucky Derby Festival poster art was painted traditionally with organic oil paint, created by mixing real earth pigments with organic walnut oil. The image is available in both an Official version which sells for $30 and a Signed and Numbered Limited Edition which sells for $75.  They are available online at www.kdf.org and can also be found in local frame shops.

This is the third time Boone has been bestowed the honor.  She also designed KDF’s official poster in 1996 and 1999. She owns her own business, Karen Boone Design in Louisville, and has clients locally, as well as in Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, New York and the Midwest. She has paintings in private collections and corporations across the country.

The Festival’s official merchandise line includes over 100 pieces from t-shirts to caps and mugs and was produced by All-Pro Championships. Official Derby Festival merchandise is available at Kroger, Wal-Mart, and Taste of Kentucky locations, as well as online at www.kdf.org.

In addition to rolling out the Official Poster and Merchandise for the first time, guests at the pre-Festival party received the 2015 Official Program with complete details of the upcoming Festival. Derby Festival followers can also search for the Kentucky Derby Festival app in their Smartphone’s’ App store or Google Play.

As a special treat, Four Roses Bourbon held the 12th Annual Rose Julep Recipe Contest in conjunction with Festival Unveiled.  Colleen McCarthy-Clarke of Martini Italian Bistro won the Judges Award and People’s Choice Award with her “Rose’ Runner” recipe.

Festival Unveiled featured cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a complimentary gift for guests. There was also a silent auction of framed 2015 Official and Limited Edition Posters and postcards. Citizens Union Bank and Four Roses Bourbon are Presenting Sponsors of the event.  Contributing Sponsors are Clark & Riggs Printing, Crushed Ice Events AND Kentucky’s Soft Drink Ale-8-One.  Media sponsors are LEO Weekly and New Country Q103.1.

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.  It entertains more than 1.5 million people in a two- week period and has a local economic impact of more than $127 million.  This involvement has made the Festival the largest single attended event in Kentucky and one of the leading community celebrations in the world.