April 29, 2015. Louisville, KY.  – The event that started the Kentucky Derby Festival – the 60th annual Republic Bank Pegasus Parade – steps off TOMORROW, April 30, at 5 p.m. The parade will march west on Broadway from Campbell to Ninth Street. The parade is one of the festival’s most cherished and popular events, attracting thousands of spectators to downtown streets.

The theme of this year’s parade is “Best of Louisville,” so many of the units are decorated to celebrate the city.  “We wanted to pay tribute to the community that has supported the Festival for 60 years,” said Kentucky Derby Festival President and CEO Mike Berry.

In honor of this year’s parade theme, Minnesota Viking and former UofL Cardinal Teddy Bridgewater, returns to his college hometown to serve as Grand Marshal.  Several Louisville natives are serving as Honorary Grand Marshals including: Actor David DeSanctis, Transatlantic Solo Rower Tori Murden McClure, Renowned Hand Surgeon Dr. Joseph Kutz, Sculptor Ed Hamilton, Olympic Swimmer Mary T. Meagher, NFL Hall of Fame Running Back Paul Hornung; Musician Patrick Henry Hughes; PGA Golf Champion Bobby Nichols; Former NFL Offensive Lineman Will Wolford; and Dr. Dunkenstein, Darrell Griffith.

Other guests scheduled to appear in the Pegasus Parade include: Actor Miguel Ferrer of “NCIS: Los Angeles;” Angel McCoughtry, WNBA/Olympic Medalist and former UofL Cardinal; Monte Durham of TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta;” Miss Kentucky 2014 Ramsey Carpenter; and Miss America 2015 Kira Kazantsev.

Tickets for the Republic Bank Pegasus Parade are still available.  They can be purchased tomorrow at will call from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.  Patrons who have already purchased tickets may pick them up at the will-call office located in the Brown Theatre lobby (on Broadway between 3rd and 4th streets). This is the only location tickets may be picked up on Parade Day.

Floats from 17 sponsoring organizations will be featured: ARTxFM, Belle Of Louisville, Brownsboro Hardware & Paint,. CenterStage/ Jewish Community Center, City of St. Matthews, Fandomfest, Funtown Mountain, Grand Lodge of Kentucky, Hwang’s Martial Arts, Kentuckiana Pride Foundation, Kosair Shriners/Kosair Charities, Louisville Magazine, Metro Parks & Recreation,Norton Healthcare, Second Chance @ Life, The Fillies’, Inc., and Winner’s Circle FIRST Robotics Team

The parade will also feature: 4 push floats, 16 equestrian units, 9 marching bands, and 30 specialty units.

Inflatable characters scheduled to participate include: AAA East Central (Otto the Auto), Hilliard Lyons (Paddington Bear), Horseshoe Southern Indiana (Horseshoe), LG&E (Louie the Lightning Bug), Republic Bank (Peggy Bank), Stage One Family Theatre (The Lorax), Zaxby’s (Kermit the Frog), and ZirMed, Inc. (Secretariat).

COVERAGE NOTE:  Live trucks are welcome in the float staging area for morning, noon and afternoon live news cut-ins. Complete broadcast coverage is the official right of NBC affiliate WAVE TV.

Pegasus Parade Steps Off Tomorrow

Parade Timing (good place for visuals and feature stories on Thursday, April 30):

–  6 AM:  Floats moved and stacked in Float Assembly along Baxter Avenue

–  10 AM: Character balloons arrive at Inflatable Assembly (Goodwill Lot and Gray Street)

–  1 PM: Marching bands begin arriving by bus at Band Assembly (top of Broadway, above Baxter Avenue)

–  1 PM:  Horses start arriving in Equestrian Assembly (East Government Center on Baxter (South of Broadway)

–  2 PM:  Specialty units begin assembly at Seven Counties parking lot on Broadway

–  3 PM: Character balloons start inflation at Inflatable Assembly.  Goodwill Lot and Gray Street)

–  4:30PM:  Celebrities, Queen & Court, VIPs, etc. begin arriving at VIP Assembly at Louisville Stoneware

–  5 PM:  Step-off at Broadway & Campbell (watch the parade funnel together as all the components enter the route from their separate staging areas)

The Pegasus Parade – the Derby Festival’s founding event – is one of nearly 70 events produced by the Kentucky Derby Festival in the spring. The first parade was organized by just a handful of volunteers in 1956 on a budget of $640. It provides an estimated impact of $22 million to the area’s economy.  The Derby Festival is now an independent community organization supported by 4,000 volunteers, 400 businesses and civic groups, Pegasus Pin sponsorships and event participation.