May 2, 2019. Louisville, KY. – Thousands of fans donning superhero masks and capes, lined the street tonight as the Kentucky Derby Festival’s oldest and inaugural event – the Republic Bank Pegasus Parade – marched down Broadway. Themed “Pegasus Power,” this year’s parade featured over 100 units, including 11 floats, 12 equestrian units, 6 inflatables, 10 marching bands, 1 push float and 42 specialty units. Marvel Avengers – Black Panther, Spider-Man, Captain America and Black Widow – were Grand Marshals of the superhero themed parade.
“The Festival once again brought the community together through our oldest event, the Republic Bank Pegasus Parade,” said Mike Berry, KDF President and CEO. “Today we proved that our super power as a city is unity.”
Other guests who appeared in the parade included: Natalie Zea of “The Detour” and “Justified,” Monte Durham of “Say Yes To The Dress: Atlanta,” Travis Schuldt of “Scrubs” and “Passions,” Phaedra Parks of “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” Jamon Brown of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, Louisville City FC, Jecorey “1200” Arthur, Bryson Tiller, The Struts, Chefs Darnell Ferguson and Dallas McGarity of Food Network, Chef Gerron Hurt of FOX’s “Master Chef,” and Miss Kentucky 2018 Katie Bouchard.
Several of the units received awards for their participation. Norton Healthcare took home the Addison McGhee Grand Champion Award for best overall float; Second Chance @ Life won the 2nd Place KDF Board Chair’s Award; Louisville Zoo received the 3rd Place KDF President’s Award; Louisville Parks & Recreation won the Grand Marshal’s Award for best representation of the theme; Kosair Charities won the Queen’s Award for overall beauty, and Kentucky Proud won the KDF Parade Chairman’s Award for the most spirit. Grand Lodge of Kentucky, Hwang’s Martial Arts and Kentucky Farm Bureau received Honorable Mention.
More than 6,000 votes were cast in the People’s Choice online voting competition. Second Chance @ Life won the People’s Choice Float Award and LG&E’s “Louie the Lightning Bug” won the People’s Choice Inflatable Award.
Jefferson County All Star Marching Band won the Grand Prize in the Basil Caummisar Battle of the Bands competition. Michigan City Soul Steppers won the Ray Wimberg Specialty Unit Award, LG&E’s “Louie the Lightning Bug” won the Earl Ruby Inflatable Spirit Award.
The parade is known for its beautiful equestrian units. The Grand Champion Award for the Best Equestrian Unit and Best Commercial Driven Unit went to the Budweiser Clydesdales. The first place award for Best Mounted Equestrian Unit went to Hardin County Company B Drill Team. Best Non-Commercial Driven Unit was awarded to Historic Stage Coach Team. Mid America Cowgirls Rodeo Drill Team won the Pooper Stars Award.
Republic Bank is the Title Sponsor of the parade, joining Contributing Sponsor KentuckyOne Health Louisville Region and The Official Hotel, The Galt House.
The Pegasus Parade – the Kentucky 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.