August 20, 2015 Louisville, KY. – Next week, the Kentucky Derby Festival begins its search for new royalty. The application process for the 2016 Royal Court opens online on Monday, August 24, at www.kdf.org. Young women from Kentucky or Southern Indiana who are full-time college students are eligible. The deadline for submissions is October 18.
The Festival’s Royal Court is a great opportunity for any talented young woman to earn scholarship monies, as well as serve as an official ambassador for the city and the Kentucky Derby Festival in the spring. The program is not a beauty pageant. Each member of the Royal Court receives two $1,000 scholarships – one from The Fillies, Inc., and one from the Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation. In addition to other sponsor gifts, each woman also receives a complimentary wardrobe.
Applicants must be single, female residents of Kentucky or the metropolitan area, including Clark, Floyd and Harrison counties of Indiana, and full-time college students, with a minimum accumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Candidates must also be poised, outstanding in the community and 18 years old on or before December 31, 2015. All applicants must attend a screening on either Saturday, November 7, or Saturday, November 21, at the Goldberg Simpson Law Firm, 9301 Dayflower St. in Louisville. Contact Debra Rayman at (502) 939-9985 or email at DebRayman@aol.com with any questions.
The Royal Court selection process is a self-nominating procedure. The program represents the Kentucky Derby Festival and is overseen by members of The Fillies, Inc., a non-profit organization with 250 of the finest community volunteers. In addition to coordinating the program, the women of The Fillies produce the gala Fillies Derby Ball, during which the Derby Festival Queen is selected and her Court established. The court will be selected in January with the Queen chosen by a “spin-of-the-wheel” at the Fillies Derby Ball on April 16, 2016.
Since 1957, past Derby Festival Queens and Courts have been making an impression on their community. They include Martha Layne Collins, Kentucky’s first woman Governor, and a number of other community leaders. Many say their Derby Festival experience helped them prepare for their future careers.
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. This involvement has made the Festival the largest single-attended event in Kentucky and one of the leading community celebrations in the world.