September 27, 2016 Louisville, KY. –  Exciting news for the Kentucky Derby Festival tonight. Louisville’s annual civic celebration received several top honors at the International Festivals & Events Association’s (IFEA) Convention and Expo in Tucson, Arizona. The Derby Festival was runner-up to New South Wales (Australia) in the “Best Overall Festival Program in the World” category, winning the Silver Grand Pinnacle. The Grand Pinnacle is the IFEA’s highest award. KDF has received the Gold Grand Pinnacle Award eight times in its history, most recently in 2015.

The Festival also received 34 Pinnacle Awards – 9 Gold, 14 Silver, and 11 Bronze in various categories for events, media relations, advertising campaign, sponsorship and merchandise.  The IFEA is the premiere association that supports festival and event professionals worldwide. The Pinnacle Awards competition recognizes the best special events, festival materials, promotions and ideas in the festivals and events industry.

“These awards are truly a reflection of the tremendous support we receive year after year from the Derby Festival’s board, sponsors, volunteers and the community,” said Mike Berry, Kentucky Derby Festival President and CEO. “Without all of these partners, the Festival would not be as successful as it is today.”

More than 2,000 member festivals compete for the annual IFEA awards. The Kentucky Derby Festival competes with among the ranks of the Indy 500 Festival, Seattle Sea Fair, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Memphis in May International Festival, National Cherry Blossom Festival, and Portland Rose Festival, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, Fiesta San Antonio and Pacific National Exhibition (Vancouver, BC Canada).

The Festival won GOLD awards for:

  • BEST FULL LENGTH TV PROGRAM (NATIONAL). Thunder Over Louisville Broadcast for American Forces Network.  Produced by WDRB TV.
  • BEST EVENT INVITATION. Basketball Classic Invitation. Designed by Vimarc.
  • Best Misc. Clothing.  Tour de Lou Cycling Jersey.  Designed by Vimarc. Produced and distributed by KDF.
  • Best Sponsorship Program for Individual Sponsor. Jim Beam/Race Expo Official Bourbon Sponsorship.  KDF Marketing Team.
  • Best Food & Beverage Program.  Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville and the Chow Wagon.  Concessions by Cox.
  • BEST VENDOR/SUPPLIER. The Event Company.
  • Best Press/Media Kit.  2016 KDF Media Guide and Press Credential.  Produced by Derby City Litho.  KDF Communications Team.
  • Best Media Relations Campaign.  KDF Communications Team.
  • Best Promotion publicizing an IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Award Win.  “Go for Gold!” KDF Communications Team.

SILVER Awards:

  • Best Overall Festival.  Silver Grand Pinnacle.
  • Best Radio Promotion.  Macy’s Spring Fashion Show Radio Spot.  Produced by Vimarc.
  • Best Festival/Event Mobile Application.  2016 KDF App. KDF Communications Team and CrowdTorch.
  • BEST NEWSPAPER INSERT/SUPPLEMENT. 2016 Derby Festival Official Guide. KDF Communications Team. Designed by Vimarc. Printed by The Courier-Journal.
  • Best SINGLE NEWSPAPER DISPLAY AD. Thornton’s Great Bed Races. Designed by Vimarc.
  • Best Ad series. “Your Search is Over.” Designed by Vimarc.
  • Best Commemorative Poster. 2016 Official KDF Poster. Designed by Poster Artist Kathy Sullivan. Printed by Impressions Incorporated. Distributed by Synergism Apparel, Inc.
  • Best Targeted Sponsor Solicitation Proposal. CareSource, Official Sound Sponsor of Thunder.  KDF Marketing Team.
  • best sponsor partner. Horseshoe Southern Indiana. KDF Marketing Team.
  • Best Single New Sponsorship Opportunity. RiverLink. KDF Marketing Team.
  • Best children’s programming. Ford Motor Company Spelling Bee. KDF Event Team.
  • Best Event/Program within an event to Benefit a Cause. KenDucky Derby. Produced by Harbor House of Louisville.
  • Best New Event.  WineFest VIP.  KDF Event Team.
  • Best New Promotion Activity. Vintage miniMarathon Shirt Promotion. Produced by Synergism Apparel, Inc.
  • most creative/effective news stunt. Louisville Orchestra Records Thunder Soundtrack. Louisville Orchestra & KDF Communications Team.

BRONZE Awards:

  • Best Event/Organization E-newsletter.  “Festival Times.”  KDF Communications Team and Vimarc.
  • BEST MISC. MULTIMEDIA. KDF “Clueless” Video. Produced by Austin Wilder Digital Productions, Inc.
  • Best Company Image Piece. KDF License Plate. Designed by Vimarc.
  • Best Single magazine display ad. miniFun Run Ad.  Designed by Vimarc.
  • Best New Merchandise.  Thunder “Power Bank.” KDF Merchandise Team
  • Best Sponsor Gift.  Pro-Am Golf Tournament Sponsor Gift Set.
  • best individual sponsor follow-UP REPORT. Valero. KDF Marketing Team.
  • Best Overall Sponsorship Program.  Republic Bank Pegasus Parade Sponsorship.  KDF Marketing Team
  • Best Emergency Preparedness & Risk Management Plan for an Event.  Pegasus Parade Emergency Action Plan.  KDF Event Team.
  • Best Money-Making Idea.  Golden Ticket Raffle.  Produced by KDF Foundation.
  • Best Overall Merchandising Program. 2016 Merchandise Mega Book.  KDF Merchandise Team and Synergism.

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.