Kentucky Derby Festival announces 2021 plans

Thunder Over Louisville fireworks

The Kentucky Derby Festival made their announcements for the upcoming 2021 schedule Tuesday afternoon in a virtual update.

The update was presented by the Chair of the 2021 Kentucky Derby Festival Judy Hess, Vice President of Communications Aimee Boyd, and KDF President and CEO Matt Gibson.

While the Kentucky Derby Festival faced many challenges last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the board says it is hopeful the newly created experience will provide the same fun while offering a safe experience.

“This past year was tough for everyone, including at the Kentucky Derby Festival,” Gibson said. “Our goal has been to be here for the community when we get through all of this and that has not changed. We know the festival and what it brings to our community is needed now more than ever.”

Thunder Over Louisville will become a tribute to Thunder that will not gather guests at the Waterfront venue, and will not be happening in its usual location. Instead, it will become a showcase for planes and fireworks that will take place on Saturday, April 17, two weeks before the first weekend in May.

With the miniMarathon and Marathon events, there will be a staggered start taking place over multiple days, featuring limited contact for social distancing.

Pegasus Parade will also not gather on Broadway as in previous years. While the event is still in planning stages, the parade will continue on with new ways for fans to observe the parade.

Pegasus Pins will be available this year, with new prize opportunities available. Gibson said the pin program is how the community can continue to support the KDF organization. The price for pins will remain $6 each, with a Family Fun Pack of five pins will be available for purchase as well.

While other events such as the Great Bed Races or the Great Steamboat Race were mentioned, no specific dates or plans were given at this time, but more would be coming following Tuesday’s announcement.

“There’s a lot in the works,” Gibson said.

More details on the 2021 events will be available on the Kentucky Derby Festival’s website as the organization continues to finalize plans for this year.

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