If the people can’t come to the parade, the parade will come to the people.
That’s essentially what Kentucky Derby Festival officials announced Tuesday, that the popular parade that punctuates the festival each year down Broadway will instead be a two-day event that will wind through at least 35 neighborhoods, spanning 60 miles.
KDF’s anchor event is typically the Thursday before the Kentucky Derby, but this year, the parade will open the festival on April 10-11.
“Knowing that we cannot gather for our events this year, this is just one of the ways our goal is coming to life to bring the festival to the community as a whole,” KDF President and CEO Matt Gibson said.
Added Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer: “What gets us through challenges as a city, it’s the backbone of who we are. It’s the people, so to be able to take the parade into our neighborhoods and have people sitting on their front porches waiving as the parade goes by, this will be a one in a lifetime opportunity that people will never forget.”
A route map for the parade is expected to be released soon. Those living along the route will be asked to decorate their porches with festive Derby themes.
Zoeller Pump Company was slated to take over as title sponsor last year before the COVID crisis caused the cancellations of all festival events. It will be the title sponsor this year and next year.
WAVE 3 News still plans to air special parade programming on the traditional Thursday evening before the Derby. Stay tuned for further details about the April 29 broadcast.