Kentucky Derby Festival returns to in-person events in 2022 | Community


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The Kentucky Derby Festival is back and planning in-person events for 2022.

In a press release on Wednesday, KDF revealed the dates for the upcoming season, which includes a major change for the Zoeller Pump Company Pegasus Parade.

The parade will now parade down Broadway on Sunday, May 1 to kick off Kentucky Derby week instead of the traditional Thursday event.

“The Pegasus Parade is what started the Kentucky Derby Festival over 60 years ago and we want everyone to enjoy it,” KDF Chairman Matt Gibson said in a statement. “While browsing the community last spring, we learned that attending a parade during the work week was a challenge for our fans, so we’re trying something new this year.”

After a successful debut during the pandemic, the Zoeller Pump Company Touring Parade that takes floats and bands out into the community will also return this year. The traveling parade will kick off the 2022 festival around town on Saturday, April 2, followed next week by the Caesars Foundation FamFest on April 8 and the Fillies Derby Ball on April 9.

Dates are also set for big events like Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville on the waterfront, the Great BalloonFest, the Great Bed Races and the Great Steamboat Race. Other events will also be staggered through mid-March and April to allow for better production time for the PNC Tour de Lou and Stock Yards Bank’s million dollar hole-in-one golf competition.

Thunder Over Louisville also returns to the banks of the Ohio River this year on April 23. The theme and other details will be released at a later date.

KDF events and programs will follow local, state and federal safety guidelines regarding COVID-19 to ensure the safety of attendees, attendees, volunteers, partners and organizers. The Festival will monitor developments with COVID-19 and update as guidelines evolve.

Key dates for Festival events include:

  • Republic Bank BourbonVille: April 14
  • Stock Yards Bank Million Dollar Hole Golf Contest: April 14-24
  • PNC Tour de Lou: April 16
  • They left ! Lunch: April 22
  • Thunder Over Louisville: April 23
  • Kroger Waterfront Fest-a-Ville: April 28-May 6
  • Great BalloonFest: April 29-30
  • GE Appliances Mini-Marathon and Marathon: April 30
  • Zoeller Pump Company Pegasus Parade: May Day
  • Big Bed Races: May 2
  • Kentucky Proud WineFest: May 3
  • Liberty Financial Great Steamboat Race: May 4
  • Festival Day at the Downs: May 5
  • Derby Eve Jam: May 6

The full 2022 festival highlights schedule is available on the Kentucky Derby Festival website, More details about the event will be released in the weeks and months to come.

The Kentucky Derby Festival began with the Pegasus Parade in 1956 as a way to bring the community together ahead of the Kentucky Derby. It was organized by a handful of volunteers with a budget of $640. Over the past 67 years, KDF has grown to produce over 70 events leading up to the first Saturday in May.

More than 4,000 volunteers, 400 business and civic groups, Pegasus Pin sponsorships and events help support the Festival. It entertains over 1.5 million people and has a local economic impact of over $127 million.

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