LOUISVILLE — Kentucky’s own Jordan Smith, winner of season 9 of The Voice and Republic Records recording artist, will serve as grand marshal of the 2016 Republic Bank Pegasus Parade. The 61st annual parade is themed “Fun for the Arts,” and is set to march down Broadway on May 5.
“Our list of grand marshals is a who’s who of notable Kentuckians and we are thrilled to add Jordan to the top of that list,” said Mike Berry, Kentucky Derby Festival president and CEO. “He joins a long line of Kentuckians who are making our Commonwealth proud, in many walks of life. He’ll no doubt have everyone singing as he makes his way down the parade route.”
This year’s parade theme was inspired by the Fund for the Arts, Louisville’s local and the country’s oldest united arts fund. “We are incredibly excited that the Derby Festival and Republic Bank have selected ‘Fun for the Arts’ as the 2016 parade theme,” said Christen Boone, Fund for the Arts President and CEO. “Our world-class Arts community makes our region exceptional and we’re thrilled to showcase the power of the Arts up and down Broadway and across all of Derby city.”
The parade theme is used by sponsoring companies to help direct the building of floats and costuming of the inflatable handlers and crew. The floats compete for various awards based on originality, eye appeal, theme representation, animation, attention to detail and enthusiasm. Marching bands use the theme to help with musical selection and it is the basis of costume and concept design for the other marching units.
The Kentucky Derby Festival is still looking for participants for the parade in the following categories: Equestrian, Specialty Unit, Marching Band, Inflatable and Float. Applications can be downloaded online at www.kdf.org. Those seeking additional information about participating in the parade can contact Jon Pollock at 502-572-3833 or [email protected]
Republic Bank, title sponsor of the event since 2002, returns in 2016. “We are thrilled to once again be the title sponsor of the Kentucky Derby Festival’s oldest event – the Republic Bank Pegasus Parade. As the largest locally owned community bank in Kentucky, we are delighted to be able to bring this Festival favorite to our community,” said Republic Bank chairman and CEO, Steve Trager.
The Pegasus Parade – the Derby Festival’s oldest founding event – is one of nearly 70 events produced by the Kentucky Derby Festival in the spring and provides an estimated economic impact of more than $22 million. The annual spectacle marches west on Broadway from Campbell to Ninth Street. The parade is broadcast live on WAVE 3 News.
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.