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'Loving Louisville' | Kentucky Derby Festival Pegasus Parade returns to full pomp and circumstance

The nice weather brought out hundreds to celebrate the kickoff to Kentucky Derby week.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The “love” of Louisville was definitely in the air and hundreds filled nearly a two mile stretch of Broadway to celebrate this year’s Pegasus Parade.

This is two years after the parade was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year, festival officials decided to keep the spirit of the parade alive with a traveling version that visited all corners of the community. They liked it so much, they brought it back ahead of the original.

The new twist for this year’s parade was shifting it to a Sunday. Many who often attend normally look forward to crowding downtown streets the Thursday before the Kentucky Derby.

By trying this new day, it would allow for more people to gather downtown without the hassle and headache of rush hour traffic.

Celebrating the community was an easy choice after everything experienced the last two years. The theme – “Loving Louisville.” Parade participants got to show off everything they love about the city. This included beautifully decorated floats, horses, marching bands, dance troupes who stepped, kicked and entertained parade-goers.

It also marked the first time Gov. Andy Beshear got to participate in the parade. He said it “felt great” being on the streets of Louisville and celebrating the parade.

“Thank you to the @KyDerbyFestival for bringing our people together to celebrate such a bright moment in our history,” he said via Twitter.

Credit: Ford Sanders/WHAS-TV
Gov. Andy Beshear enjoying his first Pegasus Parade on May 1, 2022.

Like Beshear, Louisville native Kerri O’Bryan has been attending the parade for as long as she can remember – even spending time working the parade while in high school.

She said it’s a special experience to now be able to bring her own children to have special moments with her as well.

"It's fun to get to relive childhood memories through my girls and get to bring them to things that I remember as a kid and it's fun, all the Derby Festival events. We're trying to kind of do as many as we can," she said.

The combination of perfect weather and great entertainment during Sunday’s parade will definitely set the tone leading up to the greatest two minutes in sports.

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