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It's Derby Festival Time!

Louisville’s Derby Festival is a two-week celebration of a two-minute horse race.

It’s a time of fundraising galas, luncheons and dinners, fashion shows, road races, performances, golf tournaments, hot air balloons, an air show and fireworks, a steamboat race, a parade, princesses, celebrities … and really loud jackets.

More than 70 events fill Louisville’s calendar in the two weeks leading up to the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May, with additional “prep” events held even before that.

People purchase and wear “Pegasus Pins” to gain admission to events and support the festival. They may buy Festival posters and carry Festival cups. Additionally, the executives with the Derby Festival itself are omnipresent in their brightly colored sport coats adorned with the festival’s Pegasus logo.

Companies participate in the annual Bed Races, in which teams of four  race their bed on wheels around an indoor course. Restaurants supply wait staff bearing trays with filled wineglasses to navigate a challenge course in the Run for the Rosé. Golfers gather their foursomes and play in several scrambles and compete in a million-dollar hole in one competition. And executives gather at the annual “They’re Off” luncheon to hear a keynote speaker in support of the festival.

There are Derby Princesses, selected by a fundraising group known as the Fillies. There are concerts by professional artists, local artists, and local student groups. There’s a basketball competition and the Derby Marathon and miniMarathon road races. There are healthy lifestyle events.

And then there are the signature events in the week leading up to the Derby. They include the Great Balloon Race, the Great Steamboat race (featuring the Belle of Louisville,) and the Pegasus Parade, which is Louisville’s version of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.

Although work productivity flags, community spirit, teamwork and hospitality soar. And then, it’s off to the Races until next year.

For more information about the areas around Louisville that you can visit during your stay for the Derby Festivsal, please visit Louisville Subdivisions.

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