Let's face it: Derby is an adult celebration. From the miniMarathon to the Fest-a-Ville on the Waterfront's Chow Wagon, to the countless parties, and the fashion and the bourbon and the juleps and the betting...Derby is a holiday best enjoyed with other adults.
But there's one annual Kentucky Derby Festival event--the oldest, in fact--that is tailor-made for the tots: the Pegasus Parade. Tickets are still available for this grand parade that marches down Broadway Campbell to 9th Street at 5:00 pm on the Thursday before Derby. Of course, you don't have to have a ticket to view the parade (although, I will admit, even sitting on a bleacher is nicer than fighting a crowd and craning your neck to see a float, especially if you have young children); the KDF website boasts that more than 90% of the parade route offers free public viewing.
And what will your kids view, you ask? The floats are always a big hit, especially "Peggy Bank," the white Pegasus that leads the two-hour long parade. There are also marching bands, the Shriners' noisy mini cars, the Pooper Scoopers, acrobats, clowns, and various B-list celebrities and reality TV stars that your children won't care about. For a full list, go here.
One group of celebrities at this year's parade that they will care about seeing--unless they're wearing Kentucky blue, that is: the men's and women's University of Louisville basketball teams! These champions will be the 2013 grand marshals of the Pegasus Parade and are sure to draw a crowd. (They will certainly be more popular than 2012's well-meaning but foulmouthed marshal, Cyndi Lauper. Just sayin'.)
The weather looks great the last time I checked: partly cloudy and a high of 76 degrees. Bring hats, snacks, and a camera to capture your little ones' Derby smiles!
Photo: courtesy of Anna Frye