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We’re heading into Derby season, and the Kentucky Derby Festival has released its touring parade route.

The parade will depart from the Kentucky Exposition Center at 9 a.m. on April 2, traveling to its official start and a ribbon cutting at Zoeller Pump Company, a few miles west of Churchill Downs. 

From Zoeller, the parade’s sponsor, it will travel through more than 30 neighborhoods with final stretches through Louisville’s South End and Highland Park.

The concept of a Derby Festival touring parade debuted last year

This year’s event will feature inflatable balloon characters, the 2022 Derby Festival Royal Court, TARC Design-A-Bus featuring art by local students and music.

Organizers are encouraging residents along the parade route to decorate their homes.

“We want the entire community to feel a part of the Derby Festival celebration,” Kentucky Derby Festival President and CEO Matt Gibson said in a press release. “Traveling around the city helps us reach fans in a whole new way. We hope to see everyone lining their sidewalks again this year as we kick off our month-long celebration.”

Here’s a breakdown of many of the neighborhoods the parade will tour through:

  • 9 a.m.: Depart from the Expo Center 
  • 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.: Taylor-Berry and North Shively
  • 10 a.m.: Ribbon-cutting at Zoeller Pump Company, the parade’s official start
  • 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.: Travel through Hallmark, Park DuValle, Parkland, Chickasaw, Shawnee and Russell neighborhoods
  • 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.: Travel through Parkland, California, Limerick, Old Louisville, Smoketown, Shelby Park, Germantown, Highlands, Tyler Park, Deer Park, Belknap and Hayfield Dundee areas
  • 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.: Travel through Bashford Manor, Newburg, Highview, Okolona and Auburndale
  • 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.: Final stretches through Kenwood Hills, Iroquois Park, Cloverleaf, Hazelwood, Beechmont and Highland Park 

The full touring parade route can be viewed here.

This is a separate event from the Pegasus Parade, a Kentucky Derby Festival tradition dating back to 1956 and the festival’s original event, according to a press release.

The Pegasus Parade has been moved to a new date this year. It will be held May 1 along Broadway, kicking off Derby Week with marching bands, equestrian units, sports teams and more. The theme will be “Loving Louisville.”

Stephanie Wolf is WFPL's Arts & Culture Reporter.