Events scheduled for Derby Weekend

Jocelyn Robinson

Some call the Kentucky Derby the most exciting two minutes in sports.

This Saturday 150,000 people at Louisville’s Churchill Downs will find out for themselves if this is true.

But the race isn’t the only thing going on in Louisville this week.

The annual Kentucky Oaks filly race is run the day before the Derby. In recent years, crowds have become so large that they are second only to those at the Kentucky Derby.

For those not interested in horse racing, there are are a variety of other events going on the two days before Derby.

The annual Pegasus Parade starts at 5 tonight. The parade winds through downtown Louisville and features floats, marching bands, giant inflatable balloons and horses.

The Pegasus Parade is one of the oldest traditions of the Kentucky Derby Festival, which began in 1956.

Other events include a student art contest at ArtSparks and performances by The Knack, Midnight Star and the Muckrakers at the Derby Festival Chow Wagons.

The Festival was formed by a group of businessman who thought that the weeks leading up to the Derby needed more excitement.

“A lot of people were coming in Friday or Saturday, watch(ing) the Derby and then leav(ing),” said Mark Shallcross, communications manager of the Kentucky Derby Festival. “The first parade was in 1956, and over the course of the years, they added more events.”

Oaks will be held at Churchill Downs, beginning at 5:43 p.m. EDT Friday.

The Kentucky Derby, also at Churchill Downs, will begin at 6:04 p.m. EDT Saturday.

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