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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Review of the Kentucky Derby Festival Pegasus Parade

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The Kentucky Derby Festival graciously gave me some tickets for seats to watch the Pegasus Parade.  I had never been before, so I was excited about the event!  But, I was nervous about the crowds and parking.  I heard that people go early but a friend advised me that she never left before 4pm and it was always fine, so I went with that advice.

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We left our home at 4pm and we arrived downtown in normal time, no traffic at all.  We took River Rd, I am sure the highways were more congested.  We found parking easily at the Jefferson Community and Technical College parking lot for $5.  There were plenty of spots!  There were many places to park, I didn't spend anytime searching but actually had options.

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We had seats. When you have tickets, they will have a section on them and ours were assigned to chairs on the south side of the street between 5th and 6th streets.  This was toward where the parade was finishing. We walked a few blocks and took our seats.  There are people checking for tickets.

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The parade arrived to our location at about 6pm. I believe it started late and since we were farther down the route, we had to wait.  From what I saw this year, I do not think you need to get downtown and stake your claim on a spot super early and then have to worry about occupying the kids while you wait. There were plenty of spot to watch the parade when we were walking to our spot at around 4:30 and even until 5:30ish.  However, the ticketed seats were really niece to have.  I didn't have to bring anything since we had chairs and we had an unobstructed view!  These seats were $11 this year or you could have gotten bleacher seats for $9. But, if you are toward the western end of the parade route, bring some coloring books, snacks and activities to occupy the kids while you wait!
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The parade was a nice mix of traditional parade features like marching bands, fire engines with fun Derby themed balloons and floats.  It is a lengthy parade, so be prepared to be there until after 8pm.  The area will fill up and the sidewalks get more difficult to navigate, especially with a stroller since more and more people show up and toward the end of the parade, people starting walking around.  They do have portable potties around the parade route and I saw people waiting in line for them (short lines).  There are food vendors throughout and official vendors walking around with cotton candy and trinkets to sell. All official KDF volunteers and staff are wearing special shirts or jackets, so you know they are with the parade and festival.

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We left when the parade was still going on, but ending, so that I could get my kids back home for a decent bedtime.  Although more crowded than when we arrived, we walked the 4 blocks rather quickly and crossed the street during a gap between parade floats.  We pulled right out of that parking lot onto second street and headed home with virtually no traffic.  The entire experience from getting there, parking, finding our ticketed seats, the parade and getting home was very smooth and really fun.  The kids love parades, particularly the horses and the balloons!  We will add this to our Kentucky Derby Festival annual routine of family fun!

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Stephanie

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was waiting to hear your feedback - and I love the "took a friends advice" about not leaving too early to head down" :-)

We ended up getting our own form of "VIP", as I just simply asked a guy with a BIG pickup truck (sitting at the corner of a side street and Broadway -he was an emergency horse vet) if we could plop our kids in the back with his 2. He graciously let us, so my kids were front and center and UP HIGH for viewing! We also had NO TROUBLE with driving there or back, and also ended up parking on a sidestreet 2-blocks off Broadway for FREE! Bonus! :-)