Louisville, KY – April 2017 – High school marching bands from across the country will have the opportunity to march in the exciting parade that kicks off Kentucky Derby weekend, thanks to a partnership between the Republic Bank Kentucky Derby Festival Pegasus Parade and WorldStrides OnStage. The Thursday parade, an annual tradition since 1956, is one of the premiere events preceding the “most anticipated two minutes in sports.” WorldStrides OnStage will be accepting applications for marching bands to perform in the 2018 parade.
“This family-friendly annual event showcases some of the nation’s finest marching bands and equestrian units, along with inflatable characters and colorful floats,” says Zach Fisher, Parade Event Manager. “We are very excited to collaborate with WorldStrides OnStage because they work with the highest caliber of marching bands.”
Over the years, the Pegasus Parade has featured a wide variety of celebrities, including Grand Marshals such as Muhammad Ali, John Wayne, Loretta Lynn, William Shatner, Bill Monroe, Diane Sawyer, Colonel Harland Sanders, Rick Pitino, John Calipari, Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf and the 2013 University of Louisville Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams.
WorldStrides OnStage has a rich tradition of producing large shows at sporting events. The organization partners annually with major college bowl games to provide high-school groups the opportunity to perform during the halftime shows and pre-game parades, as well as working with the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago. Their roster of performance events includes the Sugar Bowl, Sugar Bowl Parade, Fiesta Bowl Parade, Holiday Bowl, Orange Bowl, Camping World Bowl, and the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade. WorldStrides OnStage programs fuel the passion of aspiring artists of all ages, with world-class performance opportunities in band, choir, dance, cheer, and drama. WorldStrides provide exclusive access to breathtaking productions and professional coaching under some of the country’s most famous national spotlights. Celebrated band directors and high-profile events test performers’ skills and inspire them to new heights of artistry.
“We are so excited to be part of the Republic Bank Kentucky Derby Festival Pegasus Parade,” said Chad Slater, Vice President of Bowl Games at WorldStrides OnStage. “We are so proud to give student performers a lineup of unique events developed to give young performers the opportunity to perform for an audience deserving of their talent, and truly understand the reward of hard work and practice.”
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WorldStrides, headquartered in Charlottesville, Va., is the largest educational student travel company in the United States. Founded in 1967, it has grown to provide educational programs for more than 400,000 students annually over 100 countries around the world. It was the first company of its kind to achieve academic accreditation from regional bodies around the U.S. The OnStage division supports performing arts travel including festivals, bowl games and parade performances, and custom performing tours all around the world. For more information on WorldStrides, visit www.worldstrides.com.
About the Kentucky Derby Festival:
The Derby Festival is an independent community organization supported by 4,000 volunteers, 400 businesses and civic groups, Pegasus Pin sponsorships and event participation. It entertains more than 1.5 million people annually. This involvement has made the Festival the largest single attended event in Kentucky and one of the leading community celebrations in the world.
Beth Campbell, Director of Marketing and Public Relations