The most exciting “season” in Louisville is the time leading up to the world-famous Kentucky Derby, held the first Saturday in May. Normally, the city is in spring's full bloom and alive with a festive atmosphere we call “Derby Fever.” Please visit the Kentucky Derby Festival (KDF) website at http//www.kdf.org for a listing of events. Two of the largest and most well attended pre-Derby events held during “Derby Week,” are the Great Steamboat Race (held the Wednesday before Derby) and the Pegasus Parade (held the Thursday before Derby). It is estimated over a million-and-half people view Derby Festival events. We strongly encourage and invite you and your guest(s) to join your fellow compatriots in enjoying these outstanding activities.
This year the NSSAR has been accepted as one of the participating units in the prestigious KDF Pegasus Parade, which is regionally televised and viewed by thousands along the parade route. Naturally, Derby excitement renders area hotel rooms extremely hard to locate during Derby week. Fortunately, we were able to locate space in both Hotel Louisville Downtown (previously the Holiday Inn at 2nd & Broadway) and Laws Lodge; however, please make your reservations early. Should you decide to stay additional days to experience some of the other exciting Derby events, rooms may be available at Laws Lodge, although at a higher, but reasonable, rate. Note that all locations mentioned in this invitation and on the itinerary are located within a 15-minute (or less) drive from each other and from downtown.
Planned festivities commence April 29 at 3:00pm with an open house at Evelyn and David Sympson's home. About 4:30pm, we will depart for the Louisville Boat Club (http://www.louisvilleboatclub.com), a 1½-mile drive, to view the Great Steamboat Race from the river bank. The Boat Club is considered the best place in Louisville to view the boat race. Festivities will be in the form of a large party located under tents on the grounds. Entertainment is provided for all ages, and a large buffet will be served, with a cash bar available.
On Thursday, April 30, your morning is open for individual sightseeing. SAR Color Guard staging for the parade will be in the NSSAR parking lot. A bus will drop us off and pick us up after the parade, and return us to the parking lot. Bleachers line the entire parade route, including in front of Hotel Louisville. Bleacher seating is assigned and requires a ticket.
Please watch the video below: