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Bicycle stunt rider competing in ESPN X-Trials, 1999
ESPN X-trails, including this bicycle stunt event, became part of the Kentucky Derby festival in 1999. Photo: Marvin Young

Kentucky Derby Festival

Kentucky's largest single event, this celebration is held during the two weeks in April preceding the Kentucky Derby. More than 1.5 million people come to Louisville annually to attend the broad spectrum of events, numbering more than 70, from the Great Steamboat Race to the Pegasus Parade to the ESPN X-Trials. The opening ceremonies held on the Ohio River, dubbed "Thunder Over Louisville," is the largest annual fireworks show in North America. Other cherished events are the Run for the Roses and the Great Balloon Race. Held since 1956, it is put on with the help of 4,000 volunteers and raises more than $250,000 annually for charitable organizations, although more than half of the events are free. 20 photographs and background text document the festival.

Originally submitted by: Anne M. Northup, Representative (3rd District).



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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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