Home » 150th Ky Derby Gallopalooza to unveil 2024 collection of painted horses

150th Ky Derby Gallopalooza to unveil 2024 collection of painted horses

Admission to the March 22-24 preview is a 2024 Pegasus pin

LOUISVILLE — A special parade of horses is headed to Churchill Downs before this year’s 150th Kentucky Derby! Gallopalooza is partnering with Churchill Downs Racetrack and the Kentucky Derby Festival to host a public event showcasing its newest collection of painted horses in one spot. The Gallopalooza Collection Preview and Unveiling will offer fans a first and one-time-only viewing of all 150 horse statues under one roof.

In honor of Gallopalooza’s 20th anniversary and the 150th Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs Racetrack sponsored the creation of the 150 full-size horse statues. The proceeds from Gallopalooza will support Brightside’s clean and green activities that beautify and foster pride through volunteerism, planting efforts, sustainability and education.

The Gallopalooza horse statues will eventually dot the city’s sidewalks, business entrances and green spaces as part of the city’s beautification program that enlivens street corners and businesses across the community with the brightly decorated statues. Gallopalooza statues will be displayed throughout the community April to October 2024. The Brightside Foundation is partnering with Churchill Downs to present Gallopalooza 2024.

Brightside is a non-profit, public-private partnership dedicated to the greening and beautification of Louisville’s gateways and neighborhoods.

The preview is a new official event on the Kentucky Derby Festival’s schedule for 2024 and will take place March 22-24, at Churchill Downs’ First Turn Club. Admission to the event will be a 2024 Pegasus Pin, available beginning March 1 for $7 at select retail locations or $10 at the event. The weekend-long event takes place Friday, March 22 (10 a.m.- 4 p.m.), Saturday, March 23 (10 a.m.- 4 p.m.) and Sunday, March 24 (10 a.m.- 4 p.m.).

The $3 million Kentucky Derby takes place on the first Saturday in May at historic Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. Inaugurated in 1875, the legendary 1 1/4-mile race for 3-year-olds is the longest continually-held major sporting event in North America and the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown series. The Derby is the most attended horse race in the nation. The 150th Kentucky Derby will take place on May 4, 2024. For more information, please visit www.KentuckyDerby.com. 

“The Kentucky Derby Festival is one of America’s most recognized community-wide festivals,” said Michelle Black White, executive director of the Brightside Foundation. “We are honored to be a part of the Kentucky Derby Festival. Gallopalooza will be part of several Festival events including the They’re Off Luncheon, Pegasus Parade, and Fest-A-Ville.”

“The Kentucky Derby Festival helped unveil Brightside’s first Gallopalooza horses 20 years ago and we’re honored to be part of this year’s special event. It’s the perfect addition to our schedule,” said Matt Gibson, Kentucky Derby Festival President & CEO. “These horses are a celebration of both art and community during our favorite time of year. We encourage everyone to get their Pegasus Pins and join us to see all of the unique and colorful designs.”

Many of the artists who created the one-of-a-kind painted statues will be on hand throughout the weekend to answer questions and provide insight to their work. There will be family-friendly events and activities including a scavenger hunt, a coloring contest, a reading area and visitors can vote for their favorite statue. The winning statue will be named the “Best in Show,” and the winning artist will win $2,500 for creating their masterpiece.

First launched in 2004 and brought back in 2009 and 2015, Gallopalooza instills and increases civic pride by uniting the community through the display of artistically created horse (and julep cup) statues. The public art initiative will promote creative expression, storytelling and a sense of belonging in Louisville and Southern Indiana next summer.

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