2018 DERBY FESTIVAL POSTER UNVEILED : GoToLouisville.com Official Travel Source

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Kentucky Derby Festival Also Receives Top Honors

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The city of Louisville grabbed the elite honor of official “2015 IFEA World Festival & Event City” tonight in a competition with cities around the world. The International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA) is the premiere association that supports festival and event professionals worldwide. Louisville won the award based on its outstanding support of the more than 100 festivals and events held in the city each year, and is in an elite group of honorees. The “World Festival & Event City Award” was presented at the 60th Annual International Festival & Events Association’s Hall of Fame Awards Luncheon in Tucson, Arizona.

“The IFEA is pleased to recognize and highlight those cities and markets who have worked to provide an environment conducive to successful festivals and events,” said IFEA President Steven Wood Schmader, CFEE. “Through this award, the IFEA hopes to create a continuing dialogue between events and cities around the world, at a time when each needs to be supporting the other more than ever.”

Other cities that received the award include Philadelphia; Sydney, Australia; Dubai, The United Arab Emirates; Newcastle, Australia; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Jinju City, South Korea; and Coffs Harbour, Australia. City entries were judged by an international panel of industry experts in the areas of Community Overview; Festivals and Events; City/Government Support of Festivals and Events; Non-Governmental Community Support of Festivals & Events; and Market Leveraging of “Community Capital” created by Festivals and Events. Louisville also received this honor in 2010, when it received the inaugural designation as a “World Festival & Event City.”

In addition to the city’s award, the Kentucky Derby Festival also took home top honors tonight. The Derby Festival received the Gold Grand Pinnacle in its category for best overall festival program in the world. Destination New South Wales (Australia) received runner-up (Silver Award) and the Portland Rose Festival won the Bronze Award. In addition, the Festival received 38 awards in various other categories for event production, media relations, advertising campaign, sponsorship and merchandise. The IFEA Pinnacle Awards competition recognizes the best special events, festival materials, promotions and ideas in the festivals and events industry.

“It’s both humbling and gratifying to be honored by our peers in the industry and it helps to energize us for next year’s Derby Festival,” said Mike Berry, Kentucky Derby Festival CEO and President. “This truly is a reflection of all the tremendous support we receive from our sponsors, patrons and volunteers, and the community as a whole.”

More than 2,000 member festivals compete for the annual IFEA awards. The Kentucky Derby Festival competes with among the ranks of the Indy 500 Festival, Seattle Sea Fair, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Memphis in May International Festival, National Cherry Blossom Festival, and Portland Rose Festival, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, Fiesta San Antonio and Pacific National Exhibition (Vancouver, BC Canada).

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.