LouisvilleKY’s largest festival wins international honors

Louisville, KY–  Kentucky Derby Festival has a lot of reasons to celebrate today! Louisville’s annual civic celebration received 46 top honors at the International Festivals & Events Association’s (IFEA) Convention and expo in San Diego, California. The Derby Festival won the Bronze Grand Pinnacle in the “Best Overall Festival Program” category, National Cherry Blossom Festival (Washington, D.C.) was runner-up with silver and the Vivid Sydney, Destination NSW (The Rocks, NSW Australia) won gold. The Grand Pinnacle is the IFEA’s highest award. The Festival competes each year against other major festivals and events from around the world.

The Festival also received 45 Pinnacle Awards – 13 Gold, 18 Silver, and 14 Bronze in various categories for events, media relations, advertising campaign, sponsorship and merchandise.  The IFEA is the premiere association that supports festival and event professionals worldwide. The Pinnacle Awards competition recognizes the best special events, festival materials, promotions and ideas in the festivals and events industry.

 Derby Festival IFEA Group Photo

“These awards are a reflection of all the support we receive from our sponsors, volunteers, patrons and the community,” said Mike Berry, Kentucky Derby Festival President and CEO. “Without all of them, the Festival would not be what it is today.”

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, OC Fair & Event Center (Costa Mesa, California), Destination NSW (The Rocks, NSW Australia), Winterfest, Inc. (Ft. Lauderdale, FL), Virginia Arts Festival, Memphis in May International Festival, National Cherry Blossom Festival, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, Philadelphia Flower Show, and Fiesta Bowl (Scottsdale, AZ).



The Festival won GOLD awards for:

  • BEST SINGLE DIGITAL/SOCIAL AD. $1 Million Dollar Hole-in-One Golf Contest Canvas Ad. Designed by Vimarc.
  • BEST AD SERIES. 2018 “Doodles” Ad Series. Designed by Vimarc.
  • BEST EVENT INVITATION. 2018 Grand Marshal Invite. Designed by Vimarc.
  • BEST MISCELLANEOUS CLOTHING.  Navy Ladies Fleur de Lis Nike Jacket. Produced by 12/13 Apparel by Synergism.
  • BEST CHILDREN’S PROGRAMMING. Horseshoe Foundation FamFest.
  • BEST SINGLE MAGAZINE DISPLAY AD. 2018 “Social” Events Ad. Designed by Vimarc.
  • BEST SINGLE NEWSPAPER DISPLAY AD. 2018 miniMarathon Ad. Designed by Vimarc.
  • BEST PARADE. Republic Bank Pegasus Parade.
  • BEST FOOD & BEVERAGE PROGRAM.  Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville and the Chow Wagon.  Concessions by Cox
  • BEST DIGITAL/SOCIAL AD SERIES. Derby Festival miniMarathon/Marathon Digital Ad Campaign. Designed by Vimarc.
  • BEST COMPANY IMAGE PIECES. New Derby Festival Jacket.
  • BEST COMMEMORATIVE POSTER (FOR SALE). 2018 Limited Edition KDF Poster. Designed by Poster Artists Jeaneen Barnhart and Doreen Barnhart DeHart. Printed by Clark & Riggs. Hand foil stamped by Giant Graphics. Distributed by 12/13 Apparel by Synergism.
  • BEST T-SHIRT DESIGN. 2108 KDF Poster T-shirt. Produced by 12/13 Apparel by Synergism.


SILVER Awards:

  • BEST NEW MERCHANDISE. Marathon Ankle Socks. Produced by 12/13 Apparel by Synergism.
  • BEST TARGETED SPONSOR SOLICITATION PROPOSAL. Belterra, Presenting Sponsorship of Country Concert.
  • BEST SPONSOR PARTNER. Papa John’s Pizza.
  • BEST SPONSORSHIP PROGRAM FOR INDIVIDUAL SPONSOR.  Kosair Charities/Kosair Kids Class of Celebrities Sponsorship.
  • BEST NEW PROMOTION ACTIVITY. Courier Journal DerbyFest Online Web Portal. Produced by Courier Journal Media.
  • MOST CREATIVE/EFFECTIVE NEWS STUNT. Operation Dry Out Waterfront. Coordinated by WLKY TV.
  • BEST RADIO PROMOTION. Pegasus Parade Radio Spot.  Produced by Vimarc.
  • BEST TV PROMOTION. Great BalloonFest TV Spot.
  • BEST HAT. 2018 Fleur de Lis applique hat. Produced by 12/13 Apparel by Synergism.
  • BEST OVERALL SPONSORSHIP PROGRAM.  Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville Sponsorship Program.
  • BEST SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN. 2018 Derby Burger Campaign.
  • BEST MISCELLANEOUS MULTI MEDIA. 2018 Derby Festival Recap Video.
  • BEST MISCELLANEOUS PRINTED MATERIALS. 2018 miniMarathon/Marathon Direct Mail Piece with tear-off.
  • BEST MISCELLANEOUS ON-SITE DÉCOR. 2018 Spring Fashion Show “Dream in Color” Décor.
  • BEST GIVE-AWAY ITEM -.BourbonVille Copper Moscow Mule Mug.

BRONZE Awards:

  • BEST OVERALL FESTIVAL.  Bronze Grand Pinnacle.
  • BEST NEW EVENT. Derby of the Dead.
  • BEST COVER DESIGN. 2018 Official Derby Festival Program. Designed by AD|F.X.
  • BEST OTHER MERCHANDISE. Kentucky Derby Festival Bowtie. Produced by Peake Ties.
  • BEST SPONSOR GIFT. Official Sponsor Pin.
  • BEST SINGLE NEW SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITY. IKORCC Sponsorship of The Grove at Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville.
  • BEST EVENT/ORGANIZATION E-NEWSLETTER.  “Festival Times.” Designed by Vimarc.
  • BEST FULL LENGTH TV PROGAM (NATIONAL). Thunder Over Louisville for American Forces Network. Produced by WLKY TV.
  • BEST EVENT WEBSITE. ThunderOverLouisville.org
  • BEST SOCIAL MEDIA SITE. @KyDerbyFestival Instagram.
  • BEST OUTDOOR BILLBOARD. Derby Festival miniMarathon Billboard.
  • BEST EVENT VIDEO PROMOTION. Derby Festival Volunteer Spot.

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.