LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Pop singer Cyndi Lauper apologized for using "inappropriate" language during a live TV broadcast just before Thursday's Kentucky Derby Festival Pegasus Parade.

The TV audience and spectators along East Broadway heard Lauper refer to someone as "a f------ idiot" when she asked if her microphone was operating.  It was.  The singer and the Derby Festival quickly apologized. 

Lauper explained she had a technical problem with the microphone and acknowledged in her apology that the Derby is a family event and what she said was "inappropriate."

Lauper later rode atop a Corvette as the parade's grand marshal.

At times her cell phone caught more of her attention than the spectators.

Crowds estimated by the Derby Festival at 250,000 lined both sides of Broadway to view the parade.  Lauper was one of the big draws. 

"We sing her songs at karaoke all the time, so it's exciting that she's grand marshal," said Kelly Diaz of Louisville.

University of Kentucky head basketball coach John Calipari was another big draw as an honorary grand marshal.

"It's pretty awesome he's got a national championship," said elementary school student Michael Johnson, as he eagerly awaited Calipari and the national championship trophy to pass his perch on the sidewalk.

That trophy rode shotgun with Calipari and another coach.

Calipari and the UK team fly to the White House Friday.

Just what will the coach tell the president?

"You know it's interesting, our basketball team, when the horn sounded, the first thing they said was 'We're going to the White House.' They didn't say 'We won the national title.' So I think they're really looking forward to it. We leave tomorrow afternoon. It's going to be a great day," Calipari said.

He joked about the trophy, which has traveled Kentucky almost daily since the April 2 UK win over Kentucky. 

"Someone said to me, 'What do you do, sleep with this thing?' I said, 'Come on, it sits next to the bed, but it's not in there with us."

Local bands included the Henryville, Indiana, Hornets, teamed up with fellow West Clark schools of Borden and Silver Creek; the Orleans, Indiana, high school band, U of L's marching band and an all-star selection of Jefferson County and Bullitt County, Ky., high school students.

Children along the parade route marveled at the horse teams, the floats and even waved at 2012 Miss America, Laura Kaeppeler.

Many of the biggest cheers of the evening were reserved for local first responders, including police officers and firefighters who took part in the parade, as well as for marching Marines and displays of military might.

Many children seemed most captivated by costumed characters, such as clowns and Chick-fil-A's "Eat Mor Chikin" cows.  Others were thrilled to see any parade participants who went past on horseback.

The parade lasted about two and a quarter hours, reaching Fourth Street about 6:00 and finishing at Ninth Street around 8:15 p.m.

The Kentucky Derby Festival released results of parade judging and awards late Thursday.

Read portions of the news release below:

Other celebrities who participated in this year's parade included: Lauper's husband, actor husband David Thornton; actor Josh Dallas, a Louisville native and former New Albany, Ind., resident who is star of the ABC TV show "Once Upon a Time"; actor Jonathan Kite of "Two Broke Girls"; Vicki Gunvalson of "The Real Housewives of Orange County"; poker pros Robert Williamson III and Josh Arieh; and 2012 Miss America Laura Kaeppeler.

Supporters of Norton Healthcare were cheering down the parade route as their float took home the Addison McGhee Sweepstakes Award for best overall float. Kosair Charities/Kosair Shriners won the Board Chair's Award; CenterStage at the Jewish Community Center won the President's Award; Second Chance@Life won the Grand Marshal's Award; Hwang's Martial Arts won the Queen's Award and the Kentuckiana Pride Festival won the Chairman's Award.

The parade is known for its beautiful equestrian units. Grand Champion Equestrian Unit went to the Young Guns 4-H Equestrian Drill Team. The first place award for Best Mounted Equestrian Unit went to Muhlenberg 4-H Horse Club. Best Commercial Driven Equestrian Unit went to Express Clydesdales; Non-Commercial Driven Unit was awarded to Shetland Miniatures.

Jasper (Ind.) High School won the Grand Prize in the Basil Caummisar Battle of the Bands competition. Fierce Ent. LLC won the Ray Wimberg Specialty Unit Award, Chick-fil-A of Kentuckiana won the Earl Ruby Inflatable Spirit Award and Muhlenberg 4-H Horse Club won the Pooper Stars Award.

Slideshow content from Dave Creek.  See also a longer interview with Calipari and a parade story attached here.  Other content and video from Chris Turner and John Hunter.

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