LOUISVILLE Ky. (WDRB) -- Some West Louisville groups are planning their own Derby-week parade down Broadway.

Organizers say this alternative parade is in protest of the annual Pegasus Parade. 

The Kentucky Dance and Step Alliance was denied a spot in the Pegasus Parade. Leaders from the dance team say they believe they were left out this year because they're from west Louisville.

A meeting was held Thursday to announce an alternative parade route. Representatives from groups including the West Louisville Urban Coalition and West Louisville First" attended the meeting. 

While the new parade will not be made official until the city grants the groups a permit, they're looking to call the new parade: "Love, Peace and Heritage."

Leaders of the formation team say they did not talk to KDF officials because they didn't think it would do any good. 

Nikia Williams is a spokeswoman for the group Formation, which is protesting the event. She says denying the team a spot in the Pegasus Parade is unfair to the kids. 

"They feel like they work really hard, they want to be seen, of course -- hard work wants to be shown, people want to be seen for what they do," Williams said. "They feel like they're not getting the equality that we need."

The groups plan to hold two protests One on March 21st and another during the actual Pegasus Parade.

The Kentucky Derby Festival Director says the group was denied access because, in years past, the group brought hundreds more performers than it applied to bring.

On Thursday morning, the Kentucky Derby Festival issued a statement in response to the claims made by the Kentucky Dance and Step Alliance. The text of that statement is below:

The Kentucky Derby Festival has not been contacted by this group and was not aware of their press conference until being alerted by members of the media. The process for applying to participate in the parade has occurred and the parade is closed for this year. Likewise, the Festival schedule, by policy, is finalized by September 15 of each year. We are willing to have reasonable discussions with this group about future involvement.

Ray Barker (Sir Friendly C), Ms. Trena Waddles and the Kentucky Dance and Step Team have each participated in the parade for numerous years and are familiar with the process of applying to participate. While the Kentucky Dance and Step Team was not approved to participate in the event in 2016, we have accepted applications from other step and dance teams for this year’s parade, including groups from West Louisville.

The Derby Festival strongly rejects the notion that African-American youth have been denied entry in the parade. The Pegasus Parade is one of the most diverse events on the Festival schedule and includes participants of all ages, geographies and ethnicities.

We are saddened by the fact that the oldest event of the Kentucky Derby Festival is being used for divisive purposes. The Festival’s mission is to unite the community and we do that every year to the pleasure of 1.5 million visitors and guests.


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