West Louisville leaders cancel Pegasus Parade protests, announce - WDRB 41 Louisville News

West Louisville leaders cancel Pegasus Parade protests, announce date for new parade

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- West Louisville leaders have canceled all Pegasus Parade protests, including the one scheduled for Monday evening.

Several Louisville leaders met to announce new plans to celebrate West End youth on Derby Day. This comes after hundreds of step and dance team members were denied access to this year's Kentucky Derby Pegasus Parade.

Kentucky Derby Festival officials say one team in particular was denied because of compliance issues.

“There were nine applicants, four were accepted, two of the four were from west Louisville,” said Mike Berry, President and CEO of the Kentucky Derby Festival (KDF).  “The issue was never about race. The issue about concerns for the parade had to do with rules.”

The teams planned to protest this evening at the Kentucky Derby Festival Headquarters, as well as the day of the Pegasus Parade, but west end leaders feared things could get out of hand.

“Nobody can guarantee what the young crowd would have reacted to. I applaud them for at least considering what they're doing, because we don't know where it would have went,” community activist Christopher 2X said.

KDF officials say they’re happy the protests have been called off.

“We think, obviously, it's good for the community that there are not going to be demonstrations ... that people should not feel like there's going to be unrest surrounding this event,” Berry said.  “We also have become more aware of how groups felt they were being admitted into the parade.”

With the step and dance teams' help, west end leaders say they're now hosting Kentucky’s Love and Peace Heritage Festival, which includes several events throughout the month of May, such as a big party on Derby day and an alternative parade on May 21.

All events will take place in west Louisville.

Organizers say they've submitted a new permit and have gotten lots of support from city officials and LMPD.

“We've done a lot of things behind the scenes to ensure the safety for everyone that's participating in this parade,” said Ray Barker, a member of the West Louisville Urban Coalition.

“This is a new movement in west Louisville, and we're going to get away from all the negative stereotypes there's ever been.”

West Louisville leaders hope to have the festival permit signed by the end of next week.

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