KDF Marathon Sign

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- As runners drove through the tents set up in a parking lot of Louisville Slugger Field on Tuesday to pick up race packets, you could sense the excitement around the Kentucky Derby Festival.

After the entire festival was canceled in 2020, KDF has already put on some of its major events like the Pegasus Parade and Thunder Over Louisville.

It continues this week with many more events.

"We're really reimagining our events this year, trying to bring them to the community," KDF spokeswoman Aimee Boyd said. "And this is another big week for us."

Despite the greenlight to move ahead with the festival this year, the events had to be modified to fit COVID-19 guidelines.

"We have to work with COVID safety guidelines, trying to spread everybody out, spread out all the runners," Boyd said. "We've created a whole new course, and the mini marathon will be run over four days."

The mini marathon will be ran over the course of four days, beginning Thursday. Marathoners will join them Saturday only.

"All we really want is to compete," marathoner Ben Shirrell said. "It's an interesting year, but it feels like we're getting there."

Along with the mini and marathon, KDF events like the million-dollar hole-in-one golf challenge at Seneca Park and the balloonfest tribute are happening this week.

"It's a sign of good things to come just to be able to do something this year where we couldn't last year," Boyd said.

For a full list of KDF events, click here.

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