If you live in Louisville or are a frequent visitor to the Kentucky Derby, you see them everywhere. In fact, you may think you know all about Pegasus Pins.

Kentucky Derby fan and volunteer, Phil Bills

But did you know that when you buy a pin, you’re actually helping to support all the events that make the two weeks before Derby a showcase of fun and festivities? The pin program has become a way for the community to have ownership in the Festival and show pride in the region’s largest celebration. And by buying a pin, guests can see acts like local favorite The Lone Bellow or enjoy the Chow Wagon.

The Pegasus Pin program started back in 1973 (pins from that year are so rare they sell for $800-1,000!). Phil Bills, a Derby Festival fan and volunteer has collected a Pegasus Pin from every single year since the beginning.

Bills, 72, is a U.S. Sailing Certified Instructor and has sailed since 1960. He said he started collecting the pins when he worked downtown and he and his office co-workers would go to the Chow Wagon. Some of his favorite memories are watching the Steamboat Race from on the water, and the Chow Wagon. “I love all the Derby Festival events – the parade, steamboat race and of course, the Chow Wagon,” said Bills. Does the collector have a favorite Pegasus Pin? “If I have to choose,” he said,” I guess I’d say the very first one is pretty special.”

Now it’s your turn to decide what kind of 2018 Pegasus Pin to buy. What? You mean, there are different kinds? The short answer is yes.

Pegasus Pin Classic

This year’s plastic pin design is inspired by the Festival’s 2018 Official Poster image and features the “Spirited Pegasus” in a color combination of purple, white, green and gold foil.

Pins are available for $6 each in advance at 1,000 retail locations around Kentuckiana from Louisville to Elizabethtown and in Southern Indiana, as well as online at PegasusPins.com. The price to purchase a pin at the entrance of events will be $7.

This year, Festival Fun Packs are back, a package of five Pegasus Pins for $25, a $5 savings. Children 6 and under are not required to have a Pegasus Pin for admission to Festival events.

With the purchase of a Pegasus Pin, you are eligible to win weekly grand prizes. In your Pegasus Pin envelope, you’ll find a registration card with an alphanumeric code that can be used to register for Weekly Grand Prizes. You can register each pin you purchase, giving you multiple chances to win.

How do you register to win Weekly Grand Prizes? The one-time registration can be done by using the KDF APP or online at PegasusPins.com.

How do you know if you won? The Weekly Grand Prize drawings begin Friday, March 16 and continue every Friday through May 11. Winners will be announced on the 7 p.m. WAVE 3 TV Newscast. Winners are also notified by phone after the newscast.

What could you win? Weekly Grand Prizes this year include an Evan Williams Bourbon Experience Speakeasy Party, $2,500 AAA Travel Vacation Package; $2,500 Kroger Fuel Card, $2,500 Commonwealth Credit Union Visa Gift Card, $2,500 Meijer Shopping Spree, Papa John’s Free Pizza for a year, $2,500 Certificate for Windows from Windows Plus and $2,500 Kroger Grocery Card.

Bonus – Due to popular demand, coupons are back in the Pegasus Pin envelopes.  Each envelope contains three coupons from participating retail partners including Kroger, Papa Johns, Meijer and Liquor Barn/Party Mart.

Gold Winner Pegasus Pins

The odds of getting a Gold Winner when you purchase a 2018 Pegasus Pin are 1 in 20. If you have a lucky Gold pin, you are eligible to win a 2018 Honda CR- V Grand Prize. When registered by using the KDF APP or online at PegasusPins.com, Gold Winner pins are eligible for Weekly Grand Prizes as well.

“Meijer Moment” Light Up Pegasus Pins

Special Meijer Thunder Over Louisville Light Up Pegasus Pins are available at all local Meijer stores for $8 and can be used to help light up the skies at Thunder Over Louisville during the “Meijer Moment.”

From 9:05 p.m. to 9:10 p.m. fans can participate by:

  • Turning on the lights of their Meijer Thunder Over Louisville Light Up Pin
  • Turning on their phone flashlights and point them to the sky
  • Activating their glow sticks or glow wands available on the venue.

Announcements will be made over the Thunder sound system to remind everyone about the “Meijer Moment.”

Target Silver Pegasus Pins

New this year, a special metal version of the Pegasus Pin will be available only at Target Stores beginning April 1. These pins will also allow entry to any event that requires a plastic Pegasus Pin. They will be at 13 Target stores in Kentucky & Southern Indiana (including Lexington, Florence, Newport, and Elizabethtown.)