The Red Cross continued its long-standing tradition yesterday of providing reserved seating for senior adults and individuals with functional and access needs during the Pegasus Parade. This was the 38th year the organization has been providing this service.
Hours before the parade, Red Cross volunteers roped off 200 feet of prime Broadway street side territory, beginning at the corner of Preston and Broadway, and set up more than 400 chairs. The area was specially designated as seating for senior adults and individuals with functional and access needs to give them a great view without needing to jostle for a spot. Nearly every seat was full Thursday.
|Clockwise from left: Robert McNeal, Richard Mart, Sharon Angel and Linda Roberts were the first to take their seats Thursday.|
All of the attendees seemed excited for the parade, although everyone had their own reasons.
“I was born and raised in New Albany, and I haven’t been back in over 47 years to go to the Derby Parade,” said Robert McNeal, who came from Panama City, FL for this weekend’s festivities. “There were no celebrities back then. It was mainly bands and horses, so it will be interesting to see what has changed.”
McNeal’s cousin Linda Roberts, a Louisville resident, had a different reason for going.
“I want to see Russ Smith,” said Roberts. “I want to see the whole UofL team. We shot off fireworks after they won the championship. We had all the neighbors over, even though they were UK fans.”
The University of Louisville’s men’s and women’s basketball teams were the grand marshals of the event. Other attractions included marching bands, celebrities and creative booths from local businesses, but there was no doubt that the two teams riding by in fire trucks raised the most cheers from the crowd.
The Red Cross has already committed to continue its seating tradition for next year.