The online voting process to determine who will march in this year’s Survivors Parade presented by Kroger on Kentucky Oaks Day at Churchill Downs will close March 23 at 5 p.m. ET.
The 138 nominees who receive the most votes on www.KentuckyOaks.com will be invited to parade down the stretch of the Louisville racetrack’s main track before the 138th running of the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), plus two complimentary reserved seats to the May 4 event.
A record 354 cancer survivors were nominated to participate in this year’s Survivors Parade, which represents a 60% increase from the 222 nominees a year ago.
Churchill Downs first introduced a “Ladies First” focus for the Kentucky Oaks in 2009, complete with a “Pink Out!” and outreach effort on women’s health issues. In a three-year span, Churchill Downs has helped to raise more than $420,000 for cancer research through its Kentucky Oaks Day activities. Earlier this month, the track announced that this year’s collaboration would be with Stand Up To Cancer, the nationwide initiative that is focused on funding innovative research for a broad scope of cancers that affect women and their families.
The Survivors Parade – now in its fourth year – has provided some of the most memorable and emotional Kentucky Oaks moments since its inception.
The voting to determine the 138 Survivors Parade participants–one representing each renewal of the Kentucky Oaks–began March 16. The winners will be announced online March 26.
The Oaks will be televised live nationally by the new NBC Sports Network from 5-6 p.m. ET.
Churchill Downs will donate $1 to Stand Up To Cancer for every person in attendance on Kentucky Oaks Day. Last year, the Oaks attracted 110,122 patrons.
Additionally, Churchill Downs will donate $1 from the sale of each Oaks Lily®, the official drink of the Kentucky Oaks, to Horses and Hope. Founded in 2008 by Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear and the Kentucky Cancer Program, Horses and Hope helps provide breast cancer awareness, education, and early detection and treatment referral in Kentucky’s horse racing industry.
Special Kentucky Oaks Day events also include a “Pink Out!” which encourages all Oaks attendees to wear pink or incorporate the color into their attire for the day to show their support, and the Longines Kentucky Oaks Fashion Contest where one winner will win a VIP invitation to New York City for the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and a Longines timepiece.