Thunder Funder

The Business of Fun

The Kentucky Derby Festival lasts just two weeks, but its impact on the local community is felt year-round. The Derby Festival is a non-profit organization, but it provides world-class entertainment for its customers. Thunder Over Louisville is the region’s largest annual event, but the Festival makes virtually no financial return on the show. However, Thunder greatly benefits a large number of other local non-profit organizations. For instance, Thunder is the No. 1 fund-raiser for the Louisville Science Center, the Kentucky Center for the Arts, Louisville Slugger Museum, Easter Seals, Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Louisville Ballet and the Belle of Louisville. In addition, a recent study found that Thunder produced an estimated impact of $56.6 million for the local economy on both sides of the Ohio River. For these and many other reasons, the Festival remains committed to producing such an important community asset.

The Festival would not be able to produce such a far-reaching economic impact on the community without the unwavering support of its corporate sponsors and other sources of revenue.

Along with our title sponsors – Horseshoe Southern Indiana, KentuckyOne Health, LG&E, Meijer, UPS and Valero – local businesses throughout Kentuckiana can help us make this year’s Thunder great!

Individuals can help, too. McDonald’s will donate a portion of their sales for each large drink you purchase at participating locations (prices and participation may vary, limited time offer). Or, you can contribute through a Sponsorship Package and enjoy front row seats from a catered hospitality viewing area! If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to produce Thunder, join us for our Preview Party at Bowman Field on Thursday, April 3rd beginning at 5 p.m. This is your chance to meet the producers and pilots and watch them in action. See aircraft like the Apache Blackhawks, Super 300, Biplane and L-39 Jet – before Thunder while your children enjoy a playland and other fun, kid-friendly activities!

Click here for more information on the McDonald’s Thunder Preview Party.

If you have questions or need more information on becoming a McDonald’s Thunder Funder, please contact the Kentucky Derby Festival at 502-584-FEST.

Through a partnership with McDonald’s Restaurants of Kentuckiana, the Kentucky Derby Festival is pleased to announce that McDonald’s title sponsor of the Thunder Funder Program, which will help raise funds for the 2014 Thunder Over Louisville show, the Derby Festival’s Opening Ceremonies on April 12. Ninety-six are McDonald’s restaurants will donate a portion of their drink sales revenue to help support Thunder. The promotion coincides with their $1.00 drink campaign and will run from March 11 to April 15. The large drinks come in a commemorative Thunder cup.

Click here for more information on the McDonald’s Thunder Preview Party.

Thunder Over Louisville – the Derby Festival’s Opening Ceremonies – is one of the more than 70 events produced by the Derby Festival in the spring. The 2014 Thunder Over Louisville show is set for Saturday, April 12, and will be the 25th annual production.