Thunder Over Louisville.
Some love it. Some hate it.
As an introvert, I used to understand the latter group. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always adored the air show & fireworks…& the eight flavors of funnel cake at the Chow Wagon (#cookiesandcream). I get super sentimental about the multitude of people from every background gathered together to kick off Derby season, all proud to be keeping Louisville weird.
But, there aren’t enough Clorox wipes in the world to make me feel good about port-o-pots & I start bracing myself for the traffic at the end of the night long before the most magical sky show of the year even has a chance to blow me away.
So, this year I tried something different. And, folks, it was a total game changer.
When I was invited to join my colleagues at Thunder Lounge my first thought was, “How cool!” Immediately followed by a second thought, “Oh, man, does that mean I have to dress up & stuff?” I was under the impression that Thunder Lounge was geared more toward the Who’s Who of The Ville crowd & less to the average Derby Fest enthusiast such as myself. I’m happy to report that wasn’t the case at all!
Atop the parking garage at 201 N. Brook St. I found a casual & comfortable gathering of people from all over our city. The food flowed throughout the day, starting with Papa John’s & Jimmy John’s, followed by a Mark’s Feed Store buffet at dinner time. Red Bull & Effen Vodka sponsored the bar, but it wasn’t a “how wild can we all get” kind of scene. Some people stuck with water & Coke all day & I guarantee they enjoyed it every bit as much as those of us with bourbon in our cups.
Special thanks to Lauren Givhan for the photos! Follow her on IG @LRGCreative!
DJ Ryan Coxx kept us vibing throughout the day with some sweet old school flavor mixed with current chart-toppers & the atmosphere was always chill. You could sit & talk or get up & dance at any time. We spent a while at the rooftop ledge taking in the incredible views of the city & getting some great photos, too. The Thunder Lounge also includes the cleanest portable restrooms I have ever seen. No joke.
The event organizer, Mr. Derby himself, Joey Wagner, even took time to greet his guests, & regularly made the rounds to be sure everyone was enjoying their day. That was above & beyond in my book.
To top it off, we had the most spectacular view of the main event. Almost dead center between the bridges, still close enough to feel every explosion, but far enough from the Waterfront & high enough up to take in the full show the way it was meant to be seen.
I enjoyed Thunder this year in a way I never have before. All of what there is to love without any of the hassles. Worth every penny of the purchase price if you ask me! I will forever patron Thunder Lounge to start the season & I highly recommend you check it out. Just watch for the ticket link early because this favorite spot will definitely sell out every year!