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Anyone else lose the first half of April? Last thing I remember was cheering on the Cards and Cats during March Madness — and now it’s time for Thunder Over Louisville already?

We thought we’d round up some Thunder-related events in case you find yourself without plans this weekend, like us. Thunder takes place Saturday, April 18, from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. at Waterfront Park. Admission into the Chow Wagon and other areas of the park is free with a Derby Festival Pegasus Pin, and there will be live music, a Meijer Family Fun Zone, food, drink and more.

Teachers saluted at Copper & Kings party

Copper & Kings Distillery
Copper & Kings Distillery

Ever since Copper & Kings Brandy Co. opened its doors a year ago, its rooftop skydeck has been a coveted space to mix and mingle. The Louisville skyline is in perfect view from the spot, which will make it a quintessential place to watch Thunder. They are partnering with Louisville-based nonprofit Teach Kentucky for Saturday’s event, and inviting teachers and their families for a discounted price — and the general public as well.

Tickets are $85 per person, or $45 for teachers and their guests. Family tickets are available for $200. All proceeds benefit Teach Kentucky’s efforts to recruit, retain and support Louisville public school teachers.

So what do you get with admission? Starting at 2 p.m., there will be barbecue from SmokeHawgs (vegetarian options available), music from A Lion Named Roar, and a cash bar.

“As we start the annual Derby Festival, it’s important for all of us to see that brainpower is the most powerful horsepower present in our state,” says Teach Kentucky founder Rowan Claypool. “The Teach Kentucky mission is to attract the finest young teachers to the commonwealth to build a state where teachers are celebrated and respected for their enormous contribution to the people and students of Kentucky.”

No admission fee or jacked-up prices at 8UP

8UP's rooftop | Photo by Emily Schultz
8UP’s rooftop | Photo by Emily Schultz

Speaking of a gorgeous rooftop patio space, 8UP is another ideal place to watch the Thunder festivities. Most venues would charge an arm and a leg for a view this great, but 8UP, the new restaurant at the top of the Hilton Garden on Chestnut, is thanking its patrons by offering up their space for free — no admission, and menu pries will remain the same.

“They believe it’s the right thing to do,” says 8UP’s PR agent Philip Ruskin. “After all, Louisville patrons have embraced them so warmly.”

Thunder on the Sunny Side @ Buckhead and Rocky’s Sub Pub

Let’s face it — some of the best views of the Louisville skyline can be found across the river in Jeffersonville. A couple bars/restaurants are getting together to throw the ultimate Thunder party, and we’re invited! Buckhead Mountain Grill and Rocky’s Sub Pub are offering three options to spend the day.

First, for $180 per person, you get your own private table for the entire day (at either restaurant) as well as food. A cash bar will be available. The second option is a spot inside the Craft Beer Party Tent for $85, which includes food and a cash bar. And lastly, for $50, you can join Rocky’s Rockin’ on  the River Party, which includes live music from Juicebox Heroes and a cash bar and food service.

All three parties run from 2-10 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here.

thomasedison
Thomas Edison House

Thomas Edison House celebrates Thunder

Back on this side of the bridge, Butchertown’s Thomas Edison House is throwing its annual family-friendly Thunder party at starting at 4 p.m. The $40 ticket price ($15 for kids 12 and under) includes barbecue from Frankfort Avenue Beer Depot, beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages. That’s a steal, if you ask us!

There will be lawn games for both adults and children. Tickets can be purchased here.

Thunder with the Bats

The Louisville Bats will be facing the Indianapolis Indians at 2:05 p.m. on Saturday, and a ticket ($20-$30) guarantees you a seat all day long starting at noon. After the game, there’s a concert on the field by ’80s rockers Sixteen Candles.

ThunderBlast @ the Kentucky Science Center

For another family-friendly affair, the Kentucky Science Center is hosting its annual riverside view of the festivities on Saturday. Admission is $50 ($35 for children — $40/$25 for members) and includes admission into the Science Center, indoor restrooms, food and drink vendors and a smoke-free environment from 2-11 p.m.

Purchase tickets here.

The_Kentucky_Center_for_the_Performing_ArtsThunder @ The Center

The Kentucky Center for the Arts also has a nice view of the Waterfront Park festivities, and for $40 ($20 ages 12 and under), you’ll will get the view, the restrooms, food service and a cash bar as well as lots of kids’ activities starting at 2 p.m. Click here for details and tickets.

The best of the rest:

  • Bristol Jeffersonville — Offering all-you-can-eat buffet and a reserved table for $110-$180. Call 812-218-1995.
  • Big Four Burgers & Beer (Jeffersonville) — Offering free acoustic music all day long.
  • Flat 12 Bierwerks (Jeffersonville) — Outdoor Beer Garden will feature food and drinks from noon-10 p.m. The $15 ticket price includes one pint, limited seating, private restrooms and in-and-out access to the beer garden all day long.
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Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle (barbelleblog.com). She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."