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All-Day Fun: Ford’s Thunder on the Ground Festival
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Activities, food, entertainment and shopping for Kentucky Derby Festival merchandise will keep you busy all day as you await this year’s Thunder over Louisville.

From 11:00 a.m. until the Thunder show, Saturday, April 12, Waterfront Park will be the home of Ford’s Thunder on the Ground Festival, where free activities, all kinds of food and too many other attractions to list here will all be on offer. Bring your Pegasus Pin, as some activities will require one for entry. If you forget, or want to collect more, you might want to start at the Pin Wagon at 4th and River Road, Bingham Way at the steps to the Chow Wagon, northeast corner of Preston and Witherspoon, or northwest side of Main Street at 2nd street (all from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.).

Thunder FoodFest runs from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. with eats from over 115 vendors, spread along Witherspoon, on the Great Lawn, West Belvedere and the Chow Wagon area.

Kids’ activities include a merry-go-round, moon bounce obstacle course, rock wall and super slide. Sponsors Ford, Meijer and others will have interactive displays all day, along with an AH64 helicopter display by the U.S. Army. The Meijer Family Fun Zone (free admission with a 2014 Pegasus Pin), 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on the West Belvedere, has games, snacks, a green screen to experiment with and a good viewing area.

As you make your way around, scout out these Waterfront Park Thunder viewing areas (listed with their opening times):

  • North Great Lawn: 9:00 a.m.
  • Chow Wagon: 11:00 a.m.
  • Lincoln Memorial Lot of River Road: 11:00 a.m.
  • Meijer Family Fun Zone: 11:00 a.m.

Each of these areas is free admission with a 2014 Pegasus Pin and has food and drink vendors.

Tip: To better plan your day and a less stressful arrival and departure from the downtown area, check out TARC’s Thunder day schedules and routes.

Photo: Shutterstock Copyright: William Spangler

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About Kachina Shaw

A transplanted Hawkeye, I've now lived in Louisville longer than any other city. Can't live without: my husband and fur babies, coal-black coffee, peanut M&Ms, sunflowers, monthly vacations, books, walking paths, massage and a big purse.

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