Kate Upton and Jordan Smith to visit Louisville for Kentucky Oaks honors Thursday, Apr 28 2016 


Supermodel to Serve as Oaks First Lady, “The Voice” Winner to Perform National Anthem
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Thursday, April 28, 2016– Churchill Downs Racetrack today announced that Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover Model and Actress Kate Upton will serve as the First Lady of the Longines Kentucky Oaks and the season nine winner of NBC’s “The Voice” and Republic Recording artist Jordan Smith will perform the national anthem at the Longines Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 6, the day before the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands. The Longines Kentucky Oaks is America’s premier and most lucrative race for 3-year old fillies.
As the First Lady of the Oaks and supporter of Churchill Downs’ charitable partner, Bright Pink®, a national organization dedicated to the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer, Kate Upton will participate in the eighth annual Survivors Parade presented by Kroger. The goals of the First Lady of the Oaks and the Survivors Parade are to help raise national awareness of breast and ovarian health and honor the survivors of breast and ovarian cancer. This year, 142 survivors of breast and ovarian cancer will participate in the Survivors Parade. Upton is also a guest of the exclusive Barnstable Brown Derby Eve Gala.
The Oaks national anthem performance by Kentuckian, winner of “The Voice” and Republic Recording artist Jordan Smith will take place live before approximately 120,000 attendees and be broadcast on NBCSN. Smith recently showed the world his musical gift in 2015 when he became the “Best-selling artist in the history of The Voice,” and recently released his full-length debut album, Something Beautiful.
“Churchill Downs is thrilled to welcome these two superstars to the 142nd Longines Kentucky Oaks,” said Kevin Flanery, President of Churchill Downs Racetrack. “Kate and Jordan will help us honor the 142 participants in this year’s Survivors Parade and continue to drive awareness and make an impact in the fight against breast and ovarian cancer.”
KATE UPTON in The Edit Magazine, March 2015 Issue

KATE UPTON in The Edit Magazine, March 2015 Issue

“At Bright Pink, we teach young women to take action and be proactive with their breast and ovarian health,” said Lindsay Avner, Founder and CEO of Bright Pink. “We are so excited that Kate Upton will be joining us for this year’s Kentucky Oaks and know that her participation will inspire women around the country to take positive, life-changing action.”
The Survivors Parade will take place on the historic racetrack following Smith’s national anthem performance. The Parade is part of Churchill Downs’ Longines Kentucky Oaks Pink Out, during which the track conducts fundraising, provides outreach and drives national breast and ovarian health awareness. Over the past seven years, Churchill Downs has donated more than $740,000 to breast cancer organizations through the Pink Out celebration.
Parade participants were selected through an online process in which the public nominated and selected the individuals to champion breast and ovarian cancer awareness in this year’s Survivors Parade. More than 500 survivors were nominated from across the U.S. and Canada. The 142 survivors selected are from cities as wide ranging as Fort Worth, Texas; New Orleans, Louisiana; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Greenville, Rhode Island; Lincoln Park, Michigan; Estes Park, Colorado; Palm City, Florida; Scottsdale, Arizona; Dorchester, Massachusetts; Shallow Lake, Ontario; and Louisville, Kentucky.
The public may read the survivors’ stories and make donations to Bright Pink through May 8, 2016 at www.kentuckyderby.com/survivors. More than $25,000 has been raised so far this year online, which is a 50 percent increase from 2015.
About Churchill Downs Racetrack
Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) offers year-round simulcast wagering. Churchill Downs will conduct the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on May 7, 2016.  www.ChurchillDowns.com.
About Bright Pink
Bright Pink is a national non-profit focused on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women. The organization’s mission is to save women’s lives from breast and ovarian cancer by empowering them to live proactively at a young age. Bright Pink’s innovative programs educate and equip young women to assess their risk of breast and ovarian cancer, reduce their risk, and detect these diseases at early, non life-threatening stages. Founded in 2007, Bright Pink strives to reach the 52 million women in the US between the ages of 18-45 with this life-saving education. Put Awareness In Action™ at BrightPink.org.

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LIBA offers Louisville Ky chance to Buy Local all in one spot Thursday, Apr 28 2016 

Louisville, KY (April 27, 2016) -The Louisville Independent Business Alliance (LIBA) will host the 8th Annual Buy Local Fair on Sunday, May 22 from 12:00pm6:00pm at Louisville Water Tower Park, 3005 River Road. Presented by Louisville Water Company, admission to the Buy Local Fair is free and parking is $5 per vehicle, or free for bicycle parking. Last year’s fair drew over 8,000 attendees.

The fair will include a marketplace of more than 200 booths from local businesses, artists and craftspeople, community organizations, and farmers, as well as a craft beer tent sponsored by ValuMarket, over 25 food and drink vendors, a cooking competition, aerial circus acts, a silent auction, and the H2O Kid’s Zone sponsored by Louisville Water. You can also BYOB (bring your own bottle – for water!) to fill up at the Louisville pure tap® to GO stations.
Photo from Buy Local's Facebook page.

Photo from Buy Local’s Facebook page.

This year’s cooking competition will feature a showdown between Shawn Ward of Ward 426 and Patrick Roney of Harvest. The chefs will be given a basket of mystery ingredients and they’ll have 30 minutes to create a dish for a panel of judges.
Returning again this year is The Back Porch, an area located on the back patio of the Louisville Water Tower with beautiful river views. Sponsored by Cox’s Spirits Shoppe and Smokers Outlet, this area is geared towards the grown-ups and will offer a place to relax in patio furniture from Amish Hills and enjoy the bourbon, brandy, beer and cigars available for purchase.
The mission of the Buy Local Fair is to provide a venue that fosters cooperation, cross-pollination and strength in numbers for locally-owned, independent entities. By bringing together customers of various businesses, farms, craftspeople and bands unique to the Louisville-area, we expose a variety of endeavors to new audiences and increase business for all.
The 2016 Buy Local Fair is presented by Louisville Water Company and sponsored by Louisville Metro Council, Amish Hills Furniture, Eclipse Bank, VO2 Multisport, ValuMarket, Carmichael’s KIDS, Louisville Magazine, Louisville.com, Louisville Public Media, LEO Weekly, The Trend Appliances, YELP Louisville, Maloney Outdoor Advertising, Heaven Hill Brands, Cox’s Smokers Outlet and Spirit Shoppe, Nanz & Kraft Florists, WAKY, and Good Garbage.
About the Louisville Independent Business Alliance
LIBA is a non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve the unique community character of the Metro Louisville area by promoting locally-owned businesses and to educate citizens on the value of buying locally. For more information about LIBA, visitwww.keeplouisvilleweird.com
About Louisville Water Co.
Louisville Water provides a safe, high-quality of drinking water to over 850,000 people in Louisville Metro and surrounding communities. Louisville Water began operations in October 1860 as Kentucky’s first public water provider. For more info, visitwww.louisvillewater.com.


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Louisville Ky moms get in to the Louisville Zoo free Mother’s Day Wednesday, Apr 27 2016 

Louisville, Ky., – Mothers get free general admission to the Louisville Zoo on Mother’s Day: Sunday, May 8, courtesy of McDonald’s® Restaurants of Kentuckiana.

The day includes Zookeeper talks featuring our animal moms, like Morena, a Hartmann’s mountain Zebra who gave birth to Annette last year.

Guests can find out what human and animal moms have in common and participate in a fun scavenger hunt (scavenger hunt forms can be picked up at the entrance and turned in when you exit). The first 1000 children to complete the scavenger hunt will receive a free McDonald’s Happy Meal voucher.

mom no ID

Gift bags will be provided to the first 500 moms courtesy of McDonald’s Restaurants of Kentuckiana.

Meet and greet McDonaldland ® characters Grimace, Hamburglar and Birdie from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Main Plaza.

Zebras Morena and Annette

Zebras Morena and Annette

May at the Zoo

The wildest 5K run/walk in town is May 14 — Throo the Zoo 5K Run/Walk presented by McDonald’s Restaurants of Kentuckiana and Norton Audubon Hospital.  All of the proceeds from the Throo the Zoo 5K help to fund Zoo education and animal care programs. Runners and walkers can register online now at louisvillezoo.org/throo.

May at the Zoo is rounded out on May 21 with the opening of the Wings of the World Bird Show, a “free flight” presentation weaving conservation messages with spectacular behaviors and personal stories about the animals. Shows may include condors, cranes, macaws, eagles, hornbills, talking parrots and even a cassowary. Wings of the World is created by Joe Krathwohl “The Birdman”®. The show is free with Zoo admission.

Storybook Character Day is also May 21. Guests can meet Olivia, Clifford, Huckle Cat, Curious George, Paddington Bear, Llama Llama and McDonaldland Characters: Birdie, Grimace and Hamburglar  from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. This event is free with Zoo admission.



The Louisville Zoo, a non-profit organization and state zoo of Kentucky, is dedicated to bettering the bond between people and our planet by providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for visitors, and leadership in scientific research and conservation education. The Zoo is accredited by the American Association of Museums (AAM) and by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).


About McDonald’s  

McDonald’s USA, LLC, serves a variety of menu options made with quality ingredients to more than 25 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by businessmen and women. Customers can now log online for free at approximately 11,500 participating Wi-Fi enabled McDonald’s U.S. restaurants. For more information, visit www.mcdonalds.com or follow us on Twitter at @McDKentuckiana and any of the 100 McDonald’s Restaurants of Kentuckiana Facebook pages.

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Churchill Downs unveils $18 million improvement project Tuesday, Apr 26 2016 

Churchill Downs officials unveiled $18 million in upgrades this morning, including expanded upscale seating areas and more food options. | Photo by Boris Ladwig.

Churchill Downs Racetrack today unveiled an $18 million improvement project that added upscale seats, more food options and tech upgrades, including an app that will allow some customers to order food from their seats. Company officials hope the investment will help the track remain relevant as it competes for an audience with ever greater entertainments options. […]

Fest-a-Ville celebrates milestone Louisville Ky Monday, Apr 25 2016 

New décor, bars and events to highlight Waterfront festivities

Photos from KDF’s Facebook Page.

April 25, 2016 Louisville, KY. Celebrating 10 years as the Kentucky Derby Festival’s ultimate entertainment venue on the Waterfront, Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville is more than just a Chow Wagon. When the venue opens on Thursday, April 28, it will boast a full schedule of events spanning nine days; a new look courtesy of The Event Company in Louisville; the Waterfront Jam with over 30 local and regional bands and 7 national concerts on two stages; 100 different food and drink vendors; and five full service bars, including Drake’s By the River and the NEW Firefly Sweet Tea Bar.


Large chandeliers, strings of lights and a new stone bar are just a few of the changes fans will notice when they visit the Waterfront venue this year. Festival organizers have worked with The Event Company in Louisville to add new décor, giving the 900,000 square-foot venue a new look and ambience. One new area is called “The Grove” – a grassy spot that will be the perfect place to relax, walk across a replica of the new Abraham Lincoln Bridge, or get a close up view of Kentucky’s largest disco ball.

kdf derby festival logo

“Built on the tradition of the Chow Wagon, Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville has really become a main attraction for the Derby Festival,” said Mike Berry, KDF President & CEO. “Not only is there something for everyone at a single venue, but there is something different every day.”


New events coming to the venue include Ken-Ducky Derby, with the launch of 20,000 ducks into the Ohio River; Splat Out Cancer where patrons can launch paint filled balloons at a giant canvas; Neigh-maste for yoga aficionados; and  NeXtreme Knockerball daily that invites participants get in giant bubbles and bump, knock, and roll into each other.


The variety of food vendors throughout the venue continues to grow and change.  On the menu this year are Menu Wood Fired Pizza, Hand Dipped Ice Cream, the 2016 Derby Burger, Gyros, Brisket, Roasted Sweet Corn, and traditional favorites like Elephant Ears, Funnel Cakes and Corn Dogs.

KDF Fest a ville


Happy Hour with $2 beers returns weekdays from 4-6 p.m. Throughout the venue, guests will also have a variety of drink options to choose from at one of five full service bars.


Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville Bars include:

  • Drake’s By the River: Full Service Bar, with specialty Thunder Punch drink, cornhole and giant JENGA games, located by the Miller Lite Music Stage.
  • Firefly Sweet Tea Bar: Full Service Bar serving Sweet Tea Vodka, with relaxation and hammock area, cornhole, and special drink promotions 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. weekdays.
  • Chow Wagon Beer Garden: One of the go-to spots for Happy Hour, full-service bar that comes complete with a new stone bar, bourbon barrel tables and enhanced ambience with chandeliers and lighting.
  • Great Bar inside Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville: Full service bar, ready for Happy Hour weekdays from 4-6 p.m.
  • Bourbon Bar by the Great Stage: Full service bar with a Bourbon atmosphere. Next to the Great Stage for all the concerts.

KDF fest a ville

Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville opens Thursday, April 28, for a nine-day run ending Derby Eve, Friday, May 6. Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, except Sunday 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.  Admission is a 2016 Pegasus Pin. Kroger is title sponsor of the event, with contributing sponsor Miller Lite.


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Breeders’ Cup returns to Louisville KY Monday, Apr 25 2016 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 25, 2016) – The Breeders’ Cup, one of Thoroughbred horseracing’s most prestigious international events, has today announced that it will return to Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky in 2018.  As part of the company’s ongoing strategy to maintain a three-year out host site plan, Breeders’ Cup will work closely with Churchill Downs and the local Louisville community to drive excitement and anticipation for the event over the next few years.


One of the world’s most iconic and recognized tracks, Churchill Downs last hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships in 2011. The return to Louisville reflects the Breeders’ Cup commitment to bring the event to the country’s best racetracks and to combine the sport’s best racing with best-in-class dining, hospitality and entertainment.


“We are thrilled to announce our return to Louisville,” said Breeders’ Cup President and CEO, Craig Fravel. “Churchill Downs’ ongoing, significant investment in their facility to enhance the experience for participants and fans aligns perfectly with our desire to conduct one of the best racing events in the world, and we’re looking forward to another landmark event in 2018.”

Breeders cup logo

The 35th Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be held on Friday, November 2 and Saturday, November 3, 2018 and televised live by NBC Sports Group.


Since 2011, Churchill Downs has invested more than $67 million in the facility to further elevate the experience for all fans and participants, while also introducing new, in-demand luxury seating and entertainment options.  The improvements include Clubhouse enhancements, Winner’s Circle Suites, Grandstand Terrace & Rooftop Garden, The Mansion and the installation of the world’s largest 4,000 Ultra High Definition Big Board.


“We are excited that the Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be returning in 2018 to Churchill Downs Racetrack, the city of Louisville and Kentucky,” said Bill Carstanjen, Chief Executive Officer, Churchill Downs Incorporated. “Fan support for the Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs has been spectacular in the eight previous visits and our track has been the scene of many of the most important performances in the event’s history. I’m confident the return of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships to Churchill Downs will be an unforgettable event.”


The 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be the ninth time that the event will be hosted at Churchill Downs which, at that time, will be tied with Santa Anita Park in California for the most ever held at one venue.  In years past, largely in part to the incredible support of the Louisville community and Kentucky residents, Churchill Downs has hosted the largest Breeders’ Cup’s crowds, including a record-breaking two-day attendance figure of 114,353 in 2010, which also set a two-day on-track handle record of $22,515,318 and a total two-day handle record of $173,857,697. In 2018 these numbers have the potential to reach all-time highs as interest in the Breeders’ Cup continues to grow.


About Breeders’ Cup

The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships. The Breeders’ Cup also administers the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The 2016 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 13 (grade I) races and purses totalling $26 million, will be held Nov. 4-5 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., and will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup Web site, www.breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.


About Churchill Downs Racetrack

Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on May 7, 2016. The track’s 2016 Spring Meet is scheduled for April 30-July 2. The track has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships eight times. For more information visit www.ChurchillDowns.com

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Louisville Ky bridge and construction work can’t be blamed for Thunder traffic tomorrow Friday, Apr 22 2016 


No work and no new closures Saturday
LOUISVILLE, Ky.  – With hundreds of thousands of people expected in Downtown Louisville and Southern Indiana on Saturday for Thunder Over Louisville, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Walsh Construction want to make the trip as easy as possible for the large crowds.
The air show and fireworks display will mean a brief break in activity for crews working on the Downtown Crossing portion of the Ohio River Bridges Project.  No construction work and no new overnight closures are scheduled for Saturday.
Crews with Walsh Construction have been working this week to wrap up as many activities as possible, move equipment when feasible and open additional streets to traffic.
 kennedy bridge construction
Although crews are suspending construction Saturday, multiple areas along the shoreline in Downtown Louisville and Southern Indiana remain active work zones and are off-limits.
Private security personnel, along with the heightened police presence throughout the area, will be monitoring the fenced-off areas of construction.  With extensive construction activity underway, entering one of these areas poses a risk to trespassers. Signage is posted.
Traffic Information
Interstate Closures
No new overnight interstate or ramp closures are planned for Saturday. Long-term interstate and ramp closures remain in place. Closures of note for drivers to be aware of include:
·         Kennedy Bridge is closed to traffic, with no direct access from I-65 South to I-64 West, I-64 East and I-71 North. The signed detours are I-264 and I-265.
·         Ramp from I-64 East to I-65 North is closed.
·         Ramp from Story Avenue to I-64 West is closed.
·         Ramp from Court Avenue to I-65 South (Jeffersonville) is closed.
Several streets within the project area have been cleared of construction activity.
Clear of Construction Activity for Thunder Over Louisville:
Floyd Street                             Frankfort Avenue
Jackson Street                         Jefferson Street
Liberty Street                          Main Street (right parking lane will be closed)
Market Street                          Mellwood Avenue
Preston Street                         River Road (right lane of eastbound River Rd. will be closed)
Story Avenue                           Witherspoon Street
Check with Louisville Metro Police for specific road closures associated with Thunder Over Louisville: https://louisvilleky.gov/government/police/thunder-over-louisville-street-closures.
Riverside Drive will be open Saturday for Thunder Over Louisville. Market Street will be closed from Clark Street to Riverpointe Plaza.
Find all of the latest traffic information and more details on the Ohio River Bridges Project at www.kyinbridges.com.
The Downtown Crossing includes the new Abraham Lincoln Bridge, an improved Kennedy Bridge and interstate connections on both sides of the river. Substantial completion of the entire Downtown Crossing is scheduled for December 2016.
Navigate traffic with KYTC, www.511.ky.gov, and Waze, www.waze.com.

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Bats to bring in 10 millionth fan to their Louisville Ky stadium tonight Friday, Apr 22 2016 


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – As Thunder Over Louisville approaches, the Louisville Bats are approaching their 10 millionth fan at Louisville Slugger Field since the stadium first opened its gates on April 12, 2000. Since 2000, the Bats have drawn 9,998,623, making the 1,377th fan through the gatestonight, the 10 millionth fan. The Bats have surpassed 500,000 fans in each season since 2000, including a franchise record 685,863 the year the ballpark opened, the 20th-best season attendance in Minor League baseball history at the time.


In the 11 seasons since 2005, the Bats have been in the top five in International League attendance nine times, and in the top three in the league six times. The Bats led the IL in attendance in both 2007 and 2008 surpassing 630,000 fans in each of those seasons.


“It’s been proven over time that Louisville has some of the most passionate fans in all of Minor League Baseball.  With the surpassing of the 10 million mark in attendance since this beautiful ballpark opened back in 2000, it just proves that again”, stated Bats Senior Vice President Greg Galiette. “We as an organization are very fortunate to have a great relationship not only with our fans, but also with the Cincinnati Reds. We look forward to many more successful years here on the waterfront of Downtown Louisville.”


Louisville Slugger Field’s unique design with fixed seats, a lawn area and patio’s give fans plenty of options to view the game. The stadium includes 32 luxury suites, and 850 club level seats for fans to sit above the field and look out over downtown Louisville and the Ohio River. When entering the stadium fans are standing in a restored train shed building that was part of the Brinly-Hardy Company which began selling cast-iron plows in the 1800’s.

Photo by Eric Bentley

Photo by Eric Bentley


To keep up with the demand for seating throughout Louisville Slugger Field the stadium has undergone significant seating additions for fans to choose from. Most recently, the right field patio deck has been covered from weather, a picnic area has been added on the right field side of the stadium and there has been added seating on the Overlook Deck for fans to enjoy the game from the outfield in the open space.


Prior to this season, the Club Level seats were redone, now with added padding on both the chair-back and bottom of the seat. Giving fans another addition that sit in the Club Level, single-game ticket holders now have $5 of loaded value added to their ticket that can be used at concession stands or team store.


The Bats continue their season-opening 10-game homestand with games two and three against the Indianapolis Indians on Friday at 7:05 p.m. The homestand will end with the Thunder Over Louisville Game at 2:05 on Saturday, gates opening at 12:00 p.m.


The Bats have averaged 8,827 fans per game at Louisville Slugger Field since its opening in 2000 and have totaled over 9.9 million fans through 16 seasons. Tickets for all regular season games are available. The entire 2016 Bats schedule, including updated promotions and special events, can be found at batsbaseball.com. Single-game tickets may be purchased online, by calling 1-855-228-8497 or by visiting the Louisville Slugger Field box office. Full and partial season tickets, along with group outings and suite rentals are available by calling the Bats front office at 502-212-2287.

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LouisvilleKY’s THE WEEK: Some Justice, Some Horseflesh and Something’s a Thunder Friday, Apr 22 2016 

The Derby horse are here early this year, and so is the media throng. For my interview with Jennie Rees for the Rusty Satellite Show this week, I went with photographer Bill Brymer to Churchill Downs’ backside, and recommend it highly. This is before all the tents, all the media, all the hangers-on, so it was just me and Bill hanging with the horses, their connections and people who know the game.

Bill got the shot above of Derby contender Mohaymen, who was the story of the day. We watched Jennie interview a Japanese trainer, who has Lani in the big race, and tried to keep  up with Jennie as she darted from one thing to another.

Jennie Rees with me on the backside. Pic by Bill Brymer

Jennie Rees with me on the backside. Pic by Bill Brymer

Jennie’s story is both inspiring and telling of the media climate. She was offered a buyout at the Courier-Journal after three decades — which included a full year of salary — and is taking advantage. She’s already got multiple sources of income and made the key decision that her career should be more focused on racing than on journalism.  Of course, I’ll be interested to see how the C-J covers the track without its key turf writer, who  will be spending parts of Derby Day reporting for WAVE-TV.

You can hear the interview here:

Biebs Was Here: You may not have heard that Justin Bieber was here this week. I picked up a couple of young girls crazy for the young man at the Seelbach in a Lyft. They were very excited. There were thousands just like them around the Yum! Center. They told me they (their parents) paid $2,000 for 2nd row tickets and a Meet-and-Greet with Bieber, which they said he canceled.

All SET For Great Dining: You can also hear my talk with Joey Wagner on the show, including his description of his new SET restaurant, now setting up in the former Cunningham’s space across the street from the Palace. Joey is the king of celebrities, and vows that he’s going to be inviting Palace performers in for pre- and post-concert meals, prepared by a great chef. Reserve me a table.

KYderbyBookTHE Book on the Kentucky Derby: I met this week with Cathy Shircliff, publisher the new book, The Kentucky Derby, by Bill Doolittle. You have to check out the DigiMark technology that comes with it that allows you to see video on your phone by simply hovering over a page in the book. Doolittle, who was among the media checking out Mohaymen at the track Wednesday, will be signing books at the Readers Corner on Frankfort Avenue tonight at 5.

The Chris Thieneman Trial: Did you notice that when he was arrested, Chris Thieneman’s face was the lead story on every TV station’s newscast? He faced accusations from an ex-girlfriend that he assaulted her in a business some 32 months ago. Well, he was found NOT GUILTY of the most serious charge Tuesday, which went unnoticed in TV newsrooms. And a C-J story led with a misleading headline — “Thieneman Convicted on Wanton Endangerment.” Read my take here.

Stacey Servo... Pic by Rick Redding

Stacey Servo… Pic by Rick Redding

Servo is New 2 This: It was great to see that Greater Louisville Inc. is focused on Talent Attraction enough to hire New2Lou founder and Rusty Satellite Show veteran Stacey Servo. A quote from Deanna Epperley Karem in the hiring release: “Being a transplant to Louisville herself, we think she brings a wonderful balance of real-life experience and interpretation, as well as, a technical skillset that can help us with our internet and social media strategies around attracting folks to Greater Louisville.”

Hatmaker Tops the List in Jtown: After an intense two-week search, Mayor Bill Dieruf and the Jeffersontown City Council selected one of their own to replace Rick Sanders as Police Chief. Major Ken Hatmaker has been with the department since 2001. You can hear him on an up coming Jeffersontown Chamber podcast.

Some Fresh (Fire) Barbecue: Speaking of the Jtown podcast, listen in to my talk with entrepreneur Matthew Saltzman, a business turnaround specialist who is breathing new life into the FireFresh Barbecue franchise. I hit him up for a free meal at the ribbon cutting this week at the new store on Blankenbaker. Here that here:

A Champion for Breakfast: My pals in the Breakfast of Champions came up with a great speaker for our May 10 event at the University Club. It’s Harry Pickens, the renowned jazz pianist, who promises to play some piano for us while also offering an inspiring message about reducing stress and living life. I’ll post the Facebook invite soon.

It’s Child Abuse Prevention Month: So that’s the topic of my health column in Insider Louisville.

Chocolate Whiskey Slushies for Everyone: Expect some surprises at the 3rd Turn Brewery as Ballotin Chocolate Whiskey and the Rusty Satellite Show present our second “Cocktails with Champions” at J-town’s coolest bar, 3rd Turn Brewery. When it’s over, you can walk home with me.


Thunderous Applause: Enjoy the fireworks Saturday. I’m especially interested in hearing the music, for the first time provided by Teddy Abrams and the Louisville Orchestra.





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Louisville Ky’s Thunder also reaches the ground Wednesday, Apr 20 2016 

Louisville, KY. – You can do a lot more at Thunder Over Louisville this year than simply look to the sky. Sponsored by Ford Motor Company, Ford’s Thunder on the Ground activities will offer numerous ways to entertain friends and family members as well. From the Thunder FoodFest to the Interactive Display Area to the Kid’s Play Areas on the Great Lawn, there’s refreshments and entertainment galore to be found all over the venue. Some attractions require a 2016 Pegasus Pin admission, but some activities are completely free. Most are open from 11:00 a.m. until the fireworks show at 9:30 p.m.

 kdf derby festival logo

Some of the Ford Thunder on the Ground activities include:

  • Thunder on the North Great Lawn – 2016 Pegasus Pin admission. Opens at 9 a.m., featuring food, Beer Garden and Thunder Sound. (The rest of Waterfront Park will also open at 9 a.m. on Thunder Day) (NO TENTS, STAKES, TAPE OR PETS.)
  • Meijer Family Fun Zone on the West Belvedere – 2016 Pegasus Pin admission. Opens at 11 a.m., featuring kids activities, face painting, food, Beer Garden and Thunder Sound. (NO TENTS, STAKES, TAPE OR PETS.)
  • Thunder Chow Wagon – 2016 Pegasus Pin admission. Opens at 11 a.m., featuring food, a Beer Garden and Thunder Sound.  (NO TENTS, STAKES, TAPE OR PETS.)
  • Lyndsey & Olivia Henken will perform on the Miller Lite Music Stage inside the Thunder Chow Wagon. Lyndsey takes the stage at 3 p.m. and Olivia at 7 p.m.
  • Abraham Lincoln Bridge Replica – Fans can have their photos taken with a replica of the new Lincoln Bridge sponsored by RiverLink (the new electronic tolling system).  The bridge is set up just inside the entrance of the Thunder Chow Wagon.

    Photo from KDF's Instagram Page.

    Photo from KDF’s Instagram Page.

  • The Interactive Display Area on the South Great Lawn opens at 11 a.m.  Attractions include:  Ford Xperience Tour; Great Big Idaho Potato; U.S. Marines Chin-up Challenge; U.S. Air Force Flight Simulator; U.S. Army Display featuring a Blackhawk helicopter; U.S. Navy; U.S. Air Force Flight Simulator; Kentucky National Guard and much more!
  • Kid’s Play Areas: The interactive attractions on the South Great Lawn include Merry Go Round, Moon Bounce Obstacle Course, Rock Wall, Super Slide, Ali-Baba Magic Carpet and more.
  • The Thunder FoodFest will offer a wide variety of tasty treats from more than 100 food vendors from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the Chow Wagon, Great Lawn, West Belvedere, and along Witherspoon Street and East River Road.
  • Beer Gardens, with Pegasus Pin admission, will be open at the Chow Wagon, Meijer Family Fun Zone on the West Belvedere, North Great Lawn and East River Road near the Big Four Pedestrian Bridge.
  • Pegasus Pin trading fans can add to their collections by visiting the following locations on Thunder Day fromnoon to 7 p.m.: Pin Wagon at 4th and River Road, Bingham Way and Festival Plaza (near Chow Wagon entrance), Preston and Witherspoon (NE Corner) and Second and Main (NW side of Main).
  • Official Derby Festival Merchandise, including ThunderWear, will be available at the Waterfront Chow Wagon, South Great Lawn, East Great Lawn, 2nd Street and River Road, 3rd Street and River Road, 4th Street and River Road, Preston and Witherspoon, Bingham and Witherspoon Street, River Road and Bingham Way and in Southern Indiana.
  • Merchant Row along Witherspoon will feature vendors selling everything from sunglasses to jewelry and hand-drawn caricatures.


Presenting sponsors of the 2016 Thunder Over Louisville are Horseshoe Southern Indiana, KentuckyOne Health, LG&E, Meijer, UPS, and Valero.

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