Thunder Over Louisville

Celebrate the kick off to the Kentucky Derby at Thunder over Louisville… The event is not only bursting with vibrant, colorful fireworks (The largest firework displays in North America) but also presents a dazzling  air show from cutting-edge military jets and aircraft. Our hotel… the Galt House is “front row” and home to “Thunder Command” for the excitement. Enjoy this magnificent spectacle from our own private viewing suite! Rated as one of the top 100 events in North America, the Derby Festival’s Opening Ceremonies is truly a sight to behold.

Click here for the flyer – Thunder over Louisville 2017

Day 1 – Flights arrive at Louisville KY
The party starts here! Welcome to Kentucky… From rolling bluegrass-covered hills of legendary Horse Country to the Bourbon trail… Experience the unbridled spirit that runs wild in the Bluegrass State. Our home for the next 5 nights is the Galt House… Family owned and operated, the Galt House Hotel’s name has long been associated with gracious hospitality and a unique southern flair. The one thing the Galt House Hotel cannot be called is boring. After settling in from your flight, enjoy a scrumptious dinner at the hotel. The Galt House, Louisville KY (D)

Day 2 – Louisville – Local Touring
Our first stop today is a Backstretch Breakfast and Tour at Churchill Downs… Experiencing the atmosphere of a morning at the track, see and hear about the magical process of training world-class Thoroughbreds during their early morning workout. Thoroughbreds from the Derby will be working out during our visit! Lunch is at the Café Restaurant… This quaint, hospitality-driven restaurant never fails to wow its patrons with fresh ingredients, robust flavors, and a little something extra. Next, admire the world’s largest baseball bat before going inside to see how Louisville Sluggers are made… Have an all-star experience by swinging a bat just like Babe Ruth’s and share a dugout with Mickey Mantle (video-simulation). Next find the “greatness within” at the Muhammad Ali Center; Louisville’s most famous native son. Learn about Ali’s life story through six core values: respect, confidence, conviction, dedication, giving and spirituality. This is much more than a boxing museum! You’ll have some time to freshen up before we head to the Derby Dinner Playhouse… noted for their professional productions of Broadway musicals and lighthearted comedies. Each dinner theatre production comes alive with the magic of lights, costumes, a live orchestra, and a stage full of professional performers. We’ll delight in the fun comedy of Sister Act. When diva wannabe Deloris witnesses a murder, she is put under protective custody in a convent!  With her disco moves and singing talent, she breathes new life into the church and helps her fellow sisters find their voices.  A feel-good Broadway musical comedy based on the hit film! The Galt House, Louisville KY (B, D)

Day 3 – Lexington – Local Touring
After the breakfast at the hotel, we’ll depart for a truly unique experience; get a close-up look at the world’s premier Thoroughbred horse farm. Learn what it takes to train a Triple Crown Winner and see spectacular training facilities and miles of black and white equestrian fencing as it dances along the sprawling bluegrass countryside. You’ll have some time for lunch on your own before we head to another must see! Welcome to Keeneland Racetrack… With its tranquil setting and lovely stone fences and buildings, this national historic landmark is one of the most genteel and beautiful racetracks in the world. As the world’s leading Thoroughbred auction house, Keeneland has sold more champions and stakes winners than any other sales company in the world… we may be able to take in a race or two here! You’ll have some time to freshen up before our dinner aboard the Belle of Louisville… she is the oldest operating Mississippi River-style steamboat in the world. Though we know her today as the Belle of Louisville, she was originally named the Idlewild when she was built in 1914 at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She was designed to be a ferry and day packet vessel (for freight work), and was also outfitted for her later career as an excursion boat. Completely paddlewheel-driven with a steel hull that draws only 5′ of water, she was able to travel on virtually every navigable inland waterway, earning her the distinction of being the most widely traveled river steamboat in the nation. The Belle was named a National Historic Landmark on June 30, 1989. The Galt House, Louisville KY (B, D)

Day 4 – The Bourbon Trail
Today we will tour the Bourbon Trail. First stop the sophisticated and complex Barton 1792 distillery. This distinctly different bourbon created with precise craftsmanship. The bourbon is made from a signature “high rye” recipe and the marriage of selected barrels carefully chosen by their master distiller. 1792 Bourbon has an expressive and elegant flavor. Next we’ll head to the historic Talbott Tavern for lunch… The Tavern may be the world’s oldest bourbon bar and one of the earliest western stagecoach stops in America, according to local lore, the 1779 inn is also haunted. One of the specters is believed to be Jesse James, the notorious outlaw, who left still-visible bullet holes in the tavern walls during his stay. After a tasty lunch we’ll stop at the Spalding Hall home to the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History and the Bardstown Historical Museum. The Museum of Whiskey History boasts a 50-year collection of rare whiskey artifacts dating from pre-colonial days to post-Prohibition days. The museum features rare antique bottles, a moonshine still, advertising art, novelty whiskey containers. Our last stop today is a tour of Makers Mark Distillery… This unique, intimate bourbon experience will take you behind the scenes and into the inner workings of crafting the world’s finest bourbon. Get an in-depth look at the distillery from the view of one of the “makers” themselves. You will hear some fascinating stories (mostly true!) about our favorite redhead – an experience not to miss. Your evening is free to explore Louisville… enjoy our great downtown location! The Galt House, Louisville KY (B, L)

Day 5 – Louisville – Pre Thunder Over Louisville
After a leisurely morning we will head to the official Thunder Luncheon enjoy an all-inclusive tour of the distillery, where we’ll sample spirits and indulge in a great lunch. Take in the breathtaking views of the Louisville skyline from their third floor sky deck. Enjoy the sights and sounds from above as the 2017 Thunder Over Louisville Airshow take to the sky for practice before the big show. Next we’ll tour The Thunder Command Center… It controls the largest annual production in the Commonwealth. It relies on the service of every possible public agency from the Coast Guard to the Department of Corrections. It involves the rerouting of air traffic to Louisville International Airport, closing the Ohio River to commercial traffic, closing a state bridge, distributing sound by microwave to over 27 locations, a live television broadcast and providing food and restrooms for an estimated 600,000 people. Communication is tantamount to a production of this magnitude. The controllers for every aspect of the show are housed in this central location and communicate with their people on “Ground Zero”. Tonight you’ll have the opportunity to meet the Pilot’s from the Thunder Over Louisville Airshow… as we attend a private meet and greet Pilot’s Reception cocktail party. The Galt House, Louisville KY (B, L)

Day 6 – Saturday April 22nd – Thunder Over Louisville
Now in its 27th year, Thunder Over Louisville continues to deliver a pyrotechnics spectacular like no other. Created as the opening ceremonies of the Kentucky Derby Festival, it offers an explosive kick-off to three entire weeks of celebration in Louisville. With an estimated average attendance of half a million people, it has become the largest annual event in its region. The show continues to be the largest annual pyrotechnics display in North America thanks to the artistry of Zambelli Internationale and the production of Visual Presentations. Our home (the Galt House) is front row and home to Thunder Command for the fireworks and air show excitement. Rated as one of the top 100 events in North America, the Kentucky Derby Festival’s Opening Ceremonies is truly a sight to behold. We have our own private viewing suite overlooking the Ohio River and front and center for the air show and fireworks, so you don’t have to worry about the crowds or the weather… Enjoy snacks and drinks while we take in this magnificent spectacle! The Gault House, Louisville KY (B, D)

Day 6 – Louisville to home
After our final breakfast at the hotel, we’ll depart for the airport. We’ll fly home with great memories of the Blue Grass State! (B)

Thunder Over Louisville 17