McDonald’s Restaurants of Kentuckiana return in 2014 as the title sponsor of the Thunder Funder Program.  This is their ninth consecutive year as title sponsor.  The program helps raise funds for the 2014 Thunder Over Louisville show – the Kentucky Derby Festival’s Opening Ceremonies, on April 12.

This year’s McDonald’s Thunder Funder runs from April 1 to April 29.  98 area McDonald’s restaurants will donate a portion of their large drink sales revenue to help support Thunder. The promotion coincides with McDonald’s $1.00 drink campaign, with large drinks served in a commemorative Thunder Over Louisville cup.

“We’re very grateful to McDonald’s Restaurants of Kentuckiana for continuing to sponsor this program,” said Mike Berry, Kentucky Derby Festival President and CEO. “Their generous commitment has proved to be a tremendous component for Thunder Over Louisville fund-raising. It also gives the community a chance to support the show.”

The 2014 McDonald’s Thunder Funder Preview Party also returns this year and will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 3, at Bowman Field. The event gives attendees a sneak peek at the Thunder show and will feature a McDonald’s playground area, elements of the Thunder Air Show and a pilot “meet and greet.” Admission is free with a 2014 Pegasus Pin or McDonald’s Thunder Funder cup.

“The Kentucky Derby Festival is a vital piece of the spirit and energy that makes our hometown so special and McDonald’s Restaurants of Kentuckiana is proud to show our support through the Thunder Funder Program,” said Ira Salls, McDonald’s Owner/Operator.  “We are honored to be a part of this fun, family-friendly event.”

Thunder Over Louisville – the Derby Festival’s Opening Ceremonies – is one of nearly 70 events produced by the Kentucky Derby Festival in the spring. The 2014 Thunder Over Louisville, themed “Throwback Thunder,” is set for Saturday, April 12, and will be the 25th annual production. The show is sponsored by Horseshoe Southern Indiana, KentuckyOne Health, LG&E, Meijer, UPS and Valero.

Since 1956, the Derby Festival has worked to bring the community together in celebration. The Festival is an independent community organization supported by 4,000 volunteers, 400 businesses and civic groups, Pegasus Pin sponsorships and event participation. This involvement has made the Festival the largest single-attended event in Kentucky and one of the leading community celebrations in the world.

June 21 - June 21