Southern Indiana businesses prepare for Thunder crowds

By RACHAEL KRAUSE | WAVE 3 News

The countdown to Thunder Over Louisville is on and many businesses in southern Indiana are getting ready.

Everywhere you look, Jeffersonville is preparing for big crowds.

It’s Cox’s Hot Chicken’s first Thunder — but they’re not worried.

“You know, I think we kinda were but with the weather being 68 degrees, I think it’s going to be pretty crazy,” Andrew Cox, owner of Cox’s Hot Chicken, said.

MORE >> Your online guide to Thunder Over Louisville

Reservations pour in while they set up.

“We have all the tents and everything coming in tomorrow,” Cox said. “Going to have a beer tent outside and live music inside.”

Down the road, Kingfish is putting up fences and tents for big crowds. And Buckhead is taking reservations for the big day.

“Planning for Thunder is a year-round job for the entire team at Buckhead in Jeffersonville,” spokesman Michael Getz said.

The restaurant will have buffets and party tents set up for guests. Getz says Thunder is their busiest day of the year.

“We serve over 1,000 people every year,” he said. “Every table inside the restaurant and on the outside deck is reserved and the entire riverside lawn is full.”

People can still purchase tickets online at buckheadmoutaingrill.com. General admission is $125, or $50 for children ages 8 to 12. Private table reservations are more costly and must be made over the phone.

Bridge and Barrel inside the Sheraton Louisville Riverside Hotel is expecting something a little quieter.

“We’re going have about 120 people in our restaurant,” David Hester, the hotel’s food and beverage director, said. “Our patio is going to be open from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.”

Even with Buckhead Mountain Grill in front of them, Hester says their view will bring in traffic.

“Being on the second floor really gives us a leg up on everybody else because we have full and unblocked access to fireworks and the air show,” Hester said.

Parlour Pizza staff is nearly ready for Saturday as staff finalize every last detail inside the restaurant for the big day.

PREPARE FOR THUNDER

“Just making sure we have plenty of beer and all that stuff stocked up for our guests,” Serenity Jones, general manager at Parlour Pizza, said.

Instead of a high price ticket, they charge just $5 to get in. The low price often brings a big turnout and the cash goes to a good cause.

“The cash we collect throughout the day, we actually have teamed up with a local animal shelter and we’ll be donating that,” Jones said.

Now, all that’s left is to sit back and hope for good weather.

“You never know what to expect, but we’re definitely really excited and our staff is ready to rock out another year,” Jones said.

“We’re just going to get ready for it, staff up as much as we can and hope for the best,” Cox said.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun, it’s the biggest fireworks show in the country and we’ve got a front row seat for it,” Hester said.

A lot of businesses along the riverfront say come rain or shine on Saturday, they’re ready for big crowds and whatever else Thunder over Louisville has to offer.

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