Business Briefs

Bourbon Country Named a Top Travel Destination by Lonely Planet

Bourbon Country has been named one of the “Top 10 Travel Destinations in the United States” for 2018 by Lonely Planet.

The travel media authority named the Kentucky region No. 8 on its list of must-see places to visit.

“The state of Kentucky is known for its rolling hills topped with stately horse farms, its fierce devotion to college basketball and, most importantly, its bourbon,” Lonely Planet said. “The state’s distilling heritage runs deep, and those looking for a taste should head straight to Kentucky Bourbon Country, the golden triangle between Louisville, Lexington and Elizabethtown, where this seasoned spirit comes to life.”

Lonely Planet also gave a shout-out to Louisville’s Frazier History Museum, which will become the “Official Starting Point of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® Experiences” this August.

This marks the eighth year for the “Best in the U.S.” list, which is created by a community of travel experts and, according to Lonely Planet, shines the spotlight on the top 10 “underrated, rejuvenated and out-of-this-world spots to visit in 2018. From natural wonders to captivating coastlines and up-and-coming cities, these destinations promise big things this year.”

California’s Redwood Coast, a picturesque region spanning 175 miles of coastline and home to towering forests of giant redwood trees (just four hours north of San Francisco), landed in the top spot.

Other destinations spotlighted include: Boise, Idaho; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Florida’s Space Coast; Cincinnati; Midcoast, Maine; Richmond, Va.; Minneapolis; and Southeastern Utah.

To view the complete list, visit:

Applications Open for Inaugural Health Equity Fund Grants

The Community Foundation of Louisville in partnership with the Center for Health Equity, Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence, the Humana Foundation and Metro United Way are pleased to announce the establishment of the Health Equity Fund to support local nonprofits working towards improving root causes of health. The $150,000 Fund will award a minimum of $40,000 each year for the next three years to reduce health inequities in our community and improve health outcomes. 

The Community Foundation of Louisville and its partners encourage nonprofits to apply for one of two $20,000 grants at by March 5, 2018.  The grant award winners will be notified in late March.


• Nonprofit, 501(c)(3) public charities in good standing, or charitable projects that are fiscally sponsored by a tax-exempt organization

• Located in and serve the residents of Jefferson County

• Equity is a core value of their work

• Propose a use of funds that will strengthen the organization’s ability to address barriers that prevent students from achieving their full educational potential 

Born out of the work of the Center for Health Equity and through a collaboration of organizations working to reduce inequities and improve health outcomes, Louisville received the Culture of Health Prize and an award of $25,000 award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2016. Because of the generous donations by Community Foundation of Louisville, Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence, the Humana Foundation and Metro United Way, the initial prize money was leveraged to raise a total of $150,000 to start the Louisville Health Equity Fund.

Although the Culture of Health prize is a phenomenal celebration of the hard work in Louisville, the 2017 Health Equity Report shows a 12.6-year difference in life expectancy among populations, depending on where you live or who you are. In order to improve health outcomes in our community, it is critical to address root causes through an equity lens. The Health Equity Fund seeks to highlight what it can look like to practice equity in a meaningful way. 

In January 2018, the Center for Health Equity engaged nearly 200 residents from numerous community groups and asked them to prioritize which of the 11 root causes highlighted in the 2017 Health Equity Report should be funded in the first round of grants from the Health Equity Fund. Education was a clear priority. For residents, education is inclusive of early childhood through postgraduate and is intricately linked to other root causes. 

In response to these discussions, the 2018 grants from the Health Equity Fund will strengthen nonprofit organizations’ ability to address barriers that prevent students from achieving their full educational potential. 

For questions about grants from the Health Equity Fund, please contact Aja Barber, or 502.574.6646.

Old Forester Distillery Names Erik Brown Head Of Visitor Experience

Old Forester recently appointed Erik Brown as Visitor Experience Manager for the Old Forester Distillery. Located at 117 and 119 Main St. along Louisville’s historic “Whiskey Row,” the distillery and bourbon experience will open in summer 2018.

In this new position, Brown will be responsible for the management and execution of tourism programs at the Old Forester Distillery. He will oversee events, tours, visits and retail sales at the Old Forester Distillery, ensuring a highly-engaging consumer and visitor experience.

“Erik brings a passion for creating memorable experiences, making him a great fit for our dynamic distillery and bourbon experience on Whiskey Row,” said Campbell Brown, Old Forester Distillery President. “We are proud to add him to our growing Old Forester Distillery team.”

Brown joins Brown-Forman from the Kentucky Derby Museum, where he was Vice President, Chief Development Officer. During his time at the Kentucky Derby Museum, Brown developed Fan Fest, the single largest annual admission day for the museum. He previously served as Director of Sales and Special Events at the Kentucky Derby Museum.

2018 Thunder Over Louisville Will Be Groovy

The Kentucky Derby Festival has announced the theme of this year’s Thunder Over Louisville and named the event’s sponsors. This year’s theme – “A Disco Thunder” – will celebrate disco music, and the fireworks soundtrack will be filled with the top hits of that era. Horseshoe Southern Indiana, LG&E, Meijer, UPS and Valero return as Presenting Sponsors of the day-long event set for Saturday, April 21.

“The continued generosity of these sponsors is a real gift to the community,” said Mike Berry, Kentucky Derby Festival President and CEO. “Thunder Over Louisville is a massive undertaking and because of their commitment we are able to continue producing the air and fireworks show fans have come to expect and anticipate all year long.”

This is the 28th consecutive year that UPS has been a presenting sponsor of Thunder Over Louisville. Horseshoe Southern Indiana has been a presenting sponsor for 19 consecutive years; LG&E and Meijer have both been Thunder sponsors for the past 12 years in a row; and this is the fifth year for Valero.

In addition to the five presenting sponsors, Ford Motor Company returns as sponsor of Ford’s Thunder on the Ground. Thunder Over Louisville’s 2018 Official Broadcast Partners are WLKY-TV and SummitMedia’s 106.9 PLAY. The Galt House is the Official Hotel of the event.

The Festival is also planning for another packed air show in 2018, which could include additional military aircraft participation. The show will feature the USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team, the USAF Heritage Flight, the U.S. Army Golden Knights, the KC Flight Formation Team (new to Thunder) and Younkin Airshows. Additional details on the 2018 Thunder Air Show will be released closer to the show date.

For Thunder fans who want a front row seat to the show, tickets for the Thunder Over Louisville VIP Rooftop Party went on sale this week. The party features a VIP tent with the best view of the show, catered meals, open bar and private amenities. Individual tickets are $150 and special group opportunities are available for parties of 20 or more. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling 502.584.FEST.

Beatles vs. Stones tribute show comes to Louisville on April 24

The debate between the Beatles and the Rolling Stones has been going on ever since they first crossed paths on the charts 54 years ago. The argument at the time, and one that still persists, was that the Beatles were a pop group and the Stones were a rock band: the boys next door vs. the bad boys of rock. So who’s better? These two legendary bands will engage in an on-stage, throw down – a musical “showdown” if you will – on April 24 at the Brown Theatre at 7:30 p.m. courtesy of tribute bands Abbey Road and Satisfaction – The International Rolling Stones Show.

Taking the side of the Fab Four is Abbey Road, one of the country’s top Beatles tribute bands. With brilliant musicianship and authentic costumes and gear, Abbey Road plays beloved songs spanning the Beatles’ career. They face off against renowned Stones tribute band Satisfaction – The International Rolling Stones Show, who offer a faithful rendition of the music and style of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and the bad boys of the British Invasion.

Where did the idea for the show come from?

“Music fans never had a chance to see the Beatles and the Rolling Stones perform on the same marquee,” said Chris Legrand, who plays Mick Jagger in the show. “Now, music aficionados can watch this debate play out on stage.”

The Louisville show is part of a 110-stop tour of the U.S., Australia and Canada and has been touring since 2011.The show also performs long term residencies for a number of the Harrah’s Casino properties. The production includes some of the more popular songs from the two rock pioneers and covers the scope of their musical careers, although the set list for Satisfaction usually includes Rolling Stones songs up to the 1980s.

“They certainly have more pop songs but we’re a really great live show. The fans are in for an incredible night of music!” says LeGrand.

During the two-hour show, the bands perform three sets each, trading places in quick set changes and ending the night with an all-out encore involving both bands. The band members have their outfits custom-made since avid fans know exactly what the Beatles and Stones wore onstage during different time periods in their careers. There’s a lot of good-natured jabbing between the bands as well.

“Without Beatlemania, the Stones might still be a cover band in London,” said Chris Overall, who plays Paul. “There’s no question that the Beatles set the standard.”