Wednesday October 18, 2017
News Topics

Meijer presents “The World’s Largest Halloween Party!”

October 5–8, 12–15, 19–22, & 26–29, 2017

It’s that time of year when the Louisville Zoo transforms into a storybook land and a photo opportunity is waiting around every corner during the Zoo’s “World’s Largest Halloween Party!” presented by Meijer. This year the Zoo celebrates its 36th year of the popular party on October 5–8, 12–15, 19–22, & 26–29, 2017

Tickets are now on sale.

Children can dress up in their wildest costumes and set off on a magical journey through the Zoo.
The Party features costumed characters for guests to meet and greet in fanciful, larger-than-life storybook scenes. Trick-or-treating is offered for kids 11 and under. In an effort to be “green,” the Zoo requests that children bring their own trick-or-treat bag to the event. The Zoo will not provide bags, but reusable cloth bags will be available for purchase for $2 in the Zoo’s gift shop whiles supplies last.

Louisville pumpkin carving artist Donna O’Bryan will have her beautifully carved artificial pumpkins on display nightly in the Glacier Run Black Cat Crossing area with cutout themes ranging from iconic movie characters to famous stars.

Fun themed areas include:   Continue reading

Louder Than Life will be making it’s annual appearance at Champions Park this weekend and weather will be just about perfect.  The two-day festival features music, food and drinks.  Headlining performances will feature Ozzy Osbourne with Zakk Wylde, Rob Zombie, Incubus, Stone Sour, Halestorm, and many more.  For the foodie, food will be showcasing many local and regional favorites ranging from fried chicken, barbecue, grilled cheese, hot dogs, tacos and gelato.  For the bourbon lover, many Kentucky bourbon distilleries will be featured, including Angel’s Envy, Jim Beam, and Buffalo Trace.

Gates open at 11:00 AM on both days.  Tickets are still available and prices range from $69.50 for Sunday only, $90 for Saturday only, $120 minimum for the entire weekend, to $280 for a VIP package.  If you are planning to attend, be sure to check the information page for what items are allowed to be taken in with you, pay close attention to the bag size restrictions.

If you have not attended the show before, check out last year’s Louder Than Life Festival.

Fox News Channel Hosts Visit Christi’s Cafe for Breakfast and Conversation

Christi’s Cafe will be hosting a live segment of the nationally broadcast “Fox & Friends” program next Wednesday morning.

The restaurant, a staple of Southwest Louisville at 12810 Dixie Highway in Valley Station, will be open at the usual 6AM time for breakfast but, in addition to a delicious breakfast, guests will be treated to a live television experience – not only as a spectator, but also with the opportunity for an on air appearance to discuss current events on the top rated morning show between 6 and 9 AM.

Christi’s Cafe is operated by Valley Station native Christi Druin who opened the restaurant in 2006 after spending years as a server herself.  Since then, the family-run business has grown to become an area favorite for regulars as well as new visitors.  Druin has great passion for her community, which shows through in her charitable work with local organizations like Shirley’s Way and others.

During the live remote segments, restaurant patrons will have the opportunity to discuss their opinions on current news stories, politics, and more with Fox News personalities in the restaurant as well as the hosts on the “Curvy Couch” back in the New York studio and the show’s more than a million viewers.

Visit Christi’s Cafe online at and learn more about the Fox & Friends program, the top-rated morning cable news show at


Fandomfest 2017 is ready to kick off tomorrow afternoon at the Jefferson Mall on Outer Loop.  The event, which draws fans of many genres from sci-fi and horror to comic books and literary works to anime and other art.  2017 marks the 12th year for the event, which started out as Fright Night in 2005.

Fandomfest runs from July 28 through 30 at the Jefferson Mall Event Space which many may remember as the former Macy’s.  Doors are open 4PM to 10PM Friday, 10AM to 7PM Saturday with after-hours events until 2AM, and 11AM to the 4PM close of the show on Sunday.  This marks the third home for Fandomfest in as many years after the event moved from the downtown Kentucky International Convention Center due to construction and from the Kentucky Exposition Center due to contract issues.

The new venue brings two floors of vendors, celebrity appearances, fan group meetings, gaming activities and – in a welcome change from previous years – ample free parking for attendees and easy access to shopping and dining opportunities.

The 2017 Fandomfest features celebrities such as Matthew Lillard; Netflix hit Stranger Things’ Peyton Wich (Troy); Flash Gordon’s Sam Jones; Rogue One’s Princess Leia, Ingvild Deila; Original Starsky, Paul Michael Glaser, WWE stars Sting and Al Snow, along with many other voice, television, and movie actors, authors, artists, and more.  A partial list of appearances is available on the Fandomfest website.

In addition to celebrity appearances, meet and greets, Q&A sessions, the event also plays host to a large marketplace where collectors can find both new and vintage toys, artwork, novels and more.  On top of that, there are numerous panels that discuss topics like Science in Comics, games like Fandom Jeopardy, competitions like the Cosplay Contest, and helpful sessions like Writing Tips for Genre Writing.  Attendees looking to relax can even participate in some free retro gaming sessions.

Find full schedules, hours, panels, and more in the official Fandomfest app for iOS and Android or on the event website,

Tickets are available at the event box office (cash only) and in advance online starting at $30.


The annual Abbey Road on the River festival, a five-day celebration of The Beatles and their music, will run from May 25 through 29th in Jeffersonville.

The festival has moved across the river to Jeffersonville, so fans who have attended in the past when Abbey Road was hosted on the Louisville Waterfront, may need help navigating the new venue.

To help with that, the 2017 AROTR venue map showing the festival’s four main outdoor stages in Big Four Station Park, as well as the other event venues, has just been released.

The Budweiser Stage A is located at the northwest corner of the park, Stage B is in the middle of the park, Four Roses’ Stage C is located just off the Big Four Bridge ramp, and Stage D is near the south end of Big Four Station Park.  Additional performances will be held at the Clarion and Sheraton hotels as well as in other area venues.

In addition to the map, the finalized schedule for the 2017 lineup has been published and is now available on the Abbey Road on the River website.  This year’s lineup includes dozens of acts, including Herman’s Hermits, The Family Stone, Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere & the Raiders, Steve Holley, and many more.

A free concert starring starring Jake Clemons from Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band on Thursday, May 25 marks the start of the 2017 festival.  Tickets are available online.


On Saturday, April 15, Hunter S. Thompson fans from all over will gather at the LFPL’s Main Library at 301 York St to celebrate the life, work, and legacy of the Gonzo journalist creator.  Expanded panel discussions, spoken word and poetry performances, and an all-local musical lineup set this year’s festival apart from previous years.

GonzoFest Louisville will host two different panel discussions on the topics of The Literary Impact of Hunter S. Thompson and Freedom of Speech/Media Literacy.  Dr. Lee Remington Williams JD, PhD, of Bellarmine University will lead a 45-minute lecture titled Politics:  Decadent and Depraved, followed by a question-and-answer session.

Journalist Michael Lindenberger will moderate the panel discussions and lecture.  All panels and spoken word performances will take place inside the Main Library.

GonzoFest Louisville will also feature an all-local lineup with music by Nellie Pearl, Otis Junior, Brother Wolves, Satellite Twin, Brooks Ritter, and Sativa Gumbo.  All bands will perform in the library parking lot on York St.  Juan Thompson, Hunter’s son, will be here as well, signing copies of his book Stories I Tell Myself:  Growing Up with Hunter S. Thompson.  Additionally, the festival will host a screening of Where the Buffalo Roam, the semi-biographical film based on the experiences of Hunter S. Thompson starring Thompson’s friend Bill Murray.  Dean Otto, Curator of Film for the Speed Art Museum, will introduce Where the Buffalo Roam.

The 2017 GonzoFest Louisville celebration is from noon until 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 15.  The festival will take place both on the exterior grounds of the Main branch and inside the library.  Admission is free, but attendees are encouraged to make a $10 donation when entering the festival.  A portion of the proceeds will benefit LFPL.

Learn more at

Yesterday, Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) Superintendent Dr. Donna Hargens announced a $65,000 grant from GE Appliances, a Haier company, to support a project manager that will work to accelerate the Talent Development Academy initiative already underway at JCPS and facilitate alignment between high schools, higher education, workforce development, and industry.

jcpsJCPS Talent Development Academies are small learning communities organized around career themes that show students links between their academic subjects and real-world applications and career experience.  The academies involve employers and higher education institutions in preparing students for college and careers.

“These academies will offer career pathways from healthcare to manufacturing and engineering, and students will be able to see what they are learning in English, math and science come alive in ways that apply to their career themes,” Dr. Hargens said.  “This is exciting, and I appreciate GE Appliances’ generous gift through the Jefferson County Public Education Foundation to help kick start this project.”

The academies differ from traditional academic and vocational education models because they prepare high school students for both college and careers. The JCPS Talent Development Academies will align with the identified industry clusters for our region – healthcare, advanced manufacturing/engineering, business services, information technology, hospitality & tourism, and skilled trades.  The integrated curriculum will provide broad information about a field and weave this theme into an academic curriculum that prepares students for postsecondary enrollment. Many students will also graduate from high school with career certifications and/or college credit.  Studies have found that students in college and career academies perform better in high school and are more likely to continue into postsecondary education.

The project manager position will focus on supporting the execution of a comprehensive project plan that aligns industry focus with school curriculums.  In partnership with KentuckianaWorks, Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI), and JCPS, the project manager will work to develop career roadmaps that detail education, skills, and training for progression in careers across the six identified industries.  The project manager will also work to develop and coordinate an approach, processes, tools and systems that will facilitate the ongoing engagement of employers in the JCPS Talent Development Academies.

The academies are created with input from local business and economic development leaders.  The idea is to create a workforce with skills currently needed by local employers and to align resources with growing career opportunities for students.

“The JCPS Talent Development Academies will inspire, engage and educate students in a way that helps them better prepare for relevant careers in today’s economy,” said GE Appliances President & CEO Chip Blankenship. “We’re thrilled to provide this grant to help accelerate the initiative for the benefit of students, their parents, employers and our community. This is another step in the journey GE Appliances is on with our great partners at JCPS to educate and excite students about careers in manufacturing. Education is not one size fits all. This is a program that will encourage every student to follow a track that will best apply their talents so they can enter college or the workplace ready for the opportunities that await them.”

Supported by the Ford Next Generation Learning Network, which has more than 35 partner communities across the United States, JCPS is leveraging best practices to implement the academy model.  All 23 comprehensive and magnet high schools in JCPS were eligible to submit a proposal to join the initiative.  After a review process, 11 JCPS high schools will begin transformation to the academy model in the fall of 2017, pending a $2.7 million budget request and approval from the JCPS Board of Education.  The transformation would occur over a three-year period.  By 2020, the goal is that 100 percent of JCPS graduates are college or career ready.

Through a partnership of KentuckianaWorks, GLI, and Jefferson County Public Schools, community engagement in this process is being driven by a local launch team and a guiding team comprised of business/industry, community, and education leaders.  The launch team, convened by Tom Quick of GE Appliances, a Haier company, focuses on aligning the transitions between education and workforce, as well as ensuring curriculum aligns with skills desired by employers.  The guiding team sets the overall community engagement objectives for the work and is setting up a structure to ensure that all programs have business/industry partners advising them and providing experiential learning opportunities for students, such as field trips, job shadowing, real-world projects, and internships.

JCPS envisions that all graduates of Talent Development Academies will be prepared, empowered, and inspired, as stated in the JCPS strategic plan, Vision 2020.

“They will be prepared by graduating with a high school diploma, an industry recognized credential, and six to nine hours of college credit,” said Dr. Hargens.  “They will be empowered because they will have built workplace skills through team projects and experiential learning.  They will be inspired because they know what their next steps are and are passionate about future educational and career opportunities.”