Kiwanis Club gears up for Thunderfest

The Bowling Green Kiwanis Club is beginning to promote its largest annual fundraiser – Thunderfest.

The festival and fireworks display this year will be July 3 at the National Corvette Museum. Gates open at 4 p.m. and fireworks will begin about 9:30 p.m., Thunderfest Chairman Chad Folk said at a news conference Tuesday. This will be the 41st year the festival has been offered.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to get out and bring the community together in this wonderful event, especially around the Fourth of July,” Folk said.

Admission to the event is $5 a person or $15 for a carload, with children under 12 admitted free.

The cost of wristbands for children’s activities, such as inflatables, is $10, Folk said.

The event will feature music from Bowling Green-based band Salvage Town and military equipment displays from the National Guard, he said.

Proceeds from the event go to organizations that benefit children in the area such as Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Boys and Girls Club, he said.

“We distribute all of our proceeds back to the community and back to the children’s organizations,” Folk said.

The event is a chance for families in the community to create a holiday tradition or continue an already established tradition, he said.

Kiwanis Club members have spent about 10 months organizing this year’s Thunderfest, he said.

Attendance typically runs from 15,000 to 20,000 people each year, and Folk said he’s hoping for an even larger number of people to come out this year.

Last year, the festival raised $20,000 for children’s organizations, said Anne Grubbs, Bowling Green Kiwanis Club president.

Citizens First Bank, the title sponsor of the event, wanted to be involved in Thunderfest because of the connection with Kiwanis and that organization’s commitment to charities for children, said Kim Thomas, executive vice president of retail banking at Citizens First Bank.

Thunderfest is also a well-established event in the community.

“It’s just a good time,” Thomas said.

Thunderfest is a family friendly event that brings a sense of community to Bowling Green, Grubbs said.

“It’s such a big festival atmosphere,” she said.

Grubbs has been involved in the festival for about 10 years, since she joined the Kiwanis Club. The festival has been able to last for more than 40 years because of the united purpose of members of the Kiwanis Club, she said.

“This is such a cohesive group of people,” she said. “We’re not just a civic club, we’re a family.”


Brandenburg, Katie (2012, June). Kiwanis Club gears up for Thunderfest. Bowling Green Daily News. Retrieved from