By Ruby Thomas, Record Staff Writer
In honor of the Fighting Irish’s first football game in Louisville, the Notre Dame Club of Greater Louisville has organized pre-game events that re-imagine tailgating on Labor Day weekend.
“It’s a really exciting time for Kentucky fans. They’re thrilled,” said Beth Thomas, president of the Notre Dame Club of Greater Louisville, during a recent interview. “It’s important to leverage the excitement of the team coming here for the first time with being a force for good in the community.”
The University of Notre Dame will play against the University of Louisville Cardinals at 8 p.m. Sept. 2 at the University of Louisville Cardinal Stadium, 2800 S. Floyd St.
Before the game begins, members of the local alumni club and other fans will worship together and take part in service projects to help needy individuals in the community.
Thomas said it’s become a tradition for Notre Dame alumni clubs to organize events when the team comes to their town.
The Fighting Irish’s impending visit to the city has “invigorated” the local alumni club and members wanted to do more than a pep rally to mark the team’s first game in Louisville, she added.
The pre-game plans include:
- On Sept. 1, club members will serve lunch to the homeless at the Cathedral of the Assumption’s Sandefur Dining Room between 10:45 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
- A Mass of thanksgiving will follow in the Cathedral at 2 p.m. Sept. 1. Father Ronald Domhoff will be the celebrant. All are welcome.
- After Mass, Notre Dame fans are invited to help club members with a project to benefit Family Scholar House — a local non-profit that serves families and youth. Volunteers will assemble “welcome home kits” that will include household cleaning items for needy families served by the organization.
The project will take place on the Goose Island Beer Bridge Walkway at Fourth Street Live!
- A pep rally will follow the service project at 4 p.m. at Fourth Street Live! The event is free and open to the public.
- The “Bluegrass and Gold Irish Fest” will be held on Sept. 2 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Kentucky Derby Museum, located at 704 Central Avenue, at Churchill Downs. Tickets to this event are $20 and should be purchased in advance at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bluegrass-gold-irishfest-pre-game-party-tickets-54658189115.
- The kickoff will follow at 8 p.m. at Cardinal Stadium.
For more information, visit louisville.undclub.org/BluegrassAndGold.