Thunder Over Louisville Air Show and Fireworks

Today is the official kick-off for the Kentucky Derby Festival, so we’re kicking off Blog Derby Party 2010! Approximately 500,000 people will be in attendance this afternoon and evening in downtown Louisville for the Airshow, which begins at 3:00 pm and runs until the Fireworks start at 9:30 pm. There are usually more than sixty military and civilian planes involved in the airshow, and because so many of the planes are military there may be last-minute changes in the lineup due to national security needs. There will be helicopters, parachute teams, and hopefully my personal favorite, the Blue Angels. Their precision flying amazes me, and I get a lump in my throat every time I see the “Missing Man Formation”. Another local favorite is the B-2, which everyone in the region can feel coming into town.
I love having the opportunity to see and appreciate the hard work, talent, and dedication of our military men and women, but there are people who oppose all things military, and you will find them at Silence Over Louisville, a small, quiet gathering in a local park. I won’t be there, but one of the things I love about Louisville is that everyone’s beliefs are respected every day of the year. Once 9:30 hits we will be treated to a HUGE fireworks show. By huge, I mean almost 30 minutes long and involving 8 tractor-trailers full of fireworks. It’s the largest fireworks show in the nation and has been for many years. Zambelli Internationale is responsible for the magic, which is always perfectly timed to match the musical score. This year’s theme is “Thunder Fever: May Increase Heart Rate”. My favorite part is always the waterfall of fireworks off the side of the Second Street bridge. Here’s Thunder Over Louisville’s official website, which has plenty of details about parking, street closings, shuttles, etc. If you’re going in person be prepared to stand in line for a Port-O-Potty and to be patient trying to get out of downtown after it’s all over. If you will be on a boat on the river for the show make sure your insurance is paid up. I watched Thunder from a friend’s houseboat one year and the view was absolutely spectacular, but we were in TWO boat wrecks on the way home. Scary stuff. If you want to watch the festivities from the comfort of your own living room, it will be aired exclusively on Wave 3 TV locally. If you’re not local, then you’ll have to wait until July 4th, when the show will be re-broadcast on the Armed Forces Network. Will you be attending Thunder? Have you attended in the past? Comment and share your Thunder and Airshow experiences!
Thanks for joining me for Day One of Blog Derby Party 2010 – be sure to check back daily and join in the fun (click here for schedule of events)!

* All pictures courtesy of Thunder Over*

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3 thoughts on “Thunder Over Louisville Air Show and Fireworks”

  1. Fabulous! What a great party this is going to be. If you don't shed a tear or two during the Blue Angels Missing Man formation, there has to be something wrong with you. Have fun and be safe.

  2. I've been about three times — twice at the Bats Game — it was great. Good food, decent bathrooms, drinks, and baseball! Woo! We ventured down into the Chow Wagon area, and scurried back to the ball park.

    Brett and I also went the first year we were dating — we took Abby to the Louisville Science Center. Once again, it was awesome, since you had entertainment, bathrooms, and a place to retreat when the crowds got too overwhelming.

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