News and Tribune

Homepage

February 11, 2013

APPROACHING THUNDER: Kentucky Derby Festival announces theme of this year’s Thunder Over Louisville event

LOUISVILLE — It’s a little more than two months until crowds gather along the banks of the Ohio River and the sky lights up.

Organizers unveiled the theme to the 24th Thunder Over Louisville event, the traditional kick-off to the Kentucky Derby Festival, at a press conference Monday morning. The theme for Thunder Over Louisville, to be held April 20, is “Thunder Vision,” and will incorporate themes based off of TV shows of the past and present.

“Thunder is always a big party and the 24th will be a fitting prelude into our silver thunder anniversary,” said Mike Berry, president and CEO of the Kentucky Derby Festival.

He and Thunder Over Louisville Producer Wayne Hettinger pointed to how unique it is to have an entire day of entertainment — one of the top five air shows in the country and one of the largest fireworks display in North America free to the public.

“Thanks to the sponsors of the Derby Festival, we’ve got this town so spoiled on this kind of a show that’s completely free, it’s unheard of,” Hettinger said.

Returning sponsors include regulars like UPS, Horseshoe Southern Indiana, Meijer, McDonald’s and Kentucky One Health.

McDonald’s will again host its Thunder Funder program, which begins March 11. A portion of the proceeds received from the purchase of commemorative cups at area McDonald’s restaurants will go to support Thunder Over Louisville.

This year’s Thunder Funder event will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. April 4 at the Central American Airways hangar at Bowman Field. Those with a Pegasus Pin or a commemorative McDonald’s cup will be granted admission to the event.

Zambelli Fireworks will again design the nearly 30-minute fireworks display to light up the April night. This year’s TV partner is WHAS-TV and Lite 106.9 WVEZ will be the event’s radio partner.

While hundreds of thousands are expected to line the banks of the Ohio River in Southern Indiana and Louisville, people will be prohibited from going onto the Big Four Bridge the day of the event.

“Because the air show can’t fly over people, having people stationary on the newly renovated Big Four Bridge isn’t possible,” Berry said.

Thunder Over Louisville is one of the more than 70 events produced by the Kentucky Derby Festival in the spring leading up to the annual Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. And while Thunder Over Louisville is free to the public, the weekend festivities do bring a significant boost to the region’s economy each year.

“It’s not only a great event ... it brings economic development to this community — $56 million,” said Chris Whelan, 2013 Derby Festival Chair. “You can’t say that enough. It fills hotels and restaurants, it’s just a key event for our organization as well as the state of Kentucky.”

More details about the Kentucky Derby Festival events are expected to be announced in March.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
07_28_Nat'l_Dance_1w.jpg

Motion Studio's junior company performs "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in celebration of National Dance Day at the Bicentennial Park in New Albany Saturday. The junior company, ages 7-11, have been working with Motion Studios on the ballet routine for the past four months.

LATEST NEWS POSTS
SOUTHERN INDIANA SPORTS

LOCAL OPINIONS
LOCAL FEATURES
EVENTS CALENDAR
ntxt alerts
e-EDITION
Clark County Readers' Choice
2014 4-H Fairs


Images from the Floyd and Clark County 4-H fairs

You Need To Know Now!
SEASONAL CONTENT
Big Four Bridge opens
Must Read
Facebook
Twitter Updates
AP VIDEO
13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
MARQUEE TEXT ADS