Thunder Over Louisville : Official Travel Source

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Thunder Over Louisville

Each year, the Kentucky Derby starts with Thunder!


The Kickoff to the Kentucky Derby Festival.
For more information about Thunder, click here.


Held on the Ohio River/Waterfront Park


Two Saturdays before the Kentucky Derby (the Derby is always run on the first Saturday in May). Thunder Over Louisville has been cancelled for 2020.


  • Thunder Over Louisville is the nation’s largest annual fireworks show. The breathtaking and mindnumbing 30-minute show includes Thunder’s signature one-mile “waterfall” effect off a bridge over the Ohio River, making the fireworks seem to rain down forever. The air show that proceeds Thunder is ranked as one of the top five air shows in the nation. Each year the event promises to fill the Louisville skyline with action packed aviation. The air show dazzles the crowd with more than 100 planes, aerobatic teams, daring sky diving groups and breathtaking stunts. And the amazing technology of the United States Air Force, Navy, Army and Marines is always a crowd favorite.


  • Visitors ready to enjoy the kickoff to the biggest party held each year in Louisville, the Kentucky Derby Festival! Those who enjoy larger-than-life events and who are ready to ooh and aah!

What else:

  • Don’t miss a visit to the home of the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs, and the Kentucky Derby Museum while you’re in town.