Derby Festival Celebrates 35 Years of Thunder Over Louisville : Official Travel Source

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Derby Festival Celebrates 35 Years of Thunder Over Louisville

Derby Festival Celebrates 35 Years of Thunder Over Louisville

The countdown to the start of 2024 festivities is on

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Feb 28, 2024) – In 51 days, one of the country’s top fireworks displays and air shows – Thunder Over Louisville – will light up the Louisville skyline for the 35th year. The daylong event is set for Saturday, April 20 on Louisville’s Waterfront overlooking the Ohio River.

The 2024 theme, “Celebrating Derby 150,” is inspired by the running of the 150th Kentucky Derby this spring and celebrating this historic milestone in our city. It commemorates the entire Derby season from Thunder Over Louisville, which serves as the “Opening Ceremonies” of the Derby Festival, to the first Saturday in May. Derby season elements will be incorporated into the show, including the “Call to the Post” in the Thunder soundtrack.

The annual Drone Show, another highlight of the upcoming show, will light up the nighttime sky as they fly over the Ohio River in different formations just before the fireworks begin. The Family Fun Zone returns to a new location at the Big Four Bridge and offers a prime viewing space filled with family activities.

The Festival is also planning another packed air show line-up this year featuring both military and civilian aircraft. Highlights include: The Air Force Viper Demo and Heritage Flight; Air Force C-17 Demo (with an aerial refueling demonstration); Navy Growler with Legacy Flight; U.S. Air Force Wings of Blue; Matt Younkin’s “Magic by Moonlight” performance; vintage champion air racer “Mr Mulligan”; Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer Demo, as well as numerous aerobatic routines and unique custom aircraft in formation and upon the water.

Additionally, international partners like the Canadian CF-18s and German A400 “Grizzly” will be part of the 2024 show. Spectators will witness fly bys from the B-52, a flight of Kentucky Air National Guard C-130s, and numerous rotary aircraft, including a helicopter infiltration and extraction demo accomplished by the Kentucky Army National Guard and the 123rd Special Tactics Squadron. More details about the 2024 Thunder Air Show will be released closer to the date.

Thunder’s fireworks show is choreographed to an original soundtrack each year and Zambelli Fireworks will design the show again in 2024. On Thunder Day, the FoodFest and Thunder On the Ground open at 11 a.m., the air show starts at 3 p.m., the drone & night Show is at 9 p.m., and fireworks blast off at 9:30 p.m.

For fans looking for a front-row seat to the show, tickets are on sale now for the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport Thunder VIP Rooftop Party Presented by Kentucky Proud. Tickets are $200 per person and can be purchased at Admission includes premium viewing, Kentucky Proud cuisine, local and regional beers, specialty cocktails, private restrooms and more.

Make a visit to Louisville this Spring to celebrate the Kentucky Derby season. Guests can use Louisville Tourism’s annual Visitor Guide to plan an itinerary around Louisville’s top experiences. Travelers also can get attraction, lodging and dining assistance at

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Rosanne Mastin

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