The Kentucky Derby Festival Celebrates Thunder Over Louisville Through the Decades
One of the Country’s Largest Fireworks Display + Airshow
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 2, 2023) – 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 34th year. The daylong event is set for Saturday, April 22nd on the Waterfront.
The 2023 theme, “Through the Decades,” is inspired by the early years of Thunder Over Louisville and how much the show has grown over the decades. Thunder draws thousands of fans spanning all ages and generations, who come together to celebrate on the Waterfront, and “Through the Decades” is meant to invoke feelings of nostalgia for this long-running springtime tradition.
The third annual Drone Show is another highlight of the upcoming show and 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 F-35 Demo and Heritage Flight, Navy F-35 Demo and Growler Demo with Legacy Flight, U.S. Army Golden Knights, Matt Younkin’s “Magic by Moonlight” performance, as well as numerous warbirds taking to the skies, including the P-51 Mustang, F-86 Sabre, F4U Corsair and F8F Bearcat. More details about the 2023 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 2023. On Thunder Day, the FoodFest and Thunder On the Ground open at 11 a.m., the air show starts at 3 p.m., and fireworks blast off at 9:30 p.m.
“This year’s soundtrack is a mix of current songs and oldies but goodies, and to play up this year’s theme, we’ve also included favorite songs from past Thunders. We’ve built the soundtrack as if we were designing a roller coaster with ups and downs, shifting turns and surprises,” said Wayne Hettinger, Producer of Thunder Over Louisville. “We’ll have the volume on high, so buckle up and enjoy the ride!”
For fans looking for a front-row seat to the show, tickets are on sale now for the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport Thunder Over Louisville VIP Rooftop Party. Tickets are $165 and can be purchased at ThunderOverLouisville.org. Admission includes premium viewing, Derby-inspired cuisine, local and regional beers, specialty cocktails, private restrooms and more.
Thunder Over Louisville is one of the more than 70 events produced by the Derby Festival in the spring. It provides an estimated impact of $56 million to the area’s economy. The Derby Festival is an independent community organization. It entertains more than 1.5 million people annually every spring and is one of the leading community celebrations in the world.
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 www.gotolouisville.com.