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The Comprehensive Guide to Thunder Over Louisville

The Comprehensive Guide to Thunder Over Louisville

Thunder Over Louisville is the official kick off to the Kentucky Derby Festival. For years, it has been called the largest fireworks display in the nation. This is in fact, true. With an average of 500,000 people in attendance for this day long event, it tops out as the largest fireworks display in the country.

Guide to Thunder Over Louisville

With every popular event, comes a long list of questions. We’ve attempted to answer the most frequently asked questions about Thunder Over Louisville below:

Thunder over Louisville schedule of events:

There are a lot of things happening during Thunder over Louisville from the vendors, to the fantastic selection of food and of course the fireworks and the airshow.
Officially the marque events of Thunder over Louisville are the airshow that happens in the late afternoon and the fireworks display that evening.

The airshow at Thunder starts at 4pm and the fireworks begin at 9:30pm.

Does Thunder over Louisville cost money?

This is a tricky question. The official answer is that Thunder Over Louisville is free with a pegasus pin (which you will need for admission to many Kentucky Derby Festival events)

While the event itself is free, there are several financial factors to take into consideration when attending. Where do you plan to park? Are you willing to walk for a while from a free spot to get to Waterfront park or would you rather pay to park closer?

What’s your plan for food? Is a picnic lunch and snacks good for your crew or will you be purchasing food throughout the day from one of the vendors?

Where does Thunder over Louisville take place?

Thunder over Louisville takes place at Louisville’s Waterfront Park on the great lawn. However, the event is so large, the better answer is really in downtown Louisville and Southern Indiana along the river front!

Thunder closures:

There are multiple roads that are closed for Thunder over Louisville. It is best to follow the Louisville Metro police department for the updates. Here is the Louisville Metro Police Department website.

Where to watch Thunder over Louisville in Indiana?

There are actually a large amount of restaurants in Southern Indiana that are located right at the riverfront. It is likely that reservations have been all booked for this year. A table at a restaurant is the hottest ticket going. Make plans to reserve your spot way in advance!

How to stream Thunder :

Each year, the local new stations in Louisville take turns with coverage rights. It will be heavily advertised in advance but it will be one of these Louisville stations. The local stations that the Thunder over Louisville broadcast rotates through are: WHAS, WDRB, WAVE 3 and WLKY.

What time is the air show?

The Thunder over Louisville airshow begins at 4pm.

How long does Thunder over Louisville last?

Typically, the fireworks portion of Thunder over Louisville lasts for 30 minutes.

Most people spend the entire day at the waterfront and some even camp out the night before to make sure they have the most optimal spot for the big event.

Can I bring food to Thunder?

Yes! Lots of people (if not most) pack a picnic lunch for the day and bring family favorites to enjoy. Lines can get long and as much as we love festival food, it can get pricey as well.

Festival Food at Thunder Over Louisville

Thunder over Louisville at Slugger Field:

A very popular way to watch Thunder over Louisville is by spending the day at Slugger Field. Those will tickets will enjoy a baseball game that begins at 2pm, a concert, the air show and of course the fireworks. The biggest bonus in my mind? The use of restrooms that aren’t porta potties!

Thunder at the KFC Yum Center:

If a climate controlled experience is what you are looking for, then you may want to consider spending the day at the Yum Center. Situated right on the river front, it won’t matter if it is raining, or cold or super hot!

Check out the options for spending Thunder at the KFC Yum Center!

No matter how you and your family decide to spend Thunder Over Louisville, it is an event that should be experienced in person at least one time! For more Kentucky Derby Festival fun, take a look at our list of Kid Friendly Kentucky Derby Events! Wondering what you can and can’t bring to the Kentucky Derby? We have a list for that too!

Headed to Thunder over Louisville and not sure what to expect? We've covered everything from where to park, what to bring and where to go to be able to use indoor restrooms!