Plans announced for a ‘different’ Thunder Over Louisville in 2021

Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 1:12 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - While social distancing guidelines will prevent the gathering of hundreds of thousands of people along the shores of the Ohio River, the Kentucky Derby Festival says the changes they’ve made to this year’s Thunder Over Louisville means many people will be able to see it from their homes.

The 32nd annual event, which is the kickoff to the Kentucky Derby Festival, is “Illuminating Our Community.”

“Thunder Over Louisville is going to be different this year. Nothing like we’ve ever seen or done before,” said Matt Gibson, Kentucky Derby Festival President and CEO. “With help from our sponsors and partners, we’ve re-imagined the event and how we can bring it to the community. From planes to fireworks, this year’s show will still have its Thunder.”

Among the changes is that the air show will take place over two hours on Thunder day and the air box for the show will allow for fly-bys, as well as some aerobatics.

Scheduled to take part are C-130s from Kentucky Air National Guard and UPS 767 freighters. There will also for the air show are US Air Force A-10s, C-17 Globemaster III, T-38 jet trainers, F-16 fighter jets and aerial refueling tankers. Army helicopters and the vintage Tuskegee Airman P-51 Mustang will also take part.

KDF says a new event this year will be a drone show leading up to the launch of the fireworks with 50 drones taking part.

The fireworks launch locations are not being made public to prevent people from gathering, but KDF says they will be in five different areas of the community. Launch locations will be north, south, east, and west of the city, along with one location in Southern Indiana.

The fireworks are scheduled to launch at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 17.

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