Thunder Over Louisville week brings together months of planning and coordination
The economic impact, the closing of the 2nd Street Bridge and all those fireworks.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The countdown begins for Thunder Over Louisville.
The Thunder command center officially opened on the 24th floor of the Galt House on Monday. That means computers and communications will start going into place for the Kentucky Derby Festival's biggest event, which pumps more than $50 million into the local economy.
Coordination of the airshow and fireworks have been in the planning stage for months. The show is first created on a computer at the Zambelli headquarters in New Castle, Pennsylvania.
Software allows Zambelli's Michael Richards to program each "boom" and each "bang" down to a 100th of a second. "We just pick and choose the fireworks that we would like to see any particular time." He adds that "it is a great deal of work for 26 minutes of fireworks." Meanwhile, a team of workers assembles the show. Some make fireworks, others test them.
This year's Thunder theme is "No Strings Attached," and the fireworks soundtrack is provided by the Louisville Orchestra.
Things you need to know for this week:
-The Second Street bridge closes on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. after the morning rush, and it won't reopen until 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
-Aircraft also begin arriving on Thursday, and airshow practice is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday.
-The They're Off Luncheon is on Friday featuring sports journalist and comedian Kenny Mayne. The luncheon is hosted by WDRB's Sterling Riggs.
WDRB is the only place to catch all the Thunder Over Louisville airshow and fireworks. We will be broadcasting in HD all day beginning with WDRB in the Morning at 6 a.m. We'll then begin broadcasting and live streaming at noon and will continue through 11:30 p.m.
If you're planning on joining a couple hundred thousand of your closest friends for Thunder, Waterfront Park opens at 9 a.m. To access more about Thunder Over Louisville, CLICK HERE to see the WDRB Thunder Guide.
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