Just 6 days from the big show, the Thunder Command Center is com - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Just 6 days from the big show, the Thunder Command Center is coming together

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The countdown is on with Thunder over Louisville just days away, and as the days tick by, crews are setting up the spot that makes the show happen -- The Command Center. It is 24 floors up inside the Galt House.

The planning for Thunder has been going on since last year's Thunder ended. More than 500,000 people are expected to attend, but they may not know about the small spot at the top floor of the Galt House where all the magic happens behind the scenes.

From queing the jets that give you goosebumps, to counting down the fireworks that boom in the skies, all the shots are called from inside the Thunder Command Center.

"This is it, this is pretty much the heart of the operation," said Wayne Hettinger, a Thunder producer.

Crews started assembling the Thunder Command Center on Monday morning. It includes putting together tons of equipment, dozens of buttons and a lot of cable. Hettinger says it will be up and running by Thursday.

Hettinger said it'll be a "madhouse," because it takes more than 60 people to pull off the show. Everything for the day is coming out of here, regardless if it's directing aircraft or sound, all the cues, ground support, everything comes out of here.

"I come every year, it's the unofficial holiday," said Chris Cain, a Jeffersonville resident.

It is a celebration where everyone has a favorite.

"It has to be the fireworks. Seeing how they compare it with the music, since the music changes every year. Two shows aren't the same," Cain said.

This year, there's something especially different for Thunder's 27th year. A soundtrack recorded by the Louisville Orchestra.

"And it's amazing," Hettinger said. "It's going to give a whole different feel to the fireworks show, and I'm telling everybody ... come to the show kind of thinking Fantasia. That's the feel we're gonna get, and then we're getting into what everybody looks forward to, the finale of finales."

The Second Street bridge closes on Thursday after the morning rush at 9:30 a.m. It is set to reopen Sunday afternoon. Aircraft begin arriving on Thursday and airshow practice is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday.

WDRB is broadcasting all of the "Thunder Over Louisville" action from the airshow to the fireworks live on WDRB. Waterfront Park opens Saturday at 9 a.m.

For information on what you can and cannot bring click here.

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