Weather will play a role in Saturday's Thunder Over Louisville plans
Thunder Over Louisville marks the opening ceremony for the Kentucky Derby Festival, and the show will go on, rain or shine.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- After 29 years of planning, preparing and executing Thunder Over Louisville, show producer Wayne Hettinger said they have seen rain, sleet, snow and sunshine the day of the event.
The show will go on, rain or shine, and he said weather plays a heavy role in the days leading up to the event when transporting the fireworks.
"When you get to the week of Thunder, all the planning is taken care of," Hettinger said. "Now, it's just getting everything in the Galt House where everything gets interconnected."
Hettinger has planning down to a science and is excited for this year's Disco theme. He said the choreography for the fireworks matches the theme and music perfectly and is ready to see it all come together. However, rain could cause some popular viewing areas to be a muddy mess.
Aimee Boyd said the Great Lawn at Waterfront Park might be muddy, but people can bring 10x10 tarps with them to help avoid some of the mess. The Ohio River will rise five more feet, cresting on Saturday at 18 feet. Boyd said the water will cover a "little bit" of the lawn during the fireworks show.
"You're going to want to wear some galoshes, duck boots, if you're going to be in the Great Lawn area," Boyd said.
Even some of the crews preparing for Saturday will have to keep an eye on the weather.
"We have fencing being installed today, sound towers going up, trailers going in," Boyd said. "So if the water is high, and they need to move, they can just move the infrastructure around that."
While thousands of people will gather on the Louisville side of the Ohio River, thousands more will enjoy watching the fireworks display and airshow from the Indiana side.
Justin Ames, a sergeant with Jeffersonville Fire Department and Indiana Thunder Public Information Officer, said she is staying in close contact with officials and watching the river water levels.
"We expect the river levels to raise Wednesday, and we expect the lower portion of Fisherman's Wharf to be covered with water," Ames said. "So that area will be off limits to patrons."
Regardless of the weather, the show will go on. Boyd said no tents or canopies are permitted or overnight camping. No alcoholic beverages, glass bottles nor pets are allowed. Food and drink are permitted in the North Great Lawn area, Meijer Family Fun Zone on the West Belvedere and other areas of the Thunder venue.
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