Thunder Over Louisville brings big crowds and big headaches downtown Saturday
Planes spent Friday rehearsing and getting a feel for the airspace along the Ohio River. On Saturday, it will be time for the real thing when an estimated 500,000 people are expected to ascend on Waterfront Park for Thunder Over Louisville.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Planes spent Friday rehearsing and getting a feel for the airspace along the Ohio River.
On Saturday, it will be time for the real thing when an estimated 500,000 people are expected to ascend on Waterfront Park for Thunder Over Louisville.
The usual favorite acts will be back like the popular fighter jets. A B52 bomber will be at the show for the first time in many years.
If you are not interested in the planes, the Sky Star Observation Wheel will be running near the Big Four Bridge, plenty of food will be available at the Chow Wagon, and fireworks will light up the skies after the air show.
Mandi Creed-Clark, the director of Thunder Over Louisville, said the disco theme was a lot of fun to put together.
“There’s just a lot of people that are gonna want to dance to this, no matter what age you are,” Creed-Clark said.
And the show has some new acts joining the lineup this year.
“It’s called the KC Flight Formation Team. They're out of Kansas City. They’ve done a show with up to 50 planes in formation, and so they're bringing eight ships with them to Thunder,” Creed-Clark said.
But the downside of all that commotion in downtown Louisville is that it's never easy to find your way around.
Police on both sides of the Ohio River are warning of local road closures and a list of items attendees should leave at home.
The River Road exit at I-64 shut down on Friday night along with other local street closures, which you can see below:
No tents, canopies or drones are allowed at the event and neither is roping off large areas to save spots. While plastics, cans, and food are OK, glass bottles are not.
Police also ask to leave any pets at home.
You'll also notice some places on the Great Lawn look a little different this year. Some of the prime spots to watch fireworks are already taken by the Ohio River.
“People will put their blankets down, and they’ll be on the edge of the water, and they’ll be fine,” said Rusty Hocker, who attends Thunder each year. “They’ll put tarps down. Everybody makes adjustments ... I’ll take the warm weather any time.”
Due to the high river level, boat owners won't be able to anchor to watch fireworks. The U.S. Coast Guard set up a safety zone, banning boats from anchoring from McAlpine Locks and Dam all the way to Cox Park.
The air show kicks off at 3 p.m. on Saturday. The fireworks will begin at 9:30 p.m. For parking information and suggested alternate routes, click here.
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