LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Waterfront Park is usually where people get together to ring in the Kentucky Derby season with Thunder Over Louisville, but not this year.
Instead, there are five secret locations where the fireworks will be set off.
The details for those secret locations were leaked online Tuesday, but WDRB News is respecting the Kentucky Derby Festival's wishes to keep them quiet. KDF's hope was, and still is, to keep as many people from gathering at the fireworks locations as possible.
There are four on the Kentucky side, and one in Indiana. Security will be present and KDF has threatened to shut the shows down if people don't listen, saying in a Tweet that Thunder 2021 "is a made-for-tv event & not for in-person spectators."
Each fireworks show will be in sync, despite being in different locations. They will each start at 9:30 p.m. and run for 18 minutes, which is shorter than usual.
Thunder producer Wayne Hettinger said the show itself will adapt well in the age of COVID-19. The fireworks will be less about sound, and more about color.
Before the fireworks go off, the air show will run from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. A couple of the planes set to take part dropped out on Wednesday morning after an air base had to shut down because of the pandemic.
But Hettinger says he doesn't scare easily.
"I mean that's what we've dealt with for 32 years," he said. "You make changes up until the last minute. This year was certainly no exception. There's been a tremendous amount of change, and a lot of head scratching going on."
New to the show this year are synchronized drones. Each will have lights, do maneuvers, and create designs like the American flag.
The show's producers plan for Thunder Over Louisville to return to the waterfront next year.
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