LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Hundreds of thousands of people are expected at Waterfront Park for Thunder Over Louisville, and law enforcement officials say you should not go if you don’t bring patience with you.
With the weather to be nearly perfect on Saturday, large crowds are expected in a tight space, and officials couldn’t reiterate enough that patience will be needed.
“Probably close to half a million people or more folks that are in our city at the time,” said LMPD spokesperson Dwight Mitchell.
Whether they're drawn to see the air show or the fireworks show, about 1,240 law enforcement officers will be patrolling the Thunder area.
“Also with a half million people, that means you have a half million pairs of eyes. So if you see something out of order, don't hesitate to call us,” Mitchell said.
If you enter the Great Lawn area, pets, bikes, tents and weapons are just some of the items not allowed.
And everything you bring in can be searched. While you are allowed to bring coolers, there are some stipulations.
“Don't bring glass bottles and also no alcoholic beverages. We do have beer gardens throughout the venue, so if you want a drink, there are plenty of places for you to get one. We just ask that you don't bring that from home,” said Aimee Boyd, Vice President of Communications for the Kentucky Derby Festival.
If adults are drinking, KDF has partnered with Uber. Rides and cabs can be picked up on Main Street between Preston and Floyd and 4th and 5th Streets.
While everyone arrives gradually throughout the day, it's after the fireworks show that can cause problems.
“They all leave at the same time of the night, so you're going to want your patience when you’re trying to leave, especially with the traffic, and you're going to want a full tank of gas,” Boyd said.
“The optimal word of the day will be patience,” Mitchell added.
Similar rules apply to the other side of the river. Officials in southern Indiana say it’s important to have common sense.
“We ask that you don't bring in any personal fireworks. Don't bring your grill, and we have a no open flame policy,” said Sgt. Justin Ames with the Jeffersonville Fire Department.
Families are also encouraged to go into Thunder with a plan. Officials say it should include picking a location to regroup if someone gets separated and to make sure your children are a part of that plan.
“Get pictures of your kids, know what they're wearing. And make sure your kids know their name, address, phone number. It's good to know that just in case,” Boyd said.
There will also be several stations for lost children and first aid, including five on the Kentucky side and two on the Indiana side.
Since Thunder is a long day, it’s important to take breaks, get out of the sun, and rehydrate. KDF officials also suggest taking your little one's ears into consideration.
“Think about getting some earplugs for their ears. The fireworks and the loud aircraft can actually scare children, so you know you want to protect their ear drums,” Boyd said.
To stay up to speed on everything that is happening around Thunder, including traffic, you can follow law enforcement on social media. Southern Indiana officials say they will be constantly updating these Twitter accounts: @inthunderpio @JFDpio @JEFFcityPD and also on Facebook: Indiana Thunder Over Louisville Jeffersonville Fire Dept. Jeffersonville Police Department
LMPD says if you have a concern, you can also call the non-emergency number at 574-7111 or 911 for an emergency.
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