JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) - The countdown is on; Thunder over Louisville is now just one month away.
People are preparing on both sides of the river for the half a million viewers expected for the show. This year’s theme, “The Wonderful World of Thunder,” with music from fairy tales and animated movies.
The air show and fireworks bring a massive amount of people to the riverfront. Southern Indiana first responders have been planning for the event since December. Their teams are following safety templates put together both locally and nationally, working out ways to ensure time spent there is fun and safe, which includes an increased police and first responder presence in the area.
“We have additional resources that are put in place, mostly because of the volume that is increased meaning volume of people," Amir Mousavi, Incident Commander for Indiana Unified Council, said. “Over the last several years that I’ve been involved, we have not had any increased levels of threat that we had to deal with. But because we have had just increased people in our area, we have added more resources.”
They coordinate with local, state and federal agencies to put together safety plans months in advance. Mousavi said the open air environment and weather can create some challenges with safety plans but say they've never had an issue their teams couldn't handle.
On the other side of the Ohio, thousands of people are expected to fill Waterfront Park as they hope to snag a good spot to watch the show. But before you can come in and put down your blanket, there's some cleaning that needs to be done.
Crews were out Wednesday afternoon, cleaning up the mud and mess left behind from the flooding on the Ohio weeks earlier. The park is one of the popular spots for people to watch Thunder Over Louisville.
Businesses around the riverfront here and in Jeffersonville fill up with people watching fireworks.
Michael Getz, Marketing Director for Buckhead Management Inc., the parent company of Buckhead Mountain Grill restaurant in Jeffersonville, said the reservations are filling up quickly for private tables inside the restaurant. General admission ticket sales will spike once the weather improves and Thunder approaches, he said. Last year, Buckhead hosted around 350 people in the general admission area.
One riverfront space may sit quiet. Doc’s Cantina on the riverfront has been sitting empty for months. Waterfront Park took it over last year and they’re currently searching for new tenants.
"We are looking for a permanent tenant or tenants to occupy the space but for now, we don’t have anybody that is currently leasing the building. It is available to be rented for Thunder,” Deborah Bilitski, Vice President and Deputy Director at Waterfront Development, said. If you want to rent out the former Doc’s Cantina property, contact Waterfront Development. And of course, there are plenty of free spots in Waterfront park to watch Thunder as well.
If you’re not wanting to brave the crowds for the air show or fireworks display, WAVE 3 news has you covered with live coverage of the festivities all day on April 13.