Thunder Road grows right along with fireworks, airshow - News, Weather & Sports

Thunder Road grows right along with fireworks, airshow

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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Plush motor homes and tricked-out campers have turned one parking lot near Louisville Slugger Field into Thunder Road in celebration of Louisville's annual fireworks celebration. 

Many denizens see one another only for Thunder Over Louisville, but they've attended for so many years they're able to pick up right where they left off the year before.

Angels' wings may have delivered Hayden Tuten and Amber Franklin Louisville's waterfront Thunder Eve.

"They're fast and they're loud," said Hayden, a first-grader who attends Minors Lane Elementary.

"I got excited when just a regular plane was close," said Franklin, who is attending her first Thunder Over Louisville. "So when I saw the Blue Angels, I was like ecstatic."

But Heaven adjoins Slugger Field. At least, it's just what Dr. Rick Cales ordered.

"We go sit in each other's chairs-eat each other's food., even drink each other's drinks sometimes," Cales said. "It's a community. It very much is."

They've nicknamed the parking lot full of motor homes, campers and other recreational vehicles Thunder Road. Kentucky Wildcats and Louisville Cardinals fans hoist their banners to profess their loyalties, but clash only in what appeared to be a never-ending game of cornhole.

Playing host or hostess is no small endeavor.

"Just with our group, probably a little over a hundred will show up," second-year Thunder attendee Ann-Micheal Wilson said.

Her friends' camper accommodates nine. Neighboring motor homes resemble condominiums, with fine cabinetry, double-sinks and hot-water showers. A front-row space with a million dollar view for Thunder's airshow and fireworks show goes for $400.

"But when it comes down to family and friends, how can you put a price tag on that?" asked Joe Cunningham, an executive with UPS and a Thunder regular.

Newcomers are always welcome, but new problems aren't.

"There has been some concern over the disturbances downtown," Wilson said.

Hayden's grandmother, Rhonda Tuten, shares that.

"We'll keep our eyes open," she said. "Very limited, where I'm gonna take him."

But Greg Cloud's family is firmly grounded. "There's a lot of great things that happen in this city," he said. "And there's no way I'm gonna allow one set of circumstances or situation to change what we've done for a number of years  down here," he said.

Cloud and Cunningham each claim the other acts as Thunder Road's unofficial mayor.

They stand as one on the issue of the day.

"It's safe," Cunningham said. "We spent the night last night. We're not gonna leave ‘til Sunday."

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