Thunderbirds, Golden Knights to kick off 2015 Kentucky Derby Festival

Thunderbirds, Golden Knights to kick off 2015 Kentucky Derby Festival

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - America's Ambassadors in Blue, the U.S.A.F. Thunderbirds, will perform at the Kentucky Derby Festival's 2015 opening ceremonies: Thunder Over Louisville. They'll be joined by the U.S. Army's Parachute Team, the Golden Knights.

"We're thrilled to have two tremendous demonstration teams perform at Thunder Over Louisville," said KDF President and CEO Mike Berry. "We have always appreciated the support our show receives from all branches of the military. This year's show will be one of the best yet."

Thunder is set for April 18, 2015.

The Thunderbirds' demonstration features a mix of formation flying and solo routines. They will perform approximately 40 maneuvers during the show. Their formations demonstrate the training and precision of Air Force pilots and highlight some of the maximum capabilities of their aircraft, the F-16 Fighting Falcon.

The Thunderbirds, which were formed in 1953, have visited Louisville only once previously -- during Thunder in 1997 when the Air Force was celebrating its 50th anniversary.

This will also be the Golden Knights' second Thunder appearance. The U.S. Army's official aerial demonstration team last appeared in the show in 2002.

Details regarding other air acts that will perform in the 2015 Thunder air show are still being finalized. A complete show schedule will be released closer to the show date.

For more information about the Thunderbirds, visit For more information about the Golden Knights, visit

Copyright 2014 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.