Thunder Over Louisville scaled back to three sites over crowding concerns

A Kentucky Derby Festival organizer revealed the decision on Twitter Friday evening.
Published: Apr. 16, 2021 at 11:24 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Preparations are underway for Thunder Over Louisville, with the event now scaled back from five locations to just three due to concerns over people gathering.

A Kentucky Derby Festival organizer revealed the decision on Twitter Friday evening, coming after the Thunder Over Louisville locations were leaked earlier this week.

They will only have fireworks at the three sites that are inaccessible to the public: the Kentucky Exposition Center, Bowman Field, and Caesars Southern Indiana.

This year’s fireworks engineer and designer told WAVE 3 News that even though this year’s event will be more like a mini-Thunder, they’re optimistic about putting on a great fireworks display, despite some of the challenges.

“It presents its own unique challenges, obviously,” Ralph Piacquadio, the engineer, said. “Everyone has to shoot at the same time. We use GPS synchronization on our firing computers to do that. Spreading out the crews and the assets is a challenge, so it takes a very good time schedule format that we follow.”

Louisville native Dina Vulturo told WAVE 3 News she’s glad there will still be an airshow and fireworks show.

“I am really good with [not gathering downtown] because I have been an ardent mask wearer and you know follow the rules,” Vulturo said. “You’re still going to get to see if you want to watch it on TV. It’s just, it’s fun to get back to a little bit of normalcy.”

The Kentucky Derby Festival tweeted, “We know this decision is the responsible thing to do in light of the large amount of public gatherings being planned near and around the Fireworks sites. This show was always designed and intended to be viewed on television, and why the locations were undisclosed.”

The show starts at 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

Copyright 2021 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.