I know I made posts about it last year, and here it is again this year!
Thunder Over Louisville is the kickoff to the Kentucky Derby Festival (KDF), which leads to the Kentucky Derby, a famous horse race taking place at Louisville’s Churchill Downs. The Derby is the first in a series of three races, the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes. It is for thoroughbred race horses.
Now, back to Thunder Over Louisville. Thunder is an annual airshow followed by the largest firework show in North America. It’s held in Louisville, Kentucky over the Ohio River. This means spectators gather on both the Indiana and Kentucky sides of the river to watch. The airshow starts around 3PM and ends around 9PM. Acts range from general aviation, acrobatics, seaplanes, miltitary helicopters and planes, and even comerical flyovers (most notibly a UPS aircraft). Since it’s over a river, this opens unique opertunites and challenges. Downtown Louisville is on the Kentucky side of the river, meaning tall buildings are on that side. Bridges also cross the river, meaning planes can’t go too low. Advantages of having it over the river are the ability to have seaplanes land and depart from the Ohio River, aswell as watching from riverfront parks, restruants, and, for the lucky few, boats. General aviation aircraft depart from Bowman Field (KLOU) and military (as well as UPS) depart from Louisville International Airport (KSDF). This gives more space than most other airshows because the acts don’t all have to park at the same place.
This year is the 27th annual Thunder Over Louisville, with the first being in 1990. This year’s theme is “Thunder: Local and Original”. Below is the poster:
(Credit: @kyderbyfestival on Instagram)
So far an F35 (presumably F35A because I believe the USAF is providing it), B2 Stealth Bomber, F86, B25 Bomber, US Army Golden Knights, and a Twin Beech 18 are confirmed to be coming. UPS is also bringing a 757 for their flyover. Below are some pictures
(Credit to @kyderbyfestival on Instagram)
Thanks for reading (if you read the whole thing ;))!
(I’ll keep this page updated with new acts as they are announced)