By Esther Lee–

Matt Gibson, Derby Festival Vice President of Events stated, “It’s the kind of show you have to see to believe.”

Mark your calenders for April 20. Thunder Over Louisville plans have been revealed for the anticipation of one of the greatest fireworks and airshow in the states. Louisville will be hosting its 24th show in about two months this year.

This year’s fireworks theme will be “Thunder Vision.” The theme is devoted to the entertainment media of television. According to WHAS, the official Thunder station, the soundtrack for the firework show will be compiled of theme songs from television shows. This will range from the all-time favorites such as “The Andy Griffith Show” and “I Love Lucy” to modern shows like “Sex in the City.” The firework show is expected to be similar to the show from last year and just as bright and colorful.

Thunder Over Louisville is the official kick-off event for the Kentucky Derby Festival. It lasts all day with the airshow starting usually around 3p.m. Although there were concerns about military budget cuts and their effect on the show, Thunder organizers have assured that there are ample air crafts this year.

There are also plenty of food and souvenir vendors for visitors to enjoy along the banks of the Ohio River. And of course, no one can forget the most memorable part of the day: the firework show. According to, Matt Gibson, Derby Festival Vice President of Events stated, “It’s the kind of show you have to see to believe.”

Every year, the firework show exceeds expectation especially with its incorporation with the new bridge. The lights reflect the waters making the lights twice as bright and beautiful. “Watching it from the balcony [of the Galt House] where we saw it was pretty amazing,” said Michael Nguyen, 20, a mechanical engineering major at the University of Kentucky. “It was my first time getting such a clear view. I thought it was pretty spectacular.” Thirty minutes of pure astonishment and awe, the fireworks truly bring out the beauty that represents the city of Louisville at its best.

Nguyen isn’t the only non-Louisville native who comes to enjoy the festivities. Thunder attracts about several hundred thousand people to Lousville from all over the country. Sometimes it gets to the point when there are no park benches or grass grounds unoccupied by groups of families and friends. “Although the fireworks and light shows were amazing, the overall experience was not fun. The place is way too crowded and full of rude people. There is so much trash everywhere. The traffic afterwards is just a big mess,” said David Kim, a marketing major.

Thunder Over Louisville is an event everyone should experience at least once in his or her lifetime. It proudly displays the hard work of event planners and city workers who stir up the excitement of the Derby season in an extraordinary and visually compelling way. “It was a good experience overal: awesome air show and an excellent display of fireworks at the perfect location so everyone could have a good view,” said english major Davin Kincaid.

With this year’s theme of “Thunder Vision,” hopefully it will bring many generations together as we watch the colorful display of pyrotechnics and listen to the familiar and homely sounds of television.

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