You can rail against the Kentucky Derby until your face is bluer than bluegrass – call it decadent, depraved, or possibly even overrated – but there’s no denying: the enormity of this event is impossible to escape. The race itself has hardly changed at all through the years, barring a widening of the playing field, but the fanfare surrounding it has expanded rapidly even over the last two decades. One needn’t look further than Thunder over Louisville for proof of the Derby Festival’s growth spurt – what was once a modest, cheerful fireworks show capping off the two-week countdown to the fastest two minutes in sports has transformed since 1990 into the largest annual pyrotechnics display in all of North America.
Yes, Thunder is certainly impressive, with its booming explosives and breathtaking air show, but attending an event that attracts almost 500,000 spectators every year sounds to most like a logistical nightmare. Here you can find a host of guidelines and details that may serve to streamline your Thunder experience.
|Keep track of the season's festivities with your guide to Louisville's 2012 Kentucky Derby parties [Horse racing]|
|Get a brand-new view of Thunder at the Rauch Planetarium's "Thunder in the Dome" party [Family & Parenting]|
|Scenes of Thunder Over Louisville 2013|
|The 2012 Derby Eve Gala shall be a Southern Soiree [Food and Dining]|
|Browse our round-up of Kentucky Derby travel articles and websites and judge for yourself which capture the true Derby spirit [Attractions]|
|Thunder preparations underway [News]|
|Everybody loves the Chow Wagon [Kentucky Derby]|