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To some, it’s the official kick-off to the Kentucky Derby Festival. To others, it’s the unofficial beginning of spring. But to all, it’s simply one of the largest annual fireworks shows in North America and the setting for some of the most memorable moments you’ll ever share. We hope you enjoyed Thunder Vision 2013, a sparkling display set to the symphonic sounds of TV through the years. Now, begin preparing yourself for Thunder 2016.
You can do a lot more at Thunder Over Louisville this year than simply look to the sky. Sponsored by Ford Motor Company, Ford’s Thunder on the Ground activities will offer numerous ways to entertain friends and family members as well. From the Thunder FoodFest to the Interactive Display Area to the Kid’s Play Areas on the Great Lawn, there’s refreshments and entertainment galore to be found all over the venue. Some attractions require a 2016 Pegasus Pin admission, but some activities are completely free. Most are open from 11:00 a.m. until the fireworks show at 9:30 p.m.
Some of the Ford Thunder on the Ground activities include:
Thunder on the North Great Lawn – 2016 Pegasus Pin admission. Opens at 9 a.m., featuring food, Beer Garden and Thunder Sound. (The rest of Waterfront Park will also open at 9 a.m. on Thunder Day) (NO TENTS, STAKES, TAPE OR PETS.)
Meijer Family Fun Zone on the West Belvedere – 2016 Pegasus Pin admission. Opens at 11 a.m., featuring kids activities, face painting, food, Beer Garden and Thunder Sound. (NO TENTS, STAKES, TAPE OR PETS.)
Thunder Chow Wagon – 2016 Pegasus Pin admission. Opens at 11 a.m., featuring food, a Beer Garden and Thunder Sound. (NO TENTS, STAKES, TAPE OR PETS.)
Lyndsey & Olivia Henken will perform on the Miller Lite Music Stage inside the Thunder Chow Wagon. Lyndsey takes the stage at 3 p.m. and Olivia at 7 p.m.
Abraham Lincoln Bridge Replica – Fans can have their photos taken with a replica of the new Lincoln Bridge sponsored by RiverLink (the new electronic tolling system). The bridge is set up just inside the entrance of the Thunder Chow Wagon.
The Interactive Display Area on the South Great Lawn opens at 11 a.m. Attractions include: Ford Xperience Tour; Great Big Idaho Potato; U.S. Marines Chin-up Challenge; U.S. Air Force Flight Simulator; U.S. Army Display featuring a Blackhawk helicopter; U.S. Navy; U.S. Air Force Flight Simulator; Kentucky National Guard and much more!
Kid’s Play Areas: The interactive attractions on the South Great Lawn include Merry Go Round, Moon Bounce Obstacle Course, Rock Wall, Super Slide, Ali-Baba Magic ------ and more.
The Thunder FoodFest will offer a wide variety of tasty treats from more than 100 food vendors from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the Chow Wagon, Great Lawn, West Belvedere, and along Witherspoon Street and East River Road.
Beer Gardens, with Pegasus Pin admission, will be open at the Chow Wagon, Meijer Family Fun Zone on the West Belvedere, North Great Lawn and East River Road near the Big Four Pedestrian Bridge.
Pegasus Pin trading fans can add to their collections by visiting the following locations on Thunder Day from noon to 7 p.m.: Pin Wagon at 4th and River Road, Bingham Way and Festival Plaza (near Chow Wagon entrance), Preston and Witherspoon (NE Corner) and Second and Main (NW side of Main).
Official Derby Festival Merchandise, including ThunderWear, will be available at the Waterfront Chow Wagon, South Great Lawn, East Great Lawn, 2nd Street and River Road, 3rd Street and River Road, 4th Street and River Road, Preston and Witherspoon, Bingham and Witherspoon Street, River Road and Bingham Way and in Southern Indiana.
Merchant Row along Witherspoon will feature vendors selling everything from sunglasses to jewelry and hand-drawn caricatures.
Presenting sponsors of the 2016 Thunder Over Louisville are Horseshoe Southern Indiana, KentuckyOne Health, LG&E, Meijer, UPS, and Valero.