Louisville Metro Police are urging people attending Saturday’s Thunder Over Louisville to report any suspicious activity to authorities.
The call comes after Monday’s explosion at the Boston Marathon left three people dead and more than 100 injured.
“If you walk by something or you’re involved in something or you see something that makes you uncomfortable, makes you uneasy, makes you feel like something is not right here, at a minimum grab the nearest officer in your area to say, ‘Hey, could you come over here and check this out,” said Kenton Buckner, assistant chief of Louisville Metro Police.
Buckner cautions that police are looking for suspicious activity—he said police don’t want to make people feel unwelcome to Thunder because of “historical stereotypes that are often associated with these kinds of events in the aftermath.”
“So anyone who is giving information, make sure that your information or your questions or your call for help is based on behavior rather than some kind of stereotypical thing, that you think this person looks a certain way and I think I should call the police.”
People can also help by not leaving unattended bags or coolers that could raise suspicions, police said.
Authorities expect between 400,000 to 700,000 at the Louisville waterfront for the annual air and fireworks show.
An estimated 1,000 officers will police the event, but a final number of officers—from LMPD and other agencies, including from a state and federal level—has not been decided.
A greater police presence is expected at Thunder than in past years, but Buckner would not get into details of how those officers will be used.
Thunder presents “enormous challenges,” Chief Steve Conrad said.
The venue stretches about two miles—and it’s not a closed, controlled environment.
“We’ve got more officer assigned to this event than anything else that we do anytime of the year,” he said.
Typically, Thunder presents issues related to alcohol use and missing children, he said.
Police have received no threats regarding Thunder, Conrad said after the news conference.
Police are also urging people to considering how they’ll get out of downtown Louisville when they park. As usual, police will close streets and try to funnel traffic out of downtown.
Lt. Joe Seelye, commander of the LMPD Traffic Unit, said Thunder attendees should look at those traffic changes and park accordingly.
The city has posted Thunder traffic and park information here.
Here’s information about what you can’t bring into Thunder from the Kentucky Derby Festival.
No Tents or canopies of any kind
No Tape, rope or pennant lines allowed
No glass bottles are allowed at the event site.
Picnic blankets (and tarps limited to 10′ x 10′) and lawn chairs are permitted.
Plastic bottles and food are permitted. There is also plenty of food and soft drink stands to take care of any needs you may have. Beer is available at the Chow Wagon at Waterfront Park, North Great Lawn, the West Belvedere Beer Garden and River Road Beer Garden.
No alcoholic beverages are allowed.
No bikes, skateboards or skates are allowed in the event venue. You will be asked to walk them in for pedestrian safety.
Please leave any pets at home.
Due to increased security – all persons and parcels are subject to search.
The Kentucky Derby Festival has more information here.