Sunny skies and summer-like temperatures are predicted to welcome visitors to this year’s Thunder Over Louisville. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected Saturday for the annual fireworks spectacular that ushers in the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival.
If you’re planning to go, here are a few tips:
The earliest street closures will go into effect at 10 a.m. Friday, including River Road from Bingham Way to 6th Street, and Bingham Way west from Witherspoon Street.
Witherspoon Street from Preston Street to Brook Street will close at 1 p.m. Friday, as will Floyd and Washington north, and River Road from Preston to Witherspoon.
For a complete list of street closures, click here.
People in the know recommend that you park as far away from the event venue as you can comfortably walk. Pay attention to any signs regarding parking.
What To Leave At Home
Banned items include tents or canopies, glass bottles, alcoholic beverages and grills.
Bikes, skates and skateboards are not allowed in to the event venue. You will be asked to walk them in for pedestrian safety. If you ride your bike to Thunder, officials say to bring a lock and use the bike parking available at Bingham Way and Witherspoon Street, the corner of Preston and Witherspoon Streets and the base of the Big Four Pedestrian Bridge.
Pets are also restricted.
The FAA has established a no-fly zone around the venue and unmanned aircraft, like drones, won’t be allowed within 5 miles. Officials say violators face confiscation and up to an $11,000 fine.
Picnic blankets and 10 x 10 tarps are allowed inside the Thunder venue. Food or drink is permitted in the North Great Lawn viewing area, Meijer Family Fun Zone on the West Belvedere, and other areas of the venue. All persons and parcels are subject to search.
This applies to ALL viewing areas within the Thunder Over Louisville venue on the Kentucky side.
Lay of the Land
Get familiar with this year’s Thunder environs right here.
More than 500,000 people are expected to attend Thunder this year, so patience is not an option — it’s a requirement. Allow additional time to get to and from your destination.
The fireworks show will begin at about 9:30 p.m. on Saturday.
This story has been updated.