Thunder Day Information

click here to download thunder venue map

This applies to ALL viewing areas within the Thunder Over Louisville venue on the Kentucky side –  which goes south from the Ohio River to Main Street between Clay Street and 10th Street and includes Thunder Chow Wagon, Meijer Family Fun Zone on the West Belvedere and North Great Lawn viewing area.

  • No Drones – The FAA has established a no-fly zone around the Thunder venue.  Unmanned aircraft, such as drones, won’t be allowed within 5 miles. Any drones on site could shut down the air show. Violators face confiscation and up to an $11,000 fine. This will be strictly enforced in Kentucky and Indiana.
  • No Tents or Canopies of any kind will be allowed within Waterfront Park. Structures of ANY kind will be required to be taken down.  This will be strictly enforced.
  • No taping or roping off of larges areas will be allowed. This will be strictly enforced throughout the Thunder venue.
  • No overnight camping allowed in Waterfront Park or the overall event area. Waterfront Park officially closes at 11PM on Friday night and will open at 9 AM on Saturday morning.
  • No glass bottles are allowed at the event site. Plastic containers, cans and food are permitted. There are food and soft drink stands throughout the venue to take care of any needs you may have. Beer is also available at the Chow Wagon at Waterfront Park, North Great Lawn, Big 4 Family Fun Area and Meijer Family Fun Zone on the West Belvedere.
  • No outside alcoholic beverages are allowed.
  • No grills are allowed within the Thunder venue.
  • No bikes, skateboards or skates are allowed in the event venue. You will be asked to walk them in for pedestrian safety. If you ride your bike to Thunder, please 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 (on both sides of the river).
  • Please leave any pets at home.
  • A picnic blanket or tarp (limited to 10’x10′) and lawn chairs are allowed inside the Thunder venue (including the North Great Lawn viewing area).
  • FOOD or DRINK is permitted in the North Great Lawn viewing area, Meijer Family Fun Zone on the West Belvedere, Big 4 Lawn and other areas of the Thunder venue.
  • All persons and parcels are subject to search.

Top 10 Thunder Tips:

  1. Pick-up the Official Thunder Program in The Courier-Journal Saturday, April 13th – it has a Thunder map and full airshow schedule.
  2. Wear your Pegasus Pin. Show your support for the Festival, plus you’ll need it for the Thunder Chow Wagon, Meijer Family Fun Zone on the West Belvedere and North Great Lawn viewing area.
  3. Park as far away from the event venue as you can comfortably walk.  Refer to the LMPD Traffic Plan to help choose the best place to park and exit route.
  4. Dress in layers. The temperature can vary a great deal throughout the day.  Bring sunglasses & sunscreen.
  5. Know your limits and your children’s limits for the day. Seven hours can be a long day for toddlers. Consider picking airshow OR fireworks.
  6. Bring a roll of toilet paper (Thunder Pots can run out!)
  7. Please do NOT bring pets, tents or materials to rope off/section off areas of the venue.
  8. You can bring food and drink to the venue (except in the Thunder Chow Wagon).  Vending is also available throughout the venue.  (All parcels subject to search.)
  9. Familiarize yourself with your surroundings AND be aware of the services around you…EMS, Lost Child Stations, General First Aid.
  10. Make sure your car has plenty of gas for the exit traffic delays.
  • Designate a driver if you plan on drinking in the beer-vending areas of the event:  Thunder Chow Wagon at Waterfront Park, Meijer Family Fun Zone on the West Belvedere, North Great Lawn and the Big Four Lawn.
  • Identify a location to regroup should you lose any in your party.
  • Bring your patience. This is not an event for the crowd-shy. Remember the event is for fun – try to have some!
  • Don’t count on cell phones working 100% that day. With that many folks and signals service can be unreliable.
  • Know what your children are wearing. Snap a photo of them on your phone so you have it with you. Make sure they know to find a police officer and know your phone number and address.  Lost Child Stations are set-up throughout the venue at all First Aid Stations.
  • If you plan to bring young children (toddlers and infants) to the venue, bring ear plugs for them.  The loud noises from the airshow and fireworks frighten some children.  Plus, it will help protect their tiny ear drums.
  • Entertain restless children in the kid’s interactive areas or playgrounds in Waterfront Park and along River Road.
  • Thunder Wear (official Thunder merchandise) can be found in several locations.  If you plan on buying a poster, wait until later in the day to keep it from getting damaged.
  • You can tune into the Command Center and complete airshow commentary on 106.9 PLAY.
  • NO-NO’S – Keep glass bottles, grills, tents, stakes, pennant lines, caution tape, alcohol, skates and pets at home.

Thunder Station 1. West Wharf in Joes Crab Shack Parking Lot

Thunder Station 2. Waterfront Park in South Great Lawn (South west corner of lawn)

Thunder Station 3. Waterfront Park in North Great Lawn (South center)

Thunder Station 4. Waterfront Park in Orange Parking Lot (near East River Road)

Thunder Station 5. Waterfront Park at Big Four Lawn

Thunder Station 6. Clarksville in Ashland Park near entrance of Park

Thunder Station 7. Jeffersonville at base of Big 4 Bridge

Saturday, April 13th

11:00 AM – 11:00 PM: Venue Open

3:00 PM – 8:00 PM: Family Friendly Activities

Meijer Family Fun Zone is in the West Belvedere Beer Garden

Admission is FREE with a 2019 Pegasus Pin.  (NO TENTS, STAKES, TAPE OR PETS.) Coolers are permitted. Food/Beer for purchase are also available in the area.

Activities include:
Kids Zone featuring bounce houses, face painting, craft area and photo opportunity.
Putting Challenge and Plinko
Meijer’s Food Truck sampling popsicles
Special Meijer Promotions throughout the day
The Bubble Bug


1. Examine your Boat

Check all safety equipment before getting underway. Don’t forget to check your navigation lights; these must be displayed between sunset and sunrise. Check river conditions at

2. Don’t Drink Alcohol on the Water

According to Kentucky state code, both the drinking of alcoholic beverages and being intoxicated on a boat are prohibited, and the State of Kentucky’s jurisdiction extends across the width of the Ohio River. This law and others that prohibit drinking on the water will be strictly enforced.

3. Wear a Lifejacket

Federal law requires children under the age of 13 to wear lifejackets at all times and for every adult there must also be a lifejacket on-board and easily accessible. Remember, people float better when they wear a lifejacket.


Please be prepared for the following potentially hazardous conditions:

Strong River Currents – High water associated with melting snow and spring rains significantly increase river currents.

Debris – Debris and drift are both difficult to see, especially at night, and they can easily foul a propeller or cause severe damage to a boat.

Low Water Temperature – The average river water temperature during this event is expected to be 50° Fahrenheit. At this temperature, hypothermia can quickly occur.

Fatigue – Many boaters enjoy the event from before noon until after the fireworks display, and spending that much time on the water can both be tiring and lead to serious mistakes.

Navigable Channel: The navigable channel is from the Kentucky shoreline to the center of the river. No vessels may anchor or loiter in the channel. Anchoring is not permitted from the Big Four Bridge to Towhead Island.

No Entry Zone: At 11:00 AM, the Coast Guard will establish a “No Entry Zone” from river mile 606.8 to 602.7 (from McAlpine Lock and Dam to 200 yards up river of the Big Four Railroad Bridge). All spectator boats shall stay away from the no entry zone.

No Wake Zone: A No Wake Zone will be in effect from river mile 602.7 to 598.0.

USCG Sector Ohio Valley – Louisville

LT Michael W. Metz
Waterway Management
(502) 779-5344 (desk)
(502) 715-1429 (cell)