Thunder Day Information

Get excited about Thunder! Check out the information below to plan your perfect Thunder Day – whether you’re coming with a family or with a group of friends. 

Got a little one? Don’t forget to download a “Gus” Pegasus Coloring Page for Thunder! Download the Thunder Coloring Page HERE


Thunder Tips:

  1. Wear your Pegasus Pin. Show your support for the Kentucky Derby Festival, plus you’ll need it for the Thunder Chow Wagon, Meijer Family Fun Zone at the Big Four Bridge and North Great Lawn viewing area.
  2. Park as far away from event venue as you can comfortably walk. Refer to the LMPD Traffic Plan to help choose the best place to park and exit route.
  3. Dress in layers. The temperature can vary a great deal throughout the day. Bring sunglasses & sunscreen.
    Know your limits and your children’s limits for the day. Seven hours can be a long day for toddlers. Consider picking air show OR fireworks.
  4. Bring a roll of toilet paper (Thunder Pots can run out!)
  5. Please do NOT bring pets, tents or materials to rope off/section off areas of the venue.
  6. 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.)
  7. Familiarize yourself with your surroundings AND be aware of the Thunder services around you…EMS, Lost Child Stations, General First Aid.
  8. Make sure your car has plenty of gas for the exit traffic delays.
  • Designate a driver if you plan on drinking in the only beer-vending areas of the event: Thunder Chow Wagon at Waterfront Park, Meijer Family Fun Zone at the Big Four Bridge, 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 phones, 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. Thunder 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 air show 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.
  • ThunderWear (official Thunder merchandise) can be found in several locations.
  • You can tune into the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport Command Center and complete Air Show commentary on MIX 106.9
  • Stay up-to-date by following Kentucky Derby Festival on social media @KyDerbyFestival and @ThunderOverLouisville.
  • 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


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)