Louisville, KY. – 64 days out to this year’s Thunder Over Louisville - the Kentucky Derby Festival’s Opening Ceremonies – and the air show line-up continues to grow. This year’s show, set for Saturday, April 22, will feature the F-35 Lightning II Stealth Fighter in its first-ever Thunder appearance. The F-35 is the newest United States Air Force fighter and will be part of Thunder’s salute to the 70th Anniversary of the U.S.A.F.
The B-2 Stealth Bomber will also return to the show for the first time since 2012, along with the U.S. Army Golden Knights who last performed in 2015. An F-86 Fighter Jet celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the 123rd Kentucky Air National Guard is also in the line-up, along with the B-25 Bomber commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Doolittle Raid, which turned the tide of WWII. Other acts scheduled to perform include Billy Werth, Matt Younkin’s Twin Beech 18, and aerobatic pilot Rob Holland. Additional details on the 2017 Air Show schedule will be released closer to the show date.
“This year’s air show is shaping up to be one of the best ever,” said Mike Berry, Kentucky Derby Festival President & CEO. “The Thunder Crew works to make each year’s show new and different – from what’s in the air to the fireworks and the soundtrack, and this year will be another show you don’t want to miss.”
PHOTOS: F-35A Lightning II
The Kentucky Derby Festival also has some great seats available to watch the daylong air show and fireworks extravaganza. The viewing options available include:
• Thunder Tents: Businesses and groups can purchase tents with a front row seat for the show. Those include catered meals, private restrooms, and parking. Any interested parties can contact the Derby Festival at (502) 584-FEST.
• Thunder VIP Rooftop Party: Individual tickets are also available for the Thunder VIP Rooftop Party, which includes all the amenities – catered meals, open bar and private restrooms. Tickets for the Thunder VIP Rooftop Party don’t go on sale until March 3rd, but fans who sign up for the Festival’s E-newsletter at KDF.org by February 22nd, will receive a special pre-sale code to reserve their tickets BEFORE they go on sale to the public.
PHOTOS: B-2 Spirit
The theme of this year’s show is “Thunder: Local & Original,” a nod to the show’s Louisville heritage. The theme will also help direct the fireworks soundtrack which will feature the music of Louisville and Kentuckiana natives, as well as The Louisville Orchestra.
Horseshoe Southern Indiana, LG&E, Meijer, UPS and Valero are Presenting Sponsors of the 2017 Thunder Over Louisville. In addition, Ford Motor Company returns as sponsor of Ford’s Thunder on the Ground and CareSource returns as the Official Sound Sponsor for the show. Thunder Over Louisville’s 2017 Official Broadcast Partners are WHAS TV and SummitMedia’s 106.9 PLAY.
Thunder Over Louisville - the Derby Festival's Opening Ceremonies - is one of nearly 70 events produced by the Derby Festival in the spring. The 2017 Thunder Over Louisville, themed “Thunder: Local & Original,” is set for Saturday, April 22, and will be the 28th annual production.