RV city pops up in Downtown ahead of 25th Thunder


by Brooke Hasch


Posted on April 11, 2014 at 10:05 PM

Updated Saturday, Apr 12 at 5:33 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11)-- Empty parking lots near Louisville's waterfront are filling up fast. A mobile city within a city has popped up next door to Slugger Field, as Thunder fans prepare for the 25th Thunder Over Louisville Saturday. In all, 103 RV's have filled the lot.

It's the prime spot for campers eager to settle in before thousands make their way to downtown Louisville.

"This is the first time we brought our RV and camped out and we always have a good time," Curtis Hopkins, an Evansville resident said.

"I love standing on the roof of my RV and watching the airplanes. That's the main reason I come," Hunter Shehan, from Nelson County said.

The city's recent violence and threats of a repeat didn't deter this crowd, who began rolling into the lot Thursday night.

"We're not scared of anything. We're good," Pepe Satram said.

"Why let a small group of people ruin a great thing?" Paul Pedigo said.

The lot sits just feet away from two of 28 recently installed surveillance cameras monitored by MetroSafe and Metro Corrections.

"They're watching what's happening. If they see something on camera, they're going to alert someone immediately and take care of that problem before it gets to be a problem," Pedigo said.

"We've been a little concerned but I feel like they're going to do a good job of everything," Shehan said.

The big question was if any campers followed the mayor's latest request regarding guns during Thunder.

"He told us to keep our stuff at home, so we are," Satram smiled.

Needless to say, he along with the rest of the crowd brought their homes with them.

"I did bring some mace," Vicky Bader, from Louisville said.

Regardless of what happens, these Thunder veterans are ready for it.

"We haven't missed a year, ever, 25 years. We've been everywhere. We've been in rain, snow, we've been on the Humana building, in the harbors, Tumbleweed. We've been down at a liquor store one time," Bader laughed.

Louisville Metro Police will be in full force for this weekend's Thunder events, with more than 1,100 officers on site.