April 15, 2013. Louisville, KY. – This week marks the official kick-off of the 2013 Kentucky Derby Festival. Venue set-up and preparations for Derby Festival’s Opening Ceremonies: Thunder Over Louisville and Chow Wagon begin today. The public venue runs North of Main between Clay and 8th Street on the Kentucky side.
Monday, April 15:
Thunder Command Center starts assembly in Room 2400 of the Galt House. Follow construction during the week as equipment builds. Installation of fiber optic sound system begins.
Tuesday, April 16:
Chow Wagon vendor move-in and stage set-up begins at Waterfront Park. Fencing, dumpsters and other infrastructure will be put into place.
12:00 PM – King Southern Bank Pro Am Golf Tournament tees off at Big Spring Country Club
Wednesday, April 17:
Thunder infrastructure set-up all day.
Members from Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley as well as the Thunder Over Louisville Safety Coalition will be available from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Louisville Waterfront Park (LMPD Dock next to Tumbleweed) for media to ride aboard any of the assets available. The Coast Guard will have two 25-foot response boats available. USCG Contacts: LTJG Geoff Albe (502) 376- 1862 and LT Ron Easley (502)779-5442.
5:30-8:30 PM – Taste of Derby Festival at Louisville Slugger Field.
Thursday, April 18:
2nd Street Bridge closes at 9:30 AM and will remain closed through at least 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 21
Thunder fireworks racks and brackets being installed throughout day – pending weather
10 AM – Sat. Fireworks loading on 2nd Street Bridge. Call press office for access and details.
Aircraft begin arriving for Thunder. Call the press office for more information.
10 AM: Stock Yards Bank $1 Million Dollar Hole-In-One Golf Contest Opens at Seneca Golf Course.
4 PM: They’re Off! Luncheon set up begins. 50 volunteers in the Galt House East Clements Room.
Friday, April 19:
7:00 AM: They’re Off! Luncheon set up continues in the Galt House East Grand Ballroom.
Lost children tents go up on KY side, Port-a-Johns being delivered
10:00 AM: Coast Guard Press Conference – Waterfront Park Great Lawn: Water Safety Plan, Boater Safety
USCG Contacts: LTJG Geoff Albe (502) 376-1862 and LT Ron Easley (502)779-5442.
10:00 AM: Various street closures for venue. Concession trailer caravan from East River Road
11:30 AM: They’re Off! Luncheon at the Galt House.
1-6 PM: Command Center open for tours, interviews. Call press office for arrangements.
1 PM: Remaining streets on venue closed for duration of event – other assets being moved in
Interactive exhibits and displays set-up along River Road.
6:30 PM: Displays and interactive exhibits installed.
Kentucky Derby Festival, Louisville Metro Police Department and Waterfront Development Corp. personnel will strictly enforce NO OVERNIGHT CAMPING, NO TENTS – all personal items left unattended overnight in the event venue will be considered abandoned and removed (camping gear, coolers, tarps, chairs, etc ).
DERBY FESTIVAL THUNDER WEEK HAPPENINGS – Week of April 15, 2013
Saturday, April 20:
EARLY AM - Kentucky Derby Festival, Louisville Metro Police Department and Waterfront Development Corp. personnel will enforce NO TENTS in Waterfront Park
9 AM – Waterfront Park opens, except North Great. Lawn. 9 AM – North Great Lawn viewing area opens. Free admission with 2013 Pegasus Pin.
NO TENTS, STAKES, TAPE OR PETS allowed anywhere in the Thunder venue.
NOON - Free bicycle check-in for public at city compound, Preston and Witherspoon streets.
Other story angles for Thunder Week coverage:
2013 theme “Thunder Vision” reflected in Fireworks Soundtrack
McBride Transportation (Damon Boots – 664-7777) can provide video and interview opportunities related to utilizing the barges used for fireworks throughout the week
Ford’s Thunder on the Ground – all the interactive exhibits and activities on the Great Lawn
Economic impact of Thunder is $56 million, many businesses reap big benefits from show
Thunder parties: many other area non-profits have significant fund-raisers using Thunder as the featured entertainment
Rumpke (Thunder pots and Clean-up) – Set-up Thunder pots before show and get them out-of sight by Sunday morning, Set-up dumpsters for Thunder - Sara Cullin – (513) 741-2617
Hertz - providing generators for show – John Imbaratto (615) 207-7618
Since 1956, the Derby Festival has worked to bring the community together in celebration. The Festival is an independent community organization supported by 4,000 volunteers, 400 businesses and civic groups, Pegasus Pin sponsorships and event participation. This involvement has made the Festival the largest single attended event in Kentucky and one of the leading community celebrations in the world.