How did Thunder Over Louisville get its name? After the 1990 show, the show producers realized what a dynamic impact the fireworks show had made. The sound particularly rolled across the landscape like thunder. Thus, the show demanded a title that adequately reflected its intensity.
How many people does it take to produce Thunder Over Louisville? More than 2,000 people are involved in making Thunder a safe and enjoyable show. This includes all the public safety officials, clean up crews, vendors, volunteers and participants. for a list of all those people and groups that work on Thunder Over Louisville.
How did Thunder Over Louisville get started? In just 17 years, what started as a better than average fireworks display has become the pinnacle of pyrotechnics. Thunder is the nation's largest annual fireworks event. It is also one of the top five air shows in the country. Fireworks have been a part of celebrating the Kentucky Derby Festival since the 1960's. Various displays occurred on different nights of the week and locations such as Oxmoor Center in East Jefferson County, including sites along the Ohio River.
The Festival had its first "opening ceremonies" event in 1990 at Cardinal Stadium featuring recording artist Janie Frickie and a fireworks show. That led to the first "Thunder" in 1991, held downtown over the Ohio River. With the support of the community, sponsors and city officials, the show has become the region's largest annual event, attracting a regional and even national audience. The air show was slowly added as a way to stagger the crowd entering the event and provide entertainment before the 9:30 pm fireworks portion. The air show is now an event of it's own and ranks in the top 5 air shows in the nation. Thunder Over Louisville has made a lot of people happy, garnered international attention, entertained millions and given Greater Louisvillians something else to brag about.
What companies have sponsored Thunder Over Louisville? 1990 -- SPONSORS: Kroger, Sam Meyers Formal Wear, Derby Cone Company and Oscar Mayer. 1991 -- SPONSORS: Kroger, Oscar Mayer, UPS, and Kool-Aid. 1992 -- SPONSORS: Kroger, UPS, Louis Rich, and Kool-Aid. 1993 -- SPONSORS: Kroger, Coca-Cola, UPS, Louis Rich, and Paramount Foods. 1994 -- SPONSORS: Kroger, UPS, Coca-Cola, Louis Rich, and Paramount Foods. 1995 -- SPONSORS: Louis Rich, Kroger, Paramount, Coca-Cola, and UPS. 1996 -- SPONSORS: Kroger, UPS, Coca-Cola, Louis Rich, and Tyson/Holly Farms. 1997 -- SPONSORS: Louis Rich, UPS, Kroger, Coca-Cola, and Tyson/Holly Farms. 1998 -- SPONSORS: Kroger, UPS, Coca-Cola and Kraft/Oscar Mayer 1999 -- SPONSORS: Kroger, UPS and Tyson/Holly Farms 2000 -- SPONSORS: Blue Chip Broadcasting, Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation, Caesars Indiana, Ford and UPS 2001 -- SPONSORS: Blue Chip Broadcasting, Caesar's Indiana, Ford and UPS 2002 -- SPONSORS: Caesars Indiana, Ford, Radio One, Thorntons, Tricon and UPS 2003 -- SPONSORS: Caesars Indiana, Ford, UPS and Yum Brands 2004 -- SPONSORS: Caesars Indiana, Ford and UPS 2005 -- SPONSORS: Caesars Indiana, Chase, Ford and UPS 2006 -- SPONSORS: Caesars Indiana, Chase, E.ON U.S. and UPS 2007 -- SPONSORS: Caesars Indiana, E.ON U.S., Meijer and UPS
What does it cost to produce Thunder Over Louisville? The total cost of producing the event exceeds $1 million. But for a benefit to the community of 31 times that, our sponsors and board believe it is worth every penny.