Zambelli family begins preps for Thunder


by Gene Kang

Posted on April 18, 2013 at 1:17 PM

Updated Saturday, Apr 20 at 12:04 PM

(WHAS11) -- The Zambelli family has exclusive access to the Clark Memorial Bridge (as known as the 2nd Street Bridge) in Louisville and southern Indiana.

They are setting up thousands of fireworks for Thunder Over Louisville. They are also well prepared for Mother Nature.

Before Thunder this year, there was wind. It was a challenge to close down the 2nd Street Bridge Thursday in order to set up this year's fireworks display.

"The winds start to move in as the unique weather moves in for Spring in Kentucky so we plan accordingly," Matt Gibson with the Kentucky Derby Festival said.

The Kentucky Derby Festival teamed up with MSD to stabilize equipment with palettes of sand bags. Zambelli International Fireworks will operate in stages.

First, laying down the tubes, then adding wiring, before finally dropping in the fireworks for the extravaganza.

"They'll cover them with what looks like household aluminum foil, very easy to break through when they actually launch," Gibson said.

More than 50,000 fireworks will catapult into the night sky on Saturday. Half-a-million people are expected to fill the Great Lawn and parts of downtown Louisville.

Tents are being set up at Waterfront Park for family fun.

"We get here early and find a spot and camp out and wait for festivities to happen," Terrence Carter, who has made Thunder a family tradition said. 

The U.S. Coast Guard will be on duty to monitor hundreds of boaters enjoying the show from the Ohio River.

A shuttle will run from both sides of the 2nd Street bridge for commuters until Saturday at 11:00. TARC buses will be allowed to cross the bridge.