LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Thunder Over Louisville is right around the corner and, instead of at the waterfront, this year's fireworks will be set off all around Louisville. While this means more people may be able to catch a glimpse of the show, it also means the loud and often disruptive sounds of fireworks could be heard closer to your home.
The Kentucky Derby Festival issued a statement on the changes to this year's show and how it could affect the community - especially people with PTSD, autism or those who have experienced other trauma.
"With this year’s unique show format for Thunder Over Louisville and having fireworks in different areas of the community, we do encourage everyone to plan as they would for a holiday like July 4th, and take any precautions necessary for themselves, loved ones or pets," a portion of the statement said.
KDF officials said this year's show will be more focused on color than "shells with loud booms" and the length of the show will be reduced from 30 minutes to around 18 minutes.
The fireworks associated with Thunder Over Louisville will go off in a set timeframe from 9:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at several "undisclosed" locations in Louisville and southern Indiana. You can read more about this year's events here.
If you have pets, here are some additional tips on how to keep them safe and secure for Thunder.
If your pets are at home, be sure to keep them safe and comfortable. If they are in a cage or crate, the Kentucky Humane Society recommends put a towel or blanket over it to help them feel protected.
If pets show unusual behavior, such as incessant pacing, crying or whining, owners should help distract them through play or another enjoyable pet activity.
It's also a good idea to have your pets micro-chipped or make sure that they have an ID tag in case they run off due to anxiety.
If the fireworks are close to your home, try to keep your pets inside until the show is over. Debris and hot embers from the fireworks can be harmful to animals. It's also a good idea to check your yard for any debris your pet may try to eat.