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Thunder Over Louisville will happen without spectators, Kentucky Derby Festival announces

Thunder Over Louisville will go on without spectators on April 17.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Kentucky Derby Festival (KDF) shared updates on its events for 2021 in a press conference Tuesday. KDF President and CEO Matt Gibson and Board Chair Judy Hess discussed the upcoming season and popular events including Thunder Over Louisville and the Pegasus Parade.

Gibson said this year's Thunder Over Louisville, scheduled for April 17, will look very different from previous years due to the ongoing pandemic. The show will go on without spectators and it will not take place at Waterfront Park. People will be able to watch the show from home.

Gibson also said there will be no gathering on Broadway for the Pegasus Parade. Organizers are working on a plan and timeframe for the parade.

Pegasus Pins for 2021 will be available for $6.

Organizers said they will make more announcements on how festival events will look in the coming weeks.

All KDF events, including Thunder Over Louisville, were eventually canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers have already said that Pegasus Pins that were purchased in 2020 would be accepted for 2021 events if they happen as planned.

KDF is currently planning to hold the 2021 miniMarathon and Marathon in-person over several days in April with a new course that allows for social distancing.

Churchill Downs has already set its dates for the Kentucky Oaks and Derby: April 30 and May 1, 2021.

Organizers said they are running those dates, but are assuming they will limit reserved seats to 40-50% capacity. They are not selling general admission tickets until they move closer to the date.

Other event organizers are hopeful that they will be able to host their events this year as the COVID-19 vaccine rolls out, but many are waiting until case numbers in Kentucky and Indiana drop significantly before they make a final decision.

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