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Last Saturday, April 18, 2015 was the annual fireworks display and air show, Thunder Over Louisville, in Louisville Kentucky. Thunder Over Louisville is the kick off event for the Kentucky Derby Festival and the largest fireworks show in North America. Thunder Over Louisville starts around 3:00 in the afternoon with a large air show and continues until almost 10:00 pm when the last burst of fireworks explodes in the Grand Finale.
I was invited by a good friend of mine, Ted Heitzman, to join him this year on the Belle of Louisville as his guest. Ted has been on the Belle of Louisville every year since Thunder Over Louisville began. He is an avid photographer and chooses the Belle as the premier spot to witness the fireworks every year. Usually one of the two barges used to launch the fireworks in stationed directly in front of the Third Street Wharf where the Belle of Louisville is anchored but due to very high water in the Ohio River the barges were moved about 1/4 of a mile upstream this year.
The day of Thunder Over Louisville was almost perfect; the sky was filled with a wonderful cloud pattern and the air was clear. I don’t usually come to Thunder Over Louisville to see the air show but this year I joined Ted early in the day and caught most of the air show.
At sunset the main event began when two biplanes towing American flags flew in from the east. The flags were illuminated by searchlights as the National Anthem was played over the PA system. After several loud booms the fireworks show began and as usual it was spectacular. Rockets streaking into the air, from the Clark Memorial Bridge and the two fireworks barges, lit the sky.Thunder over Louisville is overwhelming in it’s scope and always wows the crowd. This year was a little different due to the placement of the barges but it was still amazing to see and hear.
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