June 27, 2024. Louisville, KY. – U.S. Troops around the world will have the opportunity to experience Thunder Over Louisville on the Fourth of July. The Kentucky Derby Festival has partnered with the Kentucky Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet and WDRB to share a special presentation of this year’s Thunder air show and fireworks with the American Forces Network. It will be broadcast on Independence Day to more than half a million U.S. Armed Forces personnel, Department of Defense civilian employees and their families stationed overseas.

“Thunder Over Louisville would not be possible without the support of our U.S. military, and this special broadcast is a small way we can pay tribute to those serving our country on this patriotic day,” said Matt Gibson, President & CEO of the Kentucky Derby Festival, who introduces the broadcast along with Governor Andy Beshear. “This year we celebrated the 35th production of Thunder with one of the best shows yet. We hope the troops enjoy it as much as we did.”

“Through this special Thunder Over Louisville broadcast in honor of the Fourth of July, we’re proud to share a little bit of Kentucky with our heroic service members,” said Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear. “On the Fourth of July, we recommit ourselves to never forgetting that we are the home of the free because of the brave, and we take time to honor all the heroes who have served and are serving our great country. To all our troops watching – we are praying for your safe return and are grateful for your service.”

The Thunder special will air July 4th at 7 p.m. viewer time overseas on the AFN|prime channel. It will be available to viewers on U.S. military installations, at U.S. embassies and U.S. consulates located in approximately 167 countries and territories, as well as aboard more than 140 U.S. Navy ships at sea outside of U.S. territorial waters. (It will also be shared at other times by the American Forces Network). This Fourth of July marks more than 80 years since the American Forces Network and its stations worldwide aired its first radio broadcast to U.S. troops in Europe during the Second World War.

“We are proud to partner with the Kentucky Derby Festival on sharing this special presentation with our troops on Independence Day,” said Kentucky Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet Secretary Lindy Casebier. “This production is one way for us to express our thanks to the men and women in the armed forces stationed across the world as we celebrate 248 years of our democracy.”

The three-hour program, produced by WDRB (Official Television Broadcast Partner of Thunder Over Louisville), features highlights from their broadcast of the 2024 Thunder, including the fireworks, drone show and air show, which features a packed line-up of military and civilian aircraft.

“We have some special “firsts” and other surprises for AFN in the WDRB 2024 Thunder production,” said Dale R. Woods, President & General Manager of WDRB. “From highly decorated military commentators, an air-to-air drone cam flying day and night, even during the fireworks, to 24-cameras capturing the flyby thrills. Some cams are equipped with special zoom lenses to zero in on the pilots showcasing all the action!”

Thunder Over Louisville is one of the more than 70 events produced by the Kentucky Derby Festival in the spring. It provides an estimated impact of $56 million to the area’s economy. The 2024 Thunder Over Louisville – themed “Celebrating Derby 150” – took place on April 20. It was the show’s 35th production.

2024 Thunder Over Louisville Show Sponsors: Caesars Southern Indiana, Humana, LG&E, Meijer, and UPS. In addition to the Presenting Sponsors, UofL Health is the Official Health Care Provider and the Official Hotel is the Galt House Hotel. Akima is the Thunder on the Ground Military Zone Sponsor. The Official Thunder Golf Cart Sponsor is UA Local 502. Thunder Over Louisville’s 2024 Official Broadcast Partners are WDRB and MIX 106.9.