July 2, 2021. Louisville, KY. – U.S. Troops around the world will see Thunder Over Louisville in honor of the July 4th holiday. The Kentucky Derby Festival has teamed up with the Kentucky Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet, as well as WHAS11 to share a special presentation of the 2021 Thunder show with the American Forces Network. It will be broadcast on Independence Day to more than a half million U.S. Armed Forces personnel, Department of Defense civilian employees, and their families stationed overseas.

“Sharing Thunder Over Louisville is just a small way we can pay tribute to those who are serving our country on this patriotic holiday,” said Matt Gibson, President and CEO of the Kentucky Derby Festival, who introduces the broadcast along with Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear. “The Thunder show would not be possible without the support and participation of our U.S. military. We hope they enjoy this special production.”
“We salute our brave men and women of the American Forces,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “It is an honor to share one of Kentucky’s greatest traditions – Thunder Over Louisville – as a special tribute to our troops, letting them know the people of the commonwealth are so proud to support them every step of the way.”
The 90-minute special, produced by WHAS11, includes highlights from their broadcast of the 2021 Thunder Over Louisville air show and fireworks display. The Thunder special will air July 4th at 7 a.m. and again at 2 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 168 countries and territories, as well as aboard more than 140 U.S. Navy ships at sea outside of U.S. territorial waters.

“The cabinet is honored to continue our partnership and pay tribute with this special presentation to the American troops near and far for their bravery and patriotism,” said Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Mike Berry. “We owe our unwavering gratitude to the men and women who heroically serve our country and ensure our freedoms.”

WHAS11 was the official television broadcast partner of Thunder this year. The 2021 Thunder Over Louisville was the 32nd annual production. The event was designed for television and produced without spectators due to the pandemic.

Thunder Over Louisville – the Derby Festival’s Opening Ceremonies – is one of the more than seventy events produced by the Derby Festival in the spring. The 2021 show was sponsored by: Caesars Southern Indiana, Ford Motor Company, GE Appliances, a Haier company, LG&E, Meijer, Papa John’s and UPS. Official Hotel: The Galt House. Command Center Sponsor: Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport. Official Broadcast Partners: WHAS11 and MIX 106.9.

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