June 30, 2017. Louisville, KY. – The Kentucky Derby Festival’s 2017 Opening Ceremonies – Thunder Over Louisville – will be re-broadcast on the American Forces Network Broadcast Center (AFN-BC) to more than a half million U.S. Armed Forces personnel and Department of Defense civilian employees and their families stationed overseas on Independence Day.
“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 Mike Berry, President and CEO of the Kentucky Derby Festival, who introduces the broadcast along with Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “We hope the troops enjoy all the air acts and the spectacular fireworks from this year’s show.”
The 90-minute program, which features highlights of the Thunder Air Show and fireworks, will be shown on July 4th to viewers on U.S. military installations, at U.S. embassies and U.S. consulates located in approximately 174 territories, as well as aboard more than 140 U.S. Navy ships at sea outside of U.S. territorial waters. (It will air at 7 p.m. viewer time overseas on the AFN|spectrum channel.)
WHAS TV exclusively aired the original air show and fireworks coverage on Saturday, April 22, of this year and has produced the edited version that will be shown on the American Forces Network in conjunction with Independence Day celebrations.
The program will also be re-broadcast by WATC TV in Atlanta as part of their 4th of July line-up on WATC TOO, 57-2. WATC TV is licensed as a NonCommercial/Educational station.
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 2017 show, themed “Thunder: Local & Original” was sponsored by Horseshoe Southern Indiana, LG&E, Meijer, UPS, and Valero. Thunder on the Ground Sponsor: Ford Motor Company. Official Sound Sponsor: CareSource. Official Broadcast Partners: WHAS TV and 106.9 PLAY.
Since 1956, the Derby Festival has worked to bring the community together in celebration. The Festival is an independent community organization supported by 4,000 volunteers, 400 businesses and civic groups, Pegasus Pin sponsorships and event participation. This involvement has made the Festival the largest single attended event in Kentucky and one of the leading community celebrations in the world.