July 2, 2018. Louisville, KY. – The Kentucky Derby Festival’s 2018 Opening Ceremonies – Thunder Over Louisville – will be re-broadcast on the American Forces Network 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.
“We’re honored that we can share Thunder Over Louisville with military personnel and their families 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. “This year’s Thunder was one of the best ever and we hope the troops will enjoy the show.”
The 90-minute special, 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.)
WLKY TV exclusively aired the original air show and fireworks coverage on Saturday, April 21, of this year and has produced the edited version that will be shown on the American Forces Network.
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 2018 show, themed “A Disco Thunder” was sponsored by: Horseshoe Southern Indiana, LG&E, Meijer, UPS, and Valero. Thunder Funder Sponsor: Papa John’s. Thunder on the Ground Sponsor: Ford Motor Company. Official Sound Sponsor: Logan Lavelle Hunt. Official Hotel: The Galt House. Official Broadcast Partners: WLKY 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.