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Thunder Over Louisville draws 700,000

Thunder Over Louisville draws 700,000

A near-record crowd early at Thunder Over Louisville remained at a “near-record” level for one of the largest fireworks shows in the country at yesterday’s opening act of the Kentucky Derby Festival.

An estimated 600,000 people had arrived by 6 p.m. for Thunder Over Louisville’s air show and grew to an estimated 700,000 as the thunderous jets gave way to the thunder and lightning of fireworks as darkness fell.

It was one of the three largest crowds during the 20 years of Thunder, organizers said. The largest was estimated at 800,000 people, in 2007 and 1997.

The day started with the air show, in which about 85 mostly military aircraft buzzed Waterfront Park.

Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, now in his 20th year as leader of the city, has attended every Thunder.

“This has become the premier family event for this region of the country,” Abramson said.

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