Sunday, April 24, 2005

It's Derby time in Louisville

The Kentucky Derby Festival officially kicked off last night with the annual Thunder Over Louisville air show and fireworks display. For those of you who may not know, the Derby festival is a two week party that involves the whole city of Louisville. It begins with the Thunder Over Louisville, then continues with dozens of community events, and then culminates with the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May.

I gathered up the family and attempted to head downtown for Thunder this year. I had tickets for the Louisville Bats baseball game, and had planned on spending the afternoon at the river front and then watching the fireworks show from Slugger Field. Unfortunately, the weather had different plans for us. We made through to the end of the baseball game with 20 mph winds and a temperature of around 38 (with a little cold rain and sleet thrown in for good measure). At the end of the game we still had almost three hours until the fireworks started, so we decided that rather than suffer through the weather we would go back to mom and dad's place. We ordered pizza and enjoyed the fireworks on the big screen (and as an added bonus, the fireworks show was broadcast in HD for the first time).

All in all, not a bad day. The air show was taking place almost directly overhead while we were at the ball game. Many of the aircraft that were scheduled to participate bailed because of the low ceilings and high winds, but the planes that did fly put on a great show. The military planes that participated (including an F-16, F-18, F-15 and B-2 Stealth Bomber) put on a low show which was spectacular. It was deafeningly loud at times and wicked fast. If you've not seen the stealth bomber before - wow! It flew right over our heads at less than 1000 ft and we barely heard it.

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