Deacon Clay: "No, I've never gone to it."
Dominic: "You mean to tell me that you've been here five years and have never been to Thunder Over Louisville, the biggest fireworks show in the country!?!? That seems like something you would definitely have to do before you left here!"
This was a real conversation that I had six years ago with a (then) deacon here at Saint Meinrad. It was inconceivable to me that someone would spend multiple years here and have never seen what is this country's largest fireworks show. Here I am, six years later, and it almost happened for me. Thankfully, I scheduled myself to preach in Jeffersonville this past weekend (before I knew that it was Thunder weekend), so I had a great opportunity to finally see it.
One of the seminarians studying at Saint Meinrad is from Jeffersonville. His father happens to be the Clark County Sheriff. I (and many others from Saint Meinrad) were invited to enjoy the "law-enforcement hospitality tent" throughout the evening, after which we would be allowed to go up onto the I-65 bridge into Louisville (closed for this event) to watch the show. Seeing as the show is launched from the river, this was one of the best vantage points (and I didn't have to spend all-day there "saving" my spot!).
The show is an intensely choreographed display set off from two barges "parked" in the river on either side of the 2nd street bridge into Louisville, which was also shut down and utilized as a fireworks launching pad. It is all computer controlled and is set to coordinate with music, though none of us had the music playing during the show.
It went for about 20 minutes of near constant displays, finishing with a "finale." Then, after about a minute, it launched into an "encore," which lasted about five minutes and finished with an incredible flurry of fireworks that made you feel like you'd been used as a punching bag by about 15 different boxers at once. Here are some images and video to help give you a feel for what it was like.
|Louisville skyline from the I-65 bridge into Louisville (notice the barge in the river)|
|I also got a free "Clark County Sheriff" hat, courtesy of Sheriff Rodden!|
|Close to the beginning of the show...|
|and it continued...|
|and continued... (here you see the setup on the bridge)|
And then the videos
From the early part of the show...
and closer to the first end.