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    This week will mark the official kick-off of the 2011 Kentucky Derby Festival. 

    Venue set-up and preparations for Derby Festival’s Opening Ceremonies: Thunder Over Louisville and Chow Wagon began today, Monday, April 11.

    The public venue runs North of Main between Clay and 8th Street on the Kentucky side.

    Monday, April 11:
    Thunder CommandCenter starts assembly in Room 2400 of the Galt House.  Follow construction during the week as equipment builds. Installation of fiber optic sound system begins.

    Tuesday, April 12
    Chow Wagon vendor move-in and stage set-up begins at WaterfrontPark.  Fencing, dumpsters and other infrastructure will be put into place.

    Wednesday, April 13

    Thunder fireworks racks and brackets being installed throughout day – pending weather

    Thursday, April 14

    2nd Street Bridge closes at 9:30 AM and will remain closed through at least 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 17.
    9:30 AM – Sat.  Fireworks loading on 2nd Street Bridge.  Call press office for access and details.

    Louisville Metro Police to announce traffic plan at 2 p.m. at LMPD headquarters.
    Aircraft begin arriving for Thunder.  Contact Josh Ketterer at KYANG: (502) 413-4064 for interview requests.
    Lost children tents go up on KY side, Port-a-Johns being delivered
    4 PM:  They’re Off! Luncheon set up begins.  50 volunteers in the Galt House East Clements Room.

    Friday, April 15

    7:00 AM:  They’re Off! Luncheon set up continues in the Galt House East Grand Ballroom.

    10:00 AM:  Coast Guard Press Conference: Water Safety Plan, Boater Safety

    10:00 AM:  Various street closures for venue. Concession trailer caravan from East River Road

    11:30 AM:  They’re Off! Luncheon at the Galt House.

    1-6 PM:  CommandCenter open for tours, interviews.  Call press office for arrangements.

    3:30 PM: Remaining streets on venue closed for duration of event – other assets being moved in
             Interactive exhibits and displays set-up along River Road.

    6:30 PM: Displays and interactive exhibits installed.

    Kentucky Derby Festival, Louisville Metro Police Department and Waterfront Development Corp. personnel will strictly enforce NO OVERNIGHT CAMPING, NO TENTS – all personal items left unattended overnight in the event venue will be considered abandoned and removed (camping gear, coolers, tarps, chairs, etc ).

    Saturday, April 16

    EARLY AM - Kentucky Derby Festival, Louisville Metro Police Department and Waterfront Development Corp. personnel will enforce NO TENTS in Waterfront Park
    9 AM – North Great Lawn viewing area opens.  Free admission with 2011 Pegasus Pin.
    NO TENTS, STAKES, TAPE OR PETS allowed anywhere in the Thunder venue.
    NOON -
    Free bicycle check-in for public at city compound, Preston and Witherspoon streets.


    Photo by:  Chas S. Kuhn


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    Didn't I tell you? I run this place! Not much goes on here without me knowing...I'm always watching.

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