Derby Festival officials Tuesday gave an update on the annual Thunder Over Louisville fireworks show.
The major sponsors of the display have returned, and the April 16th show will share the festival’s superhero theme. For the first time ever, the north section of the Great Lawn of Waterfront Park will no longer be first-come, first-served. Rather, attendees will need to purchase a Pegasus Pin to enter.
The first notable change to the festival was announced last week, when officials dropped the word “Kentucky” from the event’s title. Spokesperson Mark Shallcross says the name change was not meant to create an opportunity for sponsorships.
“We are still the Kentucky Derby Festival it’s just a short hand version and helps with our marketing and advertising campaign, but we are still the Kentucky Derby Festival and we will remain so,” he says.
Shallcross says changes to the marathon and mini marathon routes have generated a few complaints, but they’ve been minimal.
“We’ve had a handful of people who were disappointed about the course change and have asked for a refund and we’re just dealing with that on a case by case basis, but anytime you have 38 years of starting the race in the same location in the south end and you change that there’s going to be some people disappointed with that and we expected that,” he says.
Shallcross says the change was made after participants said they wanted both races to have the same starting and finishing lines. The races will start on Main Street in front of the Slugger Museum and finish at Preston and Witherspoon streets.