Thunder Over Louisville has been canceled this year.
Today, the Kentucky Derby Festival announced it would be canceling Thunder and the Pegasus Parade, among numerous other events, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Originally postponed until August and September, the Kentucky Derby Festival has determined many of its events, including Thunder Over Louisville, the miniMarathon and the Pegasus Parade are not able to be held in 2020,” the announcement reads. “Having closely monitored the developments surrounding COVID-19, and with an abundance of caution, Festival organizers have made the difficult decision not to produce their traditional large-scale events.”
“As an organization that always puts public health and safety first, we know it would not be responsible for the Kentucky Derby Festival to put on events that attract crowds with not just hundreds, but hundreds of thousands of people,” said Matt Gibson, Kentucky Derby Festival President and CEO. “This has been a difficult and emotional decision for our staff and board, but we believe it is the best one based on these unprecedented circumstances.”
Back in March, KSR broke the news that Thunder over Louisville – the annual kickoff event of the Kentucky Derby Festival – had been rescheduled for August 15.
Meanwhile, the Kentucky Derby has been rescheduled for September 5, though no announcement has been made yet if the race will run with spectators or without.
The annual Kentucky Derby Festival consists of over 70 events, including the likes of Thunder, the Pegasus Parade, the Waterfront Jam Concert Series, Fest-A-Ville, and more. The two-week festival brings in more than 1.5 million people each year, with a local economic impact of over $127 million.