Saturday, April 21, 2001

Ky. Derby fireworks to be biggest

The Associated Press

        LOUISVILLE — The Kentucky Derby Festival's pyrotechnic feast, Thunder Over Louisville, will use more fireworks this year than ever before.

        That's just what the hundreds of thousands of spectators who line the Ohio River shoreline or watch from boats have come to expect from the event, scheduled for tonight.

        The annual show — which this year will boast more than 51,000 blasts and is dubbed “2001: A Festival Odyssey” — has added more than 5,000 shells each year since 1998. The first show in 1990 featured only 3,500.

        The gigantic fireworks display by Zambelli Fireworks Internationale, launched from two floating barges and the Clark Memorial Bridge, keeps growing as the designs get more complicated, organizers say.

        “Our aim is to keep it the largest show in North America,” said Stacey Yates, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Derby Festival.

        But there's no science to the year-by-year increase, Ms. Yates said.

        “It's whatever fits into the choreography,” she said. “There's no particular rhyme or reason.”

        There will, however, be a science to the Coast Guard's plans to tighten regulations in the water, after the drowning death at last year's show.

        A 23-year-old Louisville woman drowned and four others were treated for hypothermia after their boat had a mechanical problem and filled with water.

        This year the regulated area of the river was expanded, and 33 patrol boats from the Coast Guard and other agencies are maintaining a “no wake” zone to reduce the boats' speed, said Lt. Steven Garcia, a spokesman for the Coast Guard. Penalties for breaking the rules will be harsh, he said.

        “What we want people to know is if you violate the no wake zone, there can be a civil penalty of up to $27,500,” Lt. Garcia said.

        About 1,142 police officers from the city, county and suburbs, National Guard members and Kentucky State Police troopers will be assigned to traffic and crowd control.

        Preceding Thunder Over Louisville is an air show from 3 p.m. until just before the first fireworks blast at 9:30 p.m.


Grand jury indicts 63 in looting, violence
Court battle could follow federal inquiry
Children offer city messages of peace and respect
Grading system suggested for city
Lawsuit charges bias in curfew arrests
Rodger leaves with no regrets
Butler arrests 13 in OxyContin sweep
Deters looking to step up
Murals at old church in need of a miracle
SAMPLES: A storyteller
HOWARD: Neighborhoods
MCNUTT: Tree fight
Appeals judges say Scott is fit to die
Schools' art back in sight
$1.8M in tobacco funds OK'd
Black soldiers honored at park
Campbell students all meet deadline
Child-support payments have Ohio stumped
Cleveland museum buys Dali painting
Health care firm begins fresh start
Judge accused of over-billing since 1998
Ky. Derby concert promoter hired
- Ky. Derby fireworks to be biggest
Lawyers Benjamin, Klekamp honored
Lights blamed for Prime & Wine fire
McAteer ousted to senator's chagrin
Meeting on river is first step
Mine oversight revamped
Molestation case widens
Mom's boyfriend accused in toddler's death
Second principal post to be added at middle school
Plea for life gets killer an execution date
Sheppard's son still hopeful
Two admit cash theft gone awry
UK college of pharmacy would expand
Kentucky News Briefs
Tristate A.M. Report