The 2007 Kentucky Derby Festival has officially started. This past Saturday was "Thunder Over Louisville," an all-day airshow followed by a 30 minute fireworks extravaganza. For the first time ever, I experienced Thunder live and in-person, and Scott and I had a blast!
I'm not much of one for huge crowds, so the idea of spending an entire day with 800,000 other individuals watching an air show and fireworks has always had a downside for me. Particularly the idea of port-a-pots without toilet paper! But for the last 2 years Scott and I have been talking about doing Thunder the "right" way, i.e. paying to go somewhere with access to real bathrooms and a roof over our heads in case it's rainy or cold. It was fitting that we'd go to Thunder together because we actually starting dating the night before Thunder in 2005, so this was our 2nd anniversary. So we paid for the right to park in the Kentucky Center for the Arts and have use of that facility. Behind the KCA is the old Belvedere lawn, and we set ourselves up out there, enjoying the 75+ degree temperatures and nice breeze off of the river.
The airshow was a lot more fun than I thought it would be. It was over 5 hours long, so we were entertained the entire afternoon. Scott knows a great deal about planes and helicopters, too, which certainly helped make it interesting. In fact, hearing him talk made me wish I'd paid more attention and asked more questions of my maternal grandfather, a career Air Force pilot, when he was alive. We ran into several friends of mine, and Scott "texted" with one of his friends that was somewhere in the crowd. But mostly we just enjoyed the show. It was a good way to celebrate two years together.
So in two weeks Louisville will be in the spotlight as the Run for the Roses captivates our attention on that beautiful first Saturday in May. Lots of native Louisvillians sort of roll their eyes at the Derby, because the actual day is really for all the visitors and fancy horse people who can afford the luxury suites on Millionaires Row. It's the two weeks leading up to the Derby that are for us local folks. But I've always loved the Derby, from the silly pre-Derby "bed races" for charity to the actual race itself. It's a beautiful time of the year to be in my city (as some friends who haven't visited in years may have a distant memory of the beautiful weather and the taste of the mint julips), no matter how you take in the race itself.
Anyway, check out the website, read up on the horses who may be in the race of their lifetime, and let me know who you'll be placing a bet on (whether real or imaginary).