Kentucky Derby: Events will go on despite Boston bombings

4/16/2013 8:30 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Officials with the organization that puts on dozens of events in Louisville in the weeks before the Kentucky Derby said Monday those events will go on despite the bombings at the Boston Marathon.

Mike Berry, chief executive officer and president of the nonprofit Kentucky Derby Festival, said nothing will be cancelled. The festival puts on 70 events around the Kentucky Derby, including the massive Thunder Over Louisville air and fireworks show set for Saturday.

"We will assess, but we have plans in place based on the scenarios we saw today with all of our events," said Matt Gibson, vice president of events for the festival.

Festival officials estimate some 800,000 people could show up along the Ohio River waterfront in Louisville and southern Indiana to watch Thunder Over Louisville, which features an all-day air show and one of the largest fireworks displays in the country after dark.

On April 27, 17,000 runners and 40,000 spectators are expected for a marathon and mini-marathon. Also planned are several hot-air balloon races and an evening "Balloon Glow" that attracts crowds, a parade through downtown Louisville and outdoor concerts.

The Derby is May 4.

Louisville police are expected to hold a news conference Tuesday.

John Asher, a spokesman for Churchill Downs racetrack, where the Kentucky Derby is run, said the track is in "close and frequent contact" with federal, state and local law enforcement.

While more than 150,000 people pour into Churchill Downs for the Derby, security officers inspect every bag and dozens of items are banned, including backpacks, luggage, duffel bags, umbrellas, weapons and personal tents.


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