Wednesday July 24, 2024
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As people make preparations for Fourth of July celebrations, Louisville Metro Animal Services asks that you keep your pets in mind. Each year, pets across the country find their way into shelters during this festive time. While many look forward to the traditional celebratory sights and sounds of fireworks glowing and booming across the sky, this can be a scary experience for pets.

Louisville Metro Animal Services is bracing for an influx of stray animals to hit the streets of Jefferson County. The loud noises associated with this holiday weekend often result in a spike in stray animals. When dogs experience a large amount of fear and anxiety at once, their initial response is to retreat. However, there are some preventative measures you can take to protect your pet(s) and keep them feeling safe.

  • Leave pets inside
    • Close all windows and curtains to muffle the sound of fireworks, and always provide plenty of food and water. Turning on a radio, television or fan also may help calm your pet. For pets who experience severe anxiety, owners may want to consult their veterinarian about prescribing a mild sedative to ease the pets’ stress. Owners who are leaving town for the holiday should consider boarding their pets.
  • Leave pets at home during firework displays
    • Animals have a heightened sense of hearing. The loud “booming” noise can be deafening and cause pets to panic and want to hide. Take pets for quiet walks before the festivities begin or after they end.
  • Distract distressed or anxious pets
    • If pets exhibit uncharacteristic behaviors, such as incessant pacing, crying or whining, owners should help distract them through play or another enjoyable pet activity. There are several products designed to help reduce anxiety in dogs, such as relaxing music and snug calming vests.
  • Make sure pets are wearing collars with identification tags at all times
    • This even applies to pets who only live indoors. The ID tag should include the owner’s current address and phone number. Microchipping is also important, in case pet’s collars or tags are lost.
  • Keep pets away from alcohol
    • Alcohol is extremely dangerous to dogs. Small amounts of alcohol can cause your dog to become dangerously intoxicated, go into a coma, or in severe cases, die from respiratory failure. Even beer is toxic. Fermented hops and ethanol are poisonous to dogs and cats.
  • Clean up firework debris before letting pets outside
    • If pets eat the debris, it may cause digestive problems or serious injuries. Owners should contact their veterinarian immediately if their pets have been exposed to any potentially toxic or poisonous substances.

Tomorrow kicks off the two-week Kentucky Derby Festival with one of the largest fireworks displays in the country. Thunder Over Louisville is a fun family event that features music, food, an air show, and a very large fireworks display at the end of the day. Unfortunately, the weather will not be so cooperative, and there is no rain date. As long as it is safe to be near the river, the show will go on. We are currently looking at a high near 50 degrees with nearly 100% chance of rain.

Visitors to the main viewing area on either side of the river will need a Pegasus pin for entrance. The official program for the day will be available tomorrow in the local newspaper. The day begins when many displays open at 11:00 AM. The US Military will have multiple interactive displays on the South Great Lawn, including a dog tag machine, a fitness challenge, an obstacle course, and a 4D virtual reality simulation of a Navy rescue mission. The South Lawn will have activities geared towards children, such as the ninja jump and Meijer will be sponsoring a Family Fun zone that will feature face painting, bounce houses and a beer garden for the parents.

The famous air show does not start until 2:30 PM (recent time change from 3:00 PM). The line up of acts will feature aircraft from the US and other foreign countries’ militaries, both past and present. The show usually features a couple of stunt pilots that will display their skills in the cockpit by performing stunning, and dangerous, maneuvers in the air at various heights. If you have not been to a Thunder Over Louisville event with cloud cover, the ability of the planes to fly close enough to be seen is dependent on the ceiling level and the pilot’s discretion. The entire line up of airshow can be seen online, but it is subject to change.

The air show ends when the fireworks start. As with the previous 27 events, the 28-minute fireworks show has a theme. This year it is “Local & Original”. Along with the fireworks, there is a musical score to go along with the show and as always, there will be a salute to the US that usually features the US flag being flown by aircraft in the viewing area and a few well-known, patriotic songs. The fireworks are currently scheduled to start at 9:30 PM.

If you plan on attending the event, some useful information can be found at the Kentucky Derby Festival webpage. You should plan on leaving any personal drones, tents, canopies, glass containers, alcoholic beverages, pets, bicycles, and grills at home. Lawn chairs are permitted and so are tarps (as long as they are under 10′ x 10′).  Event organizers also recommend that you dress for the weather (possibly consider a change of clothes in a waterproof bag or in the car), make sure you gas tank is full (traffic after the event can be slow moving at best and many routes that may be familiar will be blocked), and plan to park as far away as you can comfortably walk. A map of the viewing area is also available on the website.

If you do not want to drive to the event, the local public transit provider, TARC, will have extra buses on certain routes and alternate loading spots following the event. More information, including route changes and detours, can be found on their website.  If you are unable to attend the event or do not desire sitting in the rain all-day, you can listen to the show all day on WVEZ 106.9 and many local news stations will air the event as well.



fireworksFlagLouisville Dispatch wishes you a safe and happy Independence Day!

If we missed any area celebrations or festivities, be sure to let us know in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.

July 3

Springfield’s Independence Day Celebration
6 p.m.
Behind the Judicial Center.  Features live music, car show, food and fireworks at dark.

Louisville Bats Baseball Fireworks Show
Bats vs. Columbus at 6:45 pm at Slugger Field, fireworks extravaganza following the game

Harrison County (Indiana) Kiwanis Annual Fireworks Display
Old Capital Golf Club – Fireworks at dark.

July 4

Louisville Orchestra Waterfront 4th
July 4 – 5 pm  to 10:15 pm.  Featuring live music, beer garden, activities, and Fireworks on the Great Lawn

Bullitt Blast and Shepherdsville City Fair
All day events at Shepherdsville City Park include 5k run, beauty pageant, car show, live music, WWII reenactments, watermelon eating contest, and fireworks at approximately 9:30 pm.

Carrollton’s Annual July Fourth Family Celebration
Point Park where the Kentucky and Ohio Rivers meet.  Fireworks begin at dusk. FREE music and fun for the entire family.

Elizabethtown Founders’ Day
5 pm until dark at Freeman Lake Park.  Air shows, skydiving demonstration, pie eating contest and fireworks at dark.

Shelby County Shake the Lake
Clear Creek Park Amphitheater, 5:30-10 pm.  $3 per person.

Simpsonville’s Red, White and Boom
Noon – 10 pm at Simpsonville Park.  Live music, food, DJ, vendor booths, bouncies & fireworks.

Crescent Hill Old Fashioned Fourth of July Art and Music Festival
10 am – 10 pm, Peterson Dumesnil House.  Music, food, activities.

Fort Knox Celebrates Freedom
5 – 10:30 pm at Brooks Field on Fort Knox.  Food, music, fun.  Fireworks at 10:15 pm.

Madison Regatta
Fireworks Spectacular, Co-Sponsored by American Legion Post No. 9, The City of Madison Indiana, &
Jefferson County Board of Tourism.  approx. 10pm / Riverfront