Episode 157. Wayne Hettinger – Producer and Originator, Thunder Over Louisville
Fun and the challenge of creating a sense of wonderment drive Louisville-native Wayne Hettinger to create memorable events on a grand scale.
Hettinger’s company produces special events on a spectacular scale for corporate, community and non-profit organizations. Since 1990, they have been best known for creating and producing Thunder Over Louisville, a waterfront fireworks event attracting 750,000 spectators every year. Thunder is the largest annual fireworks display in North America and it marks the kick-off to the Kentucky Derby Festival. The event has earned Hettinger three Emmy awards.
Hettinger’s company has also produced other public events such as Light Up Louisville, Louisville’s Veterans Day Parade, the Kentucky State Bicentennial, and the National Parks 50th Celebration. They were responsible for the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial and the 2005 Muhammad Ali Center Grand Opening, as well.
Hettinger serves as a member, or in an advisory role, on many fundraising boards, including the Gheens Science Hall and Rauch Planetarium.
He and his wife, Pamela, have five children and ten grandchildren.