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No Cape air show for second straight year

Thursday, March 1, 2012

In this file photo, siblings Tanner Mitchell, 3, and Shaunna Mitchell, 6, kept track of Cape Girardeau Regional Air Festival's Skip Stewart while perched atop their red Radio Flyer wagon on Saturday, July 7, 2007.
(Kit Doyle)
Since its first year in 1998, the air show has been canceled three times and never in back-to-back years.

Make it a fourth. And for the second straight summer.

The Cape Girardeau Regional Air Festival will not take place this year, with organizers blaming a time crunch caused by the consideration of expanding the air show's focus.

The Cape Girardeau Regional Airport Advisory Board voted unanimously Wednesday to cancel the air show this year, which had been tentatively planned for late June.

"The feasibility of putting on a quality show and the time constraints that we have to produce that kind of show for June 28 doesn't sound like it's a viable option for us," board chairman Craig Bohnsack said during the lunch-hour meeting.

But the board did commit to having a public event later this year at the airport. The board pledged to host an aviation day, likely this fall, to include aviation history and "hands-on" experience for the public. Educational components could include information about aviation history, flight training, aviation careers and other applications.

The event could also include helicopter and airplane rides, simulators and an opportunity to see and touch airplanes.

Adding those elements to a traditional air show for this year is what caused time to get away from them, said airport manager Bruce Loy. But, just as organizers did last year when the event was canceled because of difficulty booking performers, Loy said he was confident the air show would return in 2013.

"The bottom line is we didn't feel like we could put on the quality of event that people were used to us doing," Loy said. "Rather than putting on a substandard show, we'd prefer to wait."

Finances are always a factor, too, Loy said. An air show typically costs between $125,000 and $150,000. Some of the money comes from the airport budget, but in 2010 the show brought in $80,000 from sponsorships and ticket sales.

The show was canceled in 2002 because of economic hardships, in 2009 because of a slow economy and again last year.

But Loy said he believes the wait will be worth it. Planning has already begun on the air show for next year. Some ideas for the event, in addition to implementing the aviation day to the festival next year, include helicopter aerobatics, military jet demonstrations, the Golden Knights parachute team and fireworks.

Loy wouldn't even rule out the possibility of a return engagement by the Blue Angels. About 18,000 people attended the 2010 show when the team was here last.

"There's always a chance," Loy said. "It's not impossible."

He also has his eye on the Snowbirds Demonstration Team, a Canadian team of pilots and technicians who are serving members of the Canadian Forces.

"The Snowbirds have some dates open, even though they're more in the fall," Loy said. "I'm trying to chase that. There's nothing I'd like more than to get them."

Still, Loy said he realized there would be some who would be disappointed to hear that they would have to forgo the air show for another year.

"To do this just doesn't happen overnight," Loy said. "But don't give up on us. It's just one of those things. It will be better not to do it this season."



Pertinent address:

Cape Girardeau Regional Airport, Cape Girardeau, MO

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same crap they said last year about having all kinds of time to plan a show for this year. its just sad that we have to go two years without a show now.

-- Posted by le888 on Wed, Feb 29, 2012, at 4:47 PM

Wouldn't be the same stuff--the wing walking bi-plane couple had an accident and she was in pretty bad shape last I heard.

How much of 2010's $80,000 came from the generosity of Mr. Ivy?

-- Posted by Tax__Payer on Wed, Feb 29, 2012, at 6:35 PM

Still...other towns are able to pull off an airshow every year. I recall one year, they said there wasn't going to be an air show because they needed a break. This kind of attitude is typical in this town. No, they do not owe us an airshow...but my issue is that things seem to never get momentum around here because organizers want a break.

-- Posted by Beaker on Wed, Feb 29, 2012, at 9:56 PM

at least, finally someone has the guts to "say" woah.....we don't have the money (funds) to put on this show. there is not enough income to pay for the show, so we go into the red. folks, times are harder than some think and money for an "air show" certainly is not at the top of the budget. we can live another year without the show. stick to your guns whomever is in charge of this thing. the airport does not begin to pay for itself without the grant funds from the government. who does that? yep THE TAXPAYER.....


-- Posted by Next Candidate for Mayor on Thu, Mar 1, 2012, at 3:32 AM

I hate to hear we are not having the air show. You know we just cannot stop living and do nothing because of this economy, life must go on we all been fighting this economic mess for four years now all the doom and goom news each day and I beleive the people deserve a break so they can enjoy some good local family entertainment on a weekend and this was the opportunity for that.

-- Posted by swampeastmissouri on Thu, Mar 1, 2012, at 5:33 AM

swampeastmissouri: i respect your imput on this matter. from the article above the cost of the show is between 125,000.00 and 150,000.00 to put on. the income is approx. 80,000.00. we would be somewhere between 45,000.00 and 70,000.00 in the red. whom do you suggest pick up this amount to make the difference between income and expenses?

i am not trying to belittle anyone just trying to think with some common thoughts. if you can afford a air show by all means have one. that would be great. if you cannot afford a air show then don't have one. this is what is wrong with our country now as we are all living beyond our means to pay for what we have and do, with the government from local to federal being the worst.


-- Posted by Next Candidate for Mayor on Thu, Mar 1, 2012, at 8:11 AM

Raise the price of water to $25.00 a bottle

-- Posted by Yankee Station on Thu, Mar 1, 2012, at 11:49 AM

'Buzz-cut Alabamians spewing colored smoke from their whiz jets to the strains of "Rock You Like a Hurricane."'- Sideshow Bob

-- Posted by Data48 on Thu, Mar 1, 2012, at 1:33 PM

It is hard to get the people to turn out for outdoor events in this area. Majority of the people that come to the events hosted in Cape Girardeau come from outside Cape Girardeau County.

The casino will experience that as well which the majority of there visitors will come from the surrounding area of Cape Girardeau. But you see Cape Girardeau people at events in St Louis, Memphis and Metropolis and pay twice as much why I don't know it seems that they do not fully support events in there own back yard.

-- Posted by swampeastmissouri on Thu, Mar 1, 2012, at 4:27 PM

Well, poop.

-- Posted by Iceburg on Thu, Mar 1, 2012, at 10:39 PM

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