Cape Girardeau's annual air festival has delighted hundreds over the years with its mix of unusual aircraft and exciting piloting.
Unfortunately, festival fans are going to have to put their enthusiasm on hold for a year. The city simply doesn't have the money to fund the show in 2002.
Typically, 30 to 40 percent of the funding for the $90,000 show comes from sponsors. Due to a bad business year in general, they were unable to come up with the money.
Yes, the city could have opted to come in and cover more than its usual share. But city officials made the fiscally responsible decision to put the show on hold for a year. There are things the city needs far more than an air show right now.
However, there will be a little something to hold air show lovers over until next year: Hanger Bash 2002. It is a U.S.O.-style dance in an airplane hangar. Tickets are $5 in advance -- $7 at the door -- and there is a discount for dressing in U.S.O. attire. Tickets are available at the airport, Schnucks and Country Mart.
If the economy continues to improve, the city and air festival sponsors will have good reason to bring the show back next year.