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No Rockford AirFest This Year

Susan Stephens

Rockford AirFest is cancelled, and organizers are blaming the federal government.

The AirFest had already been rescheduled: it was moved to Labor Day weekend because federal budget problems meant that one of the air show’s stars, the Navy’s Blue Angels, wouldn’t be available for the June event dates.

In today’s announcement from the Chicago Rockford International Airport, organizers said they hadn’t developed plans for the Labor Day air show, so chose to cancel it. They said that was primarily due to the effect Federal Government sequestration cuts have had on the military and its support of air shows.

In March, the Defense Department announced that all participation in civilian air shows and military open houses would end April 1st because of sequestration.

Airport Director Mike Dunn says his board and staff evaluated the possibility of putting on the show over Labor Day weekend:

“…the decision was made that without the military support, a show could not be put on to the standard that our audience expected.”

Dunn thanked volunteers and sponsors who had signed on for the event and added that he hoped the government would come to a resolution that “would allow us to once again highlight the United States Military’s finest at our airshow in 2014.”

If you’ve already purchased tickets for Rockford AirFest, you can get a refund at the airport’s main terminal or administrative offices. Tickets purchased at BMO Harris banks can be returned to the bank and purchases made through Ticketmaster will be refunded through your credit card. Complete details on refunds are available at FLYRFD.com

Susan is an award-winning reporter/writer at her favorite radio station. She's also WNIJ's Perspectives editor, Under Rocks contributor, and local host of All Things Considered.