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Mon, Jul 02, 2012

Budget Woes Cancel 2012 PNC Air Show

Organizers Hopeful Of A 2013 Event


A $42,000 public safety fee has proven to be the death knell for the 2012 PNC Airshow. Originally scheduled for June 8-9, 2012, and then postponed to later in the summer, the organizers announced their decision last week.

At issue was a $42,000 fee required by the cities of Peoria, East Peoria and the Peoria Park District. The proposed fee was to cover the cost of police security and cleanup services after the show. The $42,000 would have been split with $20,000 going to Peoria, $17,000 to East Peoria and at least $5,000 to the Park district.


"We just didn't have the budget," said Brett Krause, director of the air show. "We were looking at pretty close to a $175,000 budget to put on the event, between performers, tents, (portable toilets). You have to put fuel in the planes, and we had to insure the event for $15 million, so that's $20,000 for insurance itself. With that additional money tacked on, the scales just (tipped)."


 Charging admission to the show would have helped with the budget but Krause said it would have been a near impossible task to cordon off a three block area around the riverfront show site.

Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis said the city was excited about the potential of the event but was not in a position to pay for needed security and cleanup. "This wasn't the city's event, this was a private event. All we're trying to do is make sure costs are covered," Ardis told the Peoria Journal Star.

Originally set for June 8-9, 2012 the organizers considered postponing the show to raise the needed funds but the scheduling of performers then became an additional hurdle. Together it was more than Prairie Air Show, Inc., the non-profit organizer of the show, could overcome.No rescheduled date was ever announced.

Performers were to include the Canadian Harvard Aerobatic Team, the U.S. Special Operations Command Parachute Team, Red Star and the Dragon Jet, Clyde Zellers and more.

Krause says he is hopeful of staging an air show in Peoria in 2013 but its too early to know if it can be done. "The major attraction teams don't start putting their schedules together until August or September, so it's difficult to tell whether or not we'll be able to put anything together," Krause said. "But I can promise we won't stop working and we'll continue to try to pull together the big acts. If it's meant to be, it'll happen."

The 2012 PNC Air Show was to have been the 28th annual air show, the first held on the Peoria riverfront and the first to offer free admission.

(Image: the Red Star Jet Team were among PNC 2012 scheduled performers)

FMI: www.prairieair.com

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