Airshow Temporarily Grounded
The Thunder on the Lakeshore Airshow is taking a break this year, with the hope of returning in 2015, according to producer Curt Drumm and director Jutta Furca. Drumm said that the main issue is financial. Furca and Drumm said that fundraising will be intensified this year to restore the show to a sound financial footing. With the absence of military jet demo flights, the 2013 show drew smaller crowds and lost money, and the reserve funds are currently depleted.
The decision to scrub this year's show was made at a recent meeting of the board of directors of Manitowoc Aviation Resources, the non-profit body that governs the operation. The airshow has been organized and put on by a staff of all-volunteer workers for the past two decades, and had grown into an attraction that brought millions of dollars into the local economy. Military sources had estimated the crowds at up to 70,000 people in past years.
"We're sad to announce this, but the bottom line is this is a very expensive event to organize. We need to build up the funds so we can move ahead next year", Drumm said. A number of fundraisers are in the works, and plans will be announced shortly. "We've got a great group of volunteers, and they'd like to see the Airshow continue", added event director Jutta Furca. "Our sponsors have always supported us, and we hope they will help us rebuild our financial backing."