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Airshow Organizer Responds to Weather, Parking

Updated: 08/25/2014 9:24 PM
Created: 08/25/2014 9:09 PM WDIO.com

Another Duluth Air and Aviation Expo has come and gone, but Event President Ryan Kern said this year posed a new kind of challenge to organizers.

Kern said the airshow has never faced as low of cloud ceilings as it did this year, and he said it was that poor weather that forced many planes to stay out of the skies Saturday and into late Sunday before the F-22 Raptors and U.S. Navy Blue Angels were able to take flight. 

But despite a lack of excitement in the air, he says thousand came out to enjoy learning and touring some planes and other exhibits on the ground. 

However, visitors said it was those large crowds that created some problems. Some people told Eyewitness News parking was difficult on Saturday, saying they waited to park for more than an hour in some instances. Kern said parking always poses problems for any kind of event--whether you're at the State Fair or a sports game. 

"We stress when people buy the tickets get there early," Kern said. "...So you need to be prepared. take the shuttle bus. Look at some of the other opportunities and ways to get to the airshow." 

Overall, Kern said he was pleased with the turnout for the 2014 airshow. He said they do not have concrete numbers as to how many people came out yet, but he acknowledged a larger Saturday crowd than on Sunday. 

He also said the group of 1,000 volunteers came together for an hour-long debriefing Saturday night to make sure they could correct any problems before Sunday came around.  

As with any event, Kern said it's always a learning process.

"We continue to adjust, and we'll make some other adjustments as we get into the future to bring an even better show into Duluth in 2016 and beyond," Kern said.

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