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Update: Organizers cancel Dalton airshow, citing lack of advance ticket sales

dalton air show.jpg
:The City of Dalton is delighted and proud to be bringing an airshow of this magnitude to the Dalton Municipal Airport in what will be our 75th year of operations at Jolly Field,” said Andrew Wiersma, Dalton Municipal Airport Manager. “We haven’t had an airshow in Dalton since the 1980s and many of our citizens who attended those shows as kids, will now have the opportunity to bring their kids to this show. (Image via JLC Air Show Management).

UPDATE (January 30th, 2020):

Organizers of the Wings Over Dalton Air Show have submitted paperwork to the city of Dalton to cancel the show, citing a lack of advance ticket sales as the reason, according to Dalton city spokesman Bruce Frazier.

In an email, Frazier says city leaders were told hey have only sold 158 tickets ($6,583) for the event so far "which lags well behind their projections for this point in the advanced sales process."

The company says that a minimum of $400,000 in advanced ticket sales would be needed to cover the event’s budget and the company does not anticipate being able to reach that threshold.

JLC’s contract with the city allows either party to terminate the contract with 60 days’ written notice, which JLC submitted on January 29th.

"After a careful and thorough review of historical trends in advance ticket sales for similar air shows, we have made the decision to withdraw participation from the Wings Over Dalton GA Air Show,” said JLC president John Cowman in a statement. “Current sales and projections are significantly lower than what is needed to host a successful event. Given we are under 100 days until the scheduled dates for the air show, we believe it’s in the best interest of our team and other involved parties to cancel at this time."

Frazier says the City of Dalton began discussions with JLC to host the air show in 2019, with the City Council approving the air show contract in October. As part of the contract, the City of Dalton agreed to provide $50,000 in “seed money” for the show from the unrestricted portion of the city’s hotel/motel taxes which are collected and used to promote tourism.

Frazier says this advance funding was to be used to secure agreements with various aviation performers. In turn, the City was to receive a commission based on ticket sales, and revenue from aviation fuel sales. The contract stipulates that JLC will return that money upon cancellation of the show, less any money that it has already spent on expenses for the promotion of the air show. JLC has indicated that its expenses for the canceled show are $21,153.29 and that the company will be returning the remainder of the advance funding.

“We’re very disappointed that the promoter is pulling out of the show, it really could have been a positive for our airport and for our community. At the same time, we would not want to place City funds at any further risk of loss.” “We will be reviewing JLC’s accounting of the show’s expenses to be sure that they check out,” said Dalton City Administrator Jason Parker.

PREVIOUSLY:

It's been more than 30 years since an airshow was put on in the city of Dalton. And now, dreams for a new event are no longer up in the air.

JLC Air Show Management says it's worked with the city of Dalton to host the inaugural Wings Over Dalton, Ga. Air Show.

It will happen on May 9th and May 10th of next year at the Dalton Municipal Airport.

One of the top features for the air show weekend is the Tora, Tora, Tora Demonstration Team’s recreation of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Eight to ten WWII-era aircraft accompanied by more than 60 pyrotechnics effects create a virtual reenactment of the infamous invasion of Dec. 7, 1941.

JLC Air Show Management says the multi-sensory demonstration includes the nostalgic roar of the radial engines flying overhead as special ground effects simulate explosions from bombing and strafing runs as smoke and fire fill the air.

Additional performers include six-time member of the U.S. Aerobatic Team, Patty Wagstaff. Patty has won gold, silver, and bronze medals in Olympic-level international aerobatic competitions. Her breathtaking performances give airshow spectators an up-close view of the precision and complexity of modern, unlimited hard-core aerobatics.

“The City of Dalton is delighted and proud to be bringing an airshow of this magnitude to the Dalton Municipal Airport in what will be our 75th year of operations at Jolly Field,” said Andrew Wiersma, Dalton Municipal Airport Manager. “We haven’t had an airshow in Dalton since the 1980s and many of our citizens who attended those shows as kids, will now have the opportunity to bring their kids to this show. This is monumental. It’s an experience that will stick with many people for a lifetime.”

JLC Air Show Management says veteran pilot Buck Roetman’s bright yellow modified Pitts S2S is well known among airshow regulars. It says Buck has more than 35 years of experience at the stick and has flown more than 105 types of airplanes, from Cubs to corporate jets, racking up more than 13,500 hours of flight time. When he’s not thrilling airshow audiences he specializes in aircraft acquisition, fabrication and export as the owner of Wild Horse Aviation.

JLC Air Show Management says Dash Aerosports pilot and air race champion Scott Farnsworth will push his L-39 Albatross to the limit to showcase the aerodynamic capabilities and speed of the foreign military training jet. Farnsworth will take a break from the air racing circuit to perform in the skies over northwest Georgia. His prowess as a championship racer seamlessly translates into an air show demonstration packed with high speed passes, turns, and aerobatics. His single-engine aircraft can reach speeds exceeding 550 mph with a rate of climb of 4,130 ft/min.

Additional performers including military demonstration teams will be announced in December during the annual International Council Air Shows (ICAS) convention in Las Vegas.

Advance tickets, sponsor, and exhibitor information is available at WingsOverDalton.com. Those seeking the most up-to-date information for the Wings Over Dalton GA Air Show should also follow the event’s Facebook page for announcements.

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