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Baraboo-Dells Air Show grounded for this year
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Baraboo-Dells Air Show grounded for this year

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BARABOO - Citing a drop in financial support from sponsors, the organizer of the Baraboo-Dells Air Show has pulled the plug on this year's event.

"We had (performers) lined up and ready to go, but we just had to tell them, ‘Sorry, there were no funds available,'" said Paul Rogers, founder and director of the annual event. "Maybe it's just the economy. I don't know."

The air show was slated to take place June 25 and 26 at the Baraboo-Dells Municipal Airport.

The weekend event experienced a dip in attendance last summer, when 300 to 400 people showed up each day.

Roughly 6,000 attended the show in 2007, its best year.

Rogers said the success of the event requires annual commitments from sponsors, vendors, volunteers and others in the community.

The Baraboo-Dells Municipal Airport is owned by the city of Baraboo, town of Delton, village of Lake Delton and the city of Wisconsin Dells. It is managed by the city of Baraboo.

In late February, the Lake Delton Village Board denied a request from Rogers for $1,500 to help with the annual show.

The board's president, John Webb, said the village couldn't afford to contribute to the event this year, and has not contributed in the past.

"We felt that was more of a (Wisconsin Dells) Visitor and Convention Bureau type issue," Webb said. "I don't know if they (donated) or not."

Representatives of the Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau did not return phone or e-mail messages Friday.

The Wisconsin Dells Council's Finance Committee also rejected a $1,500 request from Rogers. The city has not funded the show in previous years either, but contributes $10,000 each year for the operation and maintenance of the airport.

Rogers said the City of Baraboo and the Town of Delton contribute to the event in ways that are not financial.

The event is frequently sponsored by a number of local businesses and organizations, but Rogers declined to say which ones pulled support.

He said he plans to raise funds for a 2012 air show.

Rogers said the event, which showcased skilled pilots flying exotic aircraft from all over the country, was intended to increase the value, visibility and meaning of the airport for the taxpayers who fund the facility.

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