EAA AirVenture and other big summer events still on for now

Published: Mar. 26, 2020 at 7:38 PM CDT
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One of the biggest events in Northeast Wisconsin, attracting visitors from across the globe is still going on as scheduled this July, at least for now.

In a letter, posted to the EAA website on Thursday (

). CEO Jack Pelton addressed concerns about the coronavirus.

In it, he wrote any decision to cancel AirVenture, which begins the week of July 20, would likely be made after the expiration of the state's safer at home order.

Pelton told Action 2 News, "From our planning stand point we really don't get into the full activation, if you will, on the grounds where we are starting to build tents and get volunteers in and what have you until the May timeframe."

The air show attracts about 640,000 people including about six or seven thousand international visitors, many who fly in.

Other big events are also facing similar questions.

Promoters of Country USA and Rock USA posted on social media that both events are still on, but in response to a question added, "In the event the festival does get postponed, your 2020 tickets would still be valid for the delayed festival."

In the event of a cancellation, refunds would be given.

Lifest organizers say they, too, are hoping to go on as scheduled.

"Clearly things can change in the times that we're in right now, but we're keeping up to date with the CDC and we're watching the city of Oshkosh public health department to make sure we're going to keep you guys safe," said John Dougherty in a video posted online.

EAA says it will continue to update its vendors, exhibitors and 5,000 volunteers necessary to put on AirVenture who prep the grounds starting in May.

Pelton added, "So right now, too early to call off but not enough information to be assured it's going to go on."

A final decision, Pelton said, will be based on safety, not money.

The event has a $170 million economic impact on the area.

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