M U S K E G O N, Mich., Dec. 15, 2000 -- Residents and businesses are excited about next summer’s air show even though they’ll have to vacate their homes and establishments for a couple of days. And city officials say they’re excited, too, despite the extra work involved.
Muskegon Air Fair officials said they have tentative approval from the residents and businesses after a Tuesday night meeting to make way for the U.S. Navy Blue Angels next summer.
“People were not only cooperative, but they were enthusiastic,” said Terry Grevious, Muskegon County Airport manager and Air Fair executive director.
The safety zone required for the Blue Angels’ performance — 10,000 feet long, 2,700 feet wide and 15,000 feet high — means that 12 residences and six businesses must be evacuated.
Nobody is allowed in the safety zone during the famed jet aerobatic team’s practice and shows for the four days of the air fair.
The fair will give each household $200 cash and four passes to the Board of Directors Chalet, which is a $210 value, each day of the show.
Rhonda Meloche and her husband, Bruce, will have to be out of their home during the Blue Angels’ performance.
“We love the air show and will support it,” Rhonda Meloche told The Muskegon Chronicle. “The offer was very considerate. We’re really happy.”
Two members of the Blue Angels flew their F/A-18 Hornets into Muskegon’s airport Wednesday to meet with fair officials.
Officials hope the Angels’ appearance will increase attendance at the air show. Last year’s attendance was about 60,000.
The city’s fair moved up its date two weeks earlier, to July 8 and 9, to accommodate the team’s schedule.
County and city officials are calling it a “tourism coup,” as the area’s summer celebration ends the same weekend.