After a two-year hiatus, the Gary Air Show will return to Marquette Park in July 10-11, 2015 according to Gary's Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson. Her announcement, which was made at a press conference earlier today, was met with enthusiastic applause.
"We are excited to bring this type of entertainment back home to Gary," said Freeman-Wilson. "This is an event that all of Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland looks forward to."
Freeman-Wilson was joined by tenants from the Gary/Chicago International Airport, who will partner with the City to produce the highly anticipated event. Representatives from B. Coleman Aviation, Gary Jet Center, Sage Popovich and the Gary/Chicago Airport were present to endorse the partnership. Rudy Malnati, Director of Midwest Air Show, Inc. and coordinator of the Chicago Air and Water Show, will assist with the development of Gary's show.
"We are currently reviewing our options for talent and should have everyone booked by January," said Malnati.
A planning committee is being formed that will consist of the City of Gary Special Events team and representative from the partners listed above. They will be responsible for identifying sponsors and developing the logistical aspects of the show.
Freeman-Wilson reminded attendees that Marquette Park has always been an ideal location for the event.
"The FAA has always stated that our location was the best for producing a show of this magnitude," said Freeman-Wilson. "It is my expectation that those who attend the air show next year will not only be wowed, but proud of what Gary will do."
The Mayor also recognized the efforts of the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority for coordinating the air show in previous years.
"I think this is a concept that tourism bureaus embrace," said Freeman-Wilson. "They help plant the seeds for major events, and then allow municipalities to then take the lead and grow from there, or in this case, 'take off.'"
More information about sponsorship opportunities and other updates will be shared after the first of the year.
Photo caption: Mayor Freeman-Wilson poses with Gary air show partners and supporters at the conclusion of the press conference. (L-R) Councilman-at-Large Ron Brewer, Mayor Freeman-Wilson, Rudy Malnati of Midwest Air Show, 1st District Councilwoman Mildred Shannon, Wil Davis of the Gary Jet Center, Delbert Brown of the Gary/Chicago Airport and Ben Toles of B. Coleman Aviation.