Fog forces Air Show officials to cancel Saturday's events

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by Lane Kimble

MILWAUKEE -- The lakefront looked more like Charles Dickens' description of London Saturday, shrouded in a fog that refused to lift.  That disappointed thousands of people hoping for a world-class Air and Water Show.


"It's an air show, you want to be able to see the planes," Angela Morales said as she and her son turned their heads to the sky.

Tens of thousands packed the lakefront for the annual Milwaukee Air and Water Show.  The big draw was the return of the Blue Angels.  But after fog forced a half-hour delay at noon, only one parachute jumper landed before more delays came.

"Saw that parachute come out right when it was right on top of us and  usually you can see it when it's a little bit higher," Morales said.

"Oh man, I thought it was supposed to be like 81 [degrees] today," spectator Israel Virgil said.

Virgil's family staked their spot front and center -- a prime location for the Navy's all-star pilots. 

"It was about to clear up but then it got back to being foggy," Virgil said.

But the Blue Angels never got the chance to take off.

"We were pretty much all set, the weather had improved all morning until just about a quarter after 11," Air Show Announcer Herb Hunter said.

Hunter says that's when the wind shifted to the southeast, causing fog to block a center boat and a landmark farther north, which are two visual safety check points.

"We want to make sure that our performers are safe," Hunter said.  "The last thing we talk about at every briefing is, 'Hey, people will be happy if you just fly by,'  and that's the truth."

But by 3:15 p.m., show directors decided it wasn't clear enough even for that, canceling the show until Sunday.

"We would love to have a well-orchestrated event and we'd love mother nature to work with us and understand our schedule, but you know, that's not going to happen," Marcus Hotels and Resorts Senior Vice President Chris Anderson said.

Air show officials plan to hold Sunday's show, which is the same format as Saturday's, as scheduled.  They'll honor any tickets from Saturday as long as you got a hand stamp. 
   
The Blue Angels will fly Sunday at 3 p.m.

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