Batistatos Message Following Air Show Cancellation: “Don’t Mess With Mother Nature”

By: Anna Hanson Last Updated: June 25, 2014

Maybe pigs aren't supposed to fly after all.

Speros Batistatos, CEO of the South Shore Convention Visitors Authority, was joined by his team and Fair Oaks Farms CEO Gary Corbett at the attraction on Wednesday to announce the cancellation of the 2014 South Shore Air Show.

The event was planned as a grand return in partner with Fair Oaks, who would host the occasion instead of its original home at Marquette Park in Gary. The main attraction of the Air Show, which features the Thunderbirds and other high-flying acts, was cancelled due to the heavy rain the area has received over the past couple of weeks. The decision was made in part of the SSVCA and everyone involved in order to keep the visitors happy - instead of them having to trek their vehicles through the 170 muddy acres of field parking.

"We are not going to put people in harms way. That’s not who this team is and we have to do what we have to in order to keep everyone safe and happy. The SSCVA is known for our safe and responsible events, and we can’t compromise with something that’s harmful to the thousands of people who were coming to the Air Show." Batistatos said.

Summing up the decision in a single sentence, Batistatos said "we learned an important message here - don't mess with mother nature."

"[Fair Oaks Farms and SSCVA] have a real desire to provide excellence in any events that we host or that we’re responsible for and we’re both extremely protective of our land. We always want to bring excellence first so that all of our guests enjoy themselves." Corbett added. “Neither of our groups are convinced at this time due to all of the features that are against us that we could bring that excellence we so desire.”

They considered other locations for the 40-60,000 who planned to attend the Air Show, but when the 72 hours worth of deliberations came to a close they decided the walking distance was too much. Batistatos explained the team "thought about the ideas of having the parking in a different area, or helicopters drying the fields, using a drying agent, and other things but even without the recent rain there wouldn’t of been a good solution."

The short window of 14 days the Air Show had to move to a different location was "logistically impossible" to complete, Corbett noted. This makes the second year in a row that the Air Show will not take place.

Though, as we all know here on the Life sites, good news can still be found within the disappointing. The SSVCA and Fair Oaks still plan on holding the South Shore Regional Car Show. That event will take place on Thursday, July 10. The day will not only host the Car Show but a fireworks show that night, the National Anthem Girl will be there to sing, the awards for the cars will also happen, the Indianapolis Colts cheeleaders will be there to hand out awards, a modest beer gardern will be in place, a DJ will appear, and Fair Oaks is still holding their promise of the pig and cow experiences being available that day. If anyone had already bought those passes they still hold their worth. Parking passes will be refunded, hotel packages are now being taken care of and any service charges are being refunded as well.

For any information and to find out about other great events happening through the area over the summer, please visit www.southshorecva.com. For questions regarding the cancellation of the South Shore Air Show, contact Jed Stockton, communications director for Fair Oaks Farms, by calling 219-394-2025 or Nicki Mackowski-Gladstone, VP & chief communications officer for the South Shore CVA, by calling 219-989-7770.