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AirSho courting Canadian visitors

The Fargo AirSho may draw a few more Canadians this year. Winnipeg's air show - scheduled to take place this month - was canceled, and Fargo AirSho co-chairman Darrol Schroeder expects more Canadians at his event as a result. "Canadians are very ...

The Fargo AirSho may draw a few more Canadians this year.

Winnipeg's air show - scheduled to take place this month - was canceled, and Fargo AirSho co-chairman Darrol Schroeder expects more Canadians at his event as a result.

"Canadians are very air-show-minded people," Schroeder said Thursday, after a meeting of the air show committee.

He hopes the 2005 AirSho on July 9-10 will draw 20,000 people each day, due in part to Canadian attendance.

The Navy's Blue Angels will headline the show, along with performances by Jim Maroney and his deHaviland Chipmunk, the Pietsch brothers, Skydive Fargo and others.

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Organizers promoted the show and vacation packages during a three-day trip to Winnipeg last month, said Sylvia Garcia, director of visitor services for the Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Afterward, the CVB and hotels received hundreds of phone calls from interested people, and calls are still coming, Garcia said.

"It was worth our while," she said.

The interest also is due to a favorable exchange rate, about 80 cents on the U.S. dollar, for Canadians, Garcia said.

If 20,000 people do attend the show each day, committee members are ready, Schroeder said.

"We can easily handle it,," he said. "We have the room, we have excess parking planned."

The last AirSho, in 2003, drew about 8,000 people. Attendance in 2002 was 29,000, 40,000 in 1997 and 30,000 in 1995, according to Forum articles from those years.

"We've seen more enthusiasm (this year) than I've ever seen," Schroeder said.

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Besides the previously announced lineup, the AirSho recently scheduled two new performances.

Julie Clark, who will perform an aerial ballet with her plane "Free Spirit," will be the first woman to do an acrobatic act at the Fargo AirSho, Schroeder said.

The Red Baron Pizza Squadron will perform modern maneuvers in its vintage Boeing Stearman biplanes.

AirSho officials are securing both military and civilian displays for the show.

Tickets for the show are available at local Stop-N-Go stores, the Fargo Jet Center, Fargo Air Museum, Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau and West Acres Shopping Center.

Advance tickets cost $5 for children and $12 for adults.

For more information, visit www.fargoairsho.com or call (800) 239-0865.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Andrea Domaskin at (701) 241-5556

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