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Officials working to handle traffic, parking issues at air show

Last-minute Day 1 attendees of the Terre Haute Air Show driving to the Terre Haute Regional Airport are likely encountering backed-up traffic this afternoon.

Terre Haute Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director David Patterson said law enforcement and show organizers are doing the best they can to direct motorists in eastern Vigo County.

But with tens of thousands of spectators anticipated, one day after steady rains drenched the Wabash Valley, some designated parking areas had to be shut down because of muddy conditions.

That forced Plan B to go into effect.

“We’re trying to make the best of a bad situation,” Patterson said at about 12:15 p.m. today. “We had an enormous amount of rain [Friday]. We’ve been shuttling people from the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center. We have 20 school buses. We’re doing the best we can.”

Patterson said a decision was made Friday night to open the Air Guard lot to create additional parking spaces, which was not part of the original plan.

Asked if early-event plans are going as smoothly as expected, considering the abnormally large number of spectators traveling to and around Vigo County, Patterson replied “I believe so.”

“Law enforcement is doing a great job … volunteers,” he continued. “Everybody is doing the best they can.”

The featured U.S. Navy “Blue Angels” performance is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m., so many airplane fans may have targeted that as an arrival time at the airport.

Although Patterson would have preferred spectators arrive earlier, he sees no reason why anyone should rethink attending the show, particularly because today’s weather is much more pleasant than Friday’s.

“The north end of Tabortown Road is flooded,” Patterson said. “That’s due to all the heavy rains we got Friday. … Law enforcement is directing them from all perimeter areas.”

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