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Jessica Ballou, Published August 14 2011

Shuttles Delayed At Airsho

FARGO – Gene Johnson, Fargo Golden Kiwanis club member, has been volunteering for the Fargo Air-Sho even before he became a member of Kiwanis.

This year he’s trying something new: driving a tractor. Five tractors were rented from the Lion’s Club in Underwood, and they pull shuttles on loan from Titan Machinery.

He and other Fargo Golden Kiwanis club members, as well as other people from the community, volunteered to be shuttle and tractor drivers.

“[The AirSho] wouldn’t work without volunteers,” Johnson said.

Glitches pop up from time to time, however, no matter how much prepara-tion is involved. This is especially true when it comes to new attractions.

Everything seemed fine at the practice Friday evening, but then some-thing unexpected hap-pened.

There were supposed to be five free shuttles run-ning continuously from before the gates opened at 9 a.m. to once the gates closed at 5 p.m.

Three of the shuttles ran as planned around the gates and some parking lots, while two other trac-tors had yet to appear after 10 a.m., much to the dismay of many volunteers and spectators near the Fargodome.

“Two brand new tractors were sold last night, so new ones are coming in from Wahpeton and Fergus Falls,” Johnson said Saturday.

There was a delay in the shuttles arriving to the AirSho.

Each shuttle can seat 40 people at a time, and there is one volunteer driving the tractor and one volun-teer helping people on and off.

Dick Walstad, co-chair of the AirSho committee, said they decided to use shuttles this year to help handicapped people and older folks who might have trouble getting around.

When the two new shut-tles finally arrived, Fargo Police Department volun-teer Kim Sacchetti was excited and relieved.

“I’ve never been more happy to see a shuttle in my life,” she said.

She said at least 15 or 20 people had asked where the shuttles were in the 90 minutes since the gates opened.

Chuck Burman, another Fargo Golden Kiwanis member, said that alth-ough they were short on vehicles early Saturday, Sunday would go much better.