Friday, May 9, 2014

Redlands, California: Airfest organizer to pay half of city’s costs

A divided Redlands City Council has decided that Hangar 24 Craft Brewery should pay half of the fees the city will charge in connection with a two-day air show the brewery is putting on May 16 and 17 at Redlands Municipal Airport.

The brewery asked for a fee waiver in April after city officials determined that the city’s costs associated with the event, such as fire and police protection, would be about $70,666.

While the council routinely approves fee waiver requests from charitable organizations holding events in town, the waiver for the Hangar 24 Airfest and 6{+t}{+h} Anniversary Celebration was one of the largest ever requested. Mayor Pete Aguilar said in April that the council would delay a decision until he and Councilman Bob Gardner could negotiate an agreement for Hangar 24 to pay some of the fees.

On Tuesday, May 6, the council was asked to agree that the brewery would pay one-third of the fees, leaving about $47,000 for the city to waive. As the council’s discussion began, it quickly became clear that the amount was too high.

Gardner, who has argued against fee waivers since he joined the council three years ago, read a long list of services, each of which the city could provide for the $70,000 in fees the show would cost: More recreation programs for children, repairs to vandalized street lights, trimming 1,000 to 1,500 city trees, buying 50 computers, improving animal control services “and the list goes on,” Gardner said.

While Hangar 24 has been good for Redlands, he said, “things are still too tight in the city to approve such a large amount.”

The council questioned how much the city would benefit from the air show, especially if the brewery’s estimates are accurate and 20,000 of the expected 25,000 visitors already live in Redlands.

Cathy Grinnan, executive director of Hangar 24 Charities, said she has rented some 30 Redlands hotel rooms for people performing at the air show and is renting tents, booths and other equipment from a Redlands Parties Plus store. The business also is working with local companies for fencing, mobile ATMs, trailers and golf carts for the event, she said.

Councilman Paul Foster said that while he generally supports fee waivers for charitable organizations holding events in town, he wasn’t certain what Hangar 24 Charities supports.

“All I see on the website is an attractive logo,” he said, and a message that says the charity supports Southern California orange groves.

“It’s not Southern California that’s waiving this fee, it’s Redlands,” Foster said. “Why isn’t all the money going to Redlands?”

Grinnan said the charity is new and its mission is evolving. Among the groups it has supported are the Believe Walk, Redlands High School football and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, she said.

Aguilar and Gardner voted no – Aguilar because he had negotiated the one-third agreement and Gardner because the amount being waived was too high.

The final amount will be determined after the event, when the city has calculated its expenses. The estimated amount is $35,000.

Contact Jan Sears at 951-368-9477 or


The Hangar 24 Airfest and 6{+t}{+h} Anniversary Celebration will take place May 16 and 17 at Redlands Municipal Airport.

WHEN: 4 p.m.-10 p.m. May 16, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. May 17.

WHAT: Aerial performances, planes on display, music, food trucks and vendors, Kid Zone.

TICKETS: Admission $5, parking $5. Visit to purchase tickets.


Final lineup for Airfest set 

The final lineup for the Hangar 24 Airfest and sixth anniversary celebration is ready for take off.

The annual festival is slated to feature country acts like JT Hodges and Her as well as rock bands like Everclear and The BellRays. The event is scheduled to start be on May 16-17 at the Redlands Municipal Airport. Gates open at 4 p.m. on May 16 and 9 a.m. on May 17, while last call is 9 p.m. both nights.

Bands scheduled to perform on May 16 will be all country groups and feature Orange County’s Redneck Rodeo, New York’s Her and Fort Worth Texas’ JT Hodges. Acts scheduled to appear on May 17 are mostly rock related and will be Kid Gramophone, Moonsville Collective, GrooveSession, Quetzal Guerrero, The BellRays and Everclear. 
Redlands Municipal Airport is at 1755 Sessums Drive in Redlands. Single-day tickets are $10 general admission and $5 for youths age 6 to 12. Parking is $5. Tickets for both days are $20 for both days, $10 for youths and $10 for parking. A VIP pass for both days is $200.

For more information, call 909-389-1400 or go to