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Rockford tourism to take hit after cancelations

Published: Friday, June 14, 2013 3:00 p.m. CDT

ROCKFORD (AP) — Tourism officials in Rockford say they plan to take a hit this summer after two popular events were canceled.

John Groh is CEO of the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. He says more than 300,000 people won't spend part of their summers in Rockford. That's because the Rockford AirFest and the On the Waterfront celebration were both canceled. Both were scheduled for Labor Day weekend.

The Rockford Register Star reports (http://bit.ly/ZPM5gE) that the airshow drew 130,000 spectators last year and the waterfront celebration had crowds totaling more than 190,000.

Groh says hotels and vendors will see losses. The lost attendance accounts for 30 percent of the estimated 1 million people who visit Rockford every year.

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