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'It must be done.' Marine Corps cancels 2021 Beaufort air show because of COVID

Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort announced on Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, that it has canceled its 2021 air show due to coronavirus concerns.

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By LANA FERGUSON | The Island Packet (Hilton Head Island, S.C.) | Published: February 13, 2021

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(Tribune News Service) — Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort canceled its 2021 air show one day after it announced it would slash general admission capacity to a third of its typical size.

The popular event that has drawn crowds as big as 100,000 was canceled "in order to protect the health of our service members, their families and the members of the community," a Friday afternoon news release from the air station said.

The biennial event was scheduled for April 24 and 25 with a performance by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels.

MCAS Beaufort Commanding Officer Col. Karl Arbogast said the air show is a "cherished event" that allows the military base to thank its neighbors "who support the men and women serving this nation."

"It is a difficult decision for me to cancel such a monumental event, but given the current COVID-19 environment, it must be done," Arbogast said.

The release said planning for the next air show in April 2023 has already begun.

In the past, the event has included aerial performances and "static displays." They included the Angel9 TransAm and the Military Vehicle Collector Club, which restores military vehicles and equipment from World War II through more recent conflicts in the Middle East.

At least one other air show the Blue Angels were supposed to participate in this year, the Naval Air Station Jacksonville Air Show scheduled for April 10 and 11, was canceled due to COVID safety concerns.

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