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No Blue Angels: Pensacola Beach Air Show canceled

The Blue Angels fly over the U.S. Naval Academy for the academy's graduation ceremonies on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, in Annapolis, Maryland.

EJ HERSOM/DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

By LAWRENCE SPECKER | Alabama Media Group | Published: July 2, 2020

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(Tribune News Service) — Organizers have announced the cancellation of the 2020 Pensacola Beach Air Show, saying the Navy’s Blue Angels team has opted out due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

A statement issued by the Santa Rosa Island Authority said it had received the following statement from the Blue Angels:

“After much discussion and consideration regarding the current rise in COVID cases in our hometown, we have come to the conclusion that canceling our flights during the Pensacola Beach Air Show is the only way we can ensure the safety of our community we love so much.

“Each year we look forward to the opportunity to fly for our friends, family and neighbors here in Pensacola. This was not an easy decision to make. Unfortunately, we are navigating very uncertain and unpredictable times. We felt this was the necessary decision to make in effort to keep our community safe.”

The show was to take place July 8-11. It regularly draws tens of thousands of viewers to beaches and other vantage points in the area.

Organizers previously had announced significant changes to encourage social distancing at the 2020 event, with a program spread out over more time than usual and maneuvers spread out over more space as well, to be visible “from Park East on Pensacola Beach to Orange Beach, Ala.”

The island authority said it looks forward to hosting the show on July 9-10, 2021.

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