Gov't Shutdown Cancels San Diego's Miramar Air Show

"From the bottom of my heart, I apologize to San Diego..." Col. John Farnam, USMC

This year’s Miramar Air Show in San Diego has been canceled, according to the public affairs office at MCAS Miramar.

The popular annual event was scheduled to take place Friday and Saturday.

MCAS Miramar's commanding officer Col. John Farnam spoke at a news conference Thursday morning. Farnam said he was forced to cancel the show because of restrictions put into place after the recent government shutdown.

"We worked with the guidance we received to move forward with the event," Farnam said. "In the end, it was just more than I had the authority to overcome."

Air show vendors had already begun setting up on base. Farnam said vendors, sponsors and people who bought grandstand tickets will be refunded.

At this point, it's unclear what kind of financial hit the Marine Corps will take because of the cancellation. Farnam said any lost funds will be factored into next year's show.

Farnam said he is most disappointed about missing the chance to interact with the community.

"From the bottom of my heart, I apologize to San Diego for having to stand here today and make this statement," he said.

The Marine Corps released this statement via email: 

"Guidance from the Deputy Secretary of Defense mandates that non-excepted activities, including outreach events, are not authorized under the current shutdown guidelines. We want to thank everyone involved in the air show for their hard work, dedication and patience during such a period of fiscal duress and we look forward to this annual event to take place next year."

Back in July, the Department of Defense announced that military flight demonstrations would not be part of this year's show because of sequester cuts. A team consisting of former Navy Blue Angels, Air Force Thunderbirds and Canadian Snowbirds pilots was scheduled to perform instead.

The Miramar Air Show is the largest military air show in the country. Hundreds of thousands of people attend each year. The event typically lasts three days, but was reduced to two days this year because of budget cuts.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

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