By Jensen, Randy on March 24, 2020.
Due to growing uncertainty amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the board of directors of the Lethbridge International Air Show Association have voted to cancel planning for the 2020 air show.
Alberta Air Fest was slated for Heritage Day Long Weekend following a two-year hiatus to restructure and plan a larger, all new event for the air show’s return to the Lethbridge Airport.
“We come together as a community. People volunteer, businesses sponsor, entertainers and performers continue to invest in, and perfect their acts. But 2020 has changed our way of life, our interaction with each other and created uncertainty. Stress, job loss, income loss, and even our ability to travel, interact and plan our future have all been affected,” said the association president Gail Pontarolo in a release.
Official public announcements of the revamped event were scheduled for the beginning of April, and included lowered general admission pricing at $12 per person, a significantly larger audience capacity, new food court area, larger trade show, closer parking, private family areas, new VIP chalets, car shows, larger military displays and a community/family carnival area.
This year’s flight roster was set to include: the Canadian Forces Snowbirds; Yellow Thunder; a De Havilland “Vampire” (jet); and a growing list of veteran and new air show performers from across North America.
“It wasn’t an easy decision for our board to come to. But as a community organization we rely heavily on sponsorship dollars and partnerships from many local, regional businesses and other community groups,” added Stacy Green, Air Show Association’s communications director. “We owe it to those who’ve supported us to take a step back and give them time and space to adjust to new norms and new priorities.”
Plans for future air shows will be ongoing, the release added.