The 21st annual Boshears SkyFest scheduled for this weekend has been postponed to April 26 and 27 due to the government shutdown, event organizers announced Monday.
In order to have an airshow with aerobatic performances, such as dives, loops and barrel rolls, a waiver is required from the Federal Aviation Administration, event spokeswoman Becky Shealy said.
At this time, Shealy said the waiver is sitting on a desk inside the FAA’s closed offices.
“Boshears SkyFest was advertised as an airshow and no waiver means no airshow,” Becky Shealy said of the Daniel Field festival which draws 6,000 to 8,000 fans to Augusta annually.
Shealy said organizers initially planned to downgrade the show to only include military plane fly-ins and fly-bys, but decided against that course of action.
“It just wouldn’t be right to do that to this community,” she said. “This community deserves the best. They deserve the show that had been advertised.”
The Skyfest has proudly held the title of being the only aviation event held within 100 miles of Augusta for the past 11 years, and each year has increased in both attendance numbers and local economic impact numbers.
The 2013 Skyfest promised to be the largest to date, said Carly Kobasiar, the director of marketing communications for the Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Barry White, the president and CEO of the Augusta CVB, said the postponement hurts vendors that planned on revenue this weekend, air show acts that booked trips to Augusta and restaurants near Daniel Field. But, holding the event in April should be a success for the city.
“Attendance and participation in the festival will be just as strong in April as it would be in October,” White said.
In 2012, the event brought in more than $40,000 in direct visitor spending to the city, and in was estimated to generate more than $171,000 this year. According to event organizers, this year’s show would have featured more vendor booths and additional aircrafts on display than ever.
“All performers said they would be more than excited to come back in the spring and give our community the show it was promised,” Shealy said.
Shealy said all advance tickets purchased will be refunded. For more information on refunds, contact Augusta Aviation at (706) 733-8970.
Staff writer Meg Mirshak contributed to this story.