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Local News

Santa Maria Air Show Canceled in Wake of FAA Cuts

A Santa Maria air show that draws thousands of spectators every year has been canceled because of a lack of funding — due in no small part to Federal Aviation Administration cuts.

The 2013 Thunder Over the Valley air show at Santa Maria Airport — set for Aug. 24-25 this year — was canceled by the Santa Maria Museum of Flight Board of Directors after sponsors failed to raise enough funds to save the show by a June 30 deadline, according to event director Mike Geddry Sr.

In a letter announcing the board decision, Geddry said organizers were trying to overcome the negative impact of sequestration and midyear budget cuts forced on the FAA and U.S. military operations.

Instead, spectators this year will go without seeing the vintage and modern war birds featured in the two-day event.

“The sponsors did their best to raise the funding for the air show,” Geddry said in the letter. “Unfortunately, the fundraising failed to produce the monies needed for the event. We are very grateful of their efforts and support rendered to this year’s event. Without the funding in place, the museum’s Board of Directors decided to cancel the air show this year. Their decision was derived from the previous air show lost profits.”

The popular air show was slated to cost at least $40,000 more than what was covered by Santa Maria airport support.

“The veterans and civilians on the Event Committee and staff are devastated by the cancellation of the show,” Geddry wrote. “Over the past nine years, the show’s primary mission was to honor those serving today and in the past in our military services. The cancellation of the show was like leaving a wounded brother or sister on the home front battlefield. It is because of this that the members of the committee and staff are having extreme difficulty in accepting the museum’s Board of Directors decision.”

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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