Military Culture

Miramar Air Show in California canceled over virus concerns

SAN DIEGO — This year’s Miraramar Air Show in Southern California, billed as the world’s largest military air display, has been canceled over concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

The show, which usually draws more than 500,000 spectators, was scheduled for September at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego.

Col. Charles Dockery, the base’s commanding officer, made the decision as a safety measure because of “public health risks” in the midst of the continuing COVID-19 outbreak, according to a statement from the base Monday.

“The Miramar Air Show brings in aviation enthusiasts from all across the United States and from every corner of the world,” Dockery said in the statement. “While we had initially hoped to host the show and help usher in a re-opened San Diego, there are still a great many risks posed with a mass gathering of this size and scale to do it in a way that ensures our guests’ absolute safety.”

Marines demonstrate the capabilities of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force at the 2019 Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Air Show in California Sept. 27. (Lance Cpl. Julian Elliott-Drouin/Marine Corps)
Marines demonstrate the capabilities of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force at the 2019 Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Air Show in California Sept. 27. (Lance Cpl. Julian Elliott-Drouin/Marine Corps)

“It remains a prudent choice to look ahead to 2021 and make it better than ever,” he said.

The base said Miramar is the largest military air show in the world. It is one of many large events that have been canceled this year because of concerns over COVID-19, including county fairs, Comic-Con in San Diego and the annual Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals. Other Marine Corps air shows have also been canceled this year, including the shows at MCAS Cherry Point in North Carolina and MCAS Yuma in Arizona.

The number of people hospitalized with the coronavirus in California has inched up each of the past three days and now hovers above 3,700, the highest rate since mid-March.

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