Vectren Dayton Air Show normally brings in $3.2 million to local economy, canceled for 2020

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Officials of the Dayton Air Show said Friday that due to the Coronavirus Pandemic impact, it will cancel the 2020 show. The 2020 show was originally scheduled for June 27th and 28th. A postponement was announced in April due to COVID-19 safety concerns.

Friday’s cancellation is based on the uncertainty if the State of Ohio will permit a large gathering event due to safety concerns and if military aircraft will be able to participate.

“It was a very difficult decision to cancel,” stated Scott Buchanan, Chair, United States Air and Trade Show Board of Trustees, producers of the event. “There were simply too many unanswered questions significantly increasing the risk of not being able to produce a safe and successful show for the community. We decided it would be better to focus our efforts on the 2021 show and make a strong comeback next year,” Buchanan added.

The event normally attracts roughly 60,000 people to the Dayton International Airport.

Buchanan said while the air show spans acres, it would have been too hard to meet social distancing guidelines.

“This starts happening a year in advance, so to throw in cleaning stations and other necessities to truly pull this off, it’s just logistically rough to do and it’s just the right thing to do to cancel it,” said Buchanan. “I work in healthcare and we still have cases popping up everywhere and hospitalizations are popping back up so we have to be concerned with that.”

It also brings in about $3.2 million to the regional economy.

Will Roberts, President and CEO of the Vandalia-Butler Chamber of Commerce, said it will be a blow to local businesses already suffering from the coronavirus pandemic.

“It puts us on the map globally,” said Roberts. “When you’re taking 60,000 people out of a community who may only visit Vandalia every now and again, it’s a big deal. And airport travel is already down and our lodging in the area is deeply affected by what happens through the travel in and out of the Dayton International Airport. So this is just another hit in that global impact.”

Buchanan said the organizers are already busy planning the 2021 show, which will mark the 46th annual event.

“We have taken a hit, but we’re very fortunate to have those sponsorships and support from the community that we’ve had for 45 years that allow us to weather the storm,” said Buchanan. “That’s not been the fate of some of the shows around the country, some of them won’t be back unfortunately because of what’s happened. But we’re very fortunate to be able to pull that off.”

The 2021 Vectren Dayton Air Show will be held on July 10th and 11th and headlined by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. Air Show officials said 2021 will be a very special year. 2006 Beavercreek High School graduate, now Captain Kyle “Gumbo” Oliver, will be flying as the opposing solo in the Thunderbird # 6 aircraft next year. The Dayton native was inspired to join the Air Force while watching the Thunderbirds as a teen visitor to the Dayton Air Show.

Any tickets or special seating that have already been purchased for the 2020 show will be honored at the 2021 show. Visit the show’s website for information.

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