The RI National Guard is canceling the annual air show 'indefinitely.' Here's why

The Rhode Island National Guard has canceled its annual air show indefinitely due to "continued operational challenges," Maj. Gen. Christopher P. Callahan, the Guard's adjutant general, announced Monday.

The popular air show started 30 years ago but has been canceled for the last four years because of Guard deployments and the coronavirus pandemic. Drawing 60,000 to 80,000 spectators annually to Quonset State Airport in North Kingstown, the show has featured the Navy's Blue Angels flying in tight formations and performing aerial acrobatics, sky-diving teams showing their own tricks, as well as historic World War I and II planes having mock dogfights.

Noting that the Guard has become an "increasingly operational force" since the air show was founded, the Guard cited the following reasons for the cancellation:

  • Hundreds of forces are deployed overseas or involved with "critical domestic missions to help Rhode Islanders or the nation.

  • A large runway is under construction at Quonset, as well as a new Air National Guard headquarters and an Army aviation facility.

  • Available parking has been reduced because of the construction.

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"We are grateful to our members for their years of dedication to make this beloved event happen and to Rhode Islanders, our interagency, and air show partners for your loyal support," the Guard said in a Facebook post.

This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: RI National Guard cancels its Quonset air show indefinitely