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Fall airshow canceled due to budget uncertainty
PENSACOLA BEACH -- Because of the uncertainty with federal funding - the Santa Rosa Island Authority has cancelled the fall airshow unless the Blue Angels are back up flying.
They've been grounded since April due to Sequestration.
The Island Authority unanimously agreed to host a fall air show on Veterans Day Weekend with or without the Blues.
It was supposed to be a joint project between the SRIA and the NAS Morale, Welfare and Recreation Department.
But the department is opting instead for a small airshow with three civilian acts and a concert.
The board felt without their support, a civilian air show would not work.
Depending on who you ask, there are mixed feelings about the beach show being cancelled.
Randall Rosenquist - Beach Goer
"At the end of the day, it's not an essential function of government, it's funny how people will get all up in arms about the government spending money on this or that and it's not being essential until it hits your hometown"
The Blues have the potential to bring in a lot of tourism dollars to the beach...if they were to fly.
The price tag for a small Airshow without the Blues would be 117,000 dollars more than what the Island Authority is willing to pay for a small 3 act line-up.
Jason Bickerstaff recalls the smaller crowds and how different the summer Airshow felt without the Blues.
Jason Bickerstaff - Beach Goer
"This summer felt different like something was missing, I enjoyed the Airshow that we had but it wasn't the way it should be you know"
Mary Cleveland has lived in Pensacola for most of her life.
Some of her earliest childhood memories involve the Blue Angels.
She feels not getting an Airshow headlined by the Blues, will only make the day they finally return, even bigger.
Mary Cleveland - Pensacola
"We've had to give up a couple of demonstrations, and I think it will be a great welcome back when they return, because they will be back.
The Island Authority have put in a request with the FAA so if funding does become available to support a Blue Angel Airshow this fall, they'll be ready.