Air Show Planned for 2019 Canceled; Rescheduled to 2020

W-B/SCRANTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT -- The air show planned for next year at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport has now been pushed back to 2020, according to county officials.

Airport authorities said they have been working with the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to close certain parts of the Turnpike near the Airport to allow for the U.S. Navy Blue Angels to perform during Memorial Day weekend 2019.

The airport director said permission to close the Turnpike near the airport was denied because of expected heavy holiday traffic.

The Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport's air show dazzled thousands in 2017. The airport hadn't hosted one for 17 years.

"The air show is a big part of the community. Its big for everybody around here," said Eric Friedman, the owner of Bobby O's restaurant.

Word got out that the air show would be returning Memorial Day weekend of 2019 with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels slated to perform.

"When you have an air show and the jets are performing, there's something that's called a performance box that needs to be cleared of any cars or vehicles or any people, and part of that performance box pushes over to where the Pennsylvania Turnpike is," explained airport director Carl Beardsley.

The Turnpike would need to be closed from Wyoming Valley interchange to Clarks Summit during the jet performances.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission says it's not possible to close this section on a busy holiday travel weekend like Memorial Day.

The air show is now planned for the weekend of August 22-23, 2020.

Many people in nearby Dupont are not happy about this including restaurant owner Eric Friedman.

"It was a great success last year. We got a lot of business from it and I know a lot of the restaurants, the gas stations, the hotels, everybody in the area from the air show."

The airport director says that the show in 2020 will be just as good as the 2019 show would've been. The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds are set to perform.

"I think that the anticipation of the air show occurring in 2020 is going to be that much better because you have to wait just a little bit," said Beardsley.

But still, fans of the show are not happy.

"2020, that's still two years from now. We could use that right now. This area is not thriving economically right now. We can use every little bit we can get," Friedman said.

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