SALINAS, Calif. (KION) The California Airshow Salinas was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is planning to go forward this year.
The 40th Airshow is scheduled to be held Oct. 30 and 31, 2021.
Many Central Coast events have had to cancel or postpone their programs due to the pandemic, except this time around there's hope that the events will go on as scheduled as restrictions are easing in California.
The California Rodeo Salinas is scheduled to go on in September.
“The airshow and the rodeo are the two single largest drivers for non-profits in this community, not to mention, tourism. Tens of thousands of people that come from out of the area stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants. Salinas depends on these events,” District 3 Salinas City Councilmember Steve McShane said.
The air show was scheduled to be held on June 5, 6 and 7 of 2020, but shelter-in-place orders that began in March led to the cancellation.
COVID also forced cancellations for dozens of other central coast attractions throughout the pandemic, which was challenging for businesses like the Flying Artichoke located at the Salinas Airport.
Owner Jonathan Saguil also runs a food truck, called the Choke Coach, and he’s hopeful these events will bring in some much-needed business after a difficult year.
“We’ve been growing but, you know, the pandemic comes in. We lost a lot of business, especially at the airport.” Saguil said. ”Our food truck is hurt also because there’s no more car shows, the rodeo and all the other things happening around the peninsula.”
Organizers are excited and optimistic for the airshow to return, but to put on an event during the pandemic will come with some modifications.
The airshow’s Director of Marketing Nick Pasculli tells KION attendees will likely have to wear masks and hand sanitizing stations will be available.
“We’ll be following the county guidelines as well as the city guidelines with regard to number of people, distancing, vendors and things of that nature and what not, so we’ll follow all of those,” Pasculli said.
Organizers are still waiting for direction from the state for what these larger events might look like and what restrictions they’ll have to abide by.
But they’re hopeful the show will go on.
All the proceeds that go to the airshow come right back to the community.
The event has raised more than $8 million for local charities over the years.
We're told the Thunderbirds and other performers who committed last year, will be back at this year’s show.
Tickets will go on sale on March 17 on the airshow's website.