Milwaukee Air & Water Show canceled again

USAF Thunderbirds at the 2015 Milwaukee Air and Water Show. Photo by Fred Shabec.

Last updated on June 4th, 2021 at 11:38 am

The Milwaukee Air & Water Show has been canceled for the second year in a row.

The 2021 show, originally scheduled for July 24-25, won’t be held due to “several major factors affecting the event,” organizers announced Wednesday. The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Air Demonstration Squadron, “America’s Ambassadors in Blue,” were set to headline the event.

Since 2002, the free event has drawn thousands of spectators to the city’s lakefront annually. The 2020 show was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers did not detail specific reasons for canceling this year.

“This was a hard decision that impacts so many involved with the Milwaukee Air & Water Show, but it is the right decision during this unprecedented time,” said Milwaukee County Parks executive director Guy Smith. “We are eager to be a part of the show’s return in the future.”

Paul Rogers, the president of the Milwaukee Air & Water Show, said the event will come back “stronger, safer and ready” for the 2022 event, when the U.S. Navy Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Squadron will headline.

“It is unfortunate families in our community will not be able to enjoy the Milwaukee Air & Water Show again this year,” said Doug Gordon, president and chief executive officer of WaterStone Bank, the event’s longtime sponsor. “But we look forward to getting together next year to watch the Blue Angels, and other performers, at the lakefront.”

Milwaukee County leaders also recently announced Milwaukee’s annual July 3 fireworks display on the lakefront will be canceled this year due to a shortage of parks department staff.

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Lauren Anderson covers health care, nonprofits and education for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism. In her free time, Lauren enjoys hiking, kayaking, and seeing live music.

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