GRAND FORKS — The Grand Forks Air Force Base airshow, scheduled for Aug. 1-2, has been canceled amid concerns surrounding COVID-19, a base official has announced.

“Our priority during this health crisis has always been to protect our airmen, their families and community neighbors,” said Col. Cameron Pringle, 319th Reconnaissance Wing commander, in a news release. “We also have a duty to focus on preserving our combat capabilities to safeguard U.S. national interests alongside those of our allies and partners. By fighting the virus, we are able to continue applying pressure where needed to defend American 24/7.”

The August show was set to feature the Air Force Thunderbirds demonstration team at Grand Forks for the first time since 2010.

The airshow committee, along with public health specialists, considered “every angle in order to ensure an event of such magnitude would not cause further transmission to the base and local community,” Pringle said.

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But “the complexity of the situation won out,” said Lt. Col. Devon Fitts, airshow director. “Although we are disappointed that we cannot give our friends and neighbors the ‘thank you’ they deserve this year, we are looking toward the future,” Fitts said, noting that the airshow committee has submitted paperwork to request the airshow in 2022.

For more information, visit www.grandforks.af.mil or follow Grand Forks Air Force Base on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.