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Wings Over Myrtle Beach: Cancelled

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Leaders in Horry County, South Carolina and officials with the Myrtle Beach international airport have informed organizers of the annual “Wings Over Myrtle Beach Air Show” that their show will not go on.

According to a Facebook post from festival organizers, county and airport officials “notified JLC AirShow Management on August 21 that the agreement to produce the scheduled 2019 Wings Over Myrtle Beach Air Show will not be approved.”

What gives?

“As the result of airfield constraints, anticipated construction projects, and other ongoing issues, please be advised that Horry County cannot consent to any airshow renewal options,” a letter to the company explained.

Organizers said they were “disappointed” to hear of the cancellation of the 2019 show, which was scheduled to take place between May 4-9 and featured the world renowned U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds (a demonstration squadron of F-16 Fighting Falcon jet fighters).  This year’s show – which featured the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels (a squadron of F/A-18 Hornet jet fighters) – drew an estimated 120,000 visitors to the Myrtle Beach area.

News of the cancellation was first reported by Megan Tomasic of The (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) Sun News.  It comes at a tenuous time for the region, which is currently dealing with stagnant tourism numbers as well as an acrimonious battle over the future of Myrtle Beach’s downtown retail district.

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Residents’ responses to the news were overwhelmingly negative.

“What a shame,” Myrtle Beach resident Ronald Potter wrote.  “The 2018 air show was incredible.”

“Most enjoyable weekend in years,” Bill Conway of Murrells Inlet wrote, referring to the 2018 show.   “Too much family fun.  I guess we can’t have that around here.”

“Myrtle Beach just doesn’t want people here anymore,” wrote Kelly Crauder of Myrtle Beach.  “So sad.”

We concur …

This news outlet has consistently decried the Grand Strand’s failure to diversify as a tourism destination – and the cancellation of events like this capably reinforce this failure.  We have also questioned the efficacy of tourism tax hikes that local leaders foisted on voters – and the corruption that has flowed from them.

Will Myrtle Beach ever get its act together?  

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