Festival of Flight canceled for 2020, will return next year

The first-ever Festival of Flight, a free family festival hosted by Wright State University, was held Saturday, Oct. 5 at the Nutter Center. The new community event had something for everyone including flyovers, sports, music, a haunted trail, a golf cart parade, beer and food trucks. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
The first-ever Festival of Flight, a free family festival hosted by Wright State University, was held Saturday, Oct. 5 at the Nutter Center. The new community event had something for everyone including flyovers, sports, music, a haunted trail, a golf cart parade, beer and food trucks. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Organizers of the 2020 Festival of Flight announced the event’s cancellation Tuesday due to health concerns, but said the event will return in 2021.

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“Our committee and sponsors felt that it was necessary to postpone out of an abundance of concern for the health and well-being of our attendees, volunteers, performers, vendors and exhibitors,” said Greg Scharer, executive director of alumni relations for Wright State University and co-founder of the Festival of Flight.

The festival celebrates the history and legacy of aviation int the Miami Valley. It serves to introduce the public to the National Aviation Heritage Area, which includes the National Aviation Hall of Fame and National Museum of the United States Air Force.

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The inaugural event was held in October 2019 and welcomed more than 4,000 visitors to Wright State Nutter Center.

“The most impactful areas of the Festival of Flight last year were the 'hands-on' educational areas for children,” Scharer said. “Our staff, sponsors and volunteers all agree that they wanted to protect the health of all the K–12 students who attended and engaged in such things as flight simulators, wind tunnels, balsa wood gliders, virtual reality, parachutes and drones.”

Surveys from last year’s festival indicated that the education area was the most popular part of the event.

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“It would be impossible to continue the hands-on education and innovation portions of the festival, which is the event's core mission, and comply with the State of Ohio's guidelines on fairs,” Scharer said.