EVERETT — A popular festival won’t be returning to Paine Field this year.
Officials at the Snohomish County-owned airport are canceling Aviation Day, a longtime staple in late May. Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum, the Historic Flight Foundation and the Washington Pilots Association helped airport staff pull off the event in years past. The airport and the other sponsors reached the decision jointly.
“As we work through the logistical issues with our partners, we share a commitment to re-evaluate the feasibility of continuing Paine Field Aviation Days, perhaps as early as next year,” Airport Director Arif Ghouse said in a statement posted online.
“Staging the event was not an option this year, the sponsors recently concluded,” the county said in the online statement.
Aviation Day has been an ongoing tradition at Paine Field for more than two decades. The airport recorded nearly 4,000 visitors in 2018.
Highlights included free entry to aircraft museums and the chance to see vintage planes up close. The Washington Pilots Association used the event as part of its Aviation Academy youth program, and children could fly free with licensed pilots.
The airport is working with pilots to ensure that young people enrolled in the program this year still receive the full benefit of the academy, according to the county news release.
Fans of airplanes and military hardware can still look forward to plenty of events at the airport this spring and summer.
Historic Flight added a flying event on May 11. “Opening Day” will commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, said the foundation’s president, John Sessions. The museum’s DC-3 is scheduled to depart for Normandy, France at the end of the program.
Flying Heritage is hosting its annual Tankfest Northwest on May 25.