Festival d'Avion-11.jpg

File photo, crowds lined up at the 2019 Festival D'Avion at the Moore County Airport. 

The Festival D’Avion, an annual celebration of freedom and flight held at the Moore County Airport, has been postponed for a third time due to continued pandemic restrictions.

Organizers announced Thursday that the event scheduled for April 9-10, 2021 has been rescheduled to October 29-30, 2021.

“We are very disappointed to have to move our dates for a third time for the Festival D’Avion, but are doing so with guidance from the local and state health officials and from the Pentagon that controls the approval and participation for the military services involved with our event,” said Peter Stilwell, co-founder for the Festival D’Avion. “We are optimistic that outdoor events and festivals will return again in the late summer allowing our Festival to continue. The continued safety for our Festival patrons, sponsors and volunteers continues to be a priority.”

The Moore County Airport Authority was notified in January about the postponement and have approved the new dates for late October.

“The Moore County Airport will continue to support the Festival D’Avion as a premier event for our facilities and for the community,” said Airport Manager Scott Malta. “We are in complete agreement with the Festival staff that moving the event later this year is the best option to maintain a safe environment for the participants and guests. It will allow the opportunity for this unique event to be successful. October is a great time relating to weather and availability for greater participation from the branches of the military.”

The third annual Festival D’Avion, hosted at the Moore County Airport, was on track to be the largest and best to date in the spring of 2020, and this celebration of freedom and flight joined a long list of community events and activities across the Sandhills, North Carolina and the United States to be canceled or postponed due to health precautions.

Last fall organizers announced a change of dates to April 2021, with the hopes that conditions for the Covid-19 virus would be improving and that local and state restrictions would be more relaxed. Continued concerns for mass gatherings and timing for the vaccine distribution caused the event date to be changed for a third time.

“Although we were optimistic that the Covid-19 virus would be declining or at least leveling off in early 2021, allowing outdoor events to return we haven’t seen the “needle” or I should say “enough needles” move yet to be able to operate the air show with success,” Stilwell said.

He also noted there is a very small window of time, weather-wise, to host such an event.

“Once we get into May, the ground temperatures become a factor due to the asphalt on the tarmac. Also the warmer it gets, the weight of some of the larger military aircraft is a factor for the tarmac service. This is why the Festival will move to late October,” Stilwell said. “We are doing everything possible to maintain the integrity of the event, which is why we continue to find new dates instead of just canceling.”

All Festival D’Avion components, including the Celebration Concert, hospitality functions, Runway 5K race, aircraft exhibits, fly-overs and entertainment will be rescheduled for the October 2021 dates.

In addition, all event sponsorships will transfer to the new dates and any Festival D’Avion tickets purchased for the Festival in advance or donated to military families will be honored for the new dates. Sponsorship packages and event tickets will remain on sale over the coming months.

For more information, visit www.fesivaldavion.com

(3) comments

Kent Misegades

This is just silly. Pilots are generally real men and real men don’t wear masks. It’s time to ignore the rules that have proven to be totally ineffective.

Dan Roman

Real men have the common sense to do what is right. We are in the middle of a pandemic, The right thing to do is take the necessary precautions to deal with the pandemic until enough people in the country are vaccinated that precautions may be eased. The sponsors of the Festival understand this and have made the appropriate and necessary decision. Kent supposedly has a private pilots certificate, which is a starting point, license to learn. If he ever progresses and becomes an experienced aviator. not just a baby pilot, maybe he will learn enough to realize how shortsighted his asinine "real men" statement is...if for no other reason than some of the best pilots around have been and are women.

Dan Roman

Plus the fact that virtually every airshow and fly-in event in the world, Canada, US, Central and South America, Europe, Asia, has been cancelled over the past year.

The organizers of these events didn't want to cancel the events, they knew they had to for public health and safety reasons, and did the right thing by doing so. Paraphrasing Mitch McConnell Kent's looney lies...are a cancer for...our country.

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