03/13/2013 03:21 pm ET

Chicago Air & Water Show Sequester Impact: Golden Knights, Thunderbirds Bow Out

This week, two favorite participants in the Chicago Air & Water Show announced that -- due to the federal sequestration budget cuts -- they will need to bow out of the popular annual event.

According to NBC Chicago, the U.S. Army Parachute Team will be grounded when it comes to all civilian air shows, military open houses and other such events beginning on April 1, leaving the Golden Knights unable to take part in the Aug. 17-18 event.

Earlier this week, news also surfaced that the Air Force Thunderbirds will also be forced to miss the show for the same reason.

Mary May, spokeswoman for the city's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, told the Chicago Tribune Tuesday that their office had not received any official word of the cancellation and added that "adjustments" -- such as the addition of more civilian pilots -- will be made to the event if needed. The department responded similarly to reports of the Golden Knights' cancelation.

The Chicago Air & Water Show is reportedly the largest free show of its kind in the United States and is a big tourism draw in the Windy City.

The Air & Water Show cancellations are just some of many ways sequestration budget cuts have already begun to be felt both in the Chicago area and more broadly in Illinois. In nearby Gary, Ind., the Gary/Chicago Airport may be forced to close its tower after April 7.

Photo by _Tony_B via Flickr.



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