Opening Day
2:47 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Military flyover hiatus won't affect Opening Day, say Reds

Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Military flyovers have become a standard part of major sporting events. But now the military is telling its elite air units to 'stand down' because of the sequester.

That means no special appearances at popular air shows and no military flyovers at baseball games, NASCAR races or soccer matches.

The Air Force, for example, says the Thunderbirds are canceling all performances effective April 1.

What does that mean for the Cincinnati Reds and Opening Day? According to the organization, not much.

A spokesman wouldn't name the group but says there will be some kind of flyover before the Reds take on the Angels April 1. He assures WVXU that Reds owner Phil Castellini "would not have an Opening Day without a flyover."

Other groups, like the Ohio Air National Guard have done the honors in previous years and the Hamilton County Sheriff's helicopters have done flyovers for other special events.

Opening Day details are expected to be released next week.

As for the annual Findlay Market Opening Day Parade, the market's Facebook page says this year's Grand Marshal will be George Foster.

A C-130 Hercules approaches as the U.S. Air Force Tops in Blue perform at a Tattoo June 29.
A C-130 Hercules approaches as the U.S. Air Force Tops in Blue perform at a Tattoo June 29.
Credit Spencer P. Lane / U.S. Air Force

In related news, Wright Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton says it is canceling its annual Freedom's Call Tattoo because of sequestration cuts. A fireworks display will be held instead.

A Tattoo is a military ceremonial event often featuring music and demonstrations. The Freedom's Call Tattoo usually features military and civilian aircraft flyovers, medal presentations, and performances by the Air Force Band of Flight and other musicians.

Col. Cassie Barlow, 88th Air Base Wing commander, says while sponsor donations cover much of the Tattoo's cost, some tax dollars are still required to complete the event.

"We simply cannot spend tax dollars on such events when sequestration cuts threaten to ground aircraft and furlough our civilian employees," says Barlow.

Base officials say they'll decide later if a Tattoo will be held in 2014.

Wright-Pat plans to offer a Fourth of July fireworks show on June 28 instead of the 2013 Tattoo. That will be held on the grounds of the National Museum of the United States Air Force.