Gov't shutdown shuts down Sanford Biketoberfest air show

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SANFORD, Fla. —

The sights and sounds of an airshow never get old for Sanford resident John Smith.

I just like to see those jets rip overhead at 400 to 500 miles an hour that's pretty good, ya know," Smith said.

This year, the government shutdown has left festival organizers high and dry. The popular attraction had been part of the city's Biketoberfest for years.

Sanford had Federal Aviation Authority approval to host the airshow, but because federal employees are on furlough there's no one in the offices to physically print out copies of the waivers the city needs.

Pilots and the air traffic controllers need that waiver in hand before stunts can take place over the water of Lake Monroe.

"There's a lot of screaming and yelling right now about being called unessential or non-essential, make yourself essential print the piece of paper and give it to your own bureaucratic office," Sanford mayor Jeff Triplett said.

It's a big blow for leaders who scrambled and used taxpayer money to make the festival happen after Biketoberfest sponsors pulled out.

"We may lose a couple of people here or there, but really the full event, you know we're going to have a full stage, we're going to have music all day long Saturday," Triplett said.

Anyone hoping for aerobatic action will be out of luck.

"I don't think it's fair to any of the people that would come and see the airshow," Triplett said.