KENNEWICK — The Tri-City Water Follies air show and Columbia Cup will not be held this summer.
“Due to the recently issued Washington state guidelines for special events, the size and scope of boat race weekend is not allowed,” said Hector Cruz, president of the Tri-City Water Follies, on Monday evening.
The event draws about 65,000 spectators.
The Tri-City Water Follies Board, Kennewick and Pasco city officials, and Visit Tri-Cities had been discussing the event with the governor’s office in an attempt to get guidelines amended, said Kathy Powell, event director.
“We gave it our best shot, to no avail,” she said.
Planning was being done as recently as late April for the HAPO Columbia Cup unlimited hydroplane race, usually held in late July in the Tri-Cities.
Last summer was the first time race has not been held in the Tri-Cities since 1965.
The tourism that results from the Over-the-River Air Show and Columbia Cup will be missed and the cancellation also is a disappointment to Tri-City area residents, said Marie Mosley, Kennewick city manager.
The event generates about $3 million in economic impact for Tri-Cities area businesses.
Profits from the Tri-City Water Follies have recently been invested in funding improvements to the Columbia Park band shell, rebuild of the Playground of Dreams and an upgrade to the sound system in the park.
The Washington state special event guidance as updated April 26 limits outdoor special events to 9,000 people at any one time, including vendors.
In addition, no more than 3,000 people can be in a five-acre area where event activities are being held to allow for six feet of physical distancing. An acre is 43,000 square feet.