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One More El Toro Show Before It's Off the Air


You've heard it before, but this time they swear it's true.

The U.S. Marines, who had said that their 46th annual air show at El Toro last April might well be their last, said Wednesday that there will be a 47th show--and no more.

The show will take place at the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station on April 25-27, the last time before the military retires the base by 1999 and the Marines move to their new home at Miramar Naval Air Station in San Diego.

Base spokesman Sgt. Matthew Fitzgerald said that "1997 will be the last MCAS air show. Due to the transfer of Marines and assets to Miramar, the feasibility of a 1998 show would not be realistic."

Each year since 1993, when President Clinton announced the closing of the 4,700-acre military base, fans of the aviation extravaganza feared it would be their last opportunity to see the fabled Blue Angels and other flying daredevils.

Last year, the show attracted more than 1.8 million aviation and military buffs of all ages. Fans thrilled by the shows will be sorry to see them go, but many neighbors who live near the racket won't.

At the 1997 show, the Blue Angels are expected to make another appearance, and there will be a special performance for disabled veterans, senior citizens and others who would have difficulty in the crowd, Fitzgerald said.

The Marines hope to continue the air show tradition at Miramar, beginning in August or September of 1998, Fitzgerald said.

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