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Thunderbirds Won’t Perform At Air & Water Show Due To Budget Cuts

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The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds fly over the Chicago lakefront on Aug. 18, 2011, in a rehearsal of their aerobatics display during the 2011 Chicago Air & Water Show. (Credit: CBS)

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds fly over the Chicago lakefront on Aug. 18, 2011, in a rehearsal of their aerobatics display during the 2011 Chicago Air & Water Show. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – This year’s Chicago Air & Water Show will be without its marquee attraction, after the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds cancelled all shows after April 1, due to federal budget cuts.

“The implementation of across-the-board cuts in federal spending has caused the curtailment of the Thunderbirds 2013 show schedule. Effective April 1, all of the team’s performances have been cancelled,” the team said on its website Tuesday.

The Thunderbirds traditionally trade off years as the top performance at the Air Show, taking turns with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels.

The team was set to perform Aug. 17 and 18 at the Air Show along Lake Michigan.

There’s a chance the team could come back to the Air Show, should a deal be struck to reinstate military funding slashed due to the so-called sequestration.

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