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The show must go on: Virginia Tattoo goes virtual

In-person performances at were Scope canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A salute to WWII vets will now happen on Tattoo's Facebook page.

NORFOLK, Va. — A beloved cultural tradition has been forced to switch things up in a big way this year.

The Virginia International Tattoo has been a staple at Norfolk Scope since 1997. But, because of the coronavirus pandemic, organizers had to cancel this year's live shows.

Instead, on Saturday night, it will be a virtual Tattoo. What didn't seem possible weeks ago when the stay-at-home orders were issued is now happening, thanks to the Internet.

"As an organization, we didn't have a pandemic plan, so it came together quickly," said Scott Jackson, producer-director for the Virginia International Tattoo. "We're not being defeated by this. We're being affected by it  And we're being impacted by it. But we're not being defeated. And we're sharing the things we care about, which is, love for our country, our love for our friends and allies, our love for music, our loved for culture. All those things we care about are coming through."

This year's theme, on the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, is a Salute to the Greatest Generation, performed by the cast remotely: 248 performers from 248 locations.

They weren't going to let a COVID-19 stop them from saluting military heroes.

"The thing we just couldn't let go was honoring our World War II vets. We met some over the past year. And we knew some were going to be coming to the show. And the thought that we couldn't honor them, it wasn't something we could live with."

You can watch the virtual Tattoo at 10 pm Saturday night, by logging onto the Virginia International Tattoo's Facebook page.

And once again this year, 13News Now is a proud sponsor of the Virginia Arts Festival.

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