Long Beach’s aviation history will be on full display this weekend when the annual Festival of Flight returns to the airport, with thousands expected to celebrate the facility’s 100th anniversary.
Aircraft built right here in Long Beach, including a C-17, a KC-10 and a B-17, will be on hand for the estimated 15,000 people of all ages expected to join in the festivities. A P-51 fighter plane flown by a Tuskegee Airmen also will be on display.
“Festival of Flight is a unique opportunity for the public to walk onto the airfield and see Long Beach Airport up close,” Mayor Rex Richardson said in a statement. “It’s always an impressive event.”
The free event will take place on the west end of the airfield at 3590 E. Wardlow Road from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Free parking is available beginning at 9 a.m., but alternate modes of transportation like cycling and rideshare are encouraged.
Aside from historic aircraft viewing, other attractions will include childrens activities, live music as well as food and beer trucks. Helicopter rides will also be available for purchase. Satin Dollz, DJ Dennis and the California Feetwarmers are slated to perform.
The B-17 Flying Fortress, dubbed Sentimental Journey, is one of only four currently flying in the world out of the roughly 12,000 that were manufactured during World War II. Rides aboard the historic bomber are available on Thursday, Friday and Sunday, and can be booked here. Grounded tours are available Wednesday, Thursday and during the festival.
Wisk Aero also plans to display the prototype of its self-flying, all-electric air taxi.
The city advises attendees to bring water, wear “sensible” shoes and be prepared for the outdoors—rain or shine. Coolers are not permitted and bags will be searched. While service animals are allowed, pets are not.
The festival, previously known as the Fly-In, was launched in 2013 to celebrate the airport’s 90th anniversary.
“We are always proud to host this beloved annual event at Long Beach Airport, which celebrates LGB’s past and present and inspires aviation enthusiasts of today and tomorrow,” airport Director Cynthia Guidry said in a statement. “It’s especially exciting to mark our 100th anniversary at this year’s Festival of Flight.”