Thousands of attendees are expected at the Long Beach Airport’s 2019 Festival of Flight this Saturday.
The annual event, which this year coincides with the Long Beach Airport’s 95th anniversary celebration, will include aircraft displays, live music, food and beer.
Several of the aircrafts that will be featured were built on premises, including the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III. The behemoth military transport aircraft is capable of carrying more than a hundred troops or multiple armored vehicles. While several countries employ the C-17, it is predominantly used by the United States Air Force.
“The last C-17 was built here, so it’s a huge point of pride for the local aviation engineers and the community as a whole,” Cassie Chauvel, Long Beach Airport public affairs specialist, said.
Another sizable aircraft manufactured in Long Beach and featured Saturday will be the McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender. This aerial refueling aircraft is capable of servicing Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps aircraft all within the same mission, according to the Air Force website.
“So far we have over 40 confirmed aircraft that will be on display,” Chauvel said. “Not all, but many will be open for cockpit tours.”
The festival will be kicked off by the jazz band California Feetwarmers. They will lead attendees into the event with its sizeable brass section after a short commencement speech, Chauvel said.
Also playing is local band Knyght Ryder, an ’80s tribute band. The Satin Dollz, an eclectic dance troupe celebrating the years of 1920s “Great Gatsby” culture through the big band craze of the ’40s, will perform as well.
A flyover will be orchestrated by the Condor Squadron, a Van Nuys-based enthusiast group flying a formation of North American Aviation T-6 Texan aircraft. These classic single-engine planes were used to train pilots during World War II by the United States Army Air Force.
Food vendors include Rice Balls of Fire, Breakers Roadshow, Chancho’s Tacos, The Fat Queso, Habit Burger, Son of a Bun, Carmen’s Coffee and Tikis Shaved Ice. Auld Dubliner will be selling beer.
Aviation clubs from a number of schools, including Cal State LA, the California Baptist University, and Cypress College will be in attendance.
“This is a great family friendly event that we hope will help inspire future generations of aviation enthusiasts,” Chauvel said.
Started in 2013 for the Long Beach Airport’s 90th anniversary, the event has grown from about 2,000 visitors to 15,000 last year.
“We expect even more this year,” Chauvel said. “We will have parking in the former Boeing employee parking lot, as well as overflow parking and a separate area for ride sharing."
Attendees can enter by turning onto Wardlow Road off of Cherry Avenue. Chauvel said there will be clear signage, but nonetheless encouraged carpooling and ridesharing due to the potential traffic coming off of the 405 Freeway.
The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and is free for all ages. No animals allowed except service animals. For more information, go to www.lgb.org.