Thursday, November 17, 2016

Long Beach Airport’s Festival of Flight Proves Itself a Sky High Success

On Saturday, November 5, nearly 5,000 people attended Long Beach Airport’s (LGB) fourth annual Festival of Flight on the west side of the airfield. Despite early morning fog, this year’s event proved to be bigger and better than before due to the efforts of Airport personnel and Councilwoman Stacy Mungo of the 5th District.

Councilwoman Mungo, Airport Director Romo, and Commander Chuck Street take the stage.
Formerly known as the Fly-In, the biggest event of its kind in the Long Beach area brought together families and people of all ages. The Festival’s Veteran’s Day theme was made evident during the opening ceremonies; members of the military presented the colors, the National Anthem was performed, and speakers including Councilwoman Stacy Mungo, Airport Director Jess L. Romo, and Commander Chuck Street led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Crowds surround the Orbis DC-10.
Static aircraft displays included WWII-era warbirds, a Gulfstream Jet, a Citation Mustang, and a Catalina Flying Boat DC-3. With a line spanning nearly half of the event space, the most popular aircraft at the event proved to be the Orbis DC-10. This aircraft was the second DC-10 produced by McDonnell Douglas in Long Beach and was later converted into an ophthalmic hospital and teaching facility to serve developing countries. After the event, the DC-10 was set to take its final flight to the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson for retirement and public display.

The Condor Squadron performs a flyover before landing at the Festival.
Away from the airfield, fun for the whole family was plentiful with live music provided by Rock for Vets, a musical rehabilitation program for at-risk youth and veterans, and food and drink provided by vendors such as The Hungry Nomad, Belly Bombz, Roxanne’s Cocktail Lounge, and Legends Sports Bar. Children were treated to jumpers, assisted rock climbing, and face painting. Airport and City vehicles comprised an interactive Touch-A-Truck display and a car show was put on by Honoring our Fallen, an organization that supports our nation’s fallen heroes and their families. Vendors present included the Toyota Grand Prix, Eagle Scouts, TSA, a local independent chocolate company, and a bilingual education program.

A glimpse of Honoring our Fallen's car show.
Attendees praised the free event for providing family-friendly fun and a rare inside look at the Airport. This year’s event hosted more than double the amount of guests who visited in 2015. With public interest growing and more aircraft and activities gracing the airfield each year, the Festival of Flight promises to be a Long Beach mainstay for years to come.

Catalina Flying Boats DC-3

1 comment:

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