Long Beach Airport’s 95th anniversary took off at this year’s Festival of Flight. Crowds of over 15,000 flocked to the event, marking the biggest turnout in the festival’s six-year history.
The morning commenced with a performance of the national anthem by Cal State Long Beach student, Harlee Balajadia, followed by an incredible flyover from the Tiger Squadron. Throughout the day, guests were treated to a variety of aircraft on display, most notably a C-17 from March Air Force Base. Tours of the C-17’s flight deck were in high demand. Guests also had the opportunity to walk through the fuselage of the plane and take pictures in the seats lining the wall. Other notable aircraft included a firefighting U.S. Coast Guard plane, also in high demand, and a Gulfstream G650 jet.
The entertainment continued with smooth tunes from the Long Beach City College’s Jazz Combo, an electrifying 1940s tap and dance performance from the Satin Dollz, and an upbeat ’80s tribute from Knyght Ryder closing out the day. Food options were plentiful, with The Fat Queso serving up tasty quesadillas, Rice Balls of Fire offering their signature rice balls, and Tikiz Shaved Ice providing relief from the heat.
A variety of organizations also attended the event, including SafeLaunch Healthy Futures, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect youth from drug and alcohol addiction. Kids had the opportunity to paint the organization’s airplane with vibrant pictures of their choosing. Another prominent organization was NASA’s Unmanned Aircraft System Research team. Their goal is to normalize unmanned aircraft flying across the United States. The organization’s king air (C12) research aircraft piqued a lot of interest among plane enthusiasts and patrons alike.
Long Beach Airport thanks all of the organizations and guests who attended this year’s Festival of Flight. Their participation was crucial to the success and record turnout of this year’s event. LGB looks forward to seeing both old and new faces next year!