Festival of Flight Celebrates Long Beach Airport’s 100th Anniversary

Long Beach, CA – Long Beach Airport’s (LGB) award-winning Festival of Flight is coming back in for a landing Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023. Thousands of attendees are expected at the Airport’s signature annual event, which will be bigger than ever in celebration of LGB’s 100th anniversary.

“Festival of Flight is a unique opportunity for the public to walk onto the airfield and see Long Beach Airport up close,” said Mayor Rex Richardson. “It’s always an impressive event. I hope you can join us at the incredible lineup planned for this centennial celebration.”

Festival of Flight is free and open to the public, with an estimated 15,000 people of all ages expected to take part in the outdoor festivities between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the west end of the airfield at 3590 East Wardlow Road.

“I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at this community celebration of our 100-year-old airport, which is the oldest municipal airport in California and holds a special place in the hearts of our community as well as the aviation world,” said Fourth District Councilman Daryl Supernaw.

“Festival of Flight is the perfect way to showcase our historic airport, by allowing the public to walk directly onto the airfield to see and interact with aircraft up close,” said Fifth District Councilwoman Megan Kerr. “It’s a truly special community event that has become an annual tradition for many families in Long Beach.”

Attractions at the award-winning event include static aircraft displays, children’s activities, live music, food and beer trucks, and helicopter rides for purchase. There will also be performances by the Satin Dollz, DJ Dennis, and the California Feetwarmers.

The centennial celebration’s lineup of aircraft is expected to be the biggest ever, including a C-17, a KC-10, a B-17 built right here in Long Beach, and a P-51 flown by Tuskegee Airmen (aircraft displays subject to change). The B-17 Flying Fortress Sentimental Journey is one of only four currently flying in the world out of approximately 12,000 that were manufactured for combat during World War II. Rides will be available for purchase in this historic aircraft in the days before and after the Festival of Flight. With a nod to the future, Wisk Aero also plans to display its self-flying, all-electric air taxi at the event.

Previously known as the Fly-In, Festival of Flight has been a tradition in Long Beach since 2013, when it was launched to celebrate the airport’s 90th anniversary. The aviation-themed event has since continued to raise awareness about California’s oldest municipally owned airport, which will officially mark its 100th anniversary on Nov. 26, 2023.

“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. “It’s especially exciting to mark our 100th anniversary at this year’s Festival of Flight.”

The 2023 Festival of Flight is the official start of planned yearlong anniversary events to be announced in the coming months, including special events and a marketing campaign.

Long Beach Airport is grateful to Boeing for sponsoring the Future of Flight exhibit and to the Port of Long Beach for sponsoring the Kid Zone.

Attendees are advised to bring water, wear sensible shoes and be prepared to be outdoors, rain or shine. Coolers will not be allowed, and bags will be subject to search. Service animals will be permitted, but pets will not.

Free parking will be available at the corner of East Wardlow Road and Globemaster Way beginning at 9 a.m. Alternate modes of transportation, such as cycling, carpooling, ride-sharing and public transportation, are highly encouraged. Bicycle parking also will be available in the parking lot. Overflow parking will be available at 3840 Kilroy Airport Way, Long Beach, with free shuttle service to the event.

Follow LGB on social media or visit the Festival of Flight webpage for more information about the event or Long Beach Airport, currently offering nonstop service to 24 destinations around the country.