Events

Vin Fiz 100th Anniversary events in Long Beach and neighboring cities.

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The "We Can Soar" Student Essay Contest

To honor the 100th anniversary of the flight, the Committee to Commemorate the Centennial of the First Transcontinental Flight hosted an essay contest. Middle and high school students were encouraged to write an essay based on the history of the flight of the "Vin Fiz" and how the event contributed to the history of aviation in Long Beach. Students and teachers can access our website that includes resources on this historical event. The winners were announced at the Dedication on December 10th:
 
Middle School:
9th-10th Grade:


11-12th Grade:

Colin Flaherty, St. Cyprian
Oswaldo Felix, CAMS - received a $500 scholarship
Angeline Alcoriza, CAMS
Okoduwa Aboiralor, CAMS
Nathan Velasquez, Wilson - received a $500 scholarship
Alexa Lazarus, Poly

Previous Events:

   

July 12th - Oct 29th

"Win a Trip for Two"

Take your chance to win a “We Can Soar” trip for two, donated by Jet Blue.  Opportunity tickets will be sold at the aviation movies in the park, the Long Beach Municipal Band concert “Flight,” the “We Can Soar” kick off celebration on September 17th at Boeing Theater, the Good Neighbor Festival on September 24th and the “We Can Soar Hangar Dance and Dinner” on October 29th.

Opportunity tickets are $10 each or 6 for $50. Funds will be used to purchase a “Vin Fiz” replica and historical banner to be located near where Cal Rodgers landed in 1911. The winner of the “We Can Soar” trip for two will be drawn at the “We Can Soar Hangar Dance and Dinner” on October 29th.

   

June 11th
8am

99s Air Marking

Rosie the Riveter Park

Watch women pilots design and paint “air marking” at end of “flight path” in Rosie the Riveter Park and Interpretive Center as was done before and after WWII to help pilots find their way. Long Beach pilot Gladys O’Donnell and Amelia Earhart formed the 99s in 1929.

   

July 12th - 15th

Aviation Concert in the Parks

Bixby Bluff, Los Cerritos Park, Marine Stadium, El Dorado Park 

Human kind has always been fascinated with the concept of flying. 100 years ago an event of historic significance occurred when the first transcontinental flight landed on the beach of our great city.  This concert pays tribute to the brave pioneer aviators of yesteryear as well as the dedicated airmen and airwomen of today with an imaginative musical homage to all things that fly.

Program to Include:

  • The Wild Blue Yonder - Air Force theme
  • "Flight" by Claude Smith
  • E.T. Flying Theme
  • Flight of the Bumblebee
  • Music from "Star Wars"
   

July 14th
3pm to 5pm

Dedication of Cal Rodgers Parking Structure (this event invite only)

A plaque naming the 722,800 square foot design-build new parking structure with 2,224 stalls at the Long Beach Airport will be dedicated in honor of Calbraith “Cal” Rodgers, the first flyer to complete a transcontinental flight in 1911 from Sheepshead Bay, New York to Long Beach, California.
   

July 21st
Dusk

Aviation Movie in the Park

El Dorado Park

Come see “Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines”as they soar in this fun movie about early aviation. Long Beach Airport will have table. There will be a historical display of “Early Long Beach Aviation” pictures and an opportunity to purchase tickets for the “We Can Soar” trip for two.

   

July 22nd
10am to 3pm

Capture the Wind Kite Festival
Claremont Launch Ramp

Long Beach Department of Parks, Recreation & Marine will bring over 1,000 children from the city parks program to the beach.  There will be kite flying, dancing, Frisbee throwing, and many other great festivities. For more information call: 562-570-3150

   

July 23rd & 24th

9am to 3pm

Capture the Wind Long Beach Kite Expo
Claremont Launch Ramp

Long Beach Sea Festival sponsors its annual “Capture the Wind” Kite Expo will have Vendors demonstrating kite equipment, stand up paddleboard races, windsurfing lessons on the sand, kiteboarding jumping contests.  The Kite Expo will operate on Saturday and Sunday starting at 12:00 noon.  On Saturday at 2:00 p.m., wind permitting the kite exhibition will take place.  If there is no wind the Kite Exhibition will carry over until Sunday.

For more information: http://new.scka.org

   

August

“We Can Soar” Reading List
Long Beach Public Library

Long Beach Public Library announces its “We Can Soar” reading list featuring aviation recommended books for youth and adults.  This reading list along with an aviation display will be at the Main and Branch libraries. For more information: Contact Carrie Lixey at (562) 570 –5764

   

August 6th
11am to 1pm

Tea with Andrew Carnegie
Main Library

Come to the Main Library and visit a "Special Guest" who actually was in Long Beach when the "Vin FIz" landed. A special tea honoring that "Special guest" will be held at the Main Library in August. Please call to make a reservation. Event is Free and Open to the Public with reservation. Contact Leah Douglas at (562) 628-2441

   

August 7th

8am to 4pm

EAA Southbay Chapter 96 “Airfair”
Compton Airport


Spend an exciting day at Compton Airport – near the same area from which Cal Rodgers launched his final leg of his transcontinental flight that ended in Long Beach. Activities include, pancake breakfast, aircraft display, 2 or 3 RC model clubs with High Tec Demos flights, spot landing contest, best landing contest Lunch, aircraft projects on display.

For more information call: 310-605-7977 or visit www.aviation4fun.com

   

August 20th
10am to 12noon

“Early Aviation in Long Beach”
El Dorado Branch Library

Long Beach author Gerrie Schipske will present her book “Early Aviation in Long Beach” and discuss why Long Beach was the center of aviation in Southern California for so many years.

For more information call: (562) 570-6932

   

August 25th
Dusk

Aviation Movie in the Park
El Dorado Park


Come seehow pilots after World War I took up “barnstorming” and movie stunts in “The Great Waldo Pepper” shown in the park. Long Beach Airport will have table. There will be a historical display of “Early Long Beach Aviation” pictures. Opportunity tickets for “We Can Soar” trip for two will be sold.
   

September 17th
4pm to 6pm

“We Can Soar” Official Kickoff
Boeing Theater
(4000 N. Lakewood Blvd. Bldg 800, Long Beach)

September 17 is the day Cal Rodgers took off from Sheepshead Bay, New York for his journey across the U.S., ending in Long Beach, California on December 10, 1911. Official kickoff will include: Author E.P. Stein discussing his book, "The Flight of the Vin Fiz." The discussion will be accompanied by a book signing and reception.

To register for this event, please click here.
Tickets: $15. Students accompanied by an adult at $5.
For more information call: (562) 570-6932

   

September 24th
10am to 3pm

Good Neighbor Festival
Good Neighbor Park (2800 N. Studebaker Rd)


This annual event draws more than 1,200 people. The “We Can Soar” theme will be utilized with activities and events highlighting the rich aviation history of Long Beach. Booths and displays related to aviation will be included. Plane building and other activities for children.  Opportunity tickets will be sold for the “We Can Soar” trip for two.
   

October 3rd

The “We Can Soar” student essay and poster contest annoucement


Long Beach public and private schools. Teacher resource packets will be available for middle and high school teachers. Prizes will include $500 scholarships. Winners will also receive a special tour of the airport and the C-17 and have their essay or poster displayed at the LB Airport.
   
October 23rd
9am to 4pm
“10th Annual Wings, Wheels and Rotors” 
Los Alamitos Jt. Forces Training Base


This annual aviation event is just steps away from Long Beach. On display will be military aircraft, helicopters, many cars, war birds along with public safety, first responder and military equipment. Aircraft flyovers are planned and aircraft static displays. Free airplane rides for youth 8 - 17.

For more information: www.wwrexpo.net

   
Oct 24th - Dec 2nd The "We Can Soar" Student Essay Contest

To honor the 100th anniversary of the flight, the Committee to Commemorate the Centennial of the First Transcontinental Flight is hosting an essay contest. Middle and high school students are encouraged to write an essay based on the history of the flight of the "Vin Fiz" and how the event contributed to the history of aviation in Long Beach. Students and teachers can access our website that includes resources on this historical event (on the Educators page). Submissions are due by Dec. 2nd and winners will be announced at the Dedication on December 10th. Read the Rules

   
November 19th
11am to 3pm

Aviation Youth Career Day Sponsored by the LB Airport and Aeroplex
Signature @ Aeroplex
3333 E. Spring Street, Long Beach, CA 90806

You are invited to attend Long Beach Airport's Aviation Youth Career Day Enjoy static displays, speakers and informational booths, Stop by to learn about the exciting world of aviation. Free admission, open to the public.

Click here for more information, or contact Norma Garcia at (562) 570-2678.

   
November 21st “Breaking Through the Clouds”

Heather Taylor's documentary about the 1929 Women's Air Derby will be shown to students at Saint Joseph High School in Lakewood.

Breaking Through the Clouds tells the story of twenty women who pulled on britches, snapped on goggles and climbed into their cockpits to race across the country. It was the first women's national air derby – the first women's transcontinental air race. This event in 1929 became one of the most pivotal and significant events to take place in women's aviation. It was more than just a race; it was a chance to show the world that women can be independent, competitive, self-sufficient, intelligent, competent, graceful and really good pilots.

This event is not open to the public. For more information call: (562) 570-6932.

   
December 3rd
6pm

Belmont Shore Christmas Parade
Belmont Shore


Belmont Shore Christmas Parade. Long Beach Airport Commissioners ride an antique Long Beach fire truck with banner: “We Can Soar” – Celebrating the First Transcontinental Flight by Cal Rodgers. Sheepshead Bay, New York to Long Beach, California September 17 – December 10, 1911.”
   
December 6th
10:30 am
JetBlue Celebration of the First Transcontinental Flight

This is a private event.

   
December 10th
1pm to 3pm
Dedication of replica and plaque honoring Transcontinental Flight and history of aviation in Long Beach

Join us for a reception at the International Center Theatre at the Long Beach Convention Center (300 E. Ocean Blvd.) as we dedicate a 1/3 scale replica of the "Vin Fiz" at the Long Beach Arena – steps away from where Cal Rodgers landed in Long Beach. Special Guests: Craig Fuller, President and CEO of AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association), and Jim Lloyd, who on the 75th Anniversary of the flight constructed a plane and recreated the flight landing in Long Beach to a large crowd and celebration. The winners of the "We Can Soar" Essay Contest and the JetBlue Raffle will be announced.