A new celebration honoring Dayton’s aviation heritage will take place this fall at Wright State University.
The Festival of Flight is scheduled for Oct. 5 and will take place on the grounds behind Wright State’s Nutter Center, according to an announcement. The festival will mark Wright Brothers Day, which marks the anniversary of Wilbur Wright’s 39-minute flight on Huffman Prairie on Oct. 5, 1905.
“When Uncles Orv and Will first ‘imagined’ the role their flying machines would play in the world, they predicted their aeroplanes would be used for sport and pleasure … and that ‘flight’ would link neighbors and strangers,” said Amanda Wright Lane, great grandniece of Wilbur and Orville Wright.
The festival will feature aviation-related educational experiences; flight-themed food and drinks; and entertainment, including live bands, a dedicated area with activities for children and a haunted trail.
Flight simulators from the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, a robotics and drone competition, and a model of the Wright B Flyer will be at the festival, according to WSU. A World War II bomber and Wright Flyer will also fly over the festival grounds.
The Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team will play exhibition games against an all-star team of local military personnel and first responders and the Dayton Legends Softball Club all-stars, according to the announcement.
Also planned is an old-time vintage baseball game between the Cincinnati 1869 Red Stockings and Dayton’s Eastwood Iron Horses. Wright State volleyball, men’s soccer and club football teams will also play during the festival.
Wright State students will participate in a parade of golf carts they will decorate with flight themes.
The event, which is expected to attract an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 people, is being sponsored by Wright State and its alumni association,
the City of Fairborn, the Dayton Regional STEM School, the Miami Valley Restaurant Association, the National Aviation Heritage Alliance, the National Aviation Hall of Fame and with help from the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.
“It’s no secret that the Dayton community takes great pride in our rich aviation legacy. What this festival will provide is the ability to engage young and old alike in the heritage of aviation as well as STEM aspects of flight,” said Amy Spowart, executive director of the National Aviation Hall of Fame. “Through exhibits, interactives, sport and the arts, our festival will have something for every member of the family.”
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