This event gives grown ups the chance to tap into their inner-child, to be inspired by the days of old when speeding off the roof in one’s Radio Flyer seemed like a good idea. But far be it for these daring and none-too-brainy navigators to learn from their mistakes the first time. Red Bull Flugtag comes to Long Beach this weekend to give these eager inventors (including a 5-man team from Fontana’s Auto Club Speedway) a reason to tempt both fate and Sir Isaac Newton’s Law of Gravity. Flugtag, a German term meaning “flying day,” is an appropriate name for the contest that measures wit, creativity and—let’s be honest—the size of one’s cojones, as contestants build homemade flying contraptions and launch them off a 30-foot-high flight deck in hopes of soaring over the waters off Long Beach’s Rainbow Harbor. Spectators, on the other hand, will sit on the sidelines, maliciously waiting for wannabe aerial devices to plunge into the ominous depths below. “What would make a grown person want to do such a thing?” you ask. Well, most importantly, bragging rights. But apart from this, prizes include: an excursion on the Red Bull sea plane, a skydiving adventure with expert flyers and paragliding lessons. Currently the record for the longest Flugtag flight goes to Major Trouble and the Dirty Dixies, a team that flew 207 feet over the Mississippi River. Can one of our very own SoCal teams put them to shame? If you’re interested to find out, or if you’re more interested in watching regular Joes fail epically at attempting the Wright Brothers’ history-making act, you might want to put this event on your calendar.
Red Bull Flugtag, Rainbow Harbor at Shoreline Aquatic Park (Pine Avenue and Shoreline Drive), Long Beach; HYPERLINK "http://www.redbullflugtagusa.com" www.redbullflugtagusa.com. Sat, Aug. 21. Gates open 11AM, first flight, 1PM. Free. All ages.