LITTLE FALLS -- Charles Lindbergh's hometown is pulling out all the stops next week to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the famous aviator's history-making transatlantic flight.
Little Falls' citizenry has teamed up with the Minnesota Historical Society, the Lindbergh Foundation and dozens of other groups to give the town's favorite son his due.
Scheduled Aug. 8-11, the celebration is timed as a salute to Lindbergh's triumphant return home, just weeks after his May 21 landing in Paris aboard his single-engine Spirit of St. Louis plane.
His 1927 flight into Little Falls-Morrison County Airport, in fact, will be re-enacted in a Spirit of St. Louis replica at precisely 2:03 p.m. Aug. 10, followed by the dedication of the new Charles A. Lindbergh Field.
The aviator returned to Little Falls in August 1927 during an 80-city nationwide tour to promote his feat, as well as commercial aviation, in the aftermath of his historic New York-to-Paris flight.
This is a life portrait of Charles A. Lindbergh.
Just as it did then, the town plans to turn out for what Lindbergh called at the time "the most colorful spectacle ever staged in Little Falls," a reference to the riotous parade through downtown that will be re-enacted at 1 p.m. Aug. 11.
Lindbergh's daughter, Reeve, will participate in the parade -- as well as many other events -- along with an estimated 100 units and a delegation of dignitaries from Le Bourget, France, the Paris suburb where the Spirit of St. Louis concluded its journey.
The Minnesota Historical Society will use the celebration to re-dedicate the Charles Lindbergh Historic Site, the aviator's boyhood home along the Mississippi River south of town.
The vastly expanded and improved site -- 3,500 square feet of exhibition space have been added -- will be opened to the public for the first time at 10 a.m. Aug. 8, with a formal ceremony featuring Reeve Lindbergh at 3 p.m.
The highlights of the new exhibits are the partial mockup of the Spirit of St. Louis -- an interactive cockpit complete with sounds of flight -- and a family oral history as told in Lindbergh's and wife Anne's recorded voices. Charles Lindbergh died in 1974 while Anne Lindbergh lived until 2001.
Charles A. Lindbergh posed for the camera as a 2-year-old in 1904.
"The family connection here is strong," site manager Don Westfall said in a news release. "The house (site) represents an intimate look into the surroundings that helped form Lindbergh's adventurous spirit.
"Now, with expanded exhibits, we can tell more about the breadth of Lindbergh's life and include more about Anne Lindbergh," Westfall added.
The foundation the couple left behind also has engaged in the Little Falls anniversary celebration, offering a series of lectures and symposia on the Lindberghs' lives Aug. 8-9.
The series will be conducted by scholar-recipients of Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation grants. A detailed schedule can be found at www.littlefallsmn.com.
Celebrants will gather from 7 to 9 p.m. Aug. 9 at Lindbergh Elementary School for Arts Night, where Reeve Lindbergh, a children's author and poet, will share her latest works and folk singer Bill Stains will entertain the crowd.
Reeve will be available from 9 to 11 a.m. Aug. 10 at Bookin' It Bookstore to meet and greet her readership and sign her latest creation, "On Morning Wings."
Events Aug. 10 also will include a daylong air show at the Little Falls-Morrison County Airport, a 6:30 p.m. reception and dinner at the Falls Ballroom and a fireworks display in Le Bourget Park, starting at nightfall.
Artists and crafters will turn out for an 11 a.m. Arts in the Park event Aug. 11 before adjourning to the "Welcome Home" parade route at 1 p.m.
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