With the 42nd annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach rolling in right around the corner, here are 20 things you won’t want to miss.
“Roar in the Shore” Party
On Second Street (between Corona and Covina avenues)
Before the big weekend begins, enjoy music, a motorcycle stunt show, driver autograph sessions, and more in Belmont Shore! Admission is free and the event runs from 5 p.m -8 p.m. Wednesday.
Miss Toyota Grand Prix
700 Queensway Drive
Another event with free admission happens right after the kick-off party. You can see who gets the crown at the Miss Toyota Grand Prix 2016 pageant. The finals start at 8 p.m. and will be held at the Hotel Maya near the Queen Mary.
Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame Induction Ceremony
On Pine Avenue in front of the convention center
Watch as Indy Car legend Roger Penske and Team Penske as well as Bruce Flanders, “The Voice of Grand Prix,” get inducted into the Walk of Fame on Thursday. The 11th annual induction ceremony will begin at 11 a.m.
“Thunder on Pine” Festival
Pine Avenue between First and Third streets
The last of the admission-free pre-weekend events is a festival that includes pit stop demonstrations, freestyle motocross, and so much more! Roll on in at 6:30 p.m.
Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center
Because who doesn’t love going to expos? On Day One of the fun-filled weekend, the Lifestyle expo opens to the public, holding over 150 displays on all things automotive. The expo is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, but closes at 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Family Fun Zone
What’s amazing about the entire weekend is that it is made for families to have fun together. Inside the Lifestyle Expo is an area dedicated to making sure that happens. The Family Fun Zone welcomes guests to climb rock walls, play video games, and view action sports demonstrations. Even children between the ages of 4-6 can join in on the fun and race their very own racecars.
IndyCar All-Driver Autograph Session
Bring your favorite photo or an autograph book to this must-not-miss session. Big names such as Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya, as well as all the Verizon IndyCar Series stars will sign autographs at 4 p.m. on Friday in the Verizon IndyCar Series Paddock. Entry is free with your race ticket.
Mothers Exotic Car Paddock
Guests are invited to check out the collection of over 100 classic and exotic sports cars that include Ferraris, Porsches and Lotus, just to name a few. This display is for Sunday only and will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Turns 9 through 11. Admission is free with your race ticket.
Tecate Light Sports Bars
For all you above the age of 21, indulge in a beer (or two, or five) at the various locations around the race circuit. Live entertainment will be provided for you to kick back and relax in between the many different events over the weekend.
McManis Wine Bars
If beer is not your cup of tea, an alternative is the Official Wine of the Grand Prix from the award-winning McManis Family Vineyards. Just like Tecate, there are several wine bars around the circuit, but again you must be over 21.
Food Truck Experience
Behind Grandstand 31, near Shoreline Village
To balance out the adult beverages, the Food Truck Experience boasts being able to meet anything your taste buds desire as well as having the best in SoCal gourmet food trucks. There’s something you can find for every meal, all weekend long.
Tecate Light “Fiesta Friday Concert”
Nortec Collective Presents: Bostich & Fussible will headline the Friday evening show bringing a mix of Mexican and electronica music to the Convention Center stage. The show starts at approximately 6:45 p.m., but arrive early, as space is limited.
“Monte Carlo Night”
Renaissance Long Beach hotel
Get your poker face ready for a casino-style event brought to you by the Grand Prix Foundation. The poker tournament will have prizes for all winners, and proceeds will benefit the many charities the foundation sponsors. For more info about the event or foundation, call (562) 490-4509.
The Saturday Rock-N-Roar Concert
Just recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Saturday night headliners Cheap Trick will bring timeless classics to life on the Convention Center stage. The “Dream Police” rockers have been performing since the 1970s and are expected to have a large crowd, so save your spot ahead of time! Concert starts at 6:45 p.m.
Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge
Watch as 16 Formula Drift’s top drivers take on turns 9, 10, and 11! Practices and the qualifying challenge are on Friday from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m., but the final Super Drift Challenge Saturday at the same time.
Speed Energy Stadium Super Trucks
This fan-favorite features racing trucks bring a mix of the desert and motocross to Long Beach city streets. Creator Robby Gordon brings high-speed action and trucks soaring off ramps to life with two events over the weekend: Saturday at 1:05 p.m. and Sunday at 4:05 p.m.
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
On Saturday afternoon, three classes of exotic cars will compete in a 100-minute dash for checkered flag spotlights. What’s special about this event is that each car will have leader light systems so you can see which car is winning in each class. The race begins at 4:05 p.m.
Pirelli World Challenge
Well known sport car makers such as Audi, Bentley, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Lamborghini and Mercedes, just to name a few, will be racing for points in round three of the 12-race series. Get there early for this event you won’t want to miss. Race begins at 10 a.m. on Sunday.
40th Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race
Last year’s winner Alfonso Ribeiro will back to participate in this fun-filled celebrity race. Joining him are actors Sean Patrick Flanery, Frankie Muniz and Brian Austin Green as part of the 21 participants from film, television and sports. The 10-lap race for charity begins at 11:40 a.m. on Saturday.
Verizon IndyCar Series
Finally, in event No. 3 of the 16-race IndyCar Series, amazing drivers such as series champion Scott Dixon will have to race to defend his title. He’ll duke it out with the likes of Will Power, Helio Castroneves, Graham Rahal, Sebastien Bourdais, Juan Pablo Montoya, Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay. Get ready to be on the edge of your seat as these drivers may just be hitting speeds of 185 mph powered by Chevrolet or Honda engines right on Shoreline Drive beginning at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Taya Kyle, wife of the “American Sniper” Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, will join Grand Marshal Oscar De La Hoya, to wave the green flag as an Honorary Starter.