First Ditch

Marginal’s signature fly-in held annually on the first weekend of June. We throw and partner up with several events throughout the year but this is our organization’s Super Bowl. (The Daytona 500 may be a more appropriate comparison.)

First Ditch 2024

Registration: Free, members only

What’s included? Donation-based meals are provided throughout the weekend as are bathrooms, showers for those that are camping on the airport.

What to Expect

At First Ditch you can expect a weekend-long, laid back atmosphere with a sky full of some of the finest, rarest, and most historic examples of flying antique/classic and homebuilt airplanes in existence. Formation flying and ride-hopping until sundown is quite common. “Hangar flying” after sundown is definitely common.
Most of our membership and fly-in attendance base is either young, or very young at heart. To give you an idea, in 2023 we had 111 airplanes from 18 states attend, 40% of which were either owned or flown in by pilots younger than 45 years of age. This was over 4x the size of our first, First Ditch in 2014.
Our members only fly-in is free to attend.

From Last to First

The History of First Ditch

First Ditch was initially conceived in 2014 as a derivative of what used to be our annual fly-in in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, Last Ditch. When we decided we wanted to host fly-ins again, we decided the fall season was already full of great events we didn’t want to force people to decide between, while having a giant void in the spring and early summer. Therefore, our “Ditch” event was moved to the first full weekend in June, annually held in Le Sueur, Minnesota.

Sights you can expect to see at first ditch

First Ditch FAQ

It is a revival of the fly-in that was formerly known as the Last Ditch. It is a fun way for old airplane enthusiasts to get together for an entire weekend to start the fly-in season.

Our members-only fly-in is free to attend. Donation-based meals are provided throughout the fly-in, as are bathrooms, showers, and there is no registration fee.

No need to worry about going hungry.  There will be PLENTY of food for all to get through the weekend.

 

Starting Thursday morning, food will be available for the early arrivals, followed with lunch, and a fly-in kickoff cookout on Thursday evening.  

 

Breakfast on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday will consist of hot food items along with the usual continental breakfast choices.

 

Friday – lunch will be served and Friday’s dinner is the pizza party.

 

Saturday lunch-dinner starts the all day and night grazing on pulled pork sandwiches, hot dogs, potatoes, assorted salads, cookies, chips, dips, bars. 

 

*All meals are served on a donation-only basis*

There is a Subway, Pizza Ranch, a grocery store, and several bars in Le Sueur (a two minute drive).

There will be water, lemonade, pop, some beer, some wine, and some spirits provided.  Also, a liquor store is within a half mile. 

Yes, you can pitch your tent or bring a camper.  For motor homes/campers – be aware if the ground is soft because of rain, you may need to park on a black top area.

All motor homes/campers are REQUIRED to check in with the greeter at the airport entrance for instructions on parking.  

Enterprise 507-388-8865

 

For rental car pick up and return at the Mankato Regional Airport (MKT), air or ground shuttle transportation will be provided by Marginal. Check in with any of the ground crew or the greeter to make the request for a ride to get your rental car.

Valu Stay Inn Le Sueur 

510 N Main Street, Le Sueur, MN 56058

Reservations:  [507] 665-6246                  

 

AmericInn by Wyndham St. Peter 

700 North Minnesota Ave., St. Peter, MN   56082 

Reservations:  [507] 931-6554   

 

Best Western Plus St. Peter

1301 Old Minnesota Ave., St. Peter, MN 56082

Reservations:  [507]-519-1234

 

HomeTown Inn & Suites  

331 Enterprise Drive East, Belle Plaine, MN 56011

Reservations:  [952] 873-6017

Still have questions?

Contact us and we will get back with you as soon as possible.