By Keri Johnson
For The Athens NEWS
LOGAN — Logan residents should prepare for a temporary neighborhood composed of Airstream campers downtown this weekend.
Urban Air Wake Up Downtown Logan begins this Thursday, May 5 and concludes Sunday, May 8. First appearing in 2018, Urban Air has brought Airstream campers from across the country to downtown Logan to celebrate not only the camper community but its host community as well.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Urban Air has not held its event since 2019. But this year it returns with around 100 Airstream campers, according to Urban Air Director Kirk MacKellar. He estimates that each camper will bring around two to three visitors, as single individuals attend, while others sometimes bring their partners and families.
To kick off its visit, Urban Air is sponsoring a performance on Thursday by Logan’s own Artista Rock School, MacKellar said.
“They’re going to have a concert at the (Worthington Park) gazebo and we’re hoping the whole community attends because we don’t want to be just a party for ourselves,” MacKellar said. The concert will be at 7 p.m.
Additionally, musicians will be playing around campfires each night Thursday through Saturday, MacKellar added. “That’s open to everybody,” he said.
On Saturday, Urban Air will be hosting a trailer decorating contest. Local participation is encouraged, MacKellar said. “We’re hoping people will come and vote for their favorite trailer.”
In fact, as all of Urban Air’s events take place downtown, members of the public are welcome to come and meet their temporary neighbors, MacKellar said. Many people who are camping are eager to show off their Airstreams and interact with the community they are visiting, he said.
“People are welcome to come down and check out the Airstreams and ask people to go inside; most people want them to go inside. They love showing them off,” MacKellar said.
MacKellar said one of the true highlights of Urban Air each year is seeing people visit their downtown.
“That’s kind of what I love to see,” he said. “And that’s kind of the point of it – so people can rediscover their own downtown and that’s what makes every city unique is their downtown.”
Urban Air will also showcase the Logan Theater on Sunday, specifically, MacKellar said. “Being able to save the theater, that’s such a precious thing to aid in the refurbishing of that,” he said. Tours of the theater and Columbus Washboard Factory will be ongoing through the three-day event, he added.
Also returning this year is the Urban Air Logan-Hocking Middle School Student Art Competition, which developed last year in lieu of the Airstream event, MacKellar explained. This year and in 2021, Urban Air collaborated with LHMS to host a citywide art show, The Logan Daily News reported.
The art show serves as another way to get Logan, as Urban Air’s host community, involved, he explained.
“We wanted to use it as a way to display the students’ art in a way that would get their parents to take them downtown,” MacKellar said. And so (the teachers) have turned it into kind of a history lesson of the downtown as well.
According to Suzanne Oldham, LHMS visual art instructor and fine art department head, drawings by LHMS fifth and sixth grade students in the Urban Air art competition can be viewed at:
Funkocity Gifts & Collectibles, 47 W. Main St.
Gifts that Give Back, 66 E. Main St.
Homegrown on Main, 12 E. Main St.
Maya Burrito Co., 12 E. Main St.
Office City Express, 48 E. Main St.
Piano Works Gallery, 48 W. Main St
Saving Hardware, 95 E. Main St.
Tacie’s Sweet Treats, 96. E. Main St.
Vintage en Vogue, 45 W. Main St.
Urban Air Art Competition pieces will be on display until Thursday, May 5. The general public are invited to vote on their favorite entry; the entry with the most votes will be awarded the People’s Choice Award, according to Oldham. Voting may be done in person or online via QR codes available with displays.
The art competition is sponsored by the Urban Air organization, who have compiled a panel of judges of professional artists to just the top third of entries selected by the art teachers. Prizes for first, second and third will be announced at Worthington Park, 1 S. Market St., on Saturday, May 7 at 4 p.m.
Keri Johnson is a reporter for The Logan Daily News. Email at email@example.com
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