The Northwest Art and Air Festival returned to the Linn County Fairgrounds after an absence of two or three years to accommodate the COVID pandemic. The event is multi-faceted and spread over three days. It has an emphasis on art and air displays. The fairgrounds are covered with booths selling art and food. There are hot air balloons on display daily (weather permitting). They lift off every morning shortly after dawn and on Friday there is a Night Glow This is quite spectacular. The balloons are tethered to the ground. Shortly after dark the burners are ignited and the balloons inflated. It is like a dozen or so huge glowing, multi colored lamps. Activities involving fixed wing aircraft are held across the street at the Albany Municipal Airport. They go on all day long. There is also live music on stage throughout the day. The musical high light is the Saturday night concert featured a well known national artist. This year the performer was country music star Billy Culligan.
Also included in the festivities is a car show. The show is staged by the Studebaker Club. This year about 75 cars showed up to participate. The show featured a mix of classical, muscle and foreign cars. Best of Show went to a 1934 Plymouth hot rod owned by Don Pyle. It is truly an outstanding ride. There were many other fine cars there as well. This is a big event with several hundred of people in attendance. A good way to spend a Saturday with people who are interested in a variety of modes of transportation.
By: Terry Thompson