Photo credit: Oliver J. Anderson
Albany’s ATI Northwest Art & Air Festival is a feast for the eyes and ears, with hot air balloons filling the skies each day at sunrise, artists displaying their colorful creations under the trees at Timber-Linn park all day, and free concerts on the lakeshore at night. The 2014 festival is Aug. 22-24 at Timber-Linn Memorial Park in Albany.
But there’s a lot more going on at the annual festival than just pretty balloons and popular music. Test your knowledge with these 10 little-known facts and figures about Albany’s annual Art & Air Festival.
1. It’s big.
In fact, it’s one of the biggest annual events in Albany, bringing more than 50,000 people to town in 2013.
2. It’s historic.
The Albany Airport, where many of the festival events take place, is the oldest airport west of the Mississippi and the second-oldest airport in the U.S. (established in 1909, just six years after the Wright Brothers’ flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C.)
3. It’s kid-friendly.
More than 200 kids got completely free airplane rides in 2013 as part of the Young Eagles program, sponsored by Remax Integrity-Doug Hall and Team Pendley.
4. It’s record-setting.
The oldest Oregonian ever to ride in a hot air balloon took his flight at the N.W. Art & Air Festival. Erman Johnston, 102 at the time of his record-setting ride, went up in a balloon at the 2013 festival.
5. It’s creative.
The festival is home to one of the biggest art shows in the mid-valley, with more than 75 artists from around the Northwest displaying works that range from paintings to pottery, wood sculpture to glass works.
6. It’s award-winning.
The free Foreigner concert at the 2013 NW Art & Air Festival took home the state’s top award this year. It was named best music program within a festival or event by the Oregon Festivals and Events Association.
7. It’s all-ability accessible.
The 2014 event will feature “The Three Little Bees,”–whimsical hot air balloons shaped like bumblebees, with baskets that are wheelchair-accessible.
8. It’s for car-lovers.
The festival isn’t just about balloons and airplanes. It’s also home to the “Art of Cars” show, featuring classic Studebakers, Corvairs, Corvettes and more.
9. It’s hands-on.
It’s not just about looking and listening. The Family Zone, sponsored by Red Robin, includes free hands-on crafts, active play, and a visit by The Reptile Man.
10. It’s for foodies.
International foods, northwest wines, and microbrews are available all three days, and there’s a beer garden sponsored by Gilgamesh Brewing.
Want to know even more about the ATI NW Art & Air Festival? Explore information about all the events going on this year at the Art & Air Festival website.