With the Smithsonian in town, the launch of a new community “togetherness” initiative, murals multiplying, the upcoming Festival of Arts and Bikes, et cetera, et cetera, you might say Havana is experiencing something of a “golden age.” If you were downtown this past weekend, however, the Havana experience was wholly “silver” as scores of sleek, mirror-polished Airstream trailers filled the local streetscape to the brim, overflowing into the community park, church parking lots, Havana Springs resorts and other spaces. Check TheHerald.online regularly over the next several days – we will be uploading more photos and will add thoughts and comments from organizers, mini-profiles on some of the out-of-town Airstream enthusiasts camped downtown and other items of interest. Stay tuned!
Photos by B. Dekle//T. Lombardo//T. Paul//M. Pettus//G. Smith
Click to enlarge
Truck in the front, house in the middle, bikes on the back – what more does one need in life, truly?
Holy aluminum, Batman! Have you ever seen anything like this in Havana? Wow!
An afternoon shower on day one of the rally gave way to a lovely rose-colored evening sky – a picture-perfect backdrop for Havana’s quaint shops and the rows of classic Airstreams.
Rockin’ out to Sonic Boom in downtown Havana.
Cook a hot meal, chat around the dinner table, chill on the couch or lay me down to sleep – if you can do it in a house, you can do it in an Airstream. Several Airstream owners opened their “homes” so curious rally goers could catch a glimpse of life in the metal mansion on wheels.
Havana Main Street Director Tony Lombardo (center) – largely responsible for the Havana Airstream Urban Rally from the initial vision to planning to coordinating logistics during the rally – takes a few minutes to clown around with a couple of young ladies, in between his myriad event duties and responsibilities.
Brothers in Airstream enthusiasm, brothers in song. An impromptu jam session sparks up as instrument-wielding Airstream rally participants convene on Havana’s downtown stage. Locals and out-of-towners alike setup chairs to watch the unplanned mini-concert.
Volunteers work tirelessly the night before the start of the rally to prep one of Havana Spring Resort’s elegant meeting/dining/conference rooms to accommodate and feed throngs of visiting Airstream enthusiasts – no doubt road weary and hungry after traveling miles – thousands in a few cases – to Havana, their beloved Airstreams in tow. Pictured are just a few of the dozens of local townspeople who helped ensure every rally-goer’s visit was as pleasant and carefree as possible: L-R, Jay and Elna Thompson; Decorkus Allen; Becky and Ron Tiller; and Donna Salters.
The Planters Exchange Complex makes for a gloriously rustic dining experience, as these Pancake Breakfast fundraiser-goers no doubt discovered.
Even with their famously ample storage spaces, Airstreams certainly limit the “stuff” one can accumulate and haul. No one – no matter how organizationally adept – is packing the contents of a three-bedroom house into a cozy pickup truck-pulled domicile. But “codependent” Airstream / music junkies will always find room for their favorite axe, from tiny piccolos to mammoth contrabasses and every banjo, guitar, keyboard and bongo in between.
The view from above of an Airstream-filled downtown Havana was perhaps even more impressive than the awe-inspiring sight at street level.
Rock-and-roll was alive and well at the Airstream Urban Rally as Sonic Boom’s energetic brand of jam spurred young and old alike to groove to the music.
Sonic Boom rocks the downtown Havana stage for a sizable crowd of locals and visitors alike.
Havana business owner Terri Paul marvels at the decidedly unusual sight of scores of sparkling Airstreams parked just outside her shop door.
Though encased in a rugged aluminum shell and set atop wheels, for the people who love them, Airstream trailers are as cozy and comfortable as any brick-and-mortar dwelling.
Read my lips: Havana always takes a pretty picture.
When feeding scores of hungry locals and visitors – all with a hankering for flapjacks – mixing up pancake batter becomes a full-time job.
With Havana’s downtown bursting at the seams with Airstreams, many trailers had to set up shop in alternative locations; these late arrivers made camp in Havana’s community park. In all, some 100+ Airstreams showed up for the big rally.
Havana Mayor Pro-Tem Decorkus Allen addresses rally-goers as local Main Street director Tony Lombardo looks on.
Mmmmmm, pancakes… Locals served up hundreds – perhaps thousands – of the fluffy hotcakes during the Airstream Rally’s pancake breakfast.
Airstream Rally participants jamming on stage.
Two old friends leave the Pancake Breakfast fundraiser, bellies full and smiles wide.
Havana Main Street Director Tony Lombardo enjoys an up-close and personal rock-and-roll experience as Sonic Boom’s bassist temporarily steps away from the stage to bang out a baselines amongst the masses.
Havana’s downtown streets became silver promenades – traffic-free walkways with grand, glistening “walls” of Airstream trailers.
Havana’s cup runneth over – both literally and figuratively. After every inch of usable street space was occupied downtown, late arriving Airstreams began setting up camp at the community park, Havana Springs Resort and other designated spillover spots.
Flippin’ flapjacks at just the right moment for that ideal balance of firm and fluffy is no easy art to master, but the volunteers serving hotcakes at the Pancake Breakfast fundraiser during the Airstream Rally certainly had the task down, if the glowing comments from satisfied diners are to be believed.