JACKSON CENTER — It’s called “aluminitis.” It’s an affliction for which there is no cure and symptoms can only be controlled by traveling the country or the world with an Airstream trailer in tow.
For the past six years, Airstream aficionados have assembled in late spring at what is known as the Mothership (aka the Airstream factory) in Jackson Center for a kind of mass therapy session where all things Airstream are discussed for several days. 2016 is no different.
Yes, Alumapalooza is back, and its bigger than ever.
Officially called Aluminpalooza 7, organizer Brett Greiveldinger said more than 130 travel trailers and recreational vehicles are expected for the five-day event, which was starts on May 31 and runs through June 4. Greiveldinger said that those registered include campers from all four time zones in continental United States and a family of four from Norway. That’s not counting those who just show up on opening day.
“We always get a few that come in at the last minute,” Greiveldinger said with a laugh. “We don’t mind. The more the merrier.”
While making merry is certainly a large part of the whole Aluminpalooza experience, so is learning to maintain the distinctive travel trailers. Part of the attraction of owning an Airstream, Greiveldinger said, is knowing if properly kept, the trailers “can last forever.”
To that end, Alumapalooza is offering a workshop day on Saturday, June 4, where owners of the Americana-on-wheels will get blocks of instruction from experts on how to properly change a tire, install a hitch, conduct minor exterior and interior repairs, and fix an awning, among other things.
Also new this year is an all-day music event starting at 10:30 a.m. Friday. Scheduled to appear and entertain the campers are Ken Langell, Josh Rogan, Michael Kelsey, Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours. More music is planned for Saturday when Blue Rooster hits the stage at 7 p.m.
Registered campers are also invited to the Elder Theatre in downtown Jackson Center Wednesday at 7 p.m. for a screening of the first-run “Alice Through The Looking Glass” and a sneak preview of the new documentary “Alumination” by Eric Bricker.
But a complete overhaul was not given to the event. Alumapalooza 7 will feature other activities that have been so successful in the past, including the Human Powered Towing, where teams of four have to use muscle to maneuver a stripped down Airstream, and water balloon baseball, which is exactly as wacky as it sounds. This is addition to numerous seminars as varied as the history of Airstreams and cooking breakfast in dutch ovens, bicycle tours of the flatlands of Jackson Township, tours of the Airstream factory, a silent auction, the always-popular “Gong Show” and even daily yoga classes.
For those wanting to camp or just visit, more information and a complete schedule of events for Alumapalooza 7 can be found online at www.alumapalooza.com.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News