The streets and highways around Salem, Ore., are taking on a silver hue as more than 1,200 Airstream RVs arrive at the Oregon State Fairgrounds for an annual gathering.
The Statesman Journal reported that the Wally Byam Caravan Club International begins its weeklong rally Monday (June 26), bringing enthusiasts from the U.S., Mexico and Canada to the Mid-Valley.
Rally activities on the fairgrounds are private, but the public is invited to attend an open house featuring several older trailers from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 30.
The silver, bullet-shaped trailers have become an American icon since first designed by Byam in the 1930s. Airstream trailers were used by the crew of Apollo 11 as a mobile quarantine facility after their return from the first moon landing. An Airstream trailer was also featured on the TV show “The Simple Life,” with Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie.
Organizers already have laid out a “Silver City” at the fairgrounds that will include water and disposal service and a post office. The rally is estimated to generate $3 million in economic activity in the area, said Diane Childs of the Oregon State Fairgrounds & Expo Center. Early rally participants already have helped boost business at some Salem restaurants.
Among the rally activities already under way are several philanthropic efforts, said Len Sullivan, a club member from Kansas. Sullivan said the group members, estimated at about 2,400 participants this year, are committed to leaving host communities in better shape than when the group arrived.
Each year, the club collects pocket change at club activities to donate to a local child with medical needs.