Mansfield celebrates Airport Day, Heart-of the City Cruise-In, more, on same weekend

Mansfield will be packed with events this weekend, from historic airplanes at Mansfield Lahm Airport to classic cars downtown in Central Park and lining the streets west to the 5-way light at Park Avenue West and Bowman Street when the 25th Heart of the City Cruise-In takes place on Aug. 27.

The final Final Friday Concert Series also will be held Aug. 26 in the Brickyard off Temple Court.

The action actually gets rolling on Wednesday, Aug. 24, when the rare and massive WWII planes of the Air Power History Tour fly into Mansfield Lahm Regional Airport.

The Heart of the City Cruise-In will take over downtown with an expected 500 to 600 classic vehicles and an estimated crowd of 5,000 to 6,000.

Mansfield Lahm Airport Day

The first of what’s expected to be an annual event in Mansfield will show off the area’s updated Mansfield Lahm Airport on Saturday, Aug. 27, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Designed to spark an interest in aviation among young people, free Young Eagles Flights are offered to attendees age 8-13 who’ve never been on a plane, starting at 9:30 a.m. Registration for these limited flights is recommended and opens at 1 p.m. Aug. 19 at yeday.org.

A Food Truck Rally will host nearly a dozen different offerings, while the special KidsZone bounce houses and interactive inflatables are staffed by members of the Civil Air Patrol. An area showcasing the businesses of Mansfield Lahm Airport will introduce all that’s new at the airport.

AirPower History Tour

Wednesday through Sunday, Aug. 24-28, the sights, sounds and stories of World War II aviation fly into the airport as the AirPower History Tour brings five of the era’s most important aircraft to the main terminal ramp, according to advance publicity information.

The tour is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and access is $20 for adults, $10 for youths age 11-17 and free for kids age 10 and under. Details and tickets can be found at airpowersquadron.org/mansfield-ohio. Presented by the Commemorative Air Force, the tour gives visitors a rare opportunity to view aircraft up close and to tour B-29 and B-24 cockpits when the aircraft aren’t flying. The CAF is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to honoring American military aviation history by keeping these majestic aircraft flying and through exhibitions and remembrance. A highlight is a ride aboard any of five iconic 1930s-1940s aircraft. Advance reservations are recommended, with 20- and 40-minute rides priced from $299 to $3,700 per person. Rides are available in the B-29 Superfortress “Fifi,” B-24 Liberator “Diamond Lil,” T-6 Texan; PT-13 Stearman and P-51 Mustang “Gunfighter.” Ride schedules and booking are available online at airpowersquadron.org/book.

Final Friday Concert Series

The popular Final Friday Concert Series takes place in the historic downtown Mansfield’s Carrousel District. Friday, Aug. 26, an all-country lineup includes Jose Sanchez, Tom’s Kitchen Table, and County Line, who take the Brickyard stage starting at 5:30 p.m.

Guests often bring their own chairs to this popular outdoor arts and cultural venue, where local craft beer and food trucks draw lines of hungry and thirsty music lovers.

Once a bustling commerce and warehouse district, the area faded, leaving deteriorated old industrial buildings, long past their prime. Local visionaries developed the Brickyard to create a downtown cultural center. Today, a live music stage, farmers markets and pop-up shops have replaced the wholesale demolition of littered alleys and piles of bricks.

Heart of the City Cruise-In

The 25th anniversary Heart of the City Cruise-In rolls into downtown Mansfield, Saturday, Aug. 27, at noon and runs through 8 p.m. One of the state’s largest car shows, the event features drool-worthy cars, trucks, and vans, competitions with trophies, show favorites, a 50/50 raffle, live music and great food. Held rain or shine, entrants in this massive antique car show cruise up Ohio 13 from Central Park.

With the hundreds of cars lined up to strut their stuff, the event will feature every imaginable antique vehicle, plus some modern stunners, from a 1920s Model T, a 1933 Plymouth PD Coupe or a ‘65 Ford Shelby GT350, to a rare 1964 Chevy Corvair Rampside, a 1920s Packard Roadster or the 1957 Chevy 210. Live entertainment will have some of that same vintage flare, with hometown 1960s rock bands Ohio Express, Music Explosion, and The Cyrkle, along with Journey cover band Departure.

Departure will perform 2 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the gazebo in Central Park, Ary Van Harlingen, an organizer with the Cruise-In, said. All other bands will perform from noon to 6 p.m. on a stage in the grassy area next to the Renaissance Theatre.

Van Harlingen said someone is bringing 25 to 30 Ford hard-top retractable cars to the car show.

History of Cruise-In

In February of 1995, Mike and Jeanne Bammann along with the Gents Auto Club suggested to then Mayor Lydia Reid that the cruising tradition should be revived.

The first annual Heart of the City Cruise-In was held on the square in downtown Mansfield on Aug. 26, 1995 with 300 to 400 cars participating.

At the 2002 Heart of the City Cruise-In, "Hemi Under Glass," created by Bob Riggle who grew up in Mansfield, was featured. Upstairs/Downstairs British Automotive invited their customers to bring in their classic cars, including British sports cars from the 1950s and classic Rolls Royces, according to a 25th Heart of the City Cruise-In magazine article that will be handed out at the event.

In 2007, a custom car was built by Franklin Body Shop that was displayed at the car show and raffled off.

In 2008, car owners and spectators at the event, along with local businesses, raised more than $4,000 cash and truckloads of toys for Toy Time, a local organization that collected refurbished toys for more than 2,000 needy children in the area.

During the 2003 Cruise-In, car enthusiasts Brandon and Kristen McDaniel were married during the car show. At the 2004 Heart of the City Cruise-In, Steve Cobb's Weidner Motors, Auto Essentials and the News Journal raffled off a customized 2002 Pontiac Sunfire with proceeds benefiting United Way of Richland County.

Anyone who wants to show off their ride at the cruise-in can register at the show at 9 a.m. for $15.

lwhitmir@gannett.com

419-521-7223

Twitter: @LWhitmir

This article originally appeared on Mansfield News Journal: Heart of the City Cruise-In marks 25th year; 500 to 600 cars expected