When 4th Fridays return to Westerville this week, the occasion will mark a chance for Uptown to show off its more youthful, vibrant side while shops stay open late and thousands of people flock to the district.

When 4th Fridays return to Westerville this week, the occasion will mark a chance for Uptown to show off its more youthful, vibrant side while shops stay open late and thousands of people flock to the district.

But focusing on a much older topic will be Jake Schneider, president of the Six River Valley Chapter of the Archaeological Society of Ohio.

Since 2013, Schneider and other members of the ASO chapter have brought their impressive collections to 4th Fridays to show off their artifacts and try to help others cultivate a love of archaeology.

"It's been a really good thing for us," Schneider said of the regular 4th Fridays appearances, which he said have given the organization its best exposure in years.

Like the vast majority of archaeology fanatics, Schneider and the other ASO members don't have any dinosaur bones. Most of them are what Schneider called surface collectors. They comb recently plowed fields and other areas to find arrowheads, spear tips and other American Indian tools carved from stone.

While skeletons and dinosaurs come to mind when most people think of archaeology, major discoveries and digs are unrealistic for those who aren't professionals.

"Rare is the time that you hear about someone getting permission from a landowner to dig in a mound or something on their property," Schneider said.

Part of what makes the hobby so accessible, Schneider said, is how many people have an interest in archaeology that they haven't explored.

"It's really neat; that's what makes it fun," he said. "People will say, 'My dad has a whole collection just like this from when he was a kid.' And the first question I ask is always, 'Where are they now?' "

Schneider's ASO chapter has about 40 members and 20 who regularly participate in the organization, and the group is always looking for new members.

And while Schneider -- who said he doesn't go to the bar or football games, but prefers to walk around fields more than 100 days a year -- might be more dedicated than most, he and his fellow members find the real satisfaction in preserving the artifacts they find.

"We look at ourselves as conservators," he said. "When you look at the sites these came from, it's all houses or buildings now. I saved them."

4th Fridays in Uptown Westerville return from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, April 24.

The celebration features more than 100 street vendors, extended hours for local businesses, food trucks and live music.

The monthly event continues on the fourth Friday of each month from April through September.