AVA launches new website

We are happy to announce the recent launch of our new website. Over a period of six months, the web project team consulted with the AVA Board Web Subcommittee and reviewed progress, design, and functionality. We incorporated images by local photographers creating visual portals that take you to the most frequently sought travel information. We’ve cut down on text-heavy pages, and refreshed and updated our directory listings.

The video playing at the top of the home page is by Mike Krutsinger. Although filmed during winter, it’s our hope that this snapshot of our history, heritage, culture, and entertainment will pique your curiosity. And besides, since Albany is in the Pacific Northwest, what’s a little rain? Just bring your umbrella! There’s also plenty of things to do inside—from riding the fabulous Albany Historic Carousel or digging local jazz music at a cozy bistro to shopping our unique historic downtown and sampling the latest micro-brew—you will always find something to do.

Our site is now secure, so when you browse or purchase online tickets for popular historic home tours or Christmas caroling, your information is safe. We will be launching a new online ticket-purchasing app later this year. In addition, stay tuned for the Discover Albany App—a mobile way to take a Linn County covered bridges or Albany historic district tour, submit vacation photos for sharing in social media, and find the best places to sleep and eat.

We hope you will let us know if there is anything that you can’t locate on the website. Just email the webmaster, and we will be happy to help. You can also telephone the office at 541.928.0911 for real-time help.  If you’d like to keep in touch, sign up for our Enews, and we’ll update you on all the new features coming soon.

AVA partners win award from Travel Oregon

During the Sunday night awards ceremony at the 2018 Oregon Governor’s Conference on Tourism, AVA’s partners at the Willamette Valley Visitors Association (Oregon Wine Country) were honored by Travel Oregon.

The Outstanding Overall Oregon Marketing Program Award recognizes the best integrated domestic or international marketing program or campaign that attracted visitors to Oregon. The award was presented to the Willamette Valley Visitors Association for their promotional campaign that began at the San Jose airport, where a custom acrylic design was formed in the shape of an Oregon Pinot noir bottle spanning 14 feet.

The display was strategically positioned in a heavy traffic area in San Jose Airport’s Alaska Airlines terminal. and reached 660,000 travelers during the eight-week activation. It was a tangible way to bring the Oregon Wine Country Experience to life for travelers.

Congrats to the WVVA Team!

2018 Photo Contest Winners

We had a truly amazing time this year, at the 2018 AVA Photo Contest Awards Ceremony.

The Pix Theater graciously welcomed the public and our entrants for a real treat—viewing nearly 200 photo entries on the big screen.

AVA staff, including Executive Director Jimmie Lucht and Historic Resources Liaison Rebecca Bond, handed out ribbons and awards.

The full list of winners is below the featured video.

Winning Photos


2018 Winners

Champion, Cathy Webb, “Honoring the Brave, Vet Parade”
Reserve Champion, Dan Bateman “Sun Kissed Waverly Duck”
People’s Choice, Oliver J. Anderson “River Boy”
Staff Choice, Camron Settlemier, “Last Light”

Category Winners

In addition to the overall winners, 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners were announced in the following categories:

Scenic 1st Place, Dave Maestas “Heavenly Rays”; 2nd Place, Stephanie Low “Tulips and Horses”; 3rd Place, Katrina Wilson “Riverside Church”

Landmarks 1st Place, Barry Hoffman “Train Station”; 2nd Place, Stephanie Low “Shimanek Bridge”; 3rd Place, Dave Maestas “Timely Sunset”

Open 1st Place, Pavla Zakova-Laney, “Sunset at Crater Lake”; 2nd Place, Melissa Pothakos Slyter, “Fun in the Sun”; 3rd Place, Anna Davidson, “Spring Cheer”

Events 1st Place, Oliver J. Anderson, “Antique St. Car Show 1”; 2nd Place, Stephanie Low, “Launching the Duck”; 3rd Place, Camron Settlemier, “Ready to go Caroling”

Life in the Community 1st Place, Oliver J. Anderson “Reel People”; 2nd Place, Dan Bateman, “Enjoying the Sun”; 3rd Place, Simone Marslee, “That Duck Life”

Historic Albany 1st Place, Pavla Zakova-Laney “Christmas Spirit”; 2nd Place, Oliver J. Anderson, “Albany’s White House”; 3rd Place, Stephanie Low, “Monteith House”

Culinary 1st Place, Dan Bateman “Self-serve Honey”; 2nd Place, Oliver J. Anderson, “Paddle Food”; 3rd Place, Cathy Webb, “Stuffed Bread”

Our heartfelt congratulations to everyone who entered!

About the AVA Photo Contest

The contest is open to photographers of all skill levels and this year 12 talented photographers entered 197 beautiful and creative photos. Prizes this year included ribbons for each winner, Champion, Reserve Champion Staff Choice, and People’s Choice received Pix Theater gift cards.

Winning photos in this year’s photo contest are on display through March at the Albany Visitors Association at 110 3rd Ave SE. All of this year’s entries can be viewed on the Albany Visitors Association Flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/90531885@N07/albums

Ride the 2018 NW Tandem Rally

Get your gears spinning for the 2018 Northwest Tandem Rally (NWTR) coming up June 29th through July 4th. Hosted by the Mid Valley Bicycle Club (MVBC), the NWTR has been an annual event since 1986. The MVBC was founded in 1974 and has hosted this family friendly event four times previously.

If you’ve biked the Mid-Willamette Valley before, you’re most likely familiar with our abundance of quiet country roads through farmland and forests and up into the foothills of both the Cascades and Coast Range.

If this will be your first time in the Albany area, you’re in for a real treat. As all of the NWTR routes start in the Valley, there are lots of options for mostly flat rides, as well as hilly rides, and even a short climb or two into the mountains if your legs are up for it!

Albany, Oregon – 2018 rally’s home away from home

The 2018 Northwest Tandem Rally will be centered in the historic town of Albany, the “Gem of the Willamette Valley.” Albany is the eleventh largest city in Oregon and is located at the confluence of the Calapooia and Willamette Rivers. Founded in approximately 1848 the town has the most varied collection of historic buildings in Oregon.

While you are in town, make sure to visit the pioneer-era Monteith House  and regional museums. Take the family to the Historic Albany Carousel & Museum or attend a River Rhythms outdoor concert on a Thursday summer evening.

Surrounding Albany is one of the most diversified agricultural areas of the state, featuring miles of quiet country roads, historic covered bridges, and a burgeoning wine, hops, and spirits industry. Schedule a visit to one of Albany’s incredible restaurants and vibrant coffee houses during your stay.

Stop by the Albany Visitors Association for maps, a visitors guide, and recommendations for family-friendly places to visit while you’re in town for the rally. AVA is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, and on Saturdays (9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) in the summer, and is located at 110 3rd Ave SE. Telephone 541-928-0911 for more information.

Accommodations and registration

Since the Fourth of July falls in the middle of the week this year, an extended rally is possible. You can stay an additional two days beyond the regular four-day schedule, and enjoy six days of riding through the scenic Willamette Valley. There’s even a bonus three or four day tour following the rally if you just can’t stop peddling.

For a full list of the NWTR accommodations, including the campgrounds at South Albany High School and rally hoteliers, and registration information, visit the 2018 NWTR website.

See you in Albany!

Your Grandmother’s Cookbook

The Linn County Historical Society will host an illustrated talk by Richard Engeman, “Your Grandmother’s Cook Book: A Century of Oregon Eating, 1880-1980.” It will take place on Sunday, March 18th, at 2:00 P.M. in the Lakeside Center at Mennonite Village, 2180 54th Avenue SE in Albany. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Oregon was a well-settled agricultural state in 1880, and women of that era had both a range of foods to work with, and many sources of information on how to prepare it—so, what did we eat back then? How did our foods and our food preparation change over the next century? Engeman will look at a variety of historical sources to answer these questions, including community cook books, newspaper recipes and advice, home economics training, restaurant menus, and manufacturer’s leaflets. It promises to be a well-illustrated and appetizing performance.

Richard Engeman is a Pacific Northwest historian with a professional background in archives and historical photographs. The author of The Oregon Companion: An Historical Gazetteer of the Useful, the Curious, and the Arcane, he has also written a cookbook and numerous historical articles, and given presentations on regional topics ranging from food history and railroads to architecture, alternative medicine, and musical theater. Born in Albany, Engeman grew up in Portland and Warrenton; two years ago, he moved to an 1889 house in Albany.

Albany wins travel destination award

Congratulations are in order to our fair city! Albany was included in Northwest Travel & Life magazine’s “52 Getaways” issue in January 2018, and has been named one of the publication’s 2018 Top Travel Picks.

Albany Visitors Association contributed to content developed for the feature article, and Albany businesses are highlighted, including The Pix Theater, Sybaris Bistro, and the Albany Historic Carousel & Museum.

Read the article “Dreamers and Doers” in NW Travel & Life’s ’52 Getaways for 2018.’



Wish Oregon a Happy 159th Birthday

Valentines Day is the perfect time to express your love for Oregon! The Monteith House Museum will host a free public Oregon birthday bash from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 14th, at the museum. at 518 2nd Ave SW.on February 14, 2018.

Have a slice of cake, tour the museum, and visit with like-minded historic Oregonians. The Monteith House was built in 1849, and is the oldest building in Albany. The Museum’s exhibits include information on the Monteiths and their contributions to early Albany as well as the State of Oregon.

The house was also integral to the formation of Oregon’s statehood: in 1856, the Monteiths hosted a meeting of the Free State Men in their home to discuss state formation. The following year, the group met again at the Monteith House and Oregon’s Republican Party was founded.

We hope to see you there! For more information, telephone 541-928-6375.

The 2017 Night Time Magic Holiday Light Winners

The Albany Visitors Association is proud to announce the winners of  The 2017 Night Time Magic Holiday Light & Decorating Contest

And the winners are …


  • Piedmont Christmas Cul-de-sac, 6127 Piedmont Pl SW, Albany, OR 97321





  • It’s the Most Magical Time of the Year, 3849 Oakmont Loop NE, Albany, OR 97322





  • Let there be light, 797 Fairmont Drive NE, Albany, OR 97322





  • Candy Cane Colored Cape Cod Colonial, 1122 11th Ave SW Albany, Oregon 97321





  • Holiday Greetings in Downtown Albany, No Dinx Inc., 139 SE 1st Ave, Albany, OR 97321




Winners will receive a Winner Award Certificate and a $50 gift card to Albany’s downtown first-run movie house: The Pix Theatre. Photos of the winning homes will be on display at the Pix Theatre and on the Albany Visitors Association website along with a list of locations to see. Winners will also be entitled to bragging rights for the entire year! Thank you to all the homeowners who participate in this program. Without your efforts, this wonderful community tradition would not be possible.

Get your map

Want to take a drive with the family and see the lights in person? Download the PDF of the winners’ map, or pick one up from our office at Third and Lyon.

Around Albany for the Holidays – Part Two

If you caught Part One of our 2017 Holiday Blog, we hope that you’re ready for Santa! Albany is a wonderful place to be this time of year and there are many ways to celebrate the joys of the season. We’ve included the second half of our featured December ideas and events below. Happy Holidays from all of us at Albany Visitors Association!

Travel to a Tropical Island

Take a Virtual Vacation Next Tuesday, December 19th, visit the warm Galapagos Islands! At 7:00 p.m., Don Lyons will present a presentation of travel photographs from his trip, at the Albany Public Library. Telephone 541 654 2052 for more information.

Family Entertainment

Kids Club with the Grinch and Cindy Lou Who On Saturday, December 16th, at 11:30 a.m. head on over to Heritage Mall for some great family fun.

YMCA Brunch with Santa Come have brunch and take a photo with Santa! Brunch menu: pancakes or biscuits and gravy, sides, and beverages. Register at the Y’s Welcome Center located inside the YMCA. Space is limited. Proceeds benefit the YMCA After School Program Scholarship Program. Cost is $10 per adult $8 per child. The brunch is held at the Eastside Christian Church, on December 16th, with seatings at 9:30, 10:30, 11:30. The church is at 3201 Pacific Blvd SW in Albany.

Pet Photos with Santa Woof Woof! Albany’s Heritage Mall is hosting a family pet adventure with Santa on Sunday, December 17th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. So pack up Fido and Fluffy and head on over.

Visit from Santa at the Albany American Legion Santa is visiting the American Legion, located at 1215 Pacific Blvd, on December 23rd at noon. There will be food and drinks for all the good girls and boys, plus presents from Santa and his favorite elf Justin Sloan. In addition, Santa flew in a Christmas band, a story teller from Hawaii, and tons of fun. If you know a child who may not have a merry Christmas, send them to our party so we have an opportunity to brighten their day. Children of Veterans, and all children are invited. Santa will be down from the North Pole.

Christmas Play “It’s in the Eyes” is a family oriented performance and is free. The play starts at 5:00 p.m on Sunday, December 17th. The Whitespires is a historic church located at 510 SW 5th, in Albany. For more information, telephone 541-928-0911.

Christmas Music at Heritage Mall The Mountain View Elementary Honor Choir will sing classic holiday favorites at Albany’s Heritage Mall. Make sure you don’t miss out! The performance takes place on Thursday, December 21st, at 6:30 p.m.

Christmas Eve Sing-a-Long Come celebrate Christmas Eve and participate in singing Christmas carols and other favorites at historic Whitespires Church. The event starts at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 24th. For more information, telephone 541-928-2469.


Historic Holidays in the Making

History Bites at the Museum Join the Albany Regional Museum and learn about holiday traditions in three different communities found in Albany. On Wednesday, December 13th at noon, Clara Frost, Terrance Harris, and Father Stephen Soot will discuss the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah, West African diaspora’s Kwanzaa, and Christian Orthodox traditions. Bring a brown-bag lunch or enjoy light refreshments. History Bites is free, however donations are happily accepted and help sustain the museum for all to enjoy. Join in on the discussion, located at ARM, 136 Lyon St S.

What to do in Albany for the holidays – Part 1

Have you been naughty or nice? Why nice is the best of course, so make plans to participate in all of Albany’s Christmas and Holiday magic! We think the following events will get you in the holly-jolly spirit.

Horses, Horses, Carriages, Wagons and Rides

Albany’s Heritage Mall is hosting holiday horse-drawn carriage rides with Chafin Farms’ gorgeous draft horses. The rides run though December 22nd, so come get in the spirit! Use the link below to connect with the mall on their Facebook page, and learn more about how your entire family can ride the carriage and visit Santa. https://www.facebook.com/heritagemall/

Albany Christmas Parlour Tour On Sunday, December 10th, from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., enjoy the sights and sounds of an old fashioned holiday celebration in Historic Albany, Oregon. This year the tour will feature six historic homes decorated for the holidays. Ride in Chafin Farms’ beautiful horse drawn carriage through downtown Albany. Special shopping events, light refreshments, and entertainment await. Get your online tickets ahead and avoid the lines! Tickets: https://albanyvisitors.com/2017/10/09/tickets-for-2017-christmas-parlour-tour/

Christmas Caroling by Horse-Drawn Wagon The Monteith Historical Society and Chafin Farms are offering Christmas caroling by horse-drawn wagon through the Monteith Historic District. The tours take place on Saturday and Sunday December 16th and 17th, beginning at 5:00 p.m. and leaving every 45 minutes. Song leaders, books and bells will be provided. Proceeds are dedicated to the Monteith House Museum. Telephone the Albany Visitors Association at 541-928-0911 for more information. Or, stop by our office, M-F, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and pay for your tickets ahead of time with check or cash.

Song and Dance

Singing Christmas Tree Love traditional Christmas carols? Then don’t miss the 36th Annual Sweet Home Singing Christmas Tree performances. The show runs from Friday, December 1st through Sunday, December 3rd at the Sweet Home High School auditorium. Friday and Saturday, the show starts at 7:30 p.m., and on Sunday,the performance begins at 3:00 p.m. For more info, use the link: https://www.facebook.com/Sweet-Home-Singing-Christmas-Tree-189693289088/

Nutcracker Ballet tickets make a wonderful holiday gift! Get yours today before they sell out. Legacy Ballet returns to the Russell Tripp Performance Center for “The Nutcracker” ballet, Dec. 7, 8, 9 at 7pm, Dec. 9 at 2pm. Tickets available anytime online with the more info link: http://linnbenton.edu/current-students/involvement/performing-arts/buy-tickets

Families and Children

The Downtown Twice Around Christmas Parade rolls through Downtown Albany on Sunday, Dec. 3rd, 2017. The parade starts promptly at 5 p.m. The parade route starts at the corner of Broadalbin Street and First Avenue, heads west down First to Calapooia Street, heads south on Calapooia to Second Avenue, heads east on Second to Broadalbin, heads north on Broadalbin to First, and then around again, ending at the Two Rivers Market parking lot at the corner of Second and Ferry. Immediately following the parade is the Community Tree Lighting Ceremony. If you have any questions please call the Downtown Albany office at 541-928-2469 or visit the Albany Downtown Association: http://www.albanydowntown.com/ada-event/twice-around-parade-and-community-tree-lighting/

Children’s Pioneer Christmas Party Celebrate the Christmas season the way the pioneers would have done in the 1800s by joining the festivities at the Monteith House. Children ages 5-16 are invited to join the Monteith Historical Society for a Christmas party on Sunday, December 3rd at 3:00 p.m. Children will make pioneer Christmas crafts to decorate the House tree, sing carols, eat Christmas cookies, and have the option to ride on the horse drawn wagon in the Twice Around Downtown Christmas Parade at 5:00 p.m. The cost is $15 per child, and $10 per additional sibling. Reserve your child’s spot today by calling the Albany Visitors Association at 541-928-0911. Space is limited and fills up fast!

Free Holiday Movie On Saturday, December 9th,  Downtown Albany and the Pix Theatre partner to show a classic Christmas movie for the whole family. This year we’re showing “White Christmas.” Doors open at 9:30 a.m. and the movie starts at 10:00 a.m.  Come early, especially if you are a large group as the theater fills up quickly. This is a free event, so first come-first seated.  Please bring a non-perishable food item if you can for our local food pantry. Call the ADA, 541-928-2469, if you have any questions.

Christmas Storybook Land welcomes families to enjoy its free 41st year presentation. See an enormous indoor Christmas forest wonderland with over 100 scenes of characters from Mother Goose rhymes, children’s fairy tales and family movies, two elaborate model train displays, a Victorian Village and the North Pole with Santa & Mrs. Claus. Canned food donation is gladly accepted for local food bank. Learn more at: http://christmasstorybookland.org

Shop Small ’til You Drop

YMCA Holiday Market On Saturday, December 2nd from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. enjoy our one stop shop. Find holiday gifts, enjoy great company, and support small business. Admission: $1 per adult or 2 cans of food. A portion of the proceeds from sales will benefit the Y’s scholarship fund. For more information, contact Kim at resourcedirector@ymcaalbany.org

Morning Star Grange Holiday Crafts Bazaar On December 8th through the 9th, head to Millersburg for home baked goodies, seasonal and hand-crafted products and gifts. The sale begins at 10:00 a.m and runs util 4:00 p.m. Lunch is available both days. 38794 Morningstar Rd NE, Millersburg. For more information, contact Sandy at dshdeck@aol.com

Santa’s Bag Located at Roddy Ranch, this holiday sale on December 8th and 9th features unique hand-made gifts and decorations, homemade breads and candies, antiques and fun finds! Hours are 10:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. both days. For more information, contact Mary Beth at roddyranch@gmail.com The ranch is located at 33281 Dever-Conner Dr NE, Albany.