Albany Visitors Association
110 3rd Ave. SE,
Albany OR 97321
PO Box 965
The Albany Visitors Association is proud to announce the winners of The 2017 Night Time Magic Holiday Light & Decorating Contest
And the winners are …
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org The ranch is located at 33281 Dever-Conner Dr NE, Albany.
Once again, the Albany Visitors Association is helping to make the holiday season bright by sponsoring the 30th Annual Night Time Magic Holiday Light Program. Residents are encouraged to enter a contest for best use of lights in decorating the exterior of their homes.
Three winners will be selected to win great prizes and one will be awarded the “Best Neighborly Effort.” Winners will be entitled to bragging rights for the entire year, and one of three fabulous prizes as determined by the prize committee. Be a part of Historic Albany’s magic!
The contest theme is “Holiday Night Time Magic.”
Participants are encouraged to share the source for their inspiration such as:
Decorations can be any style and lights can be white, clear or colored.
Entry forms can be picked up, printed out by using the following PDF: Night Time Magic Holiday Light Contest Entry Form, or requested via e-mail at email@example.com. All forms should be turned into the Albany Visitors Association at 110 3rd Ave SE, Albany, OR 97321.
Winners will be announced by December 15th, and presentations made soon after.
People wishing to drive or walk through the historic districts to look at the displays can pick up a list of participants and a map at the Albany Visitors Association beginning December 15th. Lights will be on through January 1, 2018.
Thank you to all the homeowners who participate in this program, without your efforts this wonderful community tradition would not be possible.
Looking for Thanksgiving Day and holiday weekend activities? You might already have your time scheduled, yet there’s always last minute company to entertain and you just might want to escape Great Aunt Mary’s turkey bone soup! We’ve put together a few ideas of what you can do over the long weekend in the Albany area.
Have you decided that tangling with the turkey isn’t much fun? How about chucking the pots and pans and letting someone else do the work, including the clean-up! Here’s a short list of local restaurants that will be open and serving traditional Thanksgiving dinners with all the trimmings.
Elmers Restaurant, 2802 Santiam Hwy, Albany, 541-928-4227, open on the holiday from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Cascade Grill, 110 Opal St NE, Albany, 541-928-3388, open on the holiday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Cellar Cat, 211 1st Ave W, Albany, 541-704-0304. Fantastic Thanksgiving feast: telephone for holiday meal hours.
Sybaris Bistro, benefit dinner for ABC House, please contact for reservations: 541-928-8157.
SweetWaters, 2390 Santiam Hwy, Albany, 541-812-9222, open on the holiday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Since Albany’s very own Springhill Cellars Winery is located in picturesque North Albany, it’s the perfect weekend to take a short drive and experience their annual Federweisser Festival. The festival begins the Friday after Thanksgiving and runs through the entire weekend. This harvest fest is German in origin and pairs new, still fermenting Riesling (the Federweisser) with specially made bratwürst and Zwiebelkuchen, a sweet onion tart. The oom-pah-pah music drifts through the air during the day for a German flavor, and at night, a floor-stomping barn dance with a live rock-n-roll band sets it up for the fun crowd. For more information, contact Springhill Cellars at 541-928-1009. They are located at 2920 NW Scenic Drive.
Nothing says autumn like fresh apple cider! Pro-tip: It tastes best when you make it yourself. Bring the family to Thompson’s Mills on Friday after Thanksgiving (11/24) and help press a half gallon to bring home. The circa 1860 Mill is open from 9 to 4 for free tours and exploration. Cider pressing will begin at 1:00 p.m. Take home a half-gallon or more for a contribution to help create a fire suppression system that will preserve the last remaining water powered gristmill in Oregon. Thompson’s Mills is located at 32655 Boston Mill Drive east of Shedd. For more information: 541- 491-3611.
Along with the usual Thanksgiving “midnight madness” at big box stores, why not schedule some “you-time” at the annual Shop Small Saturday in Downtown Albany? This nationally recognized day is set aside to encourage customers to shop local for the holidays and support small businesses. Many of our downtown and city-wide stores will offer special sales and events. So bring your shopping bags and join your neighbors in some major Thanksgiving week fun. It all happens on Saturday, November 25th. For more information, contact the Albany Downtown Association at 541-928-2469.
Holiday Crafts and Workshops
Thanksgiving officially marks the time of year that non-profit and local businesses run holiday themed workshops and craft shows. It’s a great opportunity to pick up unique and locally made gifts. Although our list is not complete, we’ve found a couple of activities centered around Thanksgiving weekend that you might be interested in.
Christmas in the Barn is located in Shedd, a short drive from Albany. The show runs Friday, November 24th through Saturday, November 25th. Featured items include antiques, French/vintage inspired home and garden decor, fresh greens and wreaths, baked goodies, and much more. Located at 29722 Roberts Rd. in Shedd, the show is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Albany Art Studio is opening their doors for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday on November 24 and 25. Preview their space and be the first to sign up for classes. You’ll be able to purchase merchandise, buy art and other goodies at a (drastically!) reduced rate available on these two days only. This will only be a peek, not all items will be displayed. Items will go fast! The studio is located at 131 NW Montgomery St in Albany. Telephone 541-231-7922 for hours.
Make Your Own Wreath is a workshop held at Garland Nursery, on Saturday and Sunday, November 25th and 26th. Learn how to make your very own holiday wreath from just a wire wreath ring and cut greens. This workshop is fun and messy! Class is held in a lightly heated house so wear layers for warmth and bring gloves. Garland will provide the materials, tools and hot cider. Pre-registration is required, so telephone 541-753-6601. Garland Nursery is located at 5470 US Hwy 20, between Albany and Corvallis.
Oil Painting Demonstration Daniel Bourdet will demonstrate his safe, solvent free oil painting technique at Gallery Calapooia on Saturday, November 25th at 11:00 a.m. Learn to use walnut oil to thin paints and clean brushes. Eliminate hazardous waste material by using this fun and easy technique. Telephone 541-971-5701 for more information. Gallery Calapooia is located at 222 1st Ave SW in Albany’s downtown district.
Looking for some absolutely “killer” local fun for Halloween? Want to entertain the “monsters” in the family? Well here’s list of featured events that are gonna blow your striped witch socks right off!
Albany’s Monteith House Museum and the Albany Visitors Association are planning a devilish good time for all ages. Their first event is one that kids and grandkids will enjoy: the “Trolley of Terror!” Our bright red vintage trolley will be decked out in spooky halloween decorations and will run hourly local tours throughout downtown. It’s going to be nothing but onboard fun, plus a candle-lit tour of historic Monteith House.
The Trolley of Terror starts on Friday, October 20th, with hourly tours at 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, and 9:00 p.m. The trolley fun continues on Saturday Oct 21st, then again on October 27th and 28th. Seating is limited, so reservations and pre-payment are highly advised. Telephone AVA at 541-928-0911 for your tickets or stop by our office on Third Ave SE and Lyon. Tickets are $5 for children under 12, and $10 for adults. Special group rates are available.
The VIP Ghost Hunt Tour is strictly for adults. Spend the evening at the Monteith House Museum with a small group of dedicated ghost-hunters. Learn how to use paranormal activity equipment and participate in an investigative tour of the house. Each tour runs from 10:30 p.m. until 1:00 a.m., and is limited to 10 people. The VIP tour will run on Saturday, October 14th, Saturday, October 21st, and Friday, October 27th. This is a “not to be missed” tour, requiring reservations. Tickets are $50.
Both events’ ticket sales will help maintain the non-profit Monteith House Museum.
Runaway Pumpkin Half Marathon and 8K Feeling a bit pumpkin-shaped from summer goodies? Well this event should help keep you ship-shape for Halloween treats. The marathon takes place on Saturday, October 21st at Cheadle Lake in Lebanon. Get all the info you need about registration on the marathon website: www.runawaypumpkinhalf.org or telephone 541-848-3978.
Boo Boogie Bash Rough Stock Rodeo How about getting your cowgirl or cowboy boots on and heading out to the Linn County Fair & Expo Center? On Saturday, October 21st from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. you can boogie with the best of the rough riders. Pre-admission tickets are $13 buckaroos or $15 at the door. Small ghouls and boys under 5 are free with accompanying adult. Check the event website at www.wildwesteventsinc.com or telephone 541-895-5335 for more information.
Albany Downtown Trick or Treat and Costume Contest On Saturday, October 28th, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. you can bring the entire family down for a safe and fun way to celebrate. Downtown stores will open for trolls, witches, ghosts, goblins (and Captain America too!) or any child ready for a treat. Sponsored by the Albany Downtown Association, check www.albanydowntown.com for more information or telephone 541-928-2469.
Zombie Zoup Run On Saturday, October 28th, Sweet Home is getting their sweet treat on with an exciting run for everyone. The event starts at 10:00 a.m at the Jim Riggs Community Center. For more information and registration, visit the event website at www.zombiezouprun.weebly.com or telephone 541-367-5128.
Heritage Mall Trick or Treat at the Mall If the zombies in the family haven’t found a party yet, Heritage Mall is hosting a Halloween Day/Night trick or treat event from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 31st. Check out their website at www.heritagemall.com or telephone 541-967-8238 for more information.
From all of us at AVA, have a safe and Happy Halloween!
A huge shoutout to Mike Krutsinger of MKrutsinger Photography. Mike is our featured AVA photographer for September, and is volunteering with AVA to help give back to his community. His feature gallery reflects Albany Visitors Association’s summer Linn-Benton Farm-to-Table dinner that was held at Weddle Covered Bridge. It will give you a hint of what’s in store for next season!
*If you would like to contact Mike Krutsinger in regards to his commercial photography services, please email us.
Click on any of the images to see better, You can exit the gallery at any time by pressing the escape key.
We know many of you are as excited as we are about the Albany Historic Carousel. This is no ordinary merry-go-round. Our city’s carousel is a community volunteer-driven project 15 years in the making. Artists and laborers contributed countless hours to hand-carve and decorate the fabulous animals. It’s an attraction you won’t want to miss, no matter what age you are.
Since the carousel is staffed by an all-volunteer team, hours of operation may have varied from what was originally printed or posted in other publications and online. Albany Visitors Association is helping to spread the word about the hours.
Admission and rides Admission is free to the carousel’s building facilities such as the gift shop, snack bar, museum, and workshop area. Ride tokens are $2 each and can be purchased at the snack bar, the gift shop, or from a token machine ($1 bills only) next to the concessions counter.
Hours The Carousel is open six days per week (Closed on Tuesdays): Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM; Sat: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM; Sun: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM.
There is ample street parking around the Carousel building and the USP Office on Washington and 1st Ave. Visit the Carousel’s website for maps related to overflow parking and public lots throughout downtown Albany.
For inquiries about reserving the Carousel Building for birthday parties, meetings, receptions, and other events, make sure to visit the Carousel website.
Travel writer Nancy Zaffaro recently visited Albany and wrote an in-depth blog post about our city’s vibrant scene. From culinary delights to architectural history and heritage, Zaffaro leads her readers on a journey through Albany’s historical roots to the present day.
Here’s a a preview of Zaffaro’s blog on Confetti Travel Cafe:
“Today, Albany is a delightful travel destination, with interesting history and architecture and a culinary scene that far exceeds what’s expected for a town of 52,000. Albany, an hour and a half south of Portland, provides a chance to enjoy small town life at its best. The Willamette Valley town sits at the confluence of the Willamette and Calapooia Rivers, and offers a full calendar of outdoor concerts, arts fairs, movie nights, bike tours, wine walks, brew fests, historic home tours, and antique fairs. Nearby Corvallis, home of Oregon State University, only extends the offerings of things to do.
Leave behind big city traffic and tensions. Albany’s close proximity to Portland, Eugene, and coastal towns make it a great day- or weekend-trip, but truly, spend even more time if you can. My recent four-day trip left me knowing there was more to see and do.”
Graham Jones of Global Communication and Science will present live coverage of the Total Solar Eclipse during a live streaming broadcast.
The five-hour live coverage will include telescope feeds, maps and animations, and interviews with people on the ground. The goal is to present the eclipse as a scientific and cultural event that will inspire tens of millions of people across the US and beyond.
Albany Visitors Association will participate in the broadcast and AVA Executive Director Jimmie Lucht will present real-time TSE reporting from the Willamette Valley.
Jones is a British astrophysicist and university teacher based in Japan. His Global Communications program focuses on solar eclipses as teachable moments to inspire young people around the world.
If you are planning to film or take photos of the eclipse, Global Communications would like to hear from you in advance of the big event so they can feature your footage in their eclipse live stream. Connect to their website for more information on how to submit your work.