Fun over Thanksgiving weekend

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.

Thanksgiving Dinner

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.

Wine Tasting

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.

Cider Pressing

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.

Shopping

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.

The 9th Annual Mid Valley Brewfest

brewfest_vert_fullCome check out the 9th Annual Mid Valley Brewfest in downtown Albany. This event keeps getting bigger every year. Over 50+ beers on tap plus wine, cider, and spirits. Games on multiple screens, food carts, and entertainment.

Dates
Friday, October 20, 2017 – 5 to 9pm
Saturday, October 21, 2017 – TBD

Location
Downtown Albany on NW Water Ave between Broadalbin and Ferry Streets under the big tents. Entrance into the event is on the corner of Water and Broadablin.

Admission
$20 – 2 day pass
$12 – 1 day pass
All proceeds go to a local non-profit.

For more information, connect with the Albany Brewfest Facebook page.

What to do in Oregon in 2017

17_OECGet ready for an Oregon year to be remembered! Many travelers will visit Oregon for the very first time—particularly in late August when a Total Solar Eclipse will occur on the 21st. Oregon’s Willamette Valley is prime TSE viewing territory, and many locales along the eclipse route will feature special viewing activities, food, celebration, and drink, including Albany.

The new 2017 Oregon Events Calendar, published by Pamplin Media Group, can help you plan your vacation—whether you hail from New York or Newberg. The Albany Visitors Association will have a supply of the publication at their office soon, but until we do, check out the digital edition.

In addition to the eclipse, Oregon is home to numerous annual music festivals, cycling and paddling relays, brew smackdowns, winery and culinary tours, and other venues to taste and experience our state in an entirely new way throughout the year. So come on, join us this year in Albany, Oregon.

*For print copies, please contact AVA at 541-9288-0911. Copies can be mailed, or you can stop by the office at 3rd and Lyon Streets in Downtown Albany, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The Veterans Day Pancake Breakfast

vets_day_breakfastThe Veterans Day Breakfast in Albany will be on Friday, November 11th, from 6:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at the West Albany High School cafeteria, 1130 SW Queen Ave, Albany.

The menu features All-You-Can-Eat pancakes, scrambled eggs, ham, and beverage.

Adult tickets are $7; children under 12 and also military and scouts in uniform pay $4.

The Albany Optimist Club is sponsoring this event for the 21st year to raise funds for youth activities and services in our community. For more information and updates, visit the Veterans Day Breakfast Facebook page.

After the breakfast, make sure to head on over for prime viewing of the 65th Annual Veterans Day Parade.

Newsletter subscription contest

subscribe_buttone_webSpam? No Ma’am! Our Albany Visitors Association e-newsletter is full of great ideas for visitors, new residents, and terrific events and places for family outings. We’ve got you covered, no matter the season. And, we’ll never sell your email address to anyone.

Special November Subscription contest

For e-news subscribers who sign up during the month of November, your name will be entered into a drawing for a free Holiday Nosh Tour ticket (Value $45.00) Wind your way through an Albany evening on a delicious tour of culinary delights aboard the Trolley. The Nosh Tour is scheduled for Saturday, December 17th, and we’re holding a ticket for one lucky new subscriber.

Don’t lose out on all the news fit to print. Subscribe now!

Halloween Nosh Tour Canceled

food-samples

Notice: Due to conflicting events and levels of interest in the Halloween Nosh Tour, we have canceled this month’s event. If you have tickets that you paid for online, please telephone our office for a refund, or we may be able to apply the funds towards the December 17th Holiday Nosh Tour. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please stay tuned for more about the December tour.

Albany is becoming well-known for its farm-to-table eateries, delicious delis, distinctive breweries, wineries and distilleries. With Halloween fast approaching, fun-loving foodies will not want to miss Albany Visitors Association’s October “Nosh Tour.”

Slated for Saturday, October 29, 2016, the tour begins at 4:00 p.m. and guests will be treated to a surprise smorgasbord of culinary samples by local restauranteurs and vintners. It’s bound to be a deliciously good time.

The AVA Nosh Tour is a special event—participants will check in at the Albany Visitors Association and climb aboard the city’s historic trolley. They’ll meet local chefs, get the behind-the-scenes low-down on how meals are prepared, and taste incredible sample plates along the way.

Limited to 28 participants, coveted Nosh Tour tickets are available by pre-registration only, and you must be 21 years of age or older to attend. Tickets are $45 each, or $40 for two or more. This includes transportation on the trolley and all food, drink, and of course, Halloween fun!

To pre-register and reserve your space, telephone the AVA at 541-928-0911. Tickets may also be purchased online by credit or debit card on the AVA culinary tours web page at https://albanyvisitors.com/visitors/dining/culinary-tours-and-events/#Albany%20Nosh%20Tours

The Seven Wondrous Trails – Chapter 3

Culinary delights

By AVA Executive Director Jimmie Lucht

*This trail is designed primarily for those 21 and older; however, if a (c) appears after the attraction, it is suitable for children.

Albany is located in the heart of Oregon’s wine country, but it is also known for the agricultural products that are grown here—and has been historically called “Oregon’s Bread Basket.” This self-guided tour offers tastings of wine, beer, cider, root beer, distilled beverages, handcrafted chocolate, and berries. In addition to the places mentioned below, when you explore the backroads of Albany, make sure to stop at our bountiful roadside stands bursting with farm fresh produce.

albany_oregon_west_shore_magazine_1887Your trail begins in historic Albany. To fully understand the ‘backbone’ of the region, a visit to the Albany Regional Museum (c), at 136 Lyon Street S, 541-967-7122 is a must. Next stop, Monteith House (c), at 518 Second Ave SW, 541-974-7603. You’ll see culinary arts in action—1800s-style during Monteith’s open season, mid-June through September each year.

For an ice cold glass of root beer or a bite of a “Class V Burger” and famous chili beer, Calapooia Brewing Company will accommodate. Located at 140 Hill Street NE, telephone 541-928-1931.

springhill-winery-albany-oregonAfter your burger, take a small backroads trip to Springhill Cellars, at 2920 NW Scenic View Drive. The tasting room is open May through November (with appointment scheduled tastings December through April). Springhill is a small family-owned winery producing award winning Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Mark your calendars for the annual Federweisser Festival in November. The event 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 nearly normal German flavor, and at night, a floor-stomping barn dance with a live rock-n-roll band helps work off the extra calories.

Heading west on the trail, your next stop is 4 Spirits Distillery, at 6040 NE Marcus Harris Ave, in Adair Village, 541-760-0696. This small craft distillery specializes in award-winning small batch vodka, American whisky, bourbon whisky, rum and single malt whiskey.

Going south on Highway 99W towards Corvallis, turn east onto Granger Avenue and discover Vivacity Spirits, 720 NE Granger Ave, 541-286-4285. Meet the founders Caitlin Prueitt and Chris Neumann, and taste their signature Turkish Coffee Liqueur—no dessert should be without it!

mead_slide_03_nectarcreekReturning to Highway 99 heading south, turn east onto Highway 34 (NW Van Buren Ave), and stop at Nectar Creek Mead, 33848 SE Eastgate Circle, 541-760-1343, in Corvallis. Their specialty is craft mead created from local Willamette Valley honey. Nectar Creek was started when two brothers pursued their dream to sustain traditions-old mead recipes and their desire to preserve honeybees and the agricultural heritage of the Valley. In the same complex as Nectar Creek, Mazama Brewing awaits. Located at 33930 SE Eastgate Circle, Suite A, Mazama is a family owned and operated production microbrewery. Jeff and Kathy Tobin started home brewing in 1984 and recognized they had found a passion in their new hobby. In 2011 they traveled to Belgium, which provided the inspiration to start the brewery. Telephone 541-230-1810. Before you leave the complex, make sure to pop into 2 Towns Ciderhouse, 33930 SE Eastgate Circle, 541-357-8301. Three childhood friends who lived in two different towns, banded together with meager savings and a love of craft brewing and cider to launch their dream business. The philosophy is to advance the cider craft industry through a mix of both old and new cider techniques and experimentation.

eagle_at_ankeny_wildlife_refuge_by_sarah_buys_8272126745Whether you choose to head north, south, east or west, culinary treats are to be found in every direction. A visit to Ankeny Vineyard (c), at 2565 Riverside Drive South, in Salem, 503-378-1498, is filled with opportunities to taste fine wines, or side-trips to neighboring historic Cox Pioneer Cemetery (c) and the Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge (c).

Few buildings in Oregon were more important to settlers than flour mills. In 1858 Thompson’s Mills State Heritage Site (c), at 32655 Boston Mill Drive in Shedd, 541-491-3611, began processing local farmer’s summer grain harvest. Thompson’s Mills is a unique survivor of times past, chronicling 150 years of Oregon rural life and honoring the owners who adapted the mill to the changing world around it. It is the oldest water-powered mill in the state and its turbines can be seen in action on guided tours. A water-right that predates statehood produces the water flow that still runs the milling machines for demonstrations today.

marks-ridge-winery-deck_viewMarks Ridge Winery, at 29255 Berlin Road in Sweet Home, 541-367-3292, is the pride and joy of Jay and Janet Westly, who look forward to sharing their handcrafted wines with you in the dramatic setting of their winery. Their tasting room is said to have one of the best views at an Oregon winery.

Continue on Berlin Road to Springbank Farm (c), 32264 Berlin Road in Lebanon, 503-819-6209. Springbank is home to blueberries, wine, and even a farm camp. The camp’s amenities include horse riding, creek-play, straw castles, pigs, bunnies, goats, sheep, chickens, herding dog, and barn cats.

victorian-chocolateAnd finally… who doesn’t like chocolate? To finish your tour, head over to the Victorian Chocolate Company (c), at 959 Grove Street, in Lebanon, 541-401-3765. Let Kelly Reetz, chocolatier extraordinaire, tempt your taste buds with his delicious confections and in particular, his truffles.

There’s a little something for every person in your party along this culinary trail, as well as a few surprises. Stop at the historic sites, take a walk in a garden, visit a local museum, but most of all, enjoy the wonder-filled Willamette Valley and the graciousness of Albany.

Spooky times aboard the Trolley of Terror

Trolley of Terror, courtesy Democrat Herald.

Back by popular demand, the Monteith Society is once again hosting two fun and spooky historical experiences this October: a candlelit tour of the Monteith House Museum followed by a ride on the Trolley of Terror; and a VIP ghost-hunting experience at the Monteith House. Both are sponsored by the Monteith Historical Society.

The Monteith House is the oldest building in Albany, and was built in 1849.  Through the years, various ghost stories have been shared about this building, but very few people have had a chance to hear the stories from the inside of its walls, and even fewer have had a chance to seek out the spirits that dwell within.  Please, join us for a ride on the Trolley of Terror and our candlelit tour to hear the ghost stories of downtown Albany and those of the Monteith House that have chilled its inhabitants to the bone.

The Trolley of Terror will take place on October 20, 21, 27 and 28.  Tours begin at 6pm, 7pm, 8pm and 9pm. Sign up today for the Trolley of Terror candlelit tour and ghost stories of the Monteith House. The cost of the Trolley of Terror and candlelit ghost tour is $10 per adult and $5 per child. Reservations are highly recommended as space is limited.

Our VIP ghost hunt experience will take place on October 14, 21, and 27,  from 10pm-1am. Each VIP experience is limited to 10 people. VIPs will be joined by experienced paranormal investigators and learn how to use various pieces of ghost hunting equipment.  VIPs will then get to help conduct a paranormal investigation of the Monteith House. The VIP experience is $40 per person. Reservations are required. This event is appropriate for adults, not young children.

Call the Albany Visitors Association at 541-928-0911 to reserve your seats today!

2016 Antiques in the Street

screen-shot-2016-04-22-at-2-31-12-pmShop for amazing treasures from over 50 streets vendors and at the Albany Antique Mall sidewalk sale. Then tour over 100 vintage and classic cars. When you get hungry have lunch at one of downtown Albany’s fabulous restaurants or get it fresh off the vine and visit the Farmer’s Market. All within walking distance of each other.

Proceeds from this event will go directly to, Habitat for Humanity, “Raising Roofs and Raising Hopes!”

For more information about the event, check the Albany Antique Mall website.

Exploring the Seven Wondrous Trails – 1

Finding magic in Albany, Oregon

*The following article is the first installment in a series of seven, that will focus on local restaurants, events and unique businesses in Albany. The “Seven Trails” posts are written by AVA Executive Director Jimmie Lucht.

MelissaBabcockSaylor_AWalkInThePark

Melissa Babcock Saylor

TRAIL #1 – Albany and The Arts

Starting out on our trail, you will be amazed, entertained, surprised and enlightened by beautiful pieces of art at the Gallery Calapooia, 222 1st Ave W., Suite 100, 541.971.5701. The gallery makes shopping for that perfect home accent or gift easy, as the works of 20 regional artists display their works in oil, acrylic, and watercolor paintings, jewelry, pen and ink drawings, layered vinyl images, fabrics, collage, felted art, photography, glass and ceramics.

After a morning visit to the gallery (and participating in an art lesson), it’s time for a step back in time to partake of the Queen’s Tea at the Ivy Garden Tea Room, 333 1st Ave W, 541.928.7330. Following your royal respite, and fueled by delectable scones and jam, you move on to creativity!

Paint your own pottery or create a special ceramic piece, and the fine folks at Sure Fire Design will help glaze and fire it for you, 210 SW 2nd Ave, 542-1.928.7339.

When the pottery is wrapped and ready to go, the gentlemen (and ladies too!) can try their hand at fly-tying and get the scoop on the latest and greatest places to fish in Oregon. Mitch Smith, owner of Two Rivers Fly Shop is bound to fill your ears with big fish tales, 204 1st Ave W., 541.967.9800.

After tying a few flies, it’s time for a round of golf at the Albany Golf and Event Center, 155 Country Club Lane, 541.926.6059.

Next up? Take a leisurely afternoon stroll through the Talking Water Gardens, 577 Waverly Drive NE.  And if you crave even more rest and relaxation, what about a pampering spa treatment at the Level Three Salon and Spa, 317 1st Ave W, 541.905.4158.

On Friday evenings during the summer months at Albany’s Monteith River Park, enjoy the Movies At Monteith. The movies are free and concessions are available. Showtimes are at dusk, which varies, so please refer to the online schedule.

Since you’ve worked up an appetite, try one of Albany’s unique restaurants featuring award winning chefs. Visit Sybaris Bistro or Frankie’s Restaurant to enjoy a glass of local wine and an in- season, farm-to-table dining experience. Then back to your hotel so you will be rested and ready for another adventure in the morning—stay tuned for the next installment of the Seven Wondrous Trails.