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!

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.’

 

 

The 30th Annual Night Time Magic Program

Holiday Light Contest 2017

SONY DSCOnce 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:

  • A family tradition.
  • A favorite holiday book, movie or special.
  • Music, dance or art as inspiration.
  • A special collection.
  • Just Lights, Lights and more Lights.
  • Or another favorite idea or inspiration (you fill in the blank!) _______________________.

RULES:

  1. Entries must be within the Albany City limits.
  2. Homeowners are encouraged to use lights to illuminate their decorations.
  3. Lights need to be on from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm, December 1, 2017 – January 1, 2018.
  4. Entries for “Best Neighborly Effort” must have three or more partners in a concentrated area.
  5. Entry/Nomination Deadline: 5:00 pm on December 10, 2017.

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 info@albanyvisitors.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.

September Featured AVA Photographer

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.

Gallery

Click on any of the images to see better, You can exit the gallery at any time by pressing the escape key.

The 2017 – 2018 Albany Visitors Guide

The Albany Visitors Association 2017 “Albany Visitors Guide” is now available. Published each July, the colorful magazine is jam-packed with ideas for visitors or even those who want to discover what’s new in our city. The guide is free to both industry and the general public.

This year’s feature story focuses on the community spirit and vision that it took to create the Albany Historic Carousel & Museum. Other sections include Albany’s growing and vibrant cuisine scene, recreation (swimming, hiking, biking, fishing), entertainment, shopping, and the history and heritage of Albany and Linn County.

View the Digital Flip Book

View the online version.

Pick Up Your Free Hard Copy

Stop by the Albany Visitors Center at 110 3rd Ave SE for your free copy or telephone AVA at 541-928-0911to order multiple copies for businesses or tourism organizations. AVA is open Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The Big Blend Radio Show – Albany’s Culinary Treasure

Welcome to Albany! Home to national award-winning chefs and their farm-to-table cuisine. In this BigBlend Radio interview, AVA Executive Director Jimmie Lucht and Sybaris Bistro Chef Matt Bennett discuss why Albany is the perfect location for innovative culinary style.

Party in the Path – Total Solar Eclipse

eclipse_series_top_webIn case you haven’t heard, a rare total solar eclipse (TSE) is scheduled to occur on Monday, August 21, 2017. Oregon is considered to be one of the premier viewing states as the TSE makes its path across the nation, and communities across the Willamette Valley are gearing up for amazing parties—and Albany, Oregon invites you to join us for the “Party in the Path.”

The Oregon TSE pathway

ISS006-E-5064_shadowOn the beach in Oregon, just north of Newport, the shadow will first touch land at about 10:15 a.m., and the coast will experience a full minute and fifty seconds of totality.  The actual centerline of the eclipse path will hit solid ground six seconds later, and plunge Lincoln Beach and Depoe Bay into darkness for one minute and 58 seconds!

It will take only two minutes for the shadow to race eastward toward its first date with a large population of folks who will be breathlessly awaiting its arrival. Salem, Dallas, Albany, Corvallis, Lebanon, Philomath, McMinnville, and Woodburn, will experience various lengths of totality based on their varying distances from the centerline.

Albany’s total darkness will last for one minute and 52 seconds, at approximately 10:17 a.m. However, the eclipse itself will take about two hours from start to finish. And it’s during this active phase of the sun obscuring the moon, that you will need eye protection. (More on that later!)

Important informational video from Governor Kate Brown

Watch this video produced by Travel Oregon. It is full of information from our emergency services providers, including Oregon State Patrol, Dept. of Forestry, Oregon Department of Transportation, and others. You may have your questions answered about some of Oregon’s laws in regards to parking for viewing or forest and state parks rules and regulations during our peak fire season. Stay safe!

Join Us in Albany For Viewing Parties

Linn Benton Community College
The Linn-Benton Community College is hosting “Totality Inspired,” a two day Solar Eclipse Festival. Tent camping, star gazing, entertainment and activities Sunday, with breakfast for campers and eclipse viewing Monday. Camping: $40 per site for LBCC students, $100 per site for public, up to 4 per site. Sunday activities only: $5 for non-campers. Eclipse viewing is open and free. Camping reservations and details at linnbenton.edu/eclipse.


Albany Airport American Legion Party
Albany’s American Legion Post 10 is hosting a viewing party at the Albany Regional Airport on August 21st, starting at 6:00 a.m. Ticket-holders will be treated to a hot burrito breakfast, a comparative T-shirt, eclipse viewing glasses, and other amenities. For more information on ticket prices and event details, telephone the Legion at 541-926-0127, or visit their event Facebook page.

Total Eclipse of the Mall
Heritage Mall, Albany’s premier shopping center, is hosting a two-night stay for RV’s and trailers. Your three-day pass includes parking adjacent to the TSE viewing area, up to four pairs of eclipse viewing glasses, live music concerts in the evenings, exclusive shopping discounts, Fun Zone activities for children, and more. For ticket sales and more information, telephone 541-967-8238 or visit Heritage Mall’s Eclipse website.

Scio “Sol Wink Out” celebration
The covered bridge capital of the west, Scio is putting together a great three day celebration. There are multiple campsite opportunities, activities and fun events that will run from August 18th to the 22nd. There’s a dinner and dance on Saturday the 19th, featuring vintage rock and bluegrass, and a Chicken Dinner and Dance on Sunday the 20th, featuring live western swing music.

Great Solar Eclipse connections

For other information about viewing sites and events taking place across Oregon, visit Travel Oregon’s solar eclipse web page for the most up-to-date happenings.

Eclipse Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where can I obtain lodging in Albany?
A: Over a year ago, when it became widely know that Oregon is prime viewing territory, hotel rooms were snapped up. State parks and other camping venues were also reserved. It is almost impossible to find RV camping and parking across the Valley, but we do have a few recommendations:Danielson_beadsTSE20021204

  • Camp and RV sites:
    Lebanon, Oregon has dry campsites with limited RV hook-ups. For more information, contact Ronn Passmore at 541-990-0240 or email Ronn. The Lebanon Chamber of Commerce is also accepting informational calls at 541-258-7164. Benton County: Benton County is providing 150 tent sites & 12 dry RV sites at Adair County Park. For more information visit their website.
    Albany, OR: Mighty Oaks Children’s Therapy 
    is opening up their grounds at 3615 Spicer Drive SE for dry tent camping. You must make a reservation. Telephone 541-967-7551. Linn County Fair & Expo Center has full RV hook-up sites. Please visit the RV Booking site operated by the fairgrounds for more information.
  • Other campsite information may be found on our “where to stay” web page.
  • Hotels:
    Although most of our Albany area hotels are reporting there are no vacancies for the eclipse, there may be cancellations, so don’t despair. Connect to local lodging properties on our hotel web page to find their contact information.
  • Albany area RV Parks:
  • Digital concierge:
    • Air BnB lists properties in the local Albany, Oregon vicinity. Some are within town, some in the countryside, and range from a single room to an entire house or cottage. Check it out.

Q: What other communities close to Albany are hosting events?
A: 
The list is quite extensive, as many of the prime viewing areas (regions where the view is unobstructed by trees and buildings) have planned to make an all-out celebration of the TSE. The best sources for the Willamette Valley are:

  • eclips7Travel Salem: Our tourism partners at Travel Salem have established a clearinghouse for all TSE related events and information. Need more thoughts on where to stay? Want to know where to find an amazing TSE morning brunch? And what about a cocktail after a hard day of moon watching? It’s all at Travel Salem’s TSE Headquarters.

  • Travel Oregon: The Oregon Tourism Commission, DBA Travel Oregon (TO) and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) have partnered to help residents and visitors prepare for the TSE experience. TO is producing an Eclipse Guidebook with helpful tips and resources, which will include a pair of eclipse viewing glasses. The guide is set to release in early April. Visit Travel Oregon’s website for more TSE information and connections.
  • Visit Corvallis: The folks at Visit Corvallis are helping to spread the word about TSE related events via their online calendar. If you have news that is TSE-related, visit their website for more information on how to submit your event.
  • City of Lebanon: Cheadle Lake Park will be the site of four-days of celebration with train excursions, a concert, food vendors, and TSE presentations by educators. The event is still in the planning stages so be sure to check back for more information as the summer approaches.
  • Historic Brownsville: Beautiful Historic Brownsville is home to the annual Bi-Mart Willamette Country Music Festival, featuring some of the biggest artists in country music. The festival is schedule over the weekend prior to the eclipse, and since the eclipse occurs on Monday morning following the festival’s final show, the WCMF organizers have planned a special extended campout for festival-goers, featuring an “Eclipse Breakfast.” The fee is $25 and you receive a pair of eclipse-viewing glasses, a fireman’s breakfast, and will be treated to music and entertainment. Contact the WCMF organizers for more information and to reserve your ticket. Telephone: 541-345-9263 or visit the WCMF website.
  • Sweet Home: The City of Sweet Home is sponsoring a “Solar Eclipse 3.5 Mile Run.” All ages are welcome to participate. Strollers are welcome, but we ask that pets remain at home. If you are unable to participate in person, we encourage you to join the “Virtual Run.” These simultaneous race events are $25, and include a commemorative medal, chip-timed results, event race bibs, solar eclipse glasses, and Sun Tea and Moon Pies at the finish line! Online registration is available. For more information telephone 541-367-5128.

Q: Where can I find out scientific information for the family?
A: 
We think the following are perfect for educational materials on eclipses, as well as other resources for helping children learn more about this rare Oregon TSE:

  • vin_eclipse4Oregon Museum of Science and Industry: The OMSI website hosts an interactive Google map for the eclipse. Connect to the map.
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA): Wow! NASA has really outdone themselves on their special 2017 TSE website. A full countdown clock, images, facts, eye safety, and just about everything you need science-wise is available right here.

We’ll be updating this page regularly,  so check back if you don’t see what you’re looking for. Information on Albany’s TSE “Party in the Path” will also be placed on our featured events calendar and in our blogroll. Stay tuned for information on what local restaurants and shops will offer TSE specials, and for collectable merchandise. We hope to see you in Historic Albany for our viewing party.

Q: Are there vineyards in the area that I can visit for wine and eclipse fun?
A: 
Absolutely! You can count on the Willamette Valley (the 2016 Wine Enthusiast #1 Wine Destination Region in the world) for sublime views and amazing varietals. We will update the list below, as information becomes available:

Winery and vineyard special eclipse events

Arcane Cellars ~ Total Eclipse Package
August 20 & 21
22350 Magness Rd. NW, Salem, OR 97304
503-868-7076
www.arcanecellars.com/eclipseevent2017

Brooks Winery Eclipse Event
August 20 & 21
21101 SE Cherry Blossom Lane, Amity, OR 97101
503-435-1278
www.brookswine.com/eclipse

Coria Estates ~ 2017 Solar Eclipse Festival
August 21
8252 Redstone Ave. SE, Salem, Oregon 97306
503-363-0525
www.coriaestates.com

Eola Hills Wine Cellars
August 19 & 21
501 S. Pacific Hwy 99W, Rickreall, OR 97371
503-623-2405 or 800-291-6730
www.eolahillswinery.com

Left Coast Vineyard Stroll Tasting Experience
August 19 & 20
4225 N Pacific Hwy. 99W, Salem, OR 97371
503-831-4916
www.leftcoastcellars.com/events

Solar Eclipse Open House Weekend ~ Willamette Valley Vineyards
August 19 & 20
8800 Enchanted Way, Turner, OR 97392
503-588-9463
www.wvv.com

St. Innocent Winery ~ Eclipse Extravaganza
August 21
Temperance Hill Vineyard
6020 Bethel Heights Rd. NW, Salem, OR 97304
503-378-1526
www.stinnocentwine.com

Vineyard Eclipse Party at Left Coast Cellars
August 21
4225 N Pacific Hwy. 99W, Salem, OR 97371
503-831-4916
www.leftcoastcellars.com/events

18th Annual Crab Feed

Crab_Feed1The 18th Annual Greater Albany Rotary Club Crab Feed will be here before you know it. Prepare for absolutely succulent crab, tasty chowder, and local artisanal brew. Between the butter and the delectable crab, you’re going to want an old shirt or blouse for this one. It’s all happening at Calapooia Brewing Company on February from 11am to 8:00 p.m.

Tickets are on sale in advance (highly recommended) at the Albany Visitors Association downtown office, 3rd and Lyons, 541-928-0911, or at Calapooia Brewing Company, and KGAL/KSHO on KGAL Drive in Lebanon.

Ticket prices are $35 each, and you receive crab, a pulled pork slider, Mo’s clam chowder, salad and all the fixin’s! A tasty vegan option is also available. New this year is an Oyster Garden where from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (or as long as supplies last), you can buy five steamed oysters for $10.