With summer fast approaching, Christmas arrives early at the Willamette National Forest (WNF) in the Sweet Home Ranger District. Not only is there a special contest to find the US Capitol Christmas Tree (see instructions in the “how to nominate” section below), but the Willamette Valley Visitors Association has hidden 200 glass ornaments along the forest hiking trails for you to find.
If you discover one of the special keepsake ornaments, make sure to register to win one of over 120 prizes. All entrants who submit their ornament tag ID will also be entered into a sweepstakes with a spectacular grand prize: A round trip for two to Washington DC to attend the US Capitol Christmas Tree lighting and festivities.
The ornament treasure-hunt runs now through October 2, 2018.
The theme for the 2018 Capitol Christmas Tree is “Find Your Trail!” in recognition of two 2018 anniversaries: the 50th anniversary of the National Trails Systems Act, and the 175th commemoration of the Oregon Trail. For more information on trails where you can find your ornament, visit the WNF website.
Be the one to find the big tree
Do you want to find the 2018 US Capitol Christmas Tree? You still have time to enter the contest, but the deadline is coming up fast on June 30th.
Visit the Willamette National Forest and look for a tree 65 to 85 feet in height with conical shape. The tree must reside on US Forest Service land in the Sweet Home Ranger District, preferably close to a road that will accommodate a semi-truck and cranes necessary for harvest.
The selected tree will be cut in early November and prepared for the 3,000-mile coast-to-coast journey that will trace the Oregon Trail in reverse. The tree’s journey will culminate with its lighting on the west lawn of the US Capitol Building in early December. Seventy smaller companion trees will also be sent from the forest to decorate DC government buildings and public spaces. Additionally, Oregonians will contribute 10,000 handmade ornaments, to be created throughout 2018.
How to nominate your candidate
To nominate a tree, obtain the GPS the location, snap a photo, and send your submission to email@example.com, or deliver the information to the Sweet Home Ranger District Office, 4431 Hwy 20, Sweet Home OR 97386.
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!
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.
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!
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.
While the City of Albany has no fireworks display in July (our big bang comes in August), Linn County communities hold several family-oriented Independence Day celebrations complete with food, music, and good old-fashioned fireworks. We’ve listed three below as well as a couple of “after-the-Fourth” events held the same week.
Brownsville Breakfast and Fireworks – July 4, 2017
On the Fourth of July, Historic Brownsville kicks off the celebration early with an old fashioned pancake breakfast fundraiser cooked up by the Brownsville Fire Department. At dusk, the fireworks create a multi-colored spectacle in the sky.
Learn more about this event
Harrisburg Old Fashioned Fourth of July – July 4, 2017
The biggest event in Harrisburg is the Old Fashioned 4th of July celebration. Get a good nights rest on July 3rd so you can be ready for activities that begin in the morning and do not end until the glow of fireworks fades. It doesn’t matter what day the 4th of July falls on. We always celebrate the 4th of July, on the 4th!
Learn more about this event
Lebanon Star Spangled Celebration – July 4, 2017
Fireworks over Cheadle Lake! Celebrate Independence Day with music and fun for the entire family, all on July 4th, starting at 6:00 p.m. at Cheadle Lake Park. Admission is $10 per carload or $3 pp for walk-ins. Games and prizes for children. Food booths, jugglers, face-painting and magicians. Please, no pets. For more information and contact email, use the link below.
Learn more about this event
East Albany Lion’s Club Lumberjack Breakfast – July 1 – 4, 2017
Get your sausage, eggs, pancakes, and coffee on at Timber Linn Park. The breakfast starts each day at 6:00 a.m. and lasts until the last pancake is flipped at 11:00 a.m. All proceeds from the four day event go to local charities and the Lion’s sight and hearing program.
Learn more about this event
Albany Civic Theater “Red, White and Tuna” – July 6, 7, 8, 2017
The much anticipated third installment in the Tuna trilogy takes the audience through another satirical ride into the hearts and minds of the polyester clad citizens of Texas’ third smallest town. It’s been several years since we left Bertha and Arles dancing at the end of A Tuna Christmas. Did the romance blossom? Has Didi Snavley received any cosmic communications from R.R.’s UFO? Did Stanley make his fortune in the Albuquerque taxidermy business? These and other burning questions will be asked and answered in the side-splitting spoof of life in rural America.
River Rhythms – Pablo Cruise Concert – July 6, 2017
Spread out a blanket and enjoy music under the stars at Monteith Riverpark. Groove to the music of major stars from across the US. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. There are children’s activities prior to the concerts, an adult beer garden, food, a bike valet, and trolley rides around downtown. Thursday evenings, 5:30 – 9:00, at Monteith River Park. July through August.
Learn more about this event
Crazy Daze – July 6 – 8, 2017
You don’t want to miss Crazy Daze, July 6th – 8th, Downtown Albany’s oldest event. Originally called Bargain Days in 1898, the name was changed to Crazy Daze after WWII. Merchants will be setting out their merchandise on the sidewalks throughout Downtown, offering them at crazy reduced prices. Merchandise changes daily so you might want to come down all three days. Grab your sunscreen or a hat and stroll our sidewalks for crazy deals and crazy delicious food at our fabulous Downtown eateries.
Learn more about this event
Albany has long been synonymous with history and heritage. From our concentrated “collection” of Victorian Era architectural wonders to our seasonal tours of historic sites, graveyards, and living history displays, our city is passionate about retaining its roots to the past. National Preservation Month is an opportunity to celebrate Albany’s historical treasure with events (most of them free) throughout May.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation encourages cities across the nation to raise awareness about the month-long event, and states that “Preservation Month was designed to raise awareness about the power historic preservation has to protect and enhance our homes, neighborhoods and communities – the places that really matter to us. It provides an opportunity to celebrate the diverse and unique heritage of our country’s cities and towns, and enables all of us to become involved in the growing preservation movement.”
The following events are planned to show-off Albany’s historical attractions, instill community pride, promote heritage tourism, and showcase the social and economic benefits of historic preservation:
May 1st – May 22nd
Hidden History Scavenger Hunt Photo Tour (sponsored by the Natty Dresser). Information and entry forms are available at the Albany Downtown Association, 126 SW Ferry St, Albany. Return your entries to the ADA by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 22, to be eligible to win a prize. The grand prize winner will be announced at the Preservation Awards ceremony on May 24th at the City Council meeting, 7:15 p.m., Albany City Hall, 333 Broadalbin Street SW. For more information contact the Albany Downtown Association at 541-928-2469.
May 1st – May 31st
A Historic Albany Display will be on hand at the Albany City Hall and the Albany Public Libraries. The event is presented by the City of Albany Landmarks Commission. The City Hall, Main Library and the Historic Carnegie Library show-cases will be filled with displays that are viewable during their regular business hours. Hours of operation: City Hall: Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., 333 Broadalbin SW. Main Library: Monday – Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., Thursday – Friday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Saturday – Sunday, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., 2450 14th Avenue SE, 541-917-7580. Historic Downtown Carnegie Library: Monday – Friday 10:00 a.mm – 6:00 p.m., 302 Ferry Street SW, 541-917-7585. Free admission.
Albany’s Old Fashioned Farmers’ Market is open every Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Purchase hand-picked produce, fresh flowers, baked bread, local eggs and meats, and many other wonderful items. Located at 4th and Ellsworth, in the City Hall parking lot. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.locallygrown.org.
May 5th (Friday)
Come participate in the Friday Wine Walk in Historic Downtown Albany from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Over 20 wineries are participating. Sponsored by the Albany Rotary Club. For more information, telephone 541-928-0911, or stop by the Albany Visitors Association on Third and Lyon for ticket purchases. Adults over over 21 please.
May 6th (Saturday)
The City of Albany Landmarks Commission presents a window repair workshop with Chris Gustafson of the Vintage Window; class runs from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. This comprehensive class will include how vintage windows work, basic window repair techniques and simple maintenance techniques for homeowners. Space is limited, reservations required. For more information, telephone Shawna Adams, 541-791-0176 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The workshop is free.
Albany Tweed Ride Meet at Monteith Riverpark at noon for an hour-long tour of historic Albany. The ride and tour is held in conjunction with the Albany Vintage Bicycle Show that opens at 1:00 p.m. at the Deluxe Brewery (see below). Vintage attire is encouraged—celebrate bikes, beer, and tweed! For more information, visit the event Facebook page.
The 4th Annual Albany Vintage Bicycle Show is presented by Deluxe Brewing Co. and runs from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at 635 NE Water Ave. Register online at www.deluxebrewing.com. View a collection of interesting, rare, and memorable vintage bicycles, and vote for your favorite to win the People’s Choice Award. 2017 Categories: Best Original Condition, Best Restored Condition, Best Custom Build, Best BMX (Freestyle or Race), Most Unique/Rare Bicycle. All ages welcome in the main brewery area. Tasting room open to 21 and over. Non-alcoholic drinks are available for purchase and there will be a local food truck on site. For more information email: email@example.com. Free Admission.
May 10th (Wednesday)
The Albany Regional Museum presents its brown bag lunch series “History Bites.” May’s presentation is on the Albany Fire Department, from 1862 to present day. Darrel Tedisch, a former Albany Fire Chief and current Board Chair of the Albany Regional Museum, is the featured guest speaker. This ongoing series is being offered the second Wednesday of each month at noon. Bring your own lunch. Beverages and light snacks provided. Regular museum hours are Tuesday – Friday, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., and Saturdays 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. The museum is located at 136 Lyon Street S. Visit their website at www.armuseum.com or telephone 541-967-7122 for more information. Admission to both History Bites and the museum is free.
Historic Downtown Walking Tour of 1st Ave. The event starts at 7:30 p.m. Meet at Burkhart Square (Lyon and First Ave). Learn about Albany’s historic architecture and history. Sponsored by the Natty Dresser. Telephone 541-979-9108 or visit www.monteithhouse.org for more information. Admission is free and donations can be made to the Monteith Historical Society.
May 12th – June 3rd (various dates)
Albany Civic Theater (ACT) is one of the oldest, best-known community theaters in Oregon. ACT is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization that takes pride in producing top-quality comedies, dramas, and musicals, as well as providing creative opportunities for local actors, technicians, and theater lovers. In the month of May, ACT presents “Sweeney Todd” (the musical), directed by Ken Long. ACT is located at 111 First Avenue W, in downtown Albany. For more information on ticket prices, performance dates and times, visit www.albanycivic.org
May 13th (Saturday)
Monteith House Museum’s Pre-Season Clean-up, is a community-driven effort. It runs 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., at the Monteith House on 518 2nd Ave SW. The Monteith Society will lead volunteers in some clean up and light maintenance of Albany’s oldest home. An Open House will follow the clean-up event from noon to 3:00 p.m. Telephone 541-928-0911 for more information.
The Albany Regional Museum presents the Historic Albany Railway Tour, at three times on Saturday: 10:00 a.m.,11:00 a.m., and 1:00 p.m. Assemble at 136 Lyon St S, and hop aboard Albany’s vintage trolley with Bill Maddy (Albany Regional Museum railroad historian) for a narrated ride on historic Albany railways. Guests are also invited to step inside the museum to see the expanded train station display. The story of how the railroad came to Albany is instrumental in the growth of our town. Reservations are recommended, so please telephone and reserve your ticket to board: 541- 967-7122. The tour is free.
The City of Albany Landmarks Commission presents a Walking Tour of Riverside Cemetery. Located at the west end of 7th Ave SW, meet at 6:30 p.m. at the main entrance. The 30 minute tour will feature the burial plots and markers of prominent locals, interesting stories, and examples of tombstone art and interpretation. The tour will take place if weather permits. Interested parties please RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org. Admission is free.
May 17th (Wednesday)
The Historic Downtown Walking Tour of 2nd Ave will start at 7:30 p.m. Assemble at Burkhart Square (Lyon and First Ave). Learn about Albany’s historic architecture and history. Sponsored by the Natty Dresser, telephone 541-979-9108 or visit www.monteithhouse.org for more information. Admission is free, however, donations can be made to the Monteith Historical Society.
May 20th (Saturday)
The Masonic Cemetery Clean-up will take place from 9:00 a.m.- noon. Snacks will be provided. Assemble at 700 Broadway Street SW (west end of 6th & 7th Ave SW).
A Kitchen Talk and Tour will be presented by the City of Albany Landmarks Commission from 12:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Tour the kitchens of four historic Albany homes. Kitchens represented vary in time-period, originality, and style. Owners will give an overview, answer questions, and touch on the intelligent layouts of historic kitchens, difficulties in historic kitchen design (and how to overcome them), and styles and materials that are appropriate for the timeframe. Space for the tour is limited. Reservations are required and can be made through the City Planning Department at Albany City Hall, 333 Broadalbin Street SW. Telephone 541-791-0176 or email email@example.com. The tour is free.
May 21st (Sunday)
The Linn County Historical Society presents Stories from the Santiam Wagon Road. The event starts at 2:00 p.m. USFS volunteer and SWR advocate Marcia Morse will conduct the presentation at the Lakeside Center, located at the Mennonite Village, 2180 54th Avenue SE in Albany. All programs sponsored by the Linn County Historical Society are free and open to the public. Telephone 541-926-4680 for more information.
May 24th (Wednesday)
The Preservation Awards will take place during the Albany City Council meeting at 7:15 p.m., at the Albany City Hall, 333 Broadalbin Street SW. Telephone 541-791-0176 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. The event is free.
May 28th – May 29th (Sunday and Monday)
Albany Masonic Cemetery Memorial Weekend Recognition. This self-guided cemetery walking tour starts at 700 Broadway Street SW. Information will be available on site. Questions? Contact email@example.com or telephone 541-967-1941. The tour is free.
Earlier this week, Albany Visitors Association took our volunteer staff on a tour of Linn County. What you may not know about AVA volunteers is that they are the unsung ambassadors of many an Albany and Linn County business.
AVA volunteers are many times the first people travelers meet as they drive down the I-5 corridor. When visitors stop at the rest area closest to us (Santiam River), they see a scaled-down replica of one of Albany’s historic Victorian homes. And inside that little blue house? AVA volunteers serve coffee, hot chocolate and cookies, and help travelers find the perfect place to shop, and stay and play.
This year the volunteers toured Linn County and were treated to lunch at the Boulder Falls Resort in Lebanon, at the 1847 Bar & Grill. They also visited the Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary and Roaring River Fish Hatchery in Scio, the Mallard Creek Golf Course in Lebanon, Sankey Park in Sweet Home (the site of the wildly popular Oregon Jamboree), and ended their day at Sweet Home’s Marks Ridge Winery for a bit of wine tasting.
Please join us in thanking our volunteers for their time, energy, and knowledge. We recognize that their contributions help fulfill AVA’s mission to serve Albany’s visitors. If you or someone you know are interested in volunteering for us, contact Don at the Albany Visitors Association in Downtown Albany.
Get 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.
Right after the holidays pass, Oregonians turn to outdoor activities that lift our spirits and affirm our love for the beauty that surrounds us in the Mid-Willamette Valley. Linn County possesses several gems within a short distance of Albany, Oregon—and this wonderful video by Grant McOmie highlights the astonishing beauty of McDowell Creek Park and its majestic falls. Plan on taking your family out there soon. You won’t be disappointed, and we promise that it will renew your energy level.
As one of Albany’s largest and most unique events, the ATI Northwest Art and Air Festival boasts countless activities for all ages to enjoy. From the famous hot air balloons, to the rows of arts and crafts vendors, the festival packs Timber-Linn Park full of fun from corner to corner.
If you’ve never attended this spectacular event, you probably haven’t heard of all the things you can do there. We’ve compiled a list to show you why the Art and Air Festival is a can’t miss experience.
With two stages featuring daily performances, the NW Art and Air concerts fill the festival with great music from incredible artists, including Bret Michaels, Kathy Boyd and Phoenix Rising, and many many more. All concerts are free with festival admission.
2) Night Glow
Watch a spectacular display of lights as hot air balloons are illuminated in a series of patterns lighting up the night sky. Children and adults alike will enjoy the show. Photographers, this is a great opportunity to take some incredible shots, so bring your tripods! Night Glow begins at dusk on Friday, August 26th.
This is a great opportunity for your kids to ride in a perfectly maintained vintage airplane, and it’s free! Registration begins at 9 am Saturday and Sunday, and spots are limited. For a downloadable registration form (required) and more info, please make sure that you link to the registration information web page. Get there early to ensure that your child gets to take part in this one-of-a-kind experience.
Kids aren’t the only ones able to take flight at the NW Art and Air Festival. Adults can signup for rides from Infinite Air Center, a bi-plane, and even a helicopter. Registration will be available at the show, and will require a fee.
5) Car Show
If you have a classic car and are eager to show it off, bring it to the festival’s Art of Cars show on Sunday, August 28th. The show begins at 9 am. and gates open for registration at 8:00 a.m. Registration is $20. Awards will be presented at 3:00 p.m.
You probably already knew that the Art and Air Festival is a great place to get close to hot air balloons, but did you know you can sign up to ride them? Reserve your spot online, and be ready to take off into the sunrise. You’ll never forget the incredible sights as you mingle with other balloons in the sky over Albany.
There is so much to do at the Northwest Art and Air Festival, so clear your calendars for August 26th through August 28th, and enjoy the fun! More information about the Art and Air Festival is available here.
Photos by Stephanie Low (top) and Cathy Web (bottom).
This summer, let someone else do the driving as you head to the Cascades for a day of adventure. Starting June 13, you can leave your car behind and hop on a bus for a day of hiking or biking in the mountains.
The All-Day Adventure Shuttle departs from the Sweet Home City Hall at 8 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays during its seven weekends of operation, making stops at popular recreation sites and trailheads on its way up into the mountains. It arrives at Clear Lake by 10 a.m. You can return the same day with the shuttle departing Clear Lake at 5 p.m., or you can camp overnight and take the Sunday shuttle back to the valley.
The shuttle is equipped with a bike trailer for travelers who want to bring a bike and ride the trails from Tombstone Pass to Clear Lake. Other Cascade adventures include hiking through stunning wildflower meadows at Iron Mountain, renting a rowboat and paddling the pristine waters of Clear Lake, staying in a rustic cabin at the Clear Lake Resort, or tent camping at dozens of picturesque spots in the Willamette National Forest.
The shuttle is $3 per person for a one-way trip and $5 round-trip. Kids 12 and under ride free with a parent or legal guardian.
The 2015 weekends of operation are:
Reservations for the adventure bus are encouraged and will be taken starting June 1st. Call the Linn Shuttle Monday-Friday at 541-367-4775 between 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Need a place to stay overnight before you take off on your mountain adventure? Check out the comfortable hotels in the mid-valley area.
Photo: Big Lake and Mt. Washington in the Cascades of Linn County, by Bill Origer.
The Shuttle is an action of the Sweet Home Federal Lands Livability Initiative to improve the recreational opportunities along HWY 20 and is intended to increase accessibility for hikers and bikers by reducing vehicle pressure at trail heads and access points. Linn Shuttle, Linn County Parks, Anderson Automotive, Friends of Fish Lake, South Santiam All Lands Collaborative, & City of Sweet Home have worked to sponsor this project.