Don’t whine—wine! Get your tickets ahead of time for the Albany Downtown Wine Walk. The walk takes place on May 3rd, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $15 and include a wine glass, and five tasting tickets.
Additional tickets may be purchased in scrip bundles, $5 for five tastings.
Head over to our office on 3rd and Lyon for your entrance to this tasty evening.
AVA is pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 AVA Photo Contest. We received over 250 stunning images, and although our judges struggled mightily to hone the honors down to just a few in each category, the end results are beautiful.
View the winners video
The Albany Visitors Association (AVA) is excited to announce the winners of our 12th Annual Photography Contest. The purpose of this contest is to find images suitable for use in marketing materials for Albany and the surrounding area. The contest is open to photographers of all skill levels, and this year 15 talented photographers entered 251 beautiful and creative photos.
Prizes this year included ribbons and gift cards for the winners of Champion, Reserve Champion, Staff Choice, and People’s Choice. All Photographers who earned a ribbon were entered into a drawing for $200, and Camron Settlemier was the talented and lucky winner this year.
In 2019, the Albany Farmers’ Market enters its 42nd season. This delicious Albany tradition is Oregon’s longest continuously operating outdoor farmers’ market. Opening day’s musical forecast includes guitar licks by David Rogers.
Since this is the Year of the Pig in Chinese tradition, the market sought local pork producers. Three Linn County pork ranchers will now showcase their product to eager shoppers. Participating farms are Anchor Ranch, Gap Road Meat Company, and PK Pastures. Other producers sell a selection of locally-grown chicken, beef, and lamb.
Krakelen, another new vendor, will sell their made-on-the-spot wood-fired pizzas topped with many locally sourced ingredients.
Since the market requires that its products must be local and farm direct, the size of the farmers’ market expands and contracts over the outdoor market season. Some farmers grow inside large greenhouses called high tunnels that keep the soil a little drier and warmer, allowing them to bring vegetables a bit earlier in the season. Not all market vendors have access to this method,which is one reason why you might see see what you are looking for one week, but not another.
The Albany season begins with fewer than 20 vendors, depending on weather earlier in the year. As hot weather crops develop, the vendor count builds to about 30. Albany’s market is open for a 32-week long season. Early season offerings feature spring raab and many other greens, potatoes and other storage vegetables, radishes, fresh turnips, carrots, rhubarb, preserved foods, honey, eggs, meat, poultry, and cheese plus nursery plants and cut flowers. On the other extreme, the last market in November will feature much of what will be on Thanksgiving tables the next day.
Power of Produce Kids’ Club in Albany
The Albany Farmers’ Market and its community partners are supporting a 12-week “Power of Produce Club” (PoP) June 15th through August 31st. Children aged five through 12 will receive $4 in market tokens to spend each time they attend the market during the program dates. Club members can attend activities produced with support from community partners like the Albany YMCA and Linn County Master Gardeners.
The PoP Club is funded with local small business sponsorships and larger grants, including one from the Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund, which has supported anti-hunger efforts in Linn and Benton County for many years. The Albany Elks Lodge #359, which is seeking to renew its national grant supporting PoP in Albany, will assist with cooking and planting activities.
Albany’s club is modeled after the Oregon City Farmers Market PoP Club, and has spread to other farmers’ markets across the country.
What to know if you go
The Albany Farmers’ Market is open on Saturdays, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m, April to November. Located in the City Hall parking lot at 4th and Ellsworth Streets, it is within walking distance of historic downtown and unique shopping and dining experiences. And while at the market, fresh baked cookies, muffins, pies, pastries, and hot or iced beverages are available for a grazing brunch.
The public is invited to a big party, Saturday, April 20, 2019, for the free AVA Photo Contest Awards at The Albany Pix Theatre, 321 SW 2nd Ave in Downtown Albany.
We can say that quite possibly, “You get a prize, she gets a prize, they get a prize – but not without showing up!” Door prize drawings will be awarded to several lucky attendees. We also hear that snacks will be served – – yum.
AVA received over 200 photos that our esteemed judges selected this year’s winners from. While we can’t reveal who won just yet, come and join us for the party and see all of the entries on the big screen.
March 13th, noon to 1:00 p.m.The Albany Regional Museum presents History Bites. You either hate ‘em or are fascinated by ‘em—nutria! Discover how this once farmed rodent became an invasive species. Mike Martin is the presenter and his family once owned and operated an Albany nutria ranch. The lunchtime presentation is free, and will include light refreshments. Donations to the non-profit ARM will be graciously accepted. Visit the museum’s website for more details https://www.armuseum.com
March 15th through the 17th The Oregon Woodturning Symposium comes to the Linn County Fair & Expo Center. See stunning artistry in wood! One of the most exciting things about this event is the vendor gallery. Attendees will also be able to see the latest woodturning products, equipment and tools, and connect with other woodworkers. For more information: 503-763-0983. www.woodturningsymposium.com
March 16th, 9:00 a.m.iRun for Kids Each year, approximately 700 runners of all ages and abilities gather at West Albany High School for the annual iRun for Kids race. Proceeds benefit the Albany Public Schools Foundation and its programs, including classroom grants for teachers, enrichment opportunities for kids, and scholarships. This is a great run for the serious racer as well as a fun run for all ages. There’s a 10 Mile and a 5K Run/Walk, plus the Little Leprechaun Dash: (2 laps on the WAHS track) Telephone 541-979-2773 for more information or get online registration information at irunforkids
March 17th Ugandan Kids ChoirDon’t miss this gorgeous music and dance by children. On March 17th at 5:00 p.m., the Ugandan Kids Choir, a group of talented Ugandan children, will perform at Albany First United Methodist Church.The choir has performed nationwide at churches, schools, at Disneyland, on KING 5 Seattle Television’s “New Day Northwest,” and at Qwest Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks.The Albany concert will feature traditional African song and dance. Admission is free, and any donations will support the choir’s travel through North America.
March 17th Oregon’s Military Heritage Join the Linn County Historical Society for the presentation “Oregon Military Heritage” at 2:00 p.m. Held at the Lakeside Center (in the Mennonite Village), the speaker is Warren Aney, coauthor of the book Oregon Military. Image collections that will be shared are from the Brigadier General James B. Thayer Oregon Military Museum, the Oregon Historical Society, county historical societies, other regional and national archives, and the authors’ personal collections. Copies of the book will also be for sale. Lakeside Center is located at 2180 54th Ave SE Albany, OR 97322.
March 22nd Friday Family Fun Night at the Albany Carousel From 5;30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. enjoy a family night out at the carousel with unlimited rides and lots of activities. Admission is $5.00 per person and children under three are FREE. For more information telephone 541.497.2934.
March 22nd (and other dates throughout March and early April) The Albany Civic Theater presents “Too Good To Say Goodbye.” Redmon Hunter, a best-selling author of pulp fiction, has created an unusual world for himself. Recently, writer’s block has set in, so all the characters from his works in progress have set up semi-permanent residence in literary limbo. Redmon’s chance meeting with a beautiful, young pop literature professor, sets the wheels in motion for a madcap comedy where wild imaginary characters clash with real world snobs. For performance dates, times, and tickets: http://www.albanycivic.org
March 29th The BnB Lit Lighthouse Paint Follow Along This adults only (21 and older)art event will be sure to put a happy smile on your face. Join your friends or significant other at the Albany Art Studio’s famous splatter box and paint a happy little lighthouse with instructor Laura Ellis. Fee includes a 16×20 canvas and all materials. Plus, you are welcome to BYOB. For information and to reserve your space, visit the Albany Art Studio website.
March 29th, 30th, 31stThe Chintiminti Kennel Club’s Conformation, Obedience, and Rally Dog Show Three days of all-breed dogs will compete at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center. The Columbia River Agility Club will also take place during the trials. For information about hours, admission, etc. visit the sponsor’s web site.
March 30th The 71st Sweet Home Gem & Mineral ShowThis rockhound’s paradise includes gems, minerals, slabs, fossils, cabochons, wire wrapping, flint knapping, and geode preparation demonstrations. Not to be missed! The event runs from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Sweet Home High School, 1641 Long St. Check out show info on the Oregon Rock & Gem Show website.
Registration Opens for Culinary and Agri-Tourism Studio Program
Travel Oregon, Albany Visitors Association, and Visit Corvallis, invites interested participants to the “Mid-Willamette Valley Culinary and Agritourism Studio,” on March 20th and 21st, at the Children’s Farm Home Historic Old School, between Albany and Corvallis.
This two-day educational forum is designed to connect local farmers, ranchers, vintners, beverage producers, restauranteurs and others, in bolstering the region’s tourism economy through interactive strategic planning and product development workshops.
We call this type of collaboration “experiential tourism,” and it’s a booming business—whether it includes sipping wine amongst the vines, attending a farmers’ market, or creating a farm stand to sell fresh produce and jam. The end product could be an exciting new venture and way to put your business on the map.
Anyone from the the Mid-Willamette Valley who would like to make connections and receive valuable information on making the most of your marketing dollars through developing unique visitor experiences like farm-stands, tasting rooms, or hands-on culinary and agricultural tours or loops should attend.
Our steering committee is composed of farmers, ranchers, vintners, distillers, chefs, caterers, tourism experts, specialty seed growers, nursery owners, and others who all share similar values about our connections to the land and the economic vitality of our cities.
Training topics include:
Navigating land-use policy in your county
Growing awareness of culinary and agritourism market trends, product development strategies, and case studies
Leveraging statewide and regional resources in tourism marketing and business development
Developing an Oregon “food trail”
Let’s work together to stimulate the economy while enhancing local resources and retaining the unique qualities of the Mid-Willamette Valley. Please join us!
The cost for the two-day event is $15 per person. (Or $10 per single day.) A full lunch each day is included in the workshop price. A separate evening socializing/networking tour will take place following the first day’s workshop. Pre-registration is required. Please use the highlighted link to connect with the registration website for more information on who should attend and the full schedule.
Questions? Contact Rebecca Bond, Executive Director Albany Visitors Association, 541-928-0911 or Christina Rehklau, Executive Director of Visit Corvallis, 541-757-1544.
It’s that time of year, when Albany-area shutterbugs dust off their lenses and head out to find the perfect shot. Although it might be a bit cold and rainy, there’s still plenty of breaks where sunshine and majestic scenes reveal themselves. Join the fun and enter the 2019 AVA Photo Contest.
You can download entry forms (for both video and still photography), review the rules, and instructions for submitting your work in the “Download entry forms” section at the bottom of this page. All entries must be received by us on Friday, March 8, 2019, by 5:00 p.m.
Good luck—we hope to see many beautiful images projected onto the big screen at the Pix Theater for the awards ceremony on April 20, 2019. Winning photographers will be eligible for a special drawing of a $200 Cash Card as well as ribbons and prizes for the “Best Of” categories. (See “prizes” section below for more info.)
We ask that your work specifically feature Albany. Your images of life in Albany and surrounding Linn County (Benton County for North Albany) are what we most commonly use in our publications, advertisements, and social media. Imagine what visitors might like to see—people enjoying themselves outdoors, fantastic food and drink (micro-breweries, distilleries, winemakers), events, hiking, biking, paddling, and the beauty and majesty of our city’s historic architecture.
We never get enough action shots of people out and about, so think about staging something with friends; just make sure you get their permission and a release form signed (see forms section below) if there are recognizable people in your work.
Image resolution and more
Special effects Images that have digitally applied effects (such as montages, double exposures or vignettes) cannot be used in AVA publications or national advertising. Images manipulated in photo apps with effects such as frames or special borders also cannot be used.
Signatures or watermarks Images that retain watermarks or photographer signatures cannot be used in publications or ads. We will always credit the photographer by name in any publication or online. If you wish to submit an image with your signature or watermark, please note it may be seen by a limited audience.
Resolution and size Additionally, image size and shape are very important. Photos should be large file sizes for print (biggest size image setting on your camera, 300 dpi or larger); smaller mobile phone images may be blurry when enlarged. Photos should be standard portrait or landscape since square, panoramic, or custom ratios are more difficult to place within ads.
AVA Annual Photo Contest Categories
The following defines our contest categories and gives you an idea of what we are looking for.
Scenic: Visit our parks, the Willamette River, hiking trails, vineyards, and surrounding rural vistas. Find something you think will make someone want to come visit us, and that represents the unique charm of our region. Rustic barns, farm- stands, wildflowers, the Willamette Valley with distant snow- capped mountains—our great outdoors is chock full of amazing scenic shots.
Landmarks: What is your landmark when you tell friends to meet you in Albany? Is it the Historic Carousel or maybe the clock tower at the Albany Train Station? A landmark is unique to Albany and lends itself to the quintessential identity of our city. Even an old building with a Victorian painted advertisement on a brick wall or a statue could be a landmark.
Events: Albany is an event-driven community. Think about our parades, our Christmas horse-drawn wagon rides. There’s always an event happening monthly—from AKC national dog shows at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center to National Historic Preservation Month, there’s never a shortage of what to do! Make sure to check our events calendar and find something fun to photograph.
Life in the community: What is the quality of life in Albany? We are farmers, we are vintners and craft-brewers, we are artists, we are blue-collar welders and white collar executives, we are teachers… and we know how to have a great time no matter what we do. Help tell a visual tale about how we practice our daily lives.
Historic Albany: If you live in Albany, you know that we have deep historical roots. Our city has four nationally recognized historic districts. Albany’s architectural styles vary from the mid- 1800s to the 1950s. Grab a copy of “Seems Like Old Times” and document your personal visual tour or join us on one of the seasonal guided tours.
Culinary: We live in the proverbial bread-basket of culinary delights: farm-to- table special dinners; farmer’s markets; renowned and award-winning chefs; cozy coffee houses, bakeries; wineries and breweries; German and Hungarian restaurants. Our city bubbles over with bounty. Visit a local restaurant or a unique foodie or drink venue and let people know what delicious rewards await them.
Video: Are you a licensed drone pilot? Can’t wait to show people a new perspective? Whatever type of video is your hobby or your living, consider sharing your art-form with thousands. We avidly promote video on our website and across social media. Add your submission to your curriculum vitae.
Open: All things Oregon! All phases of life including nature at her finest—animals, waterfalls, rainbows, cycling, old kitchen sinks (wink wink)—you name it. If it doesn’t fit into one of the categories above, submit it under “open.”
Who can enter?
The contest is open to all ages, all skill levels—from amateur to professional or hobbyist. We encourage teachers to involve their students.
Winning photos will be on display at the Albany Visitors Association, the Amtrak Train Station, while all entries will be shown at the Pix Theater on the big screen at the awards ceremony on April 20th. Ribbons and prizes will be awarded for Overall and Reserve Champions, Individual Category winners, and People’s Choice. Those attending the Pix reception will have the opportunity to win door prizes. All winners will be entered into a special drawing for a Gift Card in the amount of $200—shop for a new lens, memory card, or whatever you like! (If you’d like to see the video of the 2018 contest winning photos, click here.)
Download entry forms and all documents
You must fill out all required forms to complete your entry. Click on the link to download to your computer and print. Please submit all pertinent paper work with your entry. *Note: Remember to submit the model release form for entries with people in your photos and videos.
Download the photo contest rules PDF (*Please note, the “open” category was inadvertently left off this list of rules. Please see above categories for 2019. Confirm that you are entering in the open category when you fill out your entry form.) 2019 AVA Photo Contest Rules
Friday, Feb 1st It’s First Friday in Downtown Albany and many retail shops and restaurants are open for extended hours. You’ll want to check out the artist’s reception at Gallery Calapooia for the “Big Show of Little Art,” a community wide show, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The Natty Dresser will be serving up a VIP Valentines shopping event and handcrafted chocolate from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Beforehand, check out the Albany Regional Museum’s First Friday exhibit by two local artists, Mickey Steffgen and Linda Ellsworth, in the Community Room. The museum’s normal exhibits will also be open until 8:00 p.m. And don’t forget your four-legged friends. How about a doggie Valentine’s cookie (for pups to enjoy, not cookies shaped like doggies!) from Sniffany’s Pet Boutique on First Ave. in Downtown Albany. Sniffany’s will be open until 8:00 p.m. Fulfill your inner dirt bug with a visit to Urban Ag Supply on Elllsworth, across from Little Wuestens Cafe. Find inspiration in the latest gardening tools. There will be a special “pup-up” shop, featuring new styles of hand-crafted pet accessories. Urban Ag will be open until 8:00 p.m. If you head back towards First Avenue, make sure to stop at Sweet Reds Bistro for their special late night “Sweeteasy” from 9:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Stop by for a 1920s inspired roarin’ good time! Period costumes are encouraged.
Feb 2nd The Greater Albany Rotary Club presents their Annual Crab Fest from noon to 7:00 p.m. at Calapooia Brewing Co. Yummy crab will be on the menu (of course!) and so much more, including brews and live music. Get all the info and tickets on their website.
Feb 5th Join the Annual Sweet Home Sweetheart Run, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. This fun, timed race is full of family activities. The 10K, 5K, and 1M kids fun-run all start and end at the Weddle Covered Bridge in Sankey Park, 877 14th Ave, Sweet Home. For more information and registration visit the park website.
Feb 9th and 16th Linn-Benton Community College presents the 44th Annual Children’s Show, at 2:00 p.m. The performance takes you on an adventure under the sea, with “Josephina Jordan, Junior Underwater Explorer, and the Mystery of the Plastic Fish.” Written and directed by Dan Stone, this fun and educational play looks at oceans and marine life in an amazing story filled with special effects, puppets, and a massive submarine called “Big Tuna.” Produced in collaboration with the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Tickets are $8 general admission, $6 children under 18. More info on their website.
Feb 13th Join neighbors and friends at the Ag Appreciation Breakfast, 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Come together with the local farming community and enjoy a delicious catered breakfast out at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center. The keynote speaker is Buzz Wheeler, owner of Coastal Farm & Ranch. Pre-registration is required by Feb 6th, breakfast tickets are $13, admission to the presentation is free. For more information, visit the event website.
Feb 13th It’s time for History Bites at the Museum, from noon to 1:00 p.m. at the Albany Regional Museum (ARM). This month’s presentation will include the stories and history of Albany’s Fire Chiefs. John Bradner, the current Albany Fire Chief will be the speaker. Albany Fire Department is celebrating 150 years of service to our community. Get ready for ARM’s upcoming exhibit that opens on Feb 16th, “Where There’s Smoke” celebrating 150 years of the Albany Fire Department. Refreshments providedat History Bites. For more info visit ARM’s website.
Feb 14th, 15th and 16th From 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., bring your significant other out to a special Sweethearts Valentines Dinner at Novak’s Hungarian Restaurant in Historic Downtown Albany. The menu includes a five course dinner for two featuring a mini magyar krumpli appetizer, soup, salad, Chicken Cordon Bleu, and a chocolate box to share. Price: $59.99; add passion fruit cocktail, $63.99. Telephone Novak’s at 541-967-9488 for information and reservations.
Feb 15th, 16th, 17th Get ready for the big, big, BIGWillamette Sportsman Show. Boats! Fishing gear! Hunting apparel! Games, raffles, rock-wall climbing, gold panning, target practice, archery, presentations, vendors galore, and a kid’s fishing pool. It’s three big days filled with outdoor recreational education and activities at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center. Free parking, $6 general admission, kids 12 and under free. For complete daily hours and more information, visit the event website.
Feb 16th Travel back to when it all started; the Oregon Statehood Celebration.The Monteith Historical Society invites you to a day of fun in Historic Downtown Albany to celebrate Oregon’s 160th birthday. Join us between 11:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., for family-friendly activities, trolley tours throughout Albany’s Historic Districts and of course, enjoy birthday cake to celebrate Oregon history.This event is free and open to the public. Click here to view the (subject to change) schedule of events PDF.
Feb 16th through March 2nd Visit Albany’s performing arts theater, (Albany Civic Theater) for this play full of comedy—“Daddy’s Girl.” A widower for 25 years is served a full plate of comic chaos when his deceased wife, a talking portrait on the wall, enlists the services of an angel to reunite Benard with their long, lost daughter, leading to two possible candidates. For performance dates, times and tickets, telephone 541-967-8140 or visit the theater’s website at CivicTicketing
Feb 21st, 22nd, 23rd, and 24th Woof woof! Don’t miss the Linn County Kennel Club Dog Show at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center. Come see all the AKC breeds—from hound to poodle—they’ll be prancing around the ring and competing in agility and obedience challenges. The show runs daily, so check the schedule out on the Linn County Kennel Club website.
Feb 23rd Looking for fun activities with the littles? The Heritage Mall Kids Club meets on Saturday the 23rd from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Become a part of the club and get access to exclusive events, gifts, and participate in awesome fun and craft activities. The club is held in the Fun Zone on the backside of the mall. For more information telephone 541-967-8238 or visit heritagemallKidsClub
What do wild Oregon grown and harvested truffles have in common with James Beard and Albany, Oregon? Quite a bit as it turns out—and the recent Oregon Truffle Feast at Sybaris Bistro illustrates the connection perfectly.
Master cook James Beard was a writer, teacher, and champion of American cuisine. Born in Portland, Oregon, Beard was a big fan of Oregon’s truffles that at times, are dismissed by European chefs as “false truffles.”
Beard was still a young cook when he established his home and career in New York City. He authored cookbooks, became a television cooking show personality, and opened a cooking school in Manhattan (as well as Seaside, Oregon). In the 1950s he was dubbed “… the face and belly of American gastronomy,” as noted by David Kamp in the book The United States of Arugula.
Beard’s legacy for cooking with fresh local and seasonal ingredients was handed down to many a talented chef after he passed away in 1985. His personal home in New York City became part of a working foundation that showcases talented chefs and regional American cooking.
To cook at James Beard House is an honor for chefs—and Sybaris Bistro’s owner, Matt Bennett, is no exception.
An Oregon Truffle Feast
Chef Bennett was invited for his third appearance at Beard House this January, where he served his unique interpretation of Pacific Northwest Cuisine—building a seven course menu featuring wild Oregon truffles.
In preparation for the New York dinner, Bennett and his team prepared and hosted two Albany, Oregon-based suppers to coincide with Oregon’s Truffle Festival. Both dinners were sold out almost as soon as they were announced.
Menus for the Albany and James Beard House dinners were similar with minor variations. They both featured a series of gastronomical delights such as hazelnut foie gras with black truffle, black truffle miso marinated black cod, double white truffle pheasant breast with truffle buttered cabbage, and the pièce de résistance: a black truffle pot de creme with hazelnut oil gelato and truffle and hazelnut streusel.
All ingredients, including wine pairings, were sourced by Bennett, his wife Janel and staff. They were transported by the Sybaris team in a series of coolers shipped in place of personal luggage. Carefully watched over and guarded, the truffles, black cod, pheasant, Dungeness crab, and Oregon grown vegetables safely arrived in New York.
A local culinary genius
AVA was lucky enough to have a seat at Sybaris’ truffle feast. Chef Bennett regaled diners with tales about Oregon truffles, the reasons behind the menu he created, and a bit about James Beard’s gastronomical history and the famous house where his truffle feast will be served.
We delighted not only in Sybaris’ ambience, with its enormous fireplace and cozy crackling fire, exposed brick walls, plank tables, starched napkins and stellar tableside service, but in chef’s creativity and delicious sense of humor.
A sometimes overlooked ingredient (pig’s foot!) was used to construct a sausage-like croquette with wild mushrooms and white truffle verjus. Bennett’s unusual selection was a tongue and cheek homage to the French method that utilizes pigs to harvest truffles. Bennett is known for playing with ingredients and creating dishes that are metaphors for their inspiration.
Sybaris Bistro’s dinner menus change monthly, featuring locally sourced fresh ingredients in season. It’s no wonder Bennett captured the attention of the James Beard Foundation—he warm-heartedly embraces the core Beard value to cook with what is available within reach.
If you want to experience Sybaris in a Beard-like manner, stay tuned to their Facebook and website. Bennett and his culinary team create special themed dinners to celebrate holidays with limited dining events such as “A Dickens Dinner” or Valentines Day. These menus typically feature multiple courses with additional wine pairings. They’re a great way to jump into Bennett’s “style de cuisine” and either celebrate the end to an extended weekend or start one out.
Whatever draws you to Albany, a visit to Sybaris Bistro should definitely be part of your travel itinerary.
*Blog content copyright 2019 by AVA, written by Maddie MacGregor
What to know if you go
Although not required for regular dinner service, reservations are advised. Sybaris is enormously popular with the locals as much as with culinary travelers. Specially themed dinner events almost always sell out ahead of time, so reserve early for holidays or farm-to-table or Thanksgiving benefits.
Sybaris is located at 442 First Ave W, in Albany, Oregon. The bistro is closed Sundays and Mondays, and open from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Telephone 541-928-8157 for reservations. Check out the monthly menus (gluten-free included) on their website at https://sybarisbistro.com
Tradition. Family. Love. These are a few of the things that come to mind when you tuck the kids into bed under a cozy handmade quilt. Quilts are one of the most-prized family heirlooms—works of folk-art in patterns as mysterious as corn mazes and groundbreaking artistry and colorful innovation. We Americans pride ourselves on a rich legacy of quilt-making and design, so it’s not surprising quilt festivals are one of the most popular events across the US, including Oregon.
The Albany quilt show takes shape
Several years ago, two local business owners teamed up to plan a winter quilt show. The Rich family (of Rich’s Sewing & Vacuum, and their staff) and the owner of Albany’s Bolts to Blocks (Barb and Pete Schoonover), formed a festival board, and launched the first Willamette Valley Quilting Show in 2018. Their idea was to schedule the event during the rainy season—they figured it would be the perfect way to bust through any post-holiday blues and foster the creative process.
Last year’s quilt show was a rousing success and attracted over 2,300 quilt lovers to the Linn County Fair & Expo Center. There were over 300 quilts on display, numerous vendors, classes and demonstrations. Although there were a few hiccups during the inaugural venue, organizers were encouraged by the community’s reaction and immediately started planning an even bigger and better show.
At the 2019 show (February 1st through February 2nd), the number of vendors has nearly doubled and will include booths filled with tools and equipment, handcrafted items such as handbags and scarves, quilting kits and templates, fabric, clothing, home decor, and of course—the amazing display of quilts.
While many national shows offer prizes for quilt contestants, the 2019 Willamette Quilting Festival will award a $3,000 Babylock Soprano sewing machine as a grand prize, and a “Mayor’s Choice Award,” from Albany Mayor Sharon Konopa and the Albany Visitors Association. This special Albany-themed gift basket will be stuffed with goodies—including a Sybaris gift certificate, fabulous local wine from Springhill Cellars, Albany Historic Carousel free-ride coupons, tickets to a performance at Albany Community Theater, an Albany Art Studio gift certificate, and much much more!
In addition to the quilt contest and display, show attendees can enter raffles for special prizes by bringing non-perishable food donations for ‘Fish of Albany’ or purchasing additional raffle tickets. Admission to the show is $7 and tickets can either be purchased onsite or online.
Classes and demonstrations
Whether you are an experienced quilter or just starting out, workshops will be offered throughout Friday and Saturday. Instruction topics include: using Oregon-made templates by Westalee, ruler work, embroidery, fabric tote creation, wallet construction, quilt design, and laser-cut appliqué.
On Thursday, January 31st, a special seven hour pre-show workshop will be taught by the show’s “2019 Featured Quilter” Peggy Gelbrich. Gelbrich will guide participants in creating a full-sized “Diamonds and Arrowheads” quilt. Brand new sewing machines will be available for class participants to use. Students can either bring their own fabric and materials or purchase a kit from Bolts to Blocks. The workshop fee is $35 for the day-long class. (Kits are an additional price.)
All classes require registration, so please contact Rich’s Sewing & Vacuum of Albany to reserve your space. (See contact information in the “What to know if you go” section.)
Demonstrations and presentations conducted throughout the main hall are free with the price of general admission.
What’s in store for the future of the Willamette Valley Quilting Show? Daniel Rich of Rich’s Sewing & Vacuum shared his hopes that the show will “offer more and more classes, presentations and appearances by quilting world ‘celebrities,’ and continue to promote artistic quilting and quality sewing throughout the community.” We think that’s a “darn” good idea!
What to know if you go
Admission and hours The 2019 Willamette Valley Quilting Show runs from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on both Friday, February 1st and Saturday, February 2nd. The show is held in the main exhibit hall at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center at 3700 Knox Butte Rd in Albany, Oregon. Admission is $7, parking is free. Tickets may be purchased at the show or pre-paid online.
Pre-show activities on Thursday, and classes on Friday and Saturday require registration. Contact Rich’s Sewing & Vacuum in Albany for workshop pricing and times. For more information telephone 541-926-4842.
Staying overIf you are traveling to the show and would like a special Albany Visitors Association rate, connect with our featured hotels, the Best Western Plus Prairie Inn or Quality Inn & Suites—ask for the “AVA Rate” when reserving your room.
For other great choices, connect to our website’s “Sweet Dreams”hotel and motel directory.
Food and fun While at the show, enjoy amazing food truck selections from Grindz Hawaiian, Natalie’s Mexi-Kart, N’reener’s (pub grub), Southpaw’s Pizza, and more. An onsite espresso bar will be operating within the main exhibit hall.
For ideas about where to meet friends for dinner after the show, make sure to visit the Albany Visitors Association booth in the main exhibit hall. We’ll have restaurant guides, city maps, and everything you need for a great night or two on the town. We can also recommend places for breakfast and brunch, desserts, and more. Check our “Spirited Cuisine”page for a full list.
You can also download the “Albany Explorer App” for iPhone or Android. Simply search for the Albany Explorer App in Google Play or Apple App Stores. The app is jam-packed with fun things to do.
We also recommend the Albany Regional Museum and Monteith House Museum to learn more about Albany’s history and culture, as well as self-guided tours through three National Historic Districts. Visit our“Dive Into History” web page for information on Albany’s historic roots.