Summer Road Trip – Thompson’s Mills

It is without doubt, the absolute perfect time for a road trip in Linn County. Fields glow golden, swallows dive and swoop, white-tailed deer walk their fawns two by two, and puffy mashed-potato clouds float lazily in the bluest skies. 

Fortunately, we can recommend several summer road trips that lead you from downtown Albany and transport you to more tranquil environs. Let’s start with a visit to one of Linn County’s greatest historic treasures.

The last working water-powered flour mill in Oregon

photo of State National Heritage Site, Thompson's Mills, with silos being paintedTravel to the late Victorian period, when draft horses pulled wagons filled with local wheat to the closest mill. Your trip to a working historic mill is less than a half-hour drive (by car, not horse) from Albany.

Thompson’s Mills State Heritage Site is run by the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD). The land and surrounding mill buildings are all part of living history. Interactive exhibits include feeding the resident flock of chickens and a free interpretive tour of the mill where a water-powered turbine still runs and turns the flour-grinding mechanisms—a demonstration the entire family will enjoy.

When the mill was in Boston

Thompson’s Mills, built in 1858, was originally called Boston Mills, and co-existed with a town of the same name, platted alongside the Calapooia River. Although fire destroyed the mill in 1862, it reopened in 1864 following a complete rebuild. Boston’s population declined after the Oregon and California Railroad (O&C) built its track west of the mill property and Shedd became the primary residence for the area’s inhabitants.

Since O&C’s track crossed through the heart of the Willamette Valley, it was used to transport agricultural goods to Portland and points beyond. Shedd’s station expanded new markets for Thompson’s Mills. Oregon flour was appreciated around the world—and exported to China in the early 20th century and to Belgium during WW1. 

As the US adapted to changing technologies and trade, so did Thompson’s Mills. Americans looked to a brighter future following WW2—and their desire for store-bought bread and gardens with green lawns affected local wheat production. Less wheat meant farmers replaced grain with grass seed for the Baby Boom generation. 

When local flour production decreased, the mill adapted as well, and began producing animal feed. By the 1980s the mill realized the electrical energy it produced could be sold to a local utility, and help sustain mill operations.

In 2004 OPRD bought the mill, its water rights and associated buildings and acreage. In 2007 the department opened the 20 acre site to the public, free of charge. 

Take the tour – it’s for the young and old and in-between

Photo showing large gears and mechanisms that drive the water-powered Thompson's MillsCurrently, OPRD continues its preservation efforts with restoring and refurbishing parts of the mill and grounds. Their work includes planting orchards for cider production, restoring the mill-keeper’s home and carriage house, and repainting the silo’s iconic logos—a giant peach and apple that can be seen for miles.

The mill is open seven days per week (excluding certain holidays) and holds special seasonal events to raise funds for preservation efforts. In the fall, an old-fashioned cider pressing brings families from across Oregon over a span of several weekends.

Make sure to ask the rangers for a tour of the mill while you’re there. That’s the special treat about making this road trip one of the great ones. The tour is free and you’ll get to see the inner working mechanisms—the enormous gears turn to raise a series of dam-gates in the millrace and the conveyor belts stir overhead.

Kids especially will enjoy a demo of the “man-lift,” a single-person, self-propelled elevator that zooms upwards to the top of the mill building. While the public can’t ride the man-lift, park rangers show how Victorian workers rode the lift to clear grain chutes descending to the grinding areas.

Once you’ve climbed the steep stairs from the mill’s bottom floors, you can wander through a number of interpretive exhibits that include original furnishings, grinding stones, gears, flour and feed sacks, and other mill memorabilia. 

Be sure and stop at the gift shop run by the ‘Friends of Thompson’s Mills,’ a non-profit organization that helps fund the mill’s heritage site status. Souvenir T-shirts, feed shopping bags and other gifts can be had for donations that will help keep the mill open to all for many years to come.

What to know if you go

Photo showing wheelchair accessibility at Thompson's MillsAddress: Thompson’s Mills is located in Shedd, Oregon. The easiest (and most delightful) route is to take Hwy. 99E from Albany and travel straight through to Boston Mill Drive. Signs along the highway will direct you to the mill. The address is 32655 Boston Mill Drive.

Hours: Monday though Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Open year-round (except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years Day).

Tours: If your group is under 10 people, no reservation is needed for a guided tour of the site and buildings. Just show up and a ranger or volunteer will escort you around with entertaining and historical facts. If your group has 10 participants or more, telephone the mill to ensure staff is available to meet you. 541-491-3611. All guided tours are free, including larger groups.

Accessibility: Most of the grounds, and the main level of the mill building are accessible. There is a ramp to the mill’s “street” level where the interpretive exhibits are, and two on-site wheelchairs are available for use. Please note the lower levels of the mill building (where the large water-driven gears operate) are not wheelchair accessible. It is possible to access this portion of the building if you ambulate with assistive devices and feel able to climb and descend several narrow steps. There are wide walkways suitable for wheelchair use along the millrace pond and grounds, and accessible restrooms. Those with state-issued placards can park in the closest designated spots.

Photo Gallery

Click on any image to see it full-size. Click the back icon or arrow in your web browser to return to the rest of the gallery at any time.

 

 

A berry delicious July, jam-packed with events

Photo montage of a berry pie with sparklers to celebrate Independence Day

One of the fabulous things Oregon is known for, is our agricultural bounty. And in July, fresh berries are one of the commodities that bring visitors near and far to Albany and Linn County u-pick farms, roadside stands, and farmers’ markets. Several area farms grow blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and (known for its humble Willamette Valley origins), the Marionberry. 

The following farms could be the start of a great weekend itinerary to satisfy the berry lover in your family:

Midway Farms One of Albany’s agricultural gems, Midway is a bucolic organic farm store (and working farm) on Hwy 20. As you drive towards Corvallis, its red barn peeks out from between shade trees and a riot of multi-colored flowers. The store is usually bursting with an eclectic mix of seasonal harvests—from green onions and sweet greens to fall potatoes, tomatoes and garlic. 

Photo of a woman holding out ripe blueberries at a u-pick farmMidway’s crowning glory of summer are their sweet succulent organic strawberries, blueberries and other seasonal fruit. The farm posts frequently on Facebook, so if you’re planning on making fresh jam, follow their page to find out when there are special sales on bulk berries. Depending on the bounty, Kapple may run a spontaneous jam-making sale.

Midway Farms is located at 6980 NW US Highway 20, and the farm store is open daily, including weekends, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. You can also snag their produce, flowers, fruits, eggs and meats at the Albany or Corvallis Farmers’ Market.

Bryant Family Farm A short five minute drive into the Albany countryside and you can load up on the biggest juiciest blueberries in Linn County. This family owned venture features 19 different varieties of “no spray” blueberries. You can opt to pick your own or purchase fresh or frozen berries for all your culinary creations. 

The farm features a family picnic area and restrooms, so you can bring your favorite hamper packed with goodies and rest between picking. The Bryant family purchased the farm about five years ago, carrying on the u-pick tradition of the former owners, Peter and Millie Romans. The Romans planted their first bushes in 1967.

Photo of ripe blueberries in green containers at a local Albany Oregon farmIf you are in hurry and don’t have time to pick yourself, you can order free delivery service of frozen berries (within Albany), any size order over five pounds, at $2.25 per pound. Frozen blueberry still pack a nutritional punch and are delicious in muffins, pancakes, ice cream, smoothies, and jams.

The season at the farm runs from mid-June to the second week in August, from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., dependent on fruit ripening, weather patterns, and crop availability. It’s usually best to check with the farm at 541-704-0677. Bryant Family Farm is located at 35923 Bryant Drive SW, Albany, Oregon.

July’s jam-packed featured events

We’ve lined up a little over 20 of our favorite summer events for you to peruse below. Pick out several, and come play and stay in Albany.

July (and through August) PoP It’s the “Power of Produce” Club (PoP) at the Albany Farmers’ Market. PoP is a free summer program for kids at the farmers’ market. All kids ages 5 – 12 can register and receive $4 in tokens each week they come to the market. Tokens can be used to purchase fruits, vegetables, dried beans, nuts, seeds and plants that grow food. See you at the market, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

July 4th River Rhythms is almost here! The first concert of the summer is scheduled for Thursday, July 4th. Bring your blankets and picnic baskets and spread out under the summer stars. The Baha Men—a Bahamian band playing a modernized style of Bahamian music called junkanoo, are the season openers. They are best known for their Grammy Award winning hit song “Who Let the Dogs Out?” There are children’s activities prior to the concert (come early at 5:30) an adult beer garden, food, a bike valet, and trolley rides around downtown. The concert is from 7 to 9 pm.

Photo of a fireworks display over the Willamette River on the Fourth of July in Albany, OregonJuly 4th Hooray! Fireworks return to Albany on the Fourth of July at Monteith River Park. The big bang display coincides with the opening of River Rhythms, and follows the free concert by The Baha Men. Fireworks are scheduled to begin around 9:00 p.m., but with the concert falling on the Fourth, you’ll want to get to the park early and claim your spot. (Photo copyright by Anthony Shelar, ASHDR Photography)

July 4th – 7th More July holiday fun! Start the Fourth off with a bang and an “all you can eat sausage, eggs, pancakes, milk, and coffee” Lumberjack Breakfast at Timber Linn Memorial Park. Starting at 6 a.m. and running until 11 a.m., July 4th through through the 7th, this fundraiser for the East Albany Lions Club enables their support to community sight and hearing projects. Tickets are $8 adults and $4 children 11 and under.

July 5th – 7th Baa Baa black sheep, it’s aaaalmost here! The Black Sheep Gathering at the Linn County Expo Center starts July 5th. Enjoy three days of competition, displays, workshops and shopping at one of the country’s largest shows of natural colored fiber animals and hand-crafted products made from their wool. Learn how to felt, create mosaic knitting, spin, dye, ply, weave, and shear the fiber from many breeds of animals. Admission and parking are free. For hours, workshop registration, and show schedule visit http://www.blacksheepgathering.org

July 5th So many great First Friday events in downtown Albany, and it all starts with a reception at Gallery Calapooia, on July 5th, from 6 to 8 pm. This month, Rob R Robinson and Cheryl French are the featured artists. Come meet them and see their latest works. *Painting below: Rob R Robinson’s multi-media work entitled “Focus.”

Photo of Albany artist Rob R Robinson's mixed media painting entitled "Focus."July 5th First Friday at the Albany Regional Museum is just around the corner! The exhibits will stay open until 8 p.m. on Friday, July 5th. Stop by and enjoy art, refreshments, and learning more about Albany and Linn County history. Admission to ARM is free, but your donations help run the museum for everyone.

July 8th Time for Summer Sounds at Monteith Park! On Monday, July 8th, the series starts with “The Spirit of Earth, Wind & Fire.” Sip your own wine or beer, purchase soft drinks and food from the vendor court, and take a stroll along the riverfront with your sweetheart. The free concert is from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. This year’s lineup runs the gamut from electric string pop to funk and swing. For the full schedule, visit the City of Albany website at https://www.cityofalbany.net/…/parks-a…/events/summer-sounds

July 10th Feeling itchy to get summer started? Before heading to the woods for a campout, you might want to attend the next “History Bites” at the Albany Regional Museum. On Wednesday, July 10th at noon, the free presentation focuses on the history of Albany’s very own Tec Labs, a pharmaceutical company that produces potions to ease rashes caused by poison oak and ivy. 

Graphic with two goats talking to each other about Crazy Daze event in Albany, OregonJuly 11th Work got your goat? Time for some big fun at Albany’s historic Crazy Daze. This annual event begins Thursday July 11th and runs through the 13th. Originally called Bargain Days in 1898, the name was changed to Crazy Daze after WWII. Merchants will participate in sidewalk sales throughout downtown, offering great items 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!

July 11th River Rhythms presents the father of The Twist, Chubby Checker! Seating is available on a first-come, first served basis, beginning at 5:30. The concert begins at 7 p.m.  Learn more about this series.  There are children’s activities prior to the concerts, an adult beer garden, food, a bike valet, and trolley rides around downtown.

July 19th Movies at Monteith Outdoor movies in the park have become today’s version of the drive-in movie experience of the past – only better. Enjoy Movies at Monteith on Friday evenings in late July and early August at Monteith Park in Downtown Albany. Movies start at dusk (around 9:00 pm).

      2019 Schedule

  • July  19 – “Up” starring the voice of Ed Asner 10th Year Anniversary
  • July 26 – “Ghostbusters” starring Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd 30th Year Anniversary
  • August 2 – “Mary Poppins” starring Julie Andrews and Dick Vandyke  55th Year Anniversary
  • August 9 – “The Wizard of Oz” starring Judy Garland  80th Year Anniversary

Cartoon poster for the animated movie UpFood Vendors include: First Burger, Little Wuesten German Foods, Cassetta di Pasta, The Albany Pix Theatre, Scouts. General seating area opens at 8 am, blanket area opens at 5:30 pm.  Please do not put your blankets down earlier, space is needed to put up the gigantic movie screen! Smoking – No smoking at Movies at Monteith. Smoking is allowed only outside of the event area, this also includes vapor devices. Marijuana is NOT ALLOWED in the park for any reason. You will be escorted out of the park if you bring it in. No Pets – Service Dogs are the only dogs allowed in the park.  Companion animals and family pets must stay at home. Alcohol – Beer, wine, and cider are the only alcoholic beverages allowed in the park.  You will be asked to take hard alcohol out of the park.

July 19th (and other dates through July – Aug) The Albany Civic Theater presents “The Unexpected Guest.” Lost in the fog, a stranger seeks refuge in a nearby house only to find a man shot dead and his wife standing over him with a smoking gun. But the woman’s dazed confession is anything but convincing and the unexpected guest decides to help. Remarkably, the police clues point to a man who died two years previously but as the ghosts of a past wrong begin to emerge, a tangled web of lies reveals family secrets and chilling motives, where the real murderer turns out to be the greatest mystery of all. Check ACT’s website for ticket and performance time info: http://www.albanycivic.org/shows/the-unexpected-guest/

Photo of a vintage trailer from circa 1950sJuly 20th Rally on the River – Vintage Trailer Show See inside over 100 vintage trailers from 1938 to 1984 including tear drops, popups, tents and motor homes. This is a free family event in Historic Brownsville’s Pioneer Park on the Calapooia River.  For more information visit the event Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/136046563763686/

July 22nd Time for Summer Sounds at Monteith Park! On Monday, July 22nd, catch the music of artist Tia Brazada. Brazada weaves her lush retro sound with classic jazz, pop, and bossa nova. Sip your own wine or beer, purchase soft drinks and food from the vendor court, and take a stroll along the riverfront. The free concert is from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. This year’s series lineup runs the gamut from electric string pop to funk and swing. Come early and claim your spot. For the full schedule, visit the City of Albany website at https://www.cityofalbany.net/…/parks-a…/events/summer-sounds

July 23rd Stand By Me Day Head out to Historic Brownsville for this annual cult classic movie event. Stephen King’s novel made into an all-time coming of age move was filmed in Brownsville. Get in on the activities: blueberry pie-eating contest, walking tours, hula hoop lessons, sack races, hop-scotch, classic car show, costume contest, musical performances, and of course, a showing of everyone’s favorite film, Stand By Me. This event is organized by the Linn County Historical Museum. For more information, visit: https://linnparks.com/museums/linn-county-historical-museum/

July 24th History Through Headstones Tour Join the Albany Regional Museum for an evening of “History Through Headstones” honoring nine prominent Albany individuals. Hear their stories and learn more about the pioneer Albany Masonic Cemetery. The tour is free to participate in. For more information, visit the museum website at: armuseum.com 

Photogrpah of Beatles Tribute band called the Fab FourJuly 25th Does Albany love me—yeah, yeah, yeah! River Rhythms presents the greatest Beatles tribute band ever—Fab Four. Seating is available on a first-come, first served basis, beginning at 5:30. The concert begins at 7 p.m.  Learn more about this series.  There are children’s activities prior to the concerts, an adult beer garden, food, a bike valet, and trolley rides around downtown.

July 26th – 27th Guitars Under the Stars. Rock on at this guitar and craft beer festival that includes two stages and camping with plenty of shade! All ages are welcome, so bring the family and spend the weekend listening to great music, and enjoying great food and drinks. For information and tickets please visit: http://guitarsunderthestars.net

July 27th The Annual Summer Historic Interior Home Tour offers an opportunity to peek inside some of the city’s finest historic buildings and houses on the National Historic Register. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., homeowners and hosts will be available to answer questions about the history of the dwelling, restoration efforts, historic house maintenance, and other details about Albany’s four historic districts. The tour is self-guided; you can visit the homes in any order by walking, personal vehicle, or horse-drawn wagon and vintage trolley, both of which are included in the $15 price of admission (well-behaved children aged 12 and under are free). For more information telephone Albany Visitors Association at 541-928-0911. Online tickets are available on our website at: https://albanyvisitors.com/2019/06/25/annual-summer-historic-interior-home-tour-online-tickets/

July 29th Summer Sounds presents local Blues legend, Curtis Salgado. Come catch Salgado and friends, as they perform at Monteith Park. Sip your own wine or beer, purchase soft drinks and food from the vendor court, and take a stroll along the riverfront with your sweetheart. The free concert is from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. This year’s concert series lineup runs the gamut from electric string pop to funk and swing. For the full schedule, visit the City of Albany website at https://www.cityofalbany.net/…/parks-a…/events/summer-sounds

Our top list of 4th of July fireworks displays

  1. Tucked into the countryside south of Albany is historic Brownsville. The tiny hamlet will host an old-fashioned Fourth of July Celebration all day, starting with a big pancake breakfast at 7:00 a.m., filling the daylight hours with kiddie activities, live music and food, and ending with a big-bang fireworks display at dusk. The event is held at Pioneer Park in Brownsville. For more information visit http://historicbrownsville.com/event/breakfast-fireworks-in-the-park-3/
  2. Join in on a big festive Fourth at the Star Spangled Celebration, held in Lebanon, Oregon, at Cheadle Lake Park. The event starts at 6:00 p.m. and ends at 10:30 p.m. following the fireworks display over the lake. There will be lots of musical entertainment, children’s activities, face painting, bounce houses, and food booths. There is a $10 admission by the carload or you can walk in for $3 per person. For more information, visit www.lebanoncommunityfoundation.com
  3. On the official holiday, Albany’s outdoor River Rhythms at Monteith Park (alongside the Willamette River) will start the season off with a splash and a bang. The venerable band The Baha Men will play their trademark sounds at 7:00 p.m. and a fireworks display will follow the concert. Bring your blankets, folding chairs and picnic food, but please leave Fido or Fluffy at home. The Children’s Art Area opens at 5:30 p.m. For the full summer schedule visit the City of Albany website.
  4. Plan ahead for Fourth of July fun: Join old and new friends in Harrisburg, where an “Old Fashioned 4th of July” means activity from morning to night! Food, a parade, games, vendors, free entertainment, and of course, fireworks. You’ll find the celebration happening in several locations throughout the city. For more information, visit the City of Harrisburg website

Have a safe and happy Fourth from all of us at Albany Visitors Association. For more great July activities, read our blog.

 

 

Summer fun for kids – 2019 Pioneer Day Camp

Become a pioneer for the day

The Monteith House is hosting  day camp for kids grades K-8, July 15 -17, 2019 – 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. 

Children will learn about pioneer life through stories and hands-on activities at this fun day camp. Kids will participate in living history and explore the responsibilities of pioneer children as they traveled the Oregon Trail and settled into Albany life. Partial costumes and snacks will be provided.

Registration details
The cost of the three day camp is $50 per child. Register by July 9, 2019,  by contacting the Albany Visitors Association at 541-928-0911. Pre-registration required. The Monteith House Museum is located at 518 2nd Ave. S.W., Albany, OR.

2019 Albany Visitor Guides are here

Photograph of the 2019/2020 Albany Visitors Guide magazine cover, featuring a historic home in Albany, Oregon

The Albany Visitors Association (AVA) is pleased to announce the 2019/2020 “Albany Visitors Guide” is now available. Published each summer, AVA’s colorful magazine is jam-packed with ideas for visitors or even residents 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 one special Albany Historic Carousel & Museum animal, Fredrick the Hare, and the “tail” behind his creation. The giant bunny with “serious ears” is one of more than 30 animals hand-carved and hand-painted adorning the carousel—all which possess deeply personal tokens from their sponsoring humans.

Other sections include Albany’s vibrant growing restaurant scene, Linn and Benton County “food trail” connections, recreation (swimming, hiking, biking, fishing), entertainment, shopping, and the history and heritage of our city and surrounding region.

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

View a digital copy of the guidePhotograph of the 2019/2020 Albany Visitors Guide magazine cover, featuring a historic home in Albany, Oregon

Feel free to download the guide if you would like to save a tree. (PDF)

2019 Children’s Summer Passport Program

Event logo.

The Albany Passport Program for Children is almost here. This summer, your children can explore over 30 locations around town to learn more about the history of Albany. Grab your passport (starting on June 8th) at the Albany Fire Station No. 11 (611 Lyon St SE) and start visiting, collecting stamps, and possibly win prizes.

After the kickoff party, passports may be obtained at the Albany Visitors Association office, at 110 3rd St SE, on the corner of Lyon and 3rd. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 to 5, and Saturdays, 9 to 3.

*Note: this activity is aimed towards a minimum age (kindergarten) up to teens, as young toddlers may not understand or enjoy the experience.

The Albany Summer Passport is a free children’s program offered through a partnership of the City of Albany, Albany Visitors Association, Albany Downtown Association, Albany Regional Museum, and the Monteith Historical Society. This project is supported in part by a grant from the Oregon Heritage Commission, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and the Oregon Cultural Trust. For more info, contact AVA at 541.928.0911.

June is busting’ out all over – with events

Photo of two young boys dressed in aprons and strawberry themed hats at the Lebanon Strawberry Festival parade in Linn County, Oregon.

Come gather in Albany and find your perfect comfort zone—whether its sipping wine at nearby Springhill Cellars Winery or a leisurely stroll along the river— June is a transitional month where local events move into high gear as we prep for sunny summer months. Come join us in Albany and Linn And Benton Counties for the following sensational events. (We always add other featured events as we discover them, so check back soon.)

May 30 – June 2nd Wrap up National Historic Preservation Month at the 110th Lebanon Strawberry Festival. This historical Linn County event has something for everyone, from a Saturday night fireworks display and the World’s Largest Strawberry Shortcake to a parade and entertainment. Located at Cheadle Lake Park, 37919 Weirich Dr, Lebanon, OR. lebanonstrawberryfestival.com

Graphic of event information.June 1st What could be better than a new animal on the Albany Carousel? What about TWO new animals?! Come attend the big unveiling party on June 1st, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Albany Historic Carousel & Museum. Welcome “Thunder the Bison” and “Sampson the Rooster” as they join the other animals on the carousel. It’s a wild west themed party, so wear your favorite cowboy boots, hats, and chaps… but please, leave the spurs at home.

June 7th Plan on celebrating First Friday in Downtown Albany with all the usual suspects, including the Albany Regional Museum, Urban Ag Supply, The Natty Dresser, Sweet Red Bistro, Gallery Calapooia and others. Check in on June’s featured artists at the free reception at Gallery Calapooia: Marilyn Lindsley’s polymer clay jewelry and Marjorie Kinch’s watercolors will be on display. Stop in to meet the artists and enjoy light refreshments and live music. The Albany Historic Carousel & Museum will be open for special family activities, from 5:30 to 8:00; a $5 admission gets you unlimited rides. Wander through downtown historic Albany and pop in to shops and restaurants featuring First Friday extended hours and specials.

June 8th The “Albany Passport Program for Kids” is coming! This summer, your children can explore over 30 locations around town to learn more about the history of Albany. Grab your passport starting on June 8th at Albany Fire Station No. 11 (611 Lyon St SE) and start visiting, collecting stamps, and possibly win prizes. The Albany Summer Passport is a free children’s program offered through a partnership of the City of Albany, Albany Visitors Association, Albany Downtown Association, Albany Regional Museum, and the Monteith Historical Society. This project is supported in part by a grant from the Oregon Heritage Commission, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and the Oregon Cultural Trust. For more info, contact AVA at 541.928.0911.

Graphic of map showing display areas at Albany, Oregon Talking Water Gardens June 12th Nothing better than the free lunchtime series at the Albany Regional Museum “History Bites.” Bring your lunch or nosh on light refreshments at the latest in the series, a history of Talking Water Gardens. The demonstration habitat shows how recycled wastewater can be used to create wildlife and botanical preserves—where insects, birds, wetland flora and fauna, are on view seasonally to hikers, photographers, and all who love and appreciate the outdoors. The presentation starts at noon in the community room.

June 13th Another one of our Linn County “food trail” destinations is the Thursday afternoon Brownsville Farmers’ Market. Hunt for sweet strawberries, crisp mesclun salad greens, root veggies, and other late spring selections to create your own perfect “farm to fork” experience. The outdoor market on Main St opens at 3:00 p.m. and runs until 6:00 p.m. Come earlier in the day and forage in unique small shops and have lunch at one of several restaurants and bakeries, or try a little Oregon wine tasting at Harpers Wine House.

June 14th – 21st What exactly is a “flat-coated retriever?” Why not come and find out as you watch this beautiful sporting breed perform in the show ring at Linn County Expo Center. The dog’s field trials will be held in nearby Scio. The 2019 Northwest Flat-Coated Retriever National Specialty will bring canines from across the US to Albany. Get the full schedule of events at https://fcrsa.org/2019specialty/

June 14th ( and various dates throughout June ) The Albany Civic Theater presents the “Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon,” starting the second week in June. Classic fairy tales are turned on their heads as two narrators and several actors attempt to combine all 209 Grimm stories ranging from classics like Snow White, Cinderella, and Hansel and Gretel to more bizarre, obscure stories like The Devil’s Grandmother and The Girl Without Hands. A wild, free-form comedy with lots of audience participation and madcap fun. Written by Don Zolidis and directed by Conner Riley.  For information telephone 541-928-4603 or visit http://www.albanycivic.org

Photo of a 2013 Through the Garden Gate Tour in Albany OregonJune 15th An annual event, the much beloved garden tour “Through the Garden Gate” takes place the Saturday before Father’s Day Sunday. Take your garden-loving dad on this tour featuring OSU Master Gardeners. Tour the private gardens in any order, on your own schedule. Tickets are $15.00 and all funds raised support gardening education for adults and youth in Linn County. Maps and tickets are available at Albany Visitors Association office and other garden centers in the area. Telephone 541-928-0911 for ticketing information.

June 22nd The Third Annual Albany Pride Parade. Albany joins with other communities in strengthening diversity and inclusiveness with this public event. Assemble at the 11:00 a.m. at the Linn County Courthouse, 300 Fourth St. The parade route and more details will be published as we receive more information from the event organizers and sponsors.

For a complete list of Albany area events, visit our monthly events calendar.

Wine Walk Tickets Available Now

Photo of wine in glasses and bottle from Springhill Winery in North Albany Oregon

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.

Winners of the 2019 AVA Photo Contest

Image of Waverly Lake in Albany Oregon taken by AVA 2019 Photo Contest Winner Grand Champion David Maestes

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

Winners circle

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. 

Winning photos are on display through May at the Albany Visitors Association at 110 3rd Ave SE. All entries can be viewed on the Albany Visitors Association Flickr page.

Names of award winners

Grand Champions
Champion, Dave Maestas, “Reflections at Waverly Lake”

Reserve Champion, Cathy Webb, “Taking Off”

People’s Choice, Katelynn LaGrone, “Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival”

Staff Choice, Keith Kendrick, “Bridges of Albany in Winter”

Category winners
Culinary
1st Place, Oliver J. Anderson, “Home Tour Snacks”

2nd Place, Cathy Webb, “Tomato Assortment”

3rd Place, Katrina Wilson “Takena Tomatoes”

Events
1st Place, Oliver J. Anderson, “Tweed Bike Start”

2nd Place, Katelynn LaGrone, “NW Art & Air Festival”

3rd Place, Jonna Lynn, “Up & Away, Art & Air Festival”

Historic Albany
1st Place, Camron Settlemier “White Snow on Blue House”

2nd Place, Stephanie Low, “Ralston House”

3rd Place, Oliver J. Anderson, “Monteith Unadorned”

Life in the Community
1st Place, Dan Bateman, “Study in Red”

2nd Place, Oliver J. Anderson, “Monteith Volunteer”

3rd Place, Stephanie Low, “Cyclist in Fall”

Landmarks
1st Place, Stephanie Low, “Welcome to Albany”

2nd Place, Oliver J. Anderson, “Monteith Adorned” 

3rd Place, Camron Settlemier, “Thompson’s Mill in Motion”

Open
1st Place, Pavla Zakova-Laney, “Handsome Buck”

2nd Place, Cathy Webb, “The Guardian”

3rd Place, Camron Settlemier, “2 Flakes Short of a Blizzard”

Scenic

1st Place, Dave Maestas, “Sunrise on Old Salem Rd.”

2nd Place, Keith Kendrick, “Foot Bridge over Bowman Park”

3rd Place, Barry Hoffman, “Snow Day”

Congratulations to all the winners!

Open Season – Albany Farmers’ Market

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.

Photo of brightly colored bell peppers spilling out of a rattan basket at the Oregon Albany Farmers' MarketSince 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

Graphic image showing a big illustration of a carrot and advertising the PoP Club for kidsThe 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.

Don’t forget to check out other great events on our website at https://albanyvisitors.com/calendar-of-events/calendar/