Halloween Nosh Tour Canceled


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

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

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

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

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

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

The Seven Wondrous Trails – Chapter 3

Culinary delights

By AVA Executive Director Jimmie Lucht

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spooky times aboard the Trolley of Terror

Trolley of Terror, courtesy Democrat Herald.

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

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

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

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

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

History Bites and Hasso Hering

How to survive information overload

By guest blogger Richard Engeman

On a recent Wednesday afternoon, Richard H. Engeman (Oregon author and new-to-Albany resident) attended a free “History Bites” talk at the Albany Regional Museum. Richard kindly volunteered his time to the Albany Visitors Association as our guest blogger. The following article is his account of History Bite’s latest speaker, Hasso Hering.

“More people don’t know anything about what’s going on.” –Hasso Hering


Hasso Hering

Two or three decades ago, news came to us in two formats: in print (as a newspaper or magazine), or a broadcast over television or radio. Reporters, correspondents, and journalists worked for agencies that collected, edited, and distributed “The News.” And from what we read, and what we saw and heard, each of us weighed and analyzed the information to merge it into our understanding of the world.

Today, our understanding of the world is mediated by Facebook, which flings billions of bits of information at us. Some of that is news, but much of it is the instantaneous reaction by millions of other viewers to that news. In many instances, these snippets of news and comments correspond to other reactions: to someone’s attitude, syntax, bias, spelling, ethnicity, gender, etiquette, and a multitude of other aspects. The news itself, is drowned out.

Hasso Hering, former longtime editor of the Albany Democrat-Herald newspaper (he retired in 2012), spoke to the changes in news-gathering and news distribution at a recent, well-attended lunchtime talk at the Albany Regional Museum.

Hasso’s involvement with the news goes back a long way, and his lengthy tenure in Albany was preceded by his experience in newsrooms in California and in Ashland, Oregon. He punctuated his talk with photos and anecdotes that illustrated how much the news-reporting industry has changed in a very short period of time. Hering said that in the not-so-distant past, an editor of a small-city newspaper could approach a national figure like Walter Cronkite, and expect and receive, a prompt and cordial acknowledgement.

Hering described and lauded the work of copy editors, a now nearly defunct profession whose practitioners checked a reporter’s facts, smoothed out the phrasing, queried the quotes, and regularized spelling and capitalization. Such slogging and unglamorous work is what made print journalism reasonably accurate and trustworthy, so much so that television and radio broadcasters relied on printed sources for their own news shows (and they still do).

Hering made an excellent point about the fact that each of us, individually, must sift through the news and analyze it to find the kernels of value to us, and to integrate that information into our lives.

Another former journalist, Bob Hicks of the Oregonian, recently pushed the same point in a Facebook essay, concluding that we can’t be spoon-fed news stories, but must be “active, analytical… and honestly skeptical” with our journalistic consumption. And this is a difficult and challenging task, as Hering succinctly notes, since we are faced with a “proliferation” of news sources. We can’t catch up with all of it, we can’t be sure it is accurate, and we can’t correct misinformation. We are bombarded with news bites, and the bombardment overwhelms our ability to analyze, question, and form reasoned opinions about our world. Technology has made our task harder, not easier as we might have expected.

Hasso gave a jaunty, if sobering, lunchtime talk. However, it was a good experience for this new Albany resident, and I came away from his presentation confident that I had moved to a small but sprightly city that takes its history (and its history-makers like Hasso Hering) seriously. And like Hering, we residents do so with a wry smile.

By the way, Hasso too has gone electronic at http://hh-today.com, and he’s on Facebook, too!

Albany author Richard H. Engeman is a public historian and archivist, and the person behind Oregon Rediviva, LLC. The name Oregon Rediviva is connected to the history of the Oregon Country: Captain Robert Gray’s ship Columbia Rediviva entered the mouth of the Columbia River in 1792. In 1805, Capt. Meriwether Lewis described a plant, to which the name Lewisia rediviva has been applied. It is better known as the bitterroot, the state flower of Montana.


2016 Antiques in the Street

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

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

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

Aussies in town – shepherds that is

The ASCA Nationals come to Albany, Oregon

pjHerding dog fans have reason to rejoice this coming September. The Willamette Australian Shepherd Club is hosting the National Specialty Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA) Show at the Linn County Expo Center from Sept. 10th – Sept. 17th.

“Aussie” Shepherd breeders and 1300 dogs from across the US will participate in the weeklong event. From stockdog trials and agility courses to breeder conformation and obedience categories, the event will draw in visitors from far and wide.

The ASCA National’s Chairperson and Senior Breeder Conformation Judge Rhonda Silveira, is enthusiastic about the event being held in Albany this year.

“The Expo Center facilities are perfect for our dogs to be showcased,” said Silveira. “We feel very welcomed by the city, and it just seems as though everyone in town opens their doors to us.”

Local small and large businesses are sponsoring the event, which will bring several hundred new customers to Albany for shopping, restaurant and brewery or winery visits, and lodging accommodations.

As part of the Albany Visitors Association’s (AVA) mission to encourage visitors to the city, the ASCA event is one of many that help support local economic enhancement.

“We feel honored that Rhonda and the ASCA have chosen Albany as the site for this year’s show,” said AVA Executive Director Jimmie Lucht. “It’s not easy to manage a large scale event like this, and if we can open our doors to help, everyone will benefit.”

final-official-logo-asca-nationals-2016-signedLucht will act as a guest judge for the event’s stall decoration contest. AVA Board member Christy Leuhring is also on the guest judging panel. Cattle vendor John Growney, of Growney Brothers Rodeo Company, will provide livestock for the stockdog finals, while Silveira and another ASCA member raised 550 ducks for the dogs to showoff their herding talents.

“We really hope to see the public at the ‘Tough Enough to Wear Pink’ event on Tuesday, September 13th,” said Silveira. “Raffle-ticket sales will help support efforts to combat a specific type of cancer. Oregon State University will receive part of the proceeds to continue their research on hemangiosarcoma—the main type of cancer that affects Australian Shepherds,” added Silveira. Hemangiosarcoma afflicts humans as well.

Major event sponsors are Coastal Farm & Ranch and NutriSource Dog Food. Local sponsors include Costco, The Rainshed, Heritage Mall, Best Western Prairie Inn, Oregon Freeze Dry, Sizzler, Zoup!, Calapooia Brewing Co., Bo-Mack’s BBQ, Hospitality Vision, Novak’s Hungarian Restaurant, the Albany Downtown Association, and the Albany Visitors Association.

Passport Party and Raffle

Raffle Drawing invitation 2016Congratulations to all of our Journey to the Center of Albany summer explorers. You’ve gathered your passport stamps and turned in your passport to be validated with us. Now it’s time to party!

Make sure you’ve stopped by the Albany Visitors Association and entered the raffle contest for great prizes, including Amtrak tickets, a ride in an Albany firetruck, a one-hour plane ride with Infinite Air Center, and gift certificates from local businesses, sports fan gear, historic toys and games, and a whole lot more.

The party and raffle is scheduled for Saturday, September 17th, at the Pix Theatre. The fun starts at 10:30 a.m. Although you can win great prizes without coming to the free party, those in attendance will be rewarded with even more chances to win great additional door prizes.

We hope to see you there!

Hot summer – cool happenings

As we near the close of the summer in the Mid-willamette Valley, and with temps soaring into triple digits, it’s nice to know there’s a way to beat the heat and still look forward to some cool events. Our very own Rebecca Bond compiled a list of things to look forward to. We hope you find at least one activity to partake in.

And if you’ve been a part of the Albany Visitors Association’s Summer Passport Program (Journey to the Center of the Albany) you’ll want to pay close attention to the section about the great wrap up party and the prizes that will be awarded.

Swimming holes

cool_poolFeeling just a little hot? Need to cool off? Hit the Cool Pool, the Community Pool, the YMCA pool or the Waverly Paddle Boats to have some water fun and beat the summer sun. Don’t forget your passports when you go if you haven’t earned your stamp yet.



ATI Art & Air Festival

16006210374_acd1569050_mYahoo it’s almost Here! Three fabulous days of hot air balloons, airplanes, music and art. August 26, 27 and 28. Be sure to stop by the Albany Visitors Association (AVA) booth (just over the foot bridge from the west side main parking lot entrance) to get your bonus passport stamp and tell us, ‘What’s your favorite thing about the Art and Air Festival?’  You can find out more fun things about the festival on our blog post “Six things you didn’t know you could do at the NW Art and Air Festival.”

Passport wrap party and raffle prizes

image002And now for the update you’ve all been waiting for….the “End of Summer Passport Program Raffle Prize Party” will be held on Saturday, September 17, 2016, at 10:30 a.m. at the Pix Theatre. Once again our friends at the Pix have offered to roll out the red carpet for a fabulous time sharing prizes from all our passport partners.  Enter to win by bringing your passport to the Albany Visitors Association August 29 – 31 to receive your raffle tickets.

Infinite Air Center at the Albany Airport is a new 2016 AVA partner, and is sponsoring an airplane ride for a grand prize. Amtrak stepped up again this year to provide another grand prize – round trip train tickets to Portland. You don’t have to be present to win these prizes but there will also be really great door prizes for those who can attend.

Some other fun prizes for 2016 include: Gift certificates for the G2 Fun Zone, Pix Theatre, pottery painting at SureFire Designs, and Albany Farmers Market wooden nickels. We hope to see you at the Pix!

6 things you didn’t know you could do at the NW Art and Air Festival

16006210374_acd1569050_mAs 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.

1) Concerts

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.

3) Young Eagle Flights

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.

4) All Ages Flights IMG_9464A

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.

6) Hot Air Balloon Rides

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).


An evening cemetery tour

Masonic Cemetery Albany, Oregon

Masonic Cemetery Albany, Oregon

On Wednesday, July 27th, at 7:00 p.m., the Albany Regional Museum and St. John’s Masonic Lodge #17 will host a memorable evening tour of a historic pioneer cemetery—the Albany Masonic Cemetery.

Featured headstones include nine prominent Albany pioneers—the Wheeler, Ross, Hale, Hudson, Meade, Althouse, and Parker families. Hear their stories and learn about their contributions to our city.

Admission is free, however parking is extremely limited. You are welcome to board the trolley at Two Rivers Market downtown at 6:30 p.m., where continuous free rides will ferry tour participants until dusk.

For more information, telephone 541-967-7122.

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