Searching for a jolly weekend getaway? Look no more — visit Albany from October through January and discover a unique blend of history and hip. Create a new family tradition this holiday season by exploring some of our favorite ideas below.
Our lodging partners recognize holidays can be exhausting — especially if you’re away from home. Have no fear, the world will appear much brighter after a little pampering! Sink into a deep and comfy oversized chair next to a crackling fire in a festive lobby. Enjoy a complimentary hot breakfast, free WiFi, free parking, fluffy pillows and hot coffee.
Several Albany hoteliers have partnered with Albany Visitors Association to bring you cozy accommodations for the holidays. From November to January, the Phoenix Inn & Suites, Comfort Inn, Quality Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Best Western Plus Prairie Inn usually offer holiday specials. Book direct and mention AVA to take advantage of great rates.
For history and architecture buffs, the newly restored Historic 206 ½ Hotel provides a satisfying immersion into Albany’s downtown roots. Its proximity to restaurants, shops, coffee houses and bakeries and the Albany Historic Carousel & Museum make it an explorer’s dream.
Find your own good night’s sleep; view AVA’s lodging directory.
Trolley of Terror Climb aboard a spookily decorated trolley and be treated to a candlelit tour of the historic (and reportedly haunted) Monteith House. This is a family-friendly event and is appropriate (not too scary) for all ages. Each tour takes about an hour. Be forewarned: tickets generally sell out weeks before the tours, so reserve your spot today: 541-928-0911. AVA can securely process your payment over the phone. Tours begin on October 18th, at 6:00 p.m. (and hourly up to 9:00 p.m.) over two consecutive weekends. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children 12 and under.
VIP Ghost Hunt Join a group of professional and amateur ghostbusters as they set up monitoring equipment inside the Monteith House and search for spectral evidence. Adults only please, as the hunt extends into the “witching hour.” Cost is $55 per person and event admission is by reservation and pre-payment only, 541-928-0911.There are two dates set for the hunt: October 19th and 20th, 10:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.
Albany Veterans Day Parade
Albany is famous for the size and scope of its historic Veterans Day Parade — it is the biggest memorial parade in the state and has the distinction of being the largest parade of its kind west of the Mississippi River. Traditionally held on the actual holiday, the 67th annual parade begins at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, Nov 11, 2019.
Marching bands, bagpipes, living history re-enactment brigades, horses, llamas, canines, troops, veterans, floats and military vehicles make their way up Lyon Street and through downtown Albany. You’ll want to find a place to watch early as this is one of the highest attended events in our city. For more information, visit the event website.
Thanksgiving in Wine (and libations) Country Although the grapes were harvested earlier in the year, there’s still plenty of ways to sample the area’s bounty. Take your time — the Willamette Valley is a prize-winning international wine-growing region. We are also part of the craft-brew revolution. Plan several days in Albany and visit some of the best distilleries, breweries, ale-houses, tap houses and meaderies in the valley.
Start with a short drive from your hotel to the picturesque countryside. As you cross the Willamette River, you’re two miles from Springhill Cellars Winery. Over Thanksgiving weekend (Nov 29th – Dec 1st) the winery hosts its annual Federweisser Festival. Federweisser is a young, newly fermented varietal. Accompanying it (and Springhill’s French-method Pinot Noir), you’ll enjoy German music, handcrafted sausages and sauerkraut and a barn dance on Friday night. Visit Springhill’s website for more information.
Following your Springhill adventure, visit Deluxe Brewing and Sinister Distilling Company. The tasting room is open seven days per week and the flights they are a-flying! Take a free tour of the brewery and enjoy some of the best limited-edition whiskey in Oregon. Check their website for tasting hours.
A short walk from Deluxe and Sinister, enjoy brew pub gourmet grub and live music at Calapooia Brewery. And within close proximity, Three Sheets Brewery, No Rails Ale House, Growler Garage, The Barn at Hickory Station, and Vagabond serve up excellent brews, ciders and meads.
If you crave vibrant cocktails and a lively atmosphere, sample local wines and a charcuterie plate at Sweet Red Bistro; cocktails and tapas at the sophisticated Vault 244; or happy hour drinks and famous pork belly fries at Frankie’s.
Small Business Saturday – Shop Small
If you’re visiting Oregon from a neighboring state, you know we are one of the best places to shop small and unique on the West Coast—our entire state is sales-tax free!
Stroll through our Downtown Historic District and visit galleries, hip clothing boutiques, gift, garden and pet stores, a men’s haberdashery, and shops that feature antiques and vintage furnishings, jewelry and books, and even fly-fishing paraphernalia. Most downtown businesses participate in Shop Small 2019 (the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Nov 29th) with special sales.
You should have enough change left in your wallet to splurge on a first-run movie at the historic Pix Theater or enjoy a live theatrical performance at the Albany Civic Theater.
Christmas Storybook Land Bring the family to an enchanted “forest” of trees, miniature buildings, holiday lights, snowy scenery, mechanized displays, and visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Costumed characters roam the aisles, mesmerizing both toddlers and school-aged children. This enormous seasonal village is built by volunteers and is open Dec 6th – 20th at the Linn County Expo Center. All ages will love this activity and we think you’ll want to make it part of your new holiday tradition. This is a free event, although you are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for a local food pantry. Hours vary, so visit the event website for admission information.
Christmas Parlour Tour
Albany’s historic homeowners typically celebrate the holidays by hanging cedar swags, colorful lights and other seasonal regalia along porches and eaves. However, the Christmas Parlour Tour is an “insider’s” peek into the past.
Participating historic homes and buildings throughout the Hackleman, Monteith, and Downtown Commercial Districts open their doors to tour participants. Meet the owners and learn about the architecture, the original occupants, and the ins and outs of restoring historic structures.
You can opt to ride a vintage trolley or horse-drawn wagon to the various stops, or drive, walk, bike or hike the tour on your own. Tickets will be available online in mid-November. Tour proceeds benefit the non-profit Monteith House Museum. This year (2019) the tour will be held on Sunday, Dec 8th, from 2:00 to 7:00 p.m. Telephone 541-928-0911 for more information.
Downtown Twice Around Christmas Parade Looking for family fun and a traditional Christmas event? Enjoy an evening parade in Downtown Albany, as decorated floats and vintage vehicles usher Santa and Mrs. Claus to the community tree lighting — after circling “twice around” downtown. This year (2019), the event is held on Dec 1st, from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Visit the organizer website.
Christmas Caroling Wagon Ride Another affordable family event is Monteith House Society’s Christmas Caroling By Wagon. Beautiful draft horses are decked out in sleigh bell harnesses and vintage trolley and wagons are draped in colorful lights. After shouting “Jingle jingle all the way” through downtown, the ride ends at Monteith House Museum for holiday refreshments.
Caroling will be held this year (2019) on Dec 14, 15, 20th, 21st, and 22nd, in hourly slots between 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Ticket prices to be announced closer to the event. Telephone AVA 541-928-0911 for more information.
Back by popular demand, the Monteith Society is once again hosting a fun and spooky historical experience this October: a candlelit tour of the Monteith House Museum and ride on the 2019 Trolley of Terror; sponsored by the Monteith Historical Society.
Climb aboard the vintage spookily decorated trolley and hear stories from Albany’s past as you ride through the Historic District’s “haunted” places. Don’t miss this opportunity to get the inside story on Albany’s historic haunted homes and businesses. Tours begin at 6pm, 7pm, 8pm and 9pm on October 18th,19th, 25th and 26th.
The Trolley of Terror sells out every year almost a month ahead so be ready to pounce on your preferred date. Telephone AVA, beginning Thursday, September 19th, at 541-928-0911 or stop by our office Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (110 3rd Ave SE) and pay for your tickets in person. Only pre-paid tickets will hold your reservation. You can securely pay over the phone with us using a credit or debit card. We use PayPal to process payment.
Ticket pricing Adults, $12. Children 12 and under, $6.
And for the adults only, don’t forget to ask about the VIP Ghost Hunt. Very limited availability, super popular. This is where you get to follow professional “ghostbusters” as they set up their equipment at Monteith House during the witching hours of the night!
Ticket pricing Adults, $55. There are no discounts for children as this may not be appropriate for most kids. It requires staying up late (past midnight), hunting ghosts, discussion on hauntings and over a four-hour activity.
If you thought Albany and Linn County slowed down to a crawl once school started, think again! We figured you’d like to know about several September events coming your way—and we’ve highlighted a few below. We add to this list throughout the month, so check back regularly and you might discover a few more that you just can’t miss.
Get in on extended hours fun at your favorite Albany shops, restaurants, galleries and more. It’s time for First Friday in September, and here’s a few of the highlights:
Sept 7th Antiques In the Streets Come early and stay late. Find your perfect vintage lamp, dining chairs, or that one of a kind piece of antique jewelry and much much more. Dealers will be dealing from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and the Classic Car Show will please the hotrod fans in the family. Food and music too.
Sept 7th Albany Farmers’ Market Fall is nearly here and so is comfort food. Stock up on farm-fresh onions, peppers, garlic, herbs, squash, and other fall crops. Grab a coffee to go and munch a cookie or a pastry while you peruse the booths. Be sure to bring your reusable shopping bags and help our Oregon farmlands stay “green!”
Sept 7th Albany Beer Run Hmmmm. Maybe we should say walk instead of “run?” But whatever you choose to call it or however you manage to participate, the Calapooia Brewing Company is providing both fun and the run (and the beer). The $25 admission fee gets you in the door from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The Corvallis Lions Club will donate profits to Senior Dog Rescue of Oregon. This event is also dog-friendly for well-behaved canines on leashes. If you pre-register, you get a commemorative t-shirt and auto decal. For preregistration visit the event website.
Sept 10th Farm-to-Table Dinner at Midway Farms Join Midway Farms and eat a delicious 100% gluten free farm-to-table dinner. Castor is preparing the dinner from produce grown at Midway Farms. Seasonal cocktails and wine will be available. Come celebrate the bounty for $40/per person (buffet style dinner). Cocktails and wine are additional purchase. Tickets/RSVP required through Eventbrite.
Sept 11th History Bites at the Albany Regional Museum Our favorite noon time presentation is back at the museum. This month it’s all about “Theaters of Oregon.” Darrell Jabin toured and researched dozens of Oregon theaters to produce an entertaining presentation covering the unique architecture and history of Oregon Theaters. Light refreshments will be served. There is no charge for this program and a suggested donation of $2 for adults $1 for children is encouraged to support ARM’s programs. For more information telephone 541-967-7122 or visit armuseum.com
Sept 14th – 15th NW Buckskin Club Horse Show Come watch these fabulously colored horses trot their stuff at the Linn County Expo Center. Competitions, vendors, food. For more information visit the event Facebook page.
Sept 14th Second Annual Millersburg Celebration Come see what Millersburg is all about. This is great event brings several communities together for a fun day in the park including live entertainment featuring Jackson Michelson, a Kids Fun Zone, car show, half-marathon run/walk, beer and wine garden, vendors, food trucks and business expo. This event is free. For information visit the event website.
Sept 15th Farm-to-Table Dinner and Auction This fund-raising dinner and silent auction will help the Albany Regional Museum continue to provide education, and historical archives and exhibits to visitors and the community. Sybaris Bistro will be preparing the multi-course menu. For reservations (required) and ticketing, visit the event website.
Sept 15th Albany Latino Festival This free event includes cultural performances, children’s activities, delicious food, a fun run, and a community resource fair, including a legal clinic. Hosted by Linn-Benton Hispanic Advisory Committee. The festival is held at Monteith Riverpark, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sept 18th Albany Business Extravaganza Come see us on Sept 18th at the Albany Business Extravaganza. We will enter your name into hourly drawings for free rides to the Albany Historic Carousel & Museum at our booth. Check out what other businesses are up to and sample their wares. From retail to wholesale, discover and make new connections. The event runs from 2:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Linn County Expo Center. Sponsored by the Albany Chamber of Commerce.
Sept 20th The Greater Albany Rotary Club and the Albany Downtown Association cordially invite you to the 8th Annual Craft Brew Smackdown. Breweries, cider houses, distilleries and wineries will serve attendees their very finest local brews at various downtown businesses. Get your pass online and receive an extra two drink tickets. Tickets are $20 for an event tasting glass and 10 tasting tickets; you will be able to buy additional tickets along the route. Purchase your tickets online and you will receive two extra tasting tickets.
Sept 20th (and other dates Sept – Oct) “Mama Mia” at the Albany Civic Theater This sunny and funny tale unfolds on a Greek island paradise. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago. The story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter, and friendship, creating an unforgettable show. Get your tickets at albanycivic.org
Sept 21st (and Oct 26th) Cider Pressing at Thompson’s Mills You know fall is on the way when it’s time for apple cider! Come press your own at historic Thompson’s Mills from 11 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on the 21st, or save the date for Oct 26th if you can’t make it in September. Thompson’s Mills is a State of Oregon Heritage Site and admission is free; donations accepted per gallon of cider. For more info visit Thompson’s Mills State Heritage website.
Sept 24th Sweet Home Farmers’ Market 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Another great opportunity to buy fresh from the people that grow the ingredients you love to cook with.
Sept 26th Lebanon Farmers’ Market 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. A second opportunity this week to discover what’s fresh and healthy at the local farm and ranch.
Sept 26th Brownsville Farmers’ Market 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. It really is possible to take an afternoon to explore the countryside and shop local for a true farm-to-table dinner. Start in Lebanon, then make the short drive to Historic Brownsville. After you finish shopping, grab a coffee and a pastry or a glass of wine in downtown Brownsville. Any way you do it, it’s sure to be delicious.
Sept 28th Family Dinner Series – End of Summer Bounty – 6 p.m. at The Warehouse, 315 Lyon St. Celebrate the end of the farm-to-table dinner series and enjoy locally grown and produced appetizers, entrees, sides, desserts and beer and wine. Participating producers include Wahl Family Farm, Deluxe Brewery, Camron Ridge Farmstead, and Camas Country Mill. There’s bound to be some magic when The Warehouse chefs are at work. Complete dinner is $45 per person. By reservation only: 541-704-0076.
Back by popular demand, the Monteith Society is once again hosting a fun and spooky historical experience this October: a candlelit tour of the Monteith House Museum and ride on the Trolley of Terror; sponsored by the Monteith Historical Society. Why visit a haunted house when you can take in a haunted tour of a whole town?! Climb aboard the Trolley of Terror and hear stories from Albany’s past as you ride through the Historic District’s haunted places. Albany’s oldest building, the Monteith House, was built in 1849. Don’t miss this opportunity to get the inside story on Albany’s historic haunted homes and businesses. Tours begin at 6pm, 7pm, 8pm and 9pm on October 18th,19th, 25th and 26th.
Ticketing and reservation info – This event sells out every year almost a month ahead! Read more on the Trolley of Terror ticket info blog.
Mid-summer is officially upon us in Oregon’s Willamette Valley and Linn County is abuzz with exciting fun things to do. You can start out celebrating First Friday in downtown Albany, then take a short ride to the Linn County Expo Center for the Mother Earth News Fair. If gardening and milking goats isn’t your thing, maybe vintage Chevys are. And, the Albany Historic Carousel & Museum is turning two years old on August 17th with a family carnival fundraiser that’s not to be missed.
Look for whatever gets you out and movin’ in our list of featured August events below:
Month of August Threads In Time Living Rock Studios in Brownsville is hosting a fiber art show Wednesdays through Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be demonstrations of spinning and weaving, hands-on fun for kids, handmade quilts on display, and lots of beautiful handicrafts for sale: yarns, tapestries, scarves, shawls, and woven items. Living Rock is a free museum filled with Oregon history and unique rocks and minerals. Donations are gratefully accepted.
Aug 2nd First Friday at the Albany Regional Museum The museum is open late (until 8 p.m.) for your enjoyment. Stop by and enjoy art, refreshments, and learn more about Albany and Linn County history. Admission to ARM is free, but your donations help run the museum for everyone.
Aug 2nd First Friday at Gallery Calapooia So many great First Friday events in downtown Albany, and it all starts with a reception at Gallery Calapooia, on August 2nd, from 6 to 8 pm. This month, Lori Garcy and Cindi Conder are the featured artists. Come meet them and see their latest works.
Aug 3rd Mid-Summer Arts in the Park features performances from local dance, music, and theater companies, and much more, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m on Saturday the 3rd at Monteith Riverpark. This fun and interactive event is all about hands-on ways to get involved, from workshops to arts and crafts activities for kids. This annual festival is definitely a family-oriented affair. For more info visit http://midsummerarts.org
Aug 3rd – 4th Mother Earth News Fair is where the bees, honey, and biscuit lovers gather to learn about homesteading skills such as gardening, food preservation and animal husbandry. Experts in fields such as cheesemaking, mead production and lavender farming will host workshops and participate in demonstrations. Buy your specially discounted weekend pass now online and save $20 (pass is $5 for a limited time).
Aug 7th – 10th 48th Annual Vintage Chevy Northwest Meet Hosted by the Columbia River Region VCCA, this year’s theme is “Vistas, Valleys, Vineyards and Vintage Chevrolets.” A full program of events for those with classic cars is planned, including tours, judging, and an awards banquet.
The public can see the cars in one spot on Thursday, August 8th, at Timber Linn Park from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Vintage Chevrolet Car Show. Be sure to look for these amazing vintage cars as they make their way across Albany and Linn County. It’s a great photo opportunity for our local photographers. For more information visit the event website.
Aug 10th Family Bug Crawl From 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. join entomologist Richard Little and hunt for the often overlooked wildlife living along riparian and urban boundaries near trails. Expect to be thrilled and maybe chilled by the creepy crawlers you’ll encounter. You don’t have to be a family to love this event, so come one, come all. If you’d like, bring a magnifying glass and a bug collection box, plus sunscreen and a hat. Meet at Riverview Park, 1025 Mountain River Dr, in Lebanon. For additional information, visit the park’s trails website.
Aug 10th First Annual Car Show at the Mall If you didn’t get to see the cars at the vintage Chevy meet, Heritage Mall is hosting a car show behind the covered mall. There will be lots of hot rods, custom builds and classics, and food vendors. Hours for the free show are from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Aug 11th Covered Bridges Bicycle Tour Get your spokes a’ twirling! The 41st Annual Covered Bridge Bicycle Tour is a premier one-day cycling event sponsored by Mid Valley Bike Club. Rides vary from 40, 68, 85, or 101 miles on quiet country roads and through five well-preserved historic covered bridges. The tour starts and finishes at the Linn County Expo Center. For more information visit the event website.
Aug 12th – 16th Paddle Oregon This year’s trip will wind along 85.5 miles of river, beginning at Marshall Island Access in Junction City and end at Wallace Marine Park in Salem. The tour will camp in Bryant Park, August 14th, so even if you aren’t a participant this year, and you’d like to meet the paddlers or do some colorful photography, come down to the Albany Visitors Association booth at the park. Follow along with the Willamette River Water Trail maps provided in the “more information” links below.
For more information visit: https://paddleoregon.org/
Aug 14th History Bites at the Albany Regional Museum Are martinis shaken or stirred? Well if its the former, you might want to come on down to the noontime presentation at the museum this month—it’s all about how to prepare and stay safe in case the Cascadia Earthquake hits. The presentation starts at noon. You can bring your own lunch and learn tips and scientific facts while you nosh. As always, the presentation is free, but donations to keep the museum open to all are graciously accepted. For more information visit https://www.armuseum.com
Aug 16th (and dates through and beyond August) It’s the ACT Youth Summer Camp presentation of the musical “Seussical Jr.” at the Albany Civic Theater. Horton the Elephant, the Cat in the Hat and all of your favorite Dr. Seuss characters spring to life onstage in this fantastical musical extravaganza from Tony-winners, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. For information and tickets visit: albanycivic
Aug 17th It’s a second anniversary party at the Albany Historic Carousel & Museum—so you don’t want to miss the “Carnival at the Carousel” celebration. Expect carnival games of the past, old-fashioned carnival characters, a cakewalk, carousel-made photo-boards, kissing booth, and much MUCH more. Free admission and 25 cent game tickets help this fundraiser be accessible for all. For more information visit http://albanycarousel.com
Aug 17th Vets Helping Vets 12th Annual Picnic Bring the family and spend the day at Timber Linn Memorial Park enjoying live entertainment. Hourly raffle drawings for prizes and a silent auction. Enjoy a free lunch featuring hamburgers, hotdogs, chips and soda, but please bring salads or desserts to share. For information telephone 541-791-4357.
August 22nd Tomato Day at the Lebanon Downtown Farmers’ Market. Come taste a variety of tomatoes and tasty dishes made starring the humble but glorious tomato. Get tips from OSU Master Gardeners and learn the best preserving methods for this ultimate sunshiny fruit. So many tomatoes, so little time to eat them all!
August 23rd -24th Ninth Annual Albany Coin Challenge Every year for the past eight years, the Albany Visitors Association has sponsored a family Geocaching event over the Northwest Art & Air Festival weekend. This year’s challenge will begin with a meet and greet on Friday, August 23rd, from 5:00 PM -7:00 PM at Albany Mennonite Church, 3405 Kizer Ave NE, prior to the hot air balloon “night glow” event at Timber Linn Park. On Saturday, August 24th, the hunt will begin at 10:00 AM at Allan’s Coffee & Tea Wholesale Distribution Warehouse parking lot, 1852 Fescue St SE. Approximately 175 keepsake coins and passports have been created. Each passport lists the coordinates for 10 local businesses, five historic homes and five non-business locations, along with a question that needs to be answered at each location. Every person completing the passport is guaranteed a one-of-a-kind trackable geocoin. The event runs from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM; coins are available for pickup from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM at the Allan’s coffee parking lot. More information is available on the geocaching website or telephone Don Bacher at 541-974-1068.
Aug 23rd – 24th You’ve waited all year for the hot air balloons and shaved ice to arrive, so mark those calendars for the NW Art & Air Festival! Friday night, the balloon regatta lights up on the grounds under the night sky, creating a magical skyscape. During Friday and Saturday, artists fill the grassy meadows of Timber-Linn Park with booths containing a wide variety of handcraft and artwork. Visit the family zone, food vendors, and live music throughout the day. Rick Springfield performs a free concert at the Timber Linn Ampitheater on Saturday night. Festival parking is $10, admission is free. For more Art & Air information, visit the festival website.
SUNDAY SCHEDULE CHANGE Although the fair schedule does not run through Sunday this year (please note this a change from previous years), on the 25th there will be an early morning balloon launch at 6:45 a.m. and Young Eagles flights at the airport. (Registration for Young Eagles begins at 9:00 a.m.) The airport is hosting all kinds of activities on Sunday, including booths, food and drink. Please check the Infinite Air Center website for Sunday’s schedule.
Aug 24th Head on down the road to historic Brownsville and participate in “Hands On History” at the Linn County Historical Museum. This free family event includes trying out pioneer skills, crafts, and cooking. Listen to tales of long ago, dance in the street, and try on pioneer garb at the museum and Moyer House. For event hours and other information telephone 541-466-3390 or visit https://linnparks.com/museums/linn-county-historical-museum/
Aug 31st It might be the tail end of the month, but you can still find all the delicious things to eat at the Albany Farmers’ Market on Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Stock up on honey, jam, berries, greens, bread, and meats at the market. Enjoy a cup of coffee and a freshly baked gluten-free cupcake with mile-high frosting. So many yummy things, so little time—so bring your grocery bags down to the market early at 4th and Ellsworth, and start exploring!
Just so you know, September will be a gorgeous month to visit our fair city as well. Here’s a sneak preview of what’s happenin’ below:
Sept 15th Festival Latino 2019 This free event includes cultural performances, children’s activities, delicious food, a fun run, and a community resource fair, including a legal clinic. Hosted by Linn-Benton Hispanic Advisory Committee. The festival is held at Monteith Riverpark, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ¡Venga a celebrar la Cultura Latinoamericana en el Festival Latino de Albany 2019! Evento Gratuito para el público. Habrá comida para comprar, actividades para los niños, espectáculos culturales, carrera/caminata familiar y una feria de recursos comunitarios, incluyendo consultas con abogados legales! No se lo pierda! Se tomarán inscripciones para la feria de recursos, puestos de comida y música entre el 15 de julio al 15 de agosto.
It is without doubt, the absolute perfect time for a road trip in Linn County. Fields glow, swallows dive and swoop, white-tailed deer walk their fawns two by two, and puffy mashed-potato clouds float lazily in the skies. Happily, we can recommend several 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, Thompson’s Mills in Shedd, Oregon.
Travel 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.
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.
Currently, 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.
Address: 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.
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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.
Midway’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.
If 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.
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.
July 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.”
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.
July 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).
Food 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/
July 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
July 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
Have a safe and happy Fourth from all of us at Albany Visitors Association. For more great July activities, read our blog.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
June 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.