Explorers, are you ready?
It’s time again to head out into the wilds of Albany for the 2020 Albany Summer Explorer/Passport Program, beginning Monday, July 6.
The program is free and offered through a partnership with the Albany Visitors Association (AVA), City of Albany, Albany Regional Museum, Albany Downtown Association and the Monteith Historical Society.
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, we will be taking a new physically distanced approach to the old program. All of our Explorer/Passport sponsors are following state and federal guidelines about re-opening businesses, parks and keeping children safe.
With that in mind, some changes have been made. In past years, the program started at the beginning of summer with a kick-off party and concluded at the end of August with a party to draw for the grand prizes. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, those parties will not take place. And passports will not be handed out at the Albany Visitors Association. Instead, kids can download and print a form to create their own passport (more on that later). And they will not be asked to enter businesses in order to retrieve information or have their passports stamped.
That doesn’t mean there won’t be plenty of adventure and weekly treasure to be had. Here’s how it will work:
The Passport: Kids can download and print a passport form here: 2020 Passport. Follow the directions to create and color the passport (this is part of the first-week challenge: more on that later!), then email the AVA at email@example.com to register. If you don’t have a way to print a passport, one can be picked up at the Albany Historic Carousel & Museum. Then, let the adventure begin!
The Hunt: Participating businesses and locations will each display a poster with a picture of a carousel animal. In the passport, find the corresponding location and write down the name of the animal. There are 28 locations and they do not have to be done in order. Take your time and have fun! When finished, drop off your passport on or before August 25 in the drop slot at the AVA office, 110 3rd Ave. SE in downtown Albany. Include your address if you would like your passport returned.
The Challenges and Prizes: Watch the Albany Passport Program Facebook page and/or emails for weekly challenges to win prizes, donated by the participating businesses, all summer long. The first challenge is to post a photo of your completed passport on the Facebook page. At the end of the summer, participants’ names will also be entered into a drawing for more fabulous prizes. Passport holders do not have to visit every location to be entered in the final drawing. Good luck!
The Partners: Businesses and locations who graciously have donated their time and prizes are: Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, Albany Downtown Association, Albany Historic Carousel & Museum, Albany Regional Museum, AVA, The Frame House, ATA Martial Arts, BJ’s Ice Cream, Brick Circuit, Bricks & Joysticks, Brigitte’s Place Fine Fabrics, Gallery Calapooia, Infinite Air Center, Lake Shore Lanes, Margin Coffee, Mid-Willamette Family YMCA, Midway Farms, Monteith House Museum, Natural Sprinkles, Pix Theater, Shortstops, Southpaw’s, Spearit Beads, Talking Water Gardens/City of Albany, Downtown Carnegie Library, Thompson’s Mills State Heritage Site, Urban Ag Supply and Wicked Comics.
The program is geared toward elementary-aged children, but their siblings, parents and grandparents are welcome to come along.
Although things might have been delayed a bit this year for the Annual AVA Photo Contest, we want you to know that the AVA team has been working hard behind the scenes to procure the judges results.
We also extended the People’s Choice award through the entire month of April, which helped give our photographers even more “exposure” across social media, including Facebook and Instagram.
We truly missed getting together with all the shutterbugs who submitted their work, and seeing the images up on the big screen at The Pix Theater. We hope you enjoy this little video of the winning photos. And make sure to check out all of the images submitted on our Flickr pages.
Congratulations to all and thank you for transforming a challenging year into a beautiful reflection of our community, (See the full list of winners below the video.)
*Featured image top of this page, Albany Farmers’ Market with Claudia the Salmon, by Dan Bateman.
Here is a list of the winners, along with the category, placement, photographer, photo title, and location where the photos were taken.
3rd Katrina Wilson – “What’s Up Doc” – Albany Farmers Market
2nd Lance Gross – “Famous Burgers and Big Smiles” – Downtown Albany
1st Dan Bateman -“Wood Fired Delight” – Albany Farmers Market
3rd Camron Settlemier – “This Tree is Lit!!” – Downtown Albany
2nd Don Bacher – “Mommy, I Like This One” – Oregon Mennonite Festival, Albany
1st Dan Bateman -“Vintage Elegance” – Albany Tweed Ride, Albany
3rd Jonna Niles – “Castle in the Sky” – Downtown Albany
2nd Camron Settlemier – “Long Night’s Moon” – Downtown Albany
1st Stephanie Low – “Wisteria House” – Monteith District, Albany
3rd Christine Withers – “Garden Sun” – Downtown Albany
2nd James Williams – “Gateway to Albany” – Ellsworth Bridge, Albany
1st Barry Hoffman – “Light Up Train” – Albany Amtrak and Transportation Station
Lexi Gross – “Picturesque Downtown Building” – Downtown Albany
Life in the Community
3rd Melinda Martin – “September 11th” – Albany Courthouse
2nd Camron Settlemier – “July 4th Fireworks” – Downtown Albany
1st Dan Bateman – “Square-dance Shoes” – Heritage Mall, Albany
3rd Pavla Zakova-Laney – “Sunset at Scott Lake” – Three Sisters Wilderness, OR
2nd James Williams – “Autumn Splendor” – McDowell Creek Park, Lebanon, OR
1st Camron Settlemier – Switchback, Hood River, OR
3rd Melinda Martin – “Sheep” – Linn County, OR
2nd Dave Maestas – “Winter Sunset” – Waverly Lake, Albany
1st Stephanie Low – “Japanese Garden” – Lebanon, OR
Dan Bateman – “The Pizza’s THAT Good” – Albany Farmers’ Market
Jonna Niles – “Tulips” – Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, Woodburn, OR
Melinda Martin – “Vintage Snow Scene” – Albany
Don Bacher – “Reflections” – Oregon Mennonite Festival, Albany
Here’s a great fun activity for your stay-home-stay-safe day: Help us select the winner of the People’s Choice Award in the 2020 Albany Visitors Association Photo Contest.
It’s easy: Just go to our Flickr account and connect to our 2020 contest albums. You’ll find several categories to look through. As you make your way through, select your favorites by clicking on the “star” icon. (You can only vote once on any of the images.)
We will leave voting up for the entire month of April,so help share the news.
And why not make it a family activity that you can involve the kids in? Try and see if you can count the number of different animals in the photos or try and name the various sites you see. Feel free to post your totals here in the comments. And keep tuned to Facebook for more family online fun.
Do you pride yourself on being a trivia expert? Want to take an overnight road trip from Portland or Eugene and see the Willamette Valley from the air? Do you like wine tasting and good food? If you answered “yes,” there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy participating in our “Spring Giveaway Contest.”
Albany Visitors Association along with our partners at KEZI have launched another fab giveaway package and you have until March 5th to enter. Prizes include a demo flight at the Infinite Air Center, wine tasting for two at Springhill Cellars Winery, a gift certificate to the House of Noodle (can you say ramen?), rides on the Albany Historic Carousel, and an overnight stay at the Albany Phoenix Inn.
It’s free to enter, just make sure to beat the deadline (March 5th) and good luck! ENTER HERE (KEZI)
It’s that time of year, when Albany-area shutterbugs dust off their lenses and head out to find the perfect shot. Although it might be a bit cold and rainy, there’s still plenty of breaks where sunshine and majestic scenes reveal themselves. Join the fun and enter the 2020 AVA Photo Contest.
EXTENDED DEADLINE! MARCH 13TH AT 5 PM. You can download entry forms (for both video and still photography), review the rules, and instructions for submitting your work in the “Download entry forms” section at the bottom of this page.
Good luck. First- through third-place ribbons will be awarded in each of the eight categories; Scenic, Landmarks, Events, Life in the Community, Open, Historic Albany, Culinary and Student. Gift certificates and ribbons will also be awarded for overall Champion, Reserve Champion, People’s Choice and Staff Choice. All of the winning photographers will be entered in a special drawing for $200.
A reception for all contestants will be held at The Pix Theater on Saturday, April 18, 2020, from 10 a.m. to noon. See your photos on the big screen and enjoy tasty treats. Winners in all categories will be entered into a drawing for a cash prize. Please come and join us as we hand out ribbons and watch a special memorial slide show honoring our departed friend and photographer, Oliver “Jerry” Anderson.
We ask that your work specifically feature Albany. Your images of life in Albany and surrounding Linn County (Benton County for North Albany) are what we most commonly use in our publications, advertisements, and social media. Imagine what visitors might like to see—people enjoying themselves outdoors, fantastic food and drink (micro-breweries, distilleries, winemakers), events, hiking, biking, paddling, and the beauty and majesty of our city’s historic architecture.
We never get enough action shots of people out and about, so think about staging something with friends; just make sure you get their permission and a release form signed (see forms section below) if there are recognizable people in your work.
Special effects Images that have digitally applied effects (such as montages, double exposures or vignettes) cannot be used in AVA publications or national advertising. Images manipulated in photo apps with effects such as frames or special borders also cannot be used.
Signatures or watermarks Images that retain watermarks or photographer signatures cannot be used in publications or ads. We will always credit the photographer by name in any publication or online. If you wish to submit an image with your signature or watermark, please note it may be seen by a limited audience.
Resolution and size Additionally, image size and shape are very important. Photos should be large file sizes for print (biggest size image setting on your camera, 300 dpi or larger); smaller mobile phone images may be blurry when enlarged. Photos should be standard portrait or landscape since square, panoramic, or custom ratios are more difficult to place within ads.
The following defines our contest categories and gives you an idea of what we are looking for.
Scenic: Visit our parks, the Willamette River, hiking trails, vineyards, and surrounding rural vistas. Find something you think will make someone want to come visit us, and that represents the unique charm of our region. Rustic barns, farm- stands, wildflowers, the Willamette Valley with distant snow- capped mountains—our great outdoors is chock full of amazing scenic shots.
Landmarks: What is your landmark when you tell friends to meet you in Albany? Is it the Historic Carousel or maybe the clock tower at the Albany Train Station? A landmark is unique to Albany and lends itself to the quintessential identity of our city. Even an old building with a Victorian painted advertisement on a brick wall or a statue could be a landmark.
Events: Albany is an event-driven community. Think about our parades, our Christmas horse-drawn wagon rides. There’s always an event happening monthly—from AKC national dog shows at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center to National Historic Preservation Month, there’s never a shortage of what to do! Make sure to check our events calendar and find something fun to photograph.
Life in the community: What is the quality of life in Albany? We are farmers, we are vintners and craft-brewers, we are artists, we are blue-collar welders and white collar executives, we are teachers… and we know how to have a great time no matter what we do. Help tell a visual tale about how we practice our daily lives.
Historic Albany: If you live in Albany, you know that we have deep historical roots. Our city has four nationally recognized historic districts. Albany’s architectural styles vary from the mid- 1800s to the 1950s. Grab a copy of “Seems Like Old Times” and document your personal visual tour or join us on one of the seasonal guided tours.
Culinary: We live in the proverbial bread-basket of culinary delights: farm-to- table special dinners; farmer’s markets; renowned and award-winning chefs; cozy coffee houses, bakeries; wineries and breweries; German and Hungarian restaurants. Our city bubbles over with bounty. Visit a local restaurant or a unique foodie or drink venue and let people know what delicious rewards await them.
Student: For young photographers ages 17 and under.
Open: All things Oregon! All phases of life including nature at her finest—animals, waterfalls, rainbows, cycling, old kitchen sinks (wink wink)—you name it. If it doesn’t fit into one of the categories above, submit it under “open.”
The contest is open to all ages, all skill levels—from amateur to professional or hobbyist. We encourage teachers to involve their students.
Winning photos will be on display at the Albany Visitors Association, the Amtrak Train Station. Ribbons and prizes will be awarded for Overall and Reserve Champions, Individual Category winners, and People’s Choice at a reception. Those attending the reception, the time and place of which will be announced, will have the opportunity to win door prizes. All winners will be entered into a special drawing for a Gift Card in the amount of $200—shop for a new lens, memory card, or whatever you like! (If you’d like to see the video of the 2019 contest winning photos, scroll to below the entry forms section.)
You must fill out all required forms to complete your entry. Click on the link to download to your computer and print. Please submit all pertinent paper work with your entry. *Note: Remember to submit the model release form for entries with people in your photos and videos.
Download the photo contest rules PDF (*Please note, the “open” category was inadvertently left off this list of rules. Please see above categories for 2020. Confirm that you are entering in the open category when you fill out your entry form.) 2020 Photo Rules
Download the photo contest entry form PDF Entry Form
Download the photo contest release form PDF Photo contest release form
Download the model release form PDF Model release form
All entries must be received by us on Friday, March 6, 2020, by 5:00 p.m.
*Featured image for this blog post of the Pacific Northwest Art & Air Festival by Oliver J. Anderson, from the 2018 AVA Photo Contest
It’s not too early to plan ahead for the most popular winter quilt show in Oregon, as the Willamette Valley Quilt Festival arrives on January 31 and February 1, 2020, at the Linn County Expo Center.
A show patterned from innovation
As Americans, we possess a rich legacy of quilt-making and design, so it’s not surprising quilt festivals have become increasingly popular over the last decade. Quilts are complex works of colorful folk art, as mysterious as a corn-maze — and festivals are the perfect place to showcase local talent.
Several years ago, two Albany business owners teamed up to plan a winter quilt show. The Rich family (of Rich’s Sewing & Vacuum) and their staff, and the owners of Albany’s Bolts to Blocks (Barb and Pete Schoonover), launched the first Willamette Valley Quilt Festival in 2018. Their idea was to hold the event during the rainy season and provide quilt designers a creative outlet to counteract the mid-winter blues.
Last year’s quilt festival was a rousing success and attracted thousands of visitors to the Linn County Expo Center. There were over 300 quilts on display and a wide assortment of vendors, classes and demonstrations.
At the 2020 show (January 31st through February 1st) the number of vendors has once again increased and will include booths filled with tools, machines, handcrafted items such as handbags and scarves, quilting kits and templates, fabric, clothing, home decor and, of course, an amazing gallery of quilts.
The quilt contest portion of the show will interest art and craft lovers, whether they sew or not. Wide aisles beckon with a cornucopia of pattern. Quilts of all sizes reflect the imagination of their creators. You’ll even be able to vote for your favorite, if you can decide which you like best.
A $3,000 Babylock Soprano sewing machine will be awarded as the contest’s grand prize. The “Mayor’s Choice Award” from Albany Mayor Sharon Konopa and the Albany Visitors Association will be filled with goodies like wine from Springhill Cellars Winery and gift certificates to local restaurants and businesses.
Classes and demonstrations
Whether you are an experienced quilter or just starting out, workshops will be offered throughout Friday and Saturday at the main festival location (Linn County Expo Center). Instruction topics include using Oregon-made templates by Westalee, ruler work, embroidery, quilt design and laser-cut appliqué.
On Thursday, January 30, a special pre-show workshop will be taught by the festival’s 2020 Featured Quilter, Sheila Sinclair Snyder, owner of Licensed to Quilt in Junction City, Oregon. Snyder will guide participants in creating quilt paintings on rustic barn wood. The workshop will be held at Bolts to Blocks new location, 950 SE Geary, Suite C, in Albany.
All classes require pre-registration; contact Rich’s Sewing & Vacuum of Albany to reserve your space. (See contact information in the “What to know if you go” section.)
Demonstrations and presentations conducted throughout the main expo hall are free with paid admission.
What to know if you go
The 2020 Willamette Valley Quilt Festival will be held 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday, January 31 and February 1. The event is inside the main exhibit hall at the Linn County Expo Center, 3700 Knox Butte Rd. in Albany, Oregon. Admission is $7, parking is free. Tickets may be purchased at the show or pre-paid online.
Pre-show activities on Thursday, January 30th and workshops on Friday and Saturday require registration. Contact Rich’s Sewing & Vacuum in Albany for workshop pricing and times. For more information telephone 541-926-4842.
If you are traveling to the show and plan to spend the night, get a special Albany Visitors Association rate with our featured hotels, the Best Western Plus Prairie Inn or Quality Inn & Suites by asking for the “AVA Rate” when reserving your room.
Best Western Plus Prairie Inn 541-928-5050
Quality Inn & Suites 541-928-0921
Food and fun
While at the show, enjoy delicious food truck selections from Grindz Hawaiian, Natalie’s Mexi-Kart, Dajoy’s Kettle Korn and Double J BBQ. An onsite espresso bar and catered kitchen selections will be operating within the main exhibit hall.
For ideas about where to meet friends for dinner after the show, make sure to visit the Albany Visitors Association booth in the main exhibit hall. We’ll have restaurant guides, city maps and everything you need for a great night or two on the town. We can also help you find places for breakfast and brunch, desserts and more. Check our “Spirited Cuisine” page for a full list.
You can also download the “Albany Explorer App” for iPhone or Android. Simply search for the Albany Explorer App in Google Play or Apple App Stores. The app is jam-packed with fun things to do.
And no trip to Albany is complete without a fun-filled visit to the Albany Historic Carousel & Museum. Ride tokens are $2 each and admission is free.
We also recommend stopping by the Albany Regional Museum and Monteith House Museum to learn more about Oregon pioneer history and the local culture, and take a self-guided tour through one of our four National Historic Districts. Visit our “Dive Into History” web page for more information on Albany’s historic roots.
See you at the show!
First of all, congratulations to all of this year’s winners in this colorful display of community holiday spirit, and thanks to all of the participants. Below is a map and list of winners for this year’s contest. So, travel around at dusk and enjoy all of the submissions. Bundle up, pack the popcorn, a thermos of hot cocoa and warm up the car. It’s time to see the lights!
And the runners-up are…
Winners will receive a Winner Award Certificate and a $50 gift card to Albany’s downtown first-run movie house, The Pix Theatre.
Are you the Albany neighbor whose fantastic yard decorations are on everyone’s holiday must-see list? Then make sure you enter the “33rd Annual Night Time Magic Holiday Light Contest” in 2020. Albany Visitors Association hosts this fun event for our community each December.
You can take inspiration for your display from a family tradition, a favorite holiday movie or book, music and other creative arts, or whatever strikes your fancy. Lights can be any color, as well as clear. If you have large exterior decorations, light them up!
Once all entries have been received and the judging is complete, we will publish a map of the participating addresses so that visitors can take a festive tour of the neighborhood.
Entry forms are available at the AVA office, M-F, 9 – 5, Sat 9 – 3, at 110 3rd Ave SE, Albany, OR or download a PDF entry form. Deadline for the 2020 submissions will be announced at a later date *The contest is open to Albany city-limits residents only.
Telephone us if you have any questions: 541-928-0911.
*Large photo at top of page by Cathy Webb.
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.
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.
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”
1st Place, Oliver J. Anderson, “Home Tour Snacks”
2nd Place, Cathy Webb, “Tomato Assortment”
3rd Place, Katrina Wilson “Takena Tomatoes”
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”
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”
1st Place, Stephanie Low, “Welcome to Albany”
2nd Place, Oliver J. Anderson, “Monteith Adorned”
3rd Place, Camron Settlemier, “Thompson’s Mill in Motion”
1st Place, Pavla Zakova-Laney, “Handsome Buck”
2nd Place, Cathy Webb, “The Guardian”
3rd Place, Camron Settlemier, “2 Flakes Short of a Blizzard”
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!
The public is invited to a big party, Saturday, April 20, 2019, for the free AVA Photo Contest Awards at The Albany Pix Theatre, 321 SW 2nd Ave in Downtown Albany.
We can say that quite possibly, “You get a prize, she gets a prize, they get a prize – but not without showing up!” Door prize drawings will be awarded to several lucky attendees. We also hear that snacks will be served – – yum.
AVA received over 200 photos that our esteemed judges selected this year’s winners from. While we can’t reveal who won just yet, come and join us for the party and see all of the entries on the big screen.
Watch this space for an updated video of the winners. In the meanwhile, head on over to our Flickr albums and catch a glimpse at what you’ll see at the party.
Albany Visitors Association is proud to announce the winners of our 2018 Annual Night Time Magic Holiday Light Program. The winning displays can be seen at the following addresses:
“Traditional & Eclectic,” 2110 Geary St SE, Albany, OR 97322
“Christmas Joy,” 3849 Oakmont Loop NE, Albany, OR 97322
“Animals’ Christmas Party,” 531 Fairmont Drive NE, Albany, OR 97322
“Candy Cane Come Back,” 3522 Pacific Blvd SW, Albany, Oregon 97321
“Holiday Greetings in Historic Albany,” 401 Main St SE, Albany, OR 97321
“Sharing Holiday Cheer Inside and Out,” 503 West First Ave, Albany OR 97321
“Traditional Christmas,” 222 4th Ave SE
Winners receive an awards certificate and a $50 gift card to Albany’s first-run movie house, The Pix Theatre. Photos of the winning homes will also be on display at the Pix. Download a PDF of the locations map or stop by AVA at 110 3rd SE (on the corner of 3rd and Lyon) and ask for a printed copy.
Selected winning entries to the Night Time Magic Program are determined by a panel of judges who conduct drive-by sightings between December 10th and 15th. Homes must have been formally entered into the contest.
This is the 31st year that Albany Visitors Association has helped to make the holidays bright with this community-wide contest. If you are interested in being a part of the 2019 contest next December, contact the Albany Visitors Association, 110 3rd Ave SE, 541-928-0911 or sign up for our e-newsletter to receive future announcements.
Thank you to all the homeowners who participate in this program, without your efforts, this wonderful community tradition would not be possible.
Don’t forget to visit some of the winners from last year (list below) to see what they might be up to this year. We heard that the Piedmont Avenue cul-de-sac isa study in motion and color!
Holiday Light Award winners 2017