June is busting’ out all over – with events

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

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

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

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

June 7th Plan on celebrating First Friday in Downtown Albany with all the usual suspects, including the Albany Regional Museum, Urban Ag Supply, The Natty Dresser, Sweet Red Bistro, Gallery Calapooia and others. Check in on June’s featured artists at the free reception at Gallery Calapooia: Marilyn Lindsley’s polymer clay jewelry and Marjorie Kinch’s watercolors will be on display. Stop in to meet the artists and enjoy light refreshments and live music. 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 Visitor’s Association (110 Third Ave SE) and start visiting, collecting stamps, and possibly win prizes. The Albany Summer Passport is a free children’s program offered through a partnership of the City of Albany, Albany Visitors Association, Albany Downtown Association, Albany Regional Museum, and the Monteith Historical Society. This project is supported in part by a grant from the Oregon Heritage Commission, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and the Oregon Cultural Trust. For more info, contact AVA at 541.928.0911.

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 29th – July 7th Help the puppies and kitties of SafeHaven Humane Society. Don’t miss the “Stars ’n’ Stripes” golf benefit tournament. The nine day tournament will be held at the Golf Club of Oregon, and contribute to saving thousands of animals. Prizes will be awarded in several categories. Golf Club of Oregon is located at 905 NW Springhill Dr, in Albany. For more information, visit https://safehavenhumane.org/starsandstripes/

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

Wine Walk Tickets Available Now

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

Don’t whine—wine! Get your tickets ahead of time for the Albany Downtown Wine Walk. The walk takes place on May 3rd, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $15 and include a wine glass, and five tasting tickets.

Additional tickets may be purchased in scrip bundles, $5 for five tastings.

Head over to our office on 3rd and Lyon for your entrance to this tasty evening.

Open Season – Albany Farmers’ Market

In 2019, the Albany Farmers’ Market enters its 42nd season. This delicious Albany tradition is Oregon’s longest continuously operating outdoor farmers’ market. Opening day’s musical forecast includes guitar licks by David Rogers.

Photo of brightly colored bell peppers spilling out of a rattan basket at the Oregon Albany Farmers' MarketSince this is the Year of the Pig in Chinese tradition, the market sought local pork producers. Three Linn County pork ranchers will now showcase their product to eager shoppers. Participating farms are Anchor Ranch, Gap Road Meat Company, and PK Pastures. Other producers sell a selection of locally-grown chicken, beef, and lamb.

Krakelen, another new vendor, will sell their made-on-the-spot wood-fired pizzas topped with many locally sourced ingredients.

Since the market requires that its products must be local and farm direct, the size of the farmers’ market expands and contracts over the outdoor market season. Some farmers grow inside large greenhouses called high tunnels that keep the soil a little drier and warmer, allowing them to bring vegetables a bit earlier in the season. Not all market vendors have access to this method,  which is one reason why you might see see what you are looking for one week, but not another.

The Albany season begins with fewer than 20 vendors, depending on weather earlier in the year. As hot weather crops develop, the vendor count builds to about 30. Albany’s market is open for a 32-week long season. Early season offerings feature spring raab and many other greens, potatoes and other storage vegetables, radishes, fresh turnips, carrots, rhubarb, preserved foods, honey, eggs, meat, poultry, and cheese plus nursery plants and cut flowers. On the other extreme, the last market in November will feature much of what will be on Thanksgiving tables the next day.

Power of Produce Kids’ Club in Albany

Graphic image showing a big illustration of a carrot and advertising the PoP Club for kidsThe Albany Farmers’ Market and its community partners are supporting a 12-week “Power of Produce Club” (PoP) June 15th through August 31st. Children aged five through 12 will receive $4 in market tokens to spend each time they attend the market during the program dates. Club members can attend activities produced with support from community partners like the Albany YMCA and Linn County Master Gardeners.

The PoP Club is funded with local small business sponsorships and larger grants, including one from the Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund, which has supported anti-hunger efforts in Linn and Benton County for many years.  The Albany Elks Lodge #359, which is seeking to renew its national grant supporting PoP in Albany, will assist with cooking and planting activities.

Albany’s club is modeled after the Oregon City Farmers Market PoP Club, and has spread to other farmers’ markets across the country. 

What to know if you go

The Albany Farmers’ Market is open on Saturdays, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m, April to November. Located in the City Hall parking lot at 4th and Ellsworth Streets, it is within walking distance of historic downtown and unique shopping and dining experiences. And while at the market, fresh baked cookies, muffins, pies, pastries, and hot or iced beverages are available for a grazing brunch.

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

Join us at The Pix for the 2019 Photo Contest Awards

Photo of owners of the Albany Pix Theater standing in front of the box-office and holding balloons that say "Shop Small."

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.

11 Cool Things to Do Mid-March in Albany

Photo of three rodents called nutria on a grassy parcel of landMarch 13th, noon to 1:00 p.m. The Albany Regional Museum presents History Bites. You either hate ‘em or are fascinated by ‘em—nutria! Discover how this once farmed rodent became an invasive species. Mike Martin is the presenter and his family once owned and operated an Albany nutria ranch. The lunchtime presentation is free, and will include light refreshments. Donations to the non-profit ARM will be graciously accepted. Visit the museum’s website for more details https://www.armuseum.com

March 15th through the 17th The Oregon Woodturning Symposium comes to the Linn County Fair & Expo Center. See stunning artistry in wood! One of the most exciting things about this event is the vendor gallery. Attendees will also be able to see the latest woodturning products, equipment and tools, and connect with other woodworkers. For more information: 503-763-0983. www.woodturningsymposium.com

March 16th, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., get your breakfast on at Applebee’s Grill & Bar, with the Flapjack Fundraiser for Linn County Special Olympics. All proceeds from the breakfast stay in Linn County. For more information, visit the event Facebook page.

March 16th, 9:00 a.m.  iRun for Kids Each year, approximately 700 runners of all ages and abilities gather at West Albany High School for the annual iRun for Kids race. Proceeds benefit the Albany Public Schools Foundation and its programs, including classroom grants for teachers, enrichment opportunities for kids, and scholarships. This is a great run for the serious racer as well as a fun run for all ages. There’s a 10 Mile and a 5K Run/Walk, plus the Little Leprechaun Dash: (2 laps on the WAHS track) Telephone 541-979-2773 for more information or get online registration information at irunforkids

Photo of young Ugandan children in traditional costume March 17th Ugandan Kids Choir Don’t miss this gorgeous music and dance by children. On March 17th at 5:00 p.m., the Ugandan Kids Choir, a group of talented Ugandan children, will perform at Albany First United Methodist Church. The choir has performed nationwide at churches, schools, at Disneyland, on KING 5 Seattle Television’s “New Day Northwest,” and at Qwest Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks. The Albany concert will feature traditional African song and dance. Admission is free, and any donations will support the choir’s travel through North America.

March 17th Oregon’s Military Heritage Join the Linn County Historical Society for the presentation “Oregon Military Heritage” at 2:00 p.m. Held at the Lakeside Center (in the Mennonite Village), the speaker is Warren Aney, coauthor of the book Oregon Military. Image collections that will be shared are from the Brigadier General James B. Thayer Oregon Military Museum, the Oregon Historical Society, county historical societies, other regional and national archives, and the authors’ personal collections. Copies of the book will also be for sale. Lakeside Center is located at 2180 54th Ave SE Albany, OR 97322.

Photo of a pre-teen girl sitting on a hand carved wooden elephant on the Albany Historic CarouselMarch 22nd Friday Family Fun Night at the Albany Carousel From 5;30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. enjoy a family night out at the carousel with unlimited rides and lots of activities.  Admission is $5.00 per person and children under three are FREE.  For more information telephone 541.497.2934.

March 22nd (and other dates throughout March and early April) The Albany Civic Theater presents “Too Good To Say Goodbye.” Redmon Hunter, a best-selling author of pulp fiction, has created an unusual world for himself. Recently, writer’s block has set in, so all the characters from his works in progress have set up semi-permanent residence in literary limbo. Redmon’s chance meeting with a beautiful, young pop literature professor, sets the wheels in motion for a madcap comedy where wild imaginary characters clash with real world snobs. For performance dates, times, and tickets: http://www.albanycivic.org

March 29th The BnB Lit Lighthouse Paint Follow Along This adults only (21 and older) art event will be sure to put a happy smile on your face. Join your friends or significant other at the Albany Art Studio’s famous splatter box and paint a happy little lighthouse with instructor Laura Ellis. Fee includes a 16×20 canvas and all materials. Plus, you are welcome to BYOB. For information and to reserve your space, visit the Albany Art Studio website.

Photograph of a an open hand holding two pieces of fossilized snail shellMarch 29th, 30th, 31st The Chintiminti Kennel Club’s Conformation, Obedience, and Rally Dog Show Three days of all-breed dogs will compete at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center. The Columbia River Agility Club will also take place during the trials. For information about hours, admission, etc. visit the sponsor’s web site.

March 30th The 71st Sweet Home Gem & Mineral Show This rockhound’s paradise includes gems, minerals, slabs, fossils, cabochons, wire wrapping, flint knapping, and geode preparation demonstrations. Not to be missed! The event runs from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Sweet Home High School, 1641 Long St. Check out show info on the Oregon Rock & Gem Show website.

Call for agri-tourism workshop participants

Registration Opens for Culinary and Agri-Tourism Studio Program

Travel Oregon,  Albany Visitors Association, and Visit Corvallis, invites interested participants to the “Mid-Willamette Valley Culinary and Agritourism Studio,” on March 20th and 21st, at the Children’s Farm Home Historic Old School, between Albany and Corvallis.

This two-day educational forum is designed to connect local farmers, ranchers, vintners, beverage producers, restauranteurs and others, in bolstering the region’s tourism economy through interactive strategic planning and product development workshops.

We call this type of collaboration “experiential tourism,” and it’s a booming business—whether it includes sipping wine amongst the vines, attending a farmers’ market, or creating a farm stand to sell fresh produce and jam. The end product could be an exciting new venture and way to put your business on the map.

Anyone from the the Mid-Willamette Valley who would like to make connections and receive valuable information on making the most of your marketing dollars through developing unique visitor experiences like farm-stands, tasting rooms, or hands-on culinary and agricultural tours or loops should attend.

Our steering committee is composed of farmers, ranchers, vintners, distillers, chefs, caterers, tourism experts, specialty seed growers, nursery owners, and others who all share similar values about our connections to the land and the economic vitality of our cities.

Training topics include:

  • Navigating land-use policy in your county
  • Growing awareness of culinary and agritourism market trends, product development strategies, and case studies
  • Leveraging statewide and regional resources in tourism marketing and business development
  • Developing an Oregon “food trail”

Let’s work together to stimulate the economy while enhancing local resources and retaining the unique qualities of the Mid-Willamette Valley. Please join us!

Registration

The cost for the two-day event is $15 per person. (Or $10 per single day.) A full lunch each day is included in the workshop price. A separate evening socializing/networking tour will take place following the first day’s workshop. Pre-registration is required. Please use the highlighted link to connect with the registration website for more information on who should attend and the full schedule.

Questions? Contact Rebecca Bond, Executive Director Albany Visitors Association, 541-928-0911 or Christina Rehklau, Executive Director of Visit Corvallis, 541-757-1544.

From history to poodles – 18 fun February Albany happenings

Friday, Feb 1st It’s First Friday in Downtown Albany and many retail shops and restaurants are open for extended hours. You’ll want to check out the artist’s reception at Gallery Calapooia for the “Big Show of Little Art,” a community wide show, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The Natty Dresser will be serving up a VIP Valentines shopping event and handcrafted chocolate from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Beforehand, check out the Albany Regional Museum’s First Friday exhibit by two local artists, Mickey Steffgen and Linda Ellsworth, in the Community Room. The museum’s normal exhibits will also be open until 8:00 p.m. And don’t forget your four-legged friends. How about a doggie Valentine’s cookie (for pups to enjoy, not cookies shaped like doggies!) from Sniffany’s Pet Boutique on First Ave. in Downtown Albany. Sniffany’s will be open until 8:00 p.m. Fulfill your inner dirt bug with a visit to Urban Ag Supply on Elllsworth, across from Little Wuestens Cafe. Find inspiration in the latest gardening tools. There will be a special “pup-up” shop, featuring new styles of hand-crafted pet accessories. Urban Ag will be open until 8:00 p.m. If you head back towards First Avenue, make sure to stop at Sweet Reds Bistro for their special late night “Sweeteasy” from 9:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Stop by for a 1920s inspired roarin’ good time! Period costumes are encouraged.

Feb 2nd The Greater Albany Rotary Club presents their Annual Crab Fest from noon to 7:00 p.m. at Calapooia Brewing Co. Yummy crab will be on the menu (of course!) and so much more, including brews and live music. Get all the info and tickets on their website.

Feb 5th Join the Annual Sweet Home Sweetheart Run, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. This fun, timed race is full of family activities. The 10K, 5K, and 1M kids fun-run all start and end at the Weddle Covered Bridge in Sankey Park, 877 14th Ave, Sweet Home. For more information and registration visit the park website.

Feb 9th and 16th Linn-Benton Community College presents the 44th Annual Children’s Show, at 2:00 p.m. The performance takes you on an adventure under the sea, with “Josephina Jordan, Junior Underwater Explorer, and the Mystery of the Plastic Fish.” Written and directed by Dan Stone, this fun and educational play looks at oceans and marine life in an amazing story filled with special effects, puppets, and a massive submarine called “Big Tuna.” Produced in collaboration with the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Tickets are $8 general admission, $6 children under 18. More info on their website.

Feb 13th Join neighbors and friends at the Ag Appreciation Breakfast, 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Come together with the local farming community and enjoy a delicious catered breakfast out at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center. The keynote speaker is Buzz Wheeler, owner of Coastal Farm & Ranch. Pre-registration is required by Feb 6th, breakfast tickets are $13, admission to the presentation is free. For more information, visit the event website.

Feb 13th It’s time for History Bites at the Museum, from noon to 1:00 p.m. at the Albany Regional Museum (ARM). This month’s presentation will include the stories and history of Albany’s Fire Chiefs. John Bradner, the current Albany Fire Chief will be the speaker. Albany Fire Department is celebrating 150 years of service to our community. Get ready for ARM’s upcoming exhibit that opens on Feb 16th, “Where There’s Smoke” celebrating 150 years of the Albany Fire Department. Refreshments provided  at History Bites. For more info visit ARM’s website.

Feb 14th, 15th and 16th From 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., bring your significant other out to a special Sweethearts Valentines Dinner at Novak’s Hungarian Restaurant in Historic Downtown Albany. The menu includes a five course dinner for two featuring a mini magyar krumpli appetizer, soup, salad, Chicken Cordon Bleu, and a chocolate box to share. Price: $59.99; add passion fruit cocktail, $63.99. Telephone Novak’s at 541-967-9488 for information and reservations.

Feb 15th, 16th, 17th Get ready for the big, big, BIG Willamette Sportsman Show. Boats! Fishing gear! Hunting apparel! Games, raffles, rock-wall climbing, gold panning, target practice, archery, presentations, vendors galore, and a kid’s fishing pool. It’s three big days filled with outdoor recreational education and activities at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center. Free parking, $6 general admission, kids 12 and under free. For complete daily hours and more information, visit the event website.

 

Photo of birthday cake.Feb 16th Travel back to when it all started; the Oregon Statehood Celebration.The Monteith Historical Society invites you to a day of fun in Historic Downtown Albany to celebrate Oregon’s 160th birthday. Join us between 11:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., for family-friendly activities, trolley tours throughout Albany’s Historic Districts and of course, enjoy birthday cake to celebrate Oregon history.This event is free and open to the public. Click here to view the (subject to change) schedule of events PDF.

Feb 16th through March 2nd Visit Albany’s performing arts theater, (Albany Civic Theater) for this play full of comedy—“Daddy’s Girl.” A widower for 25 years is served a full plate of comic chaos when his deceased wife, a talking portrait on the wall, enlists the services of an angel to reunite Benard with their long, lost daughter, leading to two possible candidates. For performance dates, times and tickets, telephone 541-967-8140 or visit the theater’s website at CivicTicketing

Feb 21st, 22nd, 23rd, and 24th Woof woof! Don’t miss the Linn County Kennel Club Dog Show at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center. Come see all the AKC breeds—from hound to poodle—they’ll be prancing around the ring and competing in agility and obedience challenges. The show runs daily, so check the schedule out on the Linn County Kennel Club website.

Feb 23rd Looking for fun activities with the littles? The Heritage Mall Kids Club meets on Saturday the 23rd from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Become a part of the club and get access to exclusive events, gifts, and participate in awesome fun and craft activities. The club is held in the Fun Zone on the backside of the mall. For more information telephone 541-967-8238 or visit heritagemallKidsClub

All sewn up – the 2019 Willamette Valley Quilt Show

Photo of the first Willamette Valley Quilt Show in 2018, showing quilts hanging on display in the Linn County Fairgrounds exhibit hall.

The Second Annual Willamette Valley Quilting Show

Tradition. Family. Love. These are a few of the things that come to mind when you tuck the kids into bed under a cozy handmade quilt. Quilts are one of the most-prized family heirlooms—works of folk-art in patterns as mysterious as corn mazes and groundbreaking artistry and colorful innovation. We Americans pride ourselves on a rich legacy of quilt-making and design, so it’s not surprising quilt festivals are one of the most popular events across the US, including Oregon.

The Albany quilt show takes shape

photograph of a traditional quilt on display at the 2018 Willamette Valley Quilt Show at the Linn Fairgrounds, Albany OregonSeveral years ago, two local business owners teamed up to plan a winter quilt show. The Rich family (of Rich’s Sewing & Vacuum, and their staff) and the owner of Albany’s Bolts to Blocks (Barb and Pete Schoonover), formed a festival board, and launched the first Willamette Valley Quilting Show in 2018. Their idea was to schedule the event during the rainy season—they figured it would be the perfect way to bust through any post-holiday blues and foster the creative process.

Last year’s quilt show was a rousing success and attracted over 2,300 quilt lovers to the Linn County Fair & Expo Center. There were over 300 quilts on display, numerous vendors, classes and demonstrations. Although there were a few hiccups during the inaugural venue, organizers were encouraged by the community’s reaction and immediately started planning an even bigger and better show.

At the 2019 show (February 1st through February 2nd), the number of vendors has nearly doubled and will include booths filled with tools and equipment, handcrafted items such as handbags and scarves, quilting kits and templates, fabric, clothing, home decor, and of course—the amazing display of quilts.

Quilting contest

While many national shows offer prizes for quilt contestants, the 2019 Willamette Quilting Festival will award a $3,000 Babylock Soprano sewing machine as a grand prize, and a “Mayor’s Choice Award,” from Albany Mayor Sharon Konopa and the Albany Visitors Association. This special Albany-themed gift basket will be stuffed with goodies—including a Sybaris gift certificate, fabulous local wine from Springhill Cellars, Albany Historic Carousel free-ride coupons, tickets to a performance at Albany Community Theater, an Albany Art Studio gift certificate, and much much more! 

In addition to the quilt contest and display, show attendees can enter raffles for special prizes by bringing non-perishable food donations for ‘Fish of Albany’ or purchasing additional raffle tickets. Admission to the show is $7 and tickets can either be purchased onsite or online.

Classes and demonstrations

Photo of a group of people listening and watching a sewing demonstration at the 2018 Willamette Valley Quilt Show in Albany, OregonWhether you are an experienced quilter or just starting out, workshops will be offered throughout Friday and Saturday. Instruction topics include: using Oregon-made templates by Westalee, ruler work, embroidery, fabric tote creation, wallet construction, quilt design, and laser-cut appliqué.

On Thursday, January 31st, a special seven hour pre-show workshop will be taught by the show’s “2019 Featured Quilter” Peggy Gelbrich. Gelbrich will guide participants in creating a full-sized “Diamonds and Arrowheads” quilt. Brand new sewing machines will be available for class participants to use. Students can either bring their own fabric and materials or purchase a kit from Bolts to Blocks. The workshop fee is $35 for the day-long class. (Kits are an additional price.)

All classes require registration, so please contact Rich’s Sewing & Vacuum of Albany to reserve your space. (See contact information in the “What to know if you go” section.)

Demonstrations and presentations conducted throughout the main hall are free with the price of general admission.

What’s in store for the future of the Willamette Valley Quilting Show? Daniel Rich of Rich’s Sewing & Vacuum shared his hopes that the show will “offer more and more classes, presentations and appearances by quilting world ‘celebrities,’ and continue to promote artistic quilting and quality sewing throughout the community.” We think that’s a “darn” good idea!

What to know if you go

Photo of a traditional quilt on display at the 2018 Willamette Valley Quilt Show in Albany, OregonAdmission and hours The 2019 Willamette Valley Quilting Show runs from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on both Friday, February 1st and Saturday, February 2nd. The show is held in the main exhibit hall at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center at 3700 Knox Butte Rd in Albany, Oregon. Admission is $7, parking is free. Tickets may be purchased at the show or pre-paid online.

Pre-show activities on Thursday, and classes on Friday and Saturday require registration. Contact Rich’s Sewing & Vacuum in Albany for workshop pricing and times. For more information telephone 541-926-4842.

Staying over If you are traveling to the show and would like a special Albany Visitors Association rate, connect with our featured hotels, the Best Western Plus Prairie Inn or Quality Inn & Suites—ask for the “AVA Rate” when reserving your room.

For other great choices, connect to our website’s “Sweet Dreams” hotel and motel directory.

Food and fun While at the show, enjoy amazing food truck selections from Grindz Hawaiian, Natalie’s Mexi-Kart, N’reener’s (pub grub), Southpaw’s Pizza, and more. An onsite espresso bar will be operating within the main exhibit hall.

For ideas about where to meet friends for dinner after the show, make sure to visit the Albany Visitors Association booth in the main exhibit hall. We’ll have restaurant guides, city maps, and everything you need for a great night or two on the town. We can also recommend places for breakfast and brunch, desserts, and more. Check our “Spirited Cuisine” page for a full list. 

You can also download the “Albany Explorer App” for iPhone or Android. Simply search for the Albany Explorer App in Google Play or Apple App Stores. The app is jam-packed with fun things to do.

As to fun, no trip to Albany is complete without a visit to the Albany Historic Carousel & Museum. Ride tokens are $2 each and admission is free.

We also recommend the Albany Regional Museum and Monteith House Museum to learn more about Albany’s history and culture, as well as self-guided tours through three National Historic Districts. Visit our “Dive Into History” web page for information on Albany’s historic roots.

See you at the show!

Winners – 2018 holiday light contest

photo of a historic Victorian period house at night, lit with Christmas lights and lighted yard decorations for the 2018 Albany Oregon Night Time Magic Program

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

2017 

  1. Piedmont Christmas Cul-de-sac, 6127 Piedmont Pl SW, Albany, OR 97321 
  2. It’s the Most Magical Time of the Year, 3849 Oakmont Loop NE, Albany, OR 97322
  3. Let There be Light, 797 Fairmont Drive NE, Albany, OR 97322
  4. Candy Cane Colored Cape Cod Colonial, 1122 11th Ave SW Albany, Oregon 97321
  5. Holiday Greetings in Downtown Albany, No Dinx Inc., 139 SE 1st Ave, Albany, OR 97321

It’s huge – Christmas Storybook Land

Photo of child about five years of age, looking at Christmas miniature display of a snowy village with penguins and polar bears in hats and scarves. The display is one of hundreds set up annually at Albany Oregon's Christmas Storybook Land event.

What exactly is Christmas Storybook Land? Recently, Alex Paul, Linn County Reporter for the Democrat Herald, wrote this article about the 2018 show. The free family event takes place every year at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center in Albany, Oregon. Read on to discover more and plan your next holiday trip to the Willamette Valley.

The 42nd Christmas Storybook Land

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center, because hundreds of volunteers have been working like Santa’s elves to create the 42nd annual Christmas Storybook Land.

Thousands of colorful holiday lights have been strung on cables 10 feet in the air, some 1,300 Christmas trees donated by Weyerhaeuser are standing tall and more than 450 bears of all sizes and shapes have emerged from hibernation to welcome more than 40,000 guests over the next two weeks.

“We keep growing every year,” said volunteer and board member Joyce Moreira. “We’re working against the clock right now, but we’ll make it by Thursday night when we have a special viewing for volunteers and sponsors. We call it our VIP night. We open for the public Friday at 6:30 p.m.”

Moreira said she became a volunteer in 2005 after she retired from a 35-year career in the business division at Linn-Benton Community College.

“I live down the street and I used to bring my son to Christmas Storybook Land every year,” she said. “We are seeing third-generations coming now.”

For many years, Jim Stinson of Corvallis spent Monday through Friday in the cab of a semitruck hauling lumber products to southern California and glass back to Oregon and Washington.

But now the bearded Stinson is more grounded in the mid-valley and says he enjoys seeing the faces of children light up when they see the colorful Storybook Land displays. And, since the man with the white beard looks good in a bright red suit and cap, he gets to see those faces up close.

“I just love kids,” said Stinson, whose wife Linda also volunteers.

“Of course, Santa’s House is my favorite display. I think kids make the world go round.”

On Wednesday afternoon, he was busy “sweeping up,” just one of many daily chores needed to keep progress moving forward.

Volunteer Faye Creecy said this year’s overall theme is “Star Wars” and will feature a new display: local kids dressed as characters from the franchise and a visit by the Cloud City Garrison of the 501st Legion and Kashyyyk Base, with the help of Concordia Clan of the Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club and Astromech R2 Builders Club.

The Star Wars re-enactors will be at Christmas Storybook Land from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Dec. 9.

Creecy said children will especially enjoy the Grinch scene, the new moving saw at the Paul Bunyan display, and the numerous costumed characters walking around.

“The Our Town display is really coming together,” she said. “It’s really good-looking.”

Creecy said volunteers are especially proud of a new 9-foot train covered with lights and features moving wheels. It sits in the courtyard.

Tuesday through Friday, children through third grade (with their parents) are encouraged to come visit Santa and Mrs. Claus from 9:00  to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Last year, nearly 4,000 children took part.

Volunteer and former board member Monte James was busy setting up Christmas trees Wednesday and said he has been a volunteer for about 15 years. He became one at the suggestion of Christmas Storybook Land co-founder Don Albright.

“I used to attend Christmas Storybook Land when I was a kid at the old fairgrounds,” James said.

James said he put up about 500 trees and helped string the row-upon-row of metal cables that hold lights for all of the displays.

“He’s an all-around helper,” Creecy said of James’ skills.

She also reminded families to bring their cameras.

It takes 11 semitrailers to hold all of the scenery, costumes, lights and other equipment used to make Christmas Storybook Land come to life.

Last year, more than 27,000 food items were donated to Fish of Albany and 40,280 people attended the event over its two-week run.

The all-volunteer organization is headed up by a board of directors including: President: Carol Wood; Vice-President: Bonnie Brown; Secretary: Joyce Moreira; Treasurer: Teresa Stout; Brian Baker, Marcie Barksdale, Bonnie Brown, Terry Burke, Tami Chaput, Faye Creecy, Karen Dahlinger, Sara Frazer, Tia Gilbert, Brad Hamlin, Derral Hunt, Kymberly McPhie, Joyce Moreira, Linda Morris, Lisa Muller, Richard Muller, Kimberly Samard, Paul Schmierer, Patty Skinner and Teresa Stout.

The Linn County Fair & Expo Center hosts the annual event at no charge.

*From an article by Alex Paul (abbreviated) published November 29, 2018

What to know if you go

CHRISTMAS STORYBOOK LAND

Where: Linn County Fair & Expo Center, 3700 Knox Butte Road

Admission: Free, but non-perishable food items; toys for Marine Corps Toys For Tots, accepted

Hours: Nov. 30-Dec. 14: Monday through Thursday, 6:30-8:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m; Fridays, Dec. 7 and Dec. 14: 2 to 8:30 p.m. Wheelchairs and assistance can be provided.

More information: www.christmasstorybookland.org.