A berry delicious July, jam-packed with events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July’s jam-packed featured events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Graphic with two goats talking to each other about Crazy Daze event in Albany, OregonJuly 11th Work got your goat? Time for some big fun at Albany’s historic Crazy Daze. This annual event begins Thursday July 11th and runs through the 13th. Originally called Bargain Days in 1898, the name was changed to Crazy Daze after WWII. Merchants will participate in sidewalk sales throughout downtown, offering great items at crazy reduced prices. Merchandise changes daily so you might want to come down all three days. Grab your sunscreen or a hat and stroll our sidewalks for crazy deals and crazy delicious food at our fabulous downtown eateries!

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

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

      2019 Schedule

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our top list of 4th of July fireworks displays

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

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

 

 

June is busting’ out all over – with events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wine Walk Tickets Available Now

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

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

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

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

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!