Holiday Weekend Road Trip To Albany

Photo of horse-drawn wagons decorated for Christmas Carling in Albany, OR. Photo by Anthony Shelar

Searching for a jolly weekend getaway? Look no more — visit Albany from October through January and discover a unique blend of history and hip. Create a new family tradition this holiday season by exploring some of our favorite ideas below.

The essentials

Our lodging partners recognize holidays can be exhausting — especially if you’re away from home. Have no fear, the world will appear much brighter after a little pampering! Sink into a deep and comfy oversized chair next to a crackling fire in a festive lobby. Enjoy a complimentary hot breakfast, free WiFi, free parking, fluffy pillows and hot coffee. 

Several Albany hoteliers have partnered with Albany Visitors Association to bring you cozy accommodations for the holidays. From November to January, the Phoenix Inn & Suites, Comfort Inn, Quality Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Best Western Plus Prairie Inn usually offer holiday specials. Book direct and mention AVA to take advantage of great rates.

Photo of a room at the Historic 206 and 1/2 Hotel in Albany Oregon.For history and architecture buffs, the newly restored Historic 206 ½ Hotel provides a satisfying immersion into Albany’s downtown roots. Its proximity to restaurants, shops, coffee houses and bakeries and the Albany Historic Carousel & Museum make it an explorer’s dream.

Find your own good night’s sleep; view AVA’s lodging directory.

 

The entertainment

Trolley of Terror Climb aboard a spookily decorated trolley and be treated to a candlelit tour of the historic (and reportedly haunted) Monteith House. This is a family-friendly event and is appropriate (not too scary) for all ages. Each tour takes about an hour. Be forewarned: tickets generally sell out weeks before the tours, so reserve your spot today: 541-928-0911. AVA can securely process your payment over the phone. Tours begin on October 18th, at 6:00 p.m. (and hourly up to 9:00 p.m.) over two consecutive weekends. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children 12 and under. 

VIP Ghost Hunt Join a group of professional and amateur ghostbusters as they set up monitoring equipment inside the Monteith House and search for spectral evidence. Adults only please, as the hunt extends into the “witching hour.” Cost is $55 per person and event admission is by reservation and pre-payment only, 541-928-0911.There are two dates set for the hunt: October 19th and 20th, 10:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.

Albany Veterans Day Parade

Albany is famous for the size and scope of its historic Veterans Day Parade — it is the biggest memorial parade in the state and has the distinction of being the largest parade of its kind west of the Mississippi River. Traditionally held on the actual holiday, the 67th annual parade begins at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, Nov 11, 2019. 

Marching bands, bagpipes, living history re-enactment brigades, horses, llamas, canines, troops, veterans, floats and military vehicles make their way up Lyon Street and through downtown Albany. You’ll want to find a place to watch early as this is one of the highest attended events in our city. For more information, visit the event website.

Thanksgiving in Wine (and libations) Country Although the grapes were harvested earlier in the year, there’s still plenty of ways to sample the area’s bounty. Take your time — the Willamette Valley is a prize-winning international wine-growing region. We are also part of the craft-brew revolution. Plan several days in Albany and visit some of the best distilleries, breweries, ale-houses, tap houses and meaderies in the valley.

Start with a short drive from your hotel to the picturesque countryside. As you cross the Willamette River, you’re two miles from Springhill Cellars Winery. Over Thanksgiving weekend (Nov 29th – Dec 1st) the winery hosts its annual Federweisser Festival. Federweisser is a young, newly fermented varietal. Accompanying it (and Springhill’s French-method Pinot Noir), you’ll enjoy German music, handcrafted sausages and sauerkraut and a barn dance on Friday night. Visit Springhill’s website for more information.

Following your Springhill adventure, visit Deluxe Brewing and Sinister Distilling Company. The tasting room is open seven days per week and the flights they are a-flying! Take a free tour of the brewery and enjoy some of the best limited-edition whiskey in Oregon. Check their website for tasting hours.

A short walk from Deluxe and Sinister, enjoy brew pub gourmet grub and live music at Calapooia Brewery. And within close proximity, Three Sheets Brewery, No Rails Ale House, Growler Garage, The Barn at Hickory Station, and Vagabond serve up excellent brews, ciders and meads.

If you crave vibrant cocktails and a lively atmosphere, sample local wines and a charcuterie plate at Sweet Red Bistro; cocktails and tapas at the sophisticated Vault 244; or happy hour drinks and famous pork belly fries at Frankie’s.

Small Business Saturday – Shop Small

Photo of small shops along First Ave. in downtown Albany, OregonIf you’re visiting Oregon from a neighboring state, you know we are one of the best places to shop small and unique on the West Coast—our entire state is sales-tax free!

Stroll through our Downtown Historic District and visit galleries, hip clothing boutiques, gift, garden and pet stores, a men’s haberdashery, and shops that feature antiques and vintage furnishings, jewelry and books, and even fly-fishing paraphernalia. Most downtown businesses participate in Shop Small 2019 (the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Nov 29th) with special sales.

You should have enough change left in your wallet to splurge on a first-run movie at the historic Pix Theater or enjoy a live theatrical performance at the Albany Civic Theater.

Christmas Storybook Land Bring the family to an enchanted “forest” of trees, miniature buildings, holiday lights, snowy scenery, mechanized displays, and visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Costumed characters roam the aisles, mesmerizing both toddlers and school-aged children. This enormous seasonal village is built by volunteers and is open Dec 6th – 20th at the Linn County Expo Center. All ages will love this activity and we think you’ll want to make it part of your new holiday tradition. This is a free event, although you are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for a local food pantry.  Hours vary, so visit the event website for admission information.

Christmas Parlour Tour

Photo of historic house with lights.Albany’s historic homeowners typically celebrate the holidays by hanging cedar swags, colorful lights and other seasonal regalia along porches and eaves. However, the Christmas Parlour Tour is an “insider’s” peek into the past. 

Participating historic homes and buildings throughout the Hackleman, Monteith, and Downtown Commercial Districts open their doors to tour participants. Meet the owners and learn about the architecture, the original occupants, and the ins and outs of restoring historic structures. 

You can opt to ride a vintage trolley or horse-drawn wagon to the various stops, or drive, walk, bike or hike the tour on your own. Tickets will be available online in mid-November. Tour proceeds benefit the non-profit Monteith House Museum. This year (2019) the tour will be held on Sunday, Dec 8th, from 2:00 to 7:00 p.m. Telephone 541-928-0911 for more information.

Downtown Twice Around Christmas Parade Looking for family fun and a traditional Christmas event? Enjoy an evening parade in Downtown Albany, as decorated floats and vintage vehicles usher Santa and Mrs. Claus to the community tree lighting — after circling “twice around” downtown. This year (2019), the event is held on Dec 1st, from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Visit the organizer website.

Christmas Caroling Wagon Ride  Another affordable family event is Monteith House Society’s Christmas Caroling By Wagon. Beautiful draft horses are decked out in sleigh bell harnesses and vintage trolley and wagons are draped in colorful lights. After shouting “Jingle jingle all the way” through downtown, the ride ends at Monteith House Museum for holiday refreshments.

Caroling will be held this year (2019) on Dec 14, 15, 20th, 21st, and 22nd, in hourly slots between 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Ticket prices to be announced closer to the event. Telephone AVA 541-928-0911 for more information.

Road Trip – Thompson’s Mills

It is without doubt, the absolute perfect time for a road trip in Linn County. Fields glow, swallows dive and swoop, white-tailed deer walk their fawns two by two, and puffy mashed-potato clouds float lazily in the skies. Happily, we can recommend several road trips that lead you from downtown Albany and transport you to more tranquil environs.

Let’s start with a visit to one of Linn County’s greatest historic treasures, Thompson’s Mills in Shedd, Oregon.

The last working water-powered flour mill in Oregon

photo of State National Heritage Site, Thompson's Mills, with silos being paintedTravel to the late Victorian period, when draft horses pulled wagons filled with local wheat to the closest mill. Your trip to a working historic mill is less than a half-hour drive (by car, not horse) from Albany.

Thompson’s Mills State Heritage Site is run by the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD). The land and surrounding mill buildings are all part of living history. Interactive exhibits include feeding the resident flock of chickens and a free interpretive tour of the mill where a water-powered turbine still runs and turns the flour-grinding mechanisms—a demonstration the entire family will enjoy.

When the mill was in Boston

Thompson’s Mills, built in 1858, was originally called Boston Mills, and co-existed with a town of the same name, platted alongside the Calapooia River. Although fire destroyed the mill in 1862, it reopened in 1864 following a complete rebuild. Boston’s population declined after the Oregon and California Railroad (O&C) built its track west of the mill property and Shedd became the primary residence for the area’s inhabitants.

Since O&C’s track crossed through the heart of the Willamette Valley, it was used to transport agricultural goods to Portland and points beyond. Shedd’s station expanded new markets for Thompson’s Mills. Oregon flour was appreciated around the world—and exported to China in the early 20th century and to Belgium during WW1. 

As the US adapted to changing technologies and trade, so did Thompson’s Mills. Americans looked to a brighter future following WW2—and their desire for store-bought bread and gardens with green lawns affected local wheat production. Less wheat meant farmers replaced grain with grass seed for the Baby Boom generation. 

When local flour production decreased, the mill adapted as well, and began producing animal feed. By the 1980s the mill realized the electrical energy it produced could be sold to a local utility, and help sustain mill operations.

In 2004 OPRD bought the mill, its water rights and associated buildings and acreage. In 2007 the department opened the 20 acre site to the public, free of charge. 

Take the tour – it’s for the young and old and in-between

Photo showing large gears and mechanisms that drive the water-powered Thompson's MillsCurrently, OPRD continues its preservation efforts with restoring and refurbishing parts of the mill and grounds. Their work includes planting orchards for cider production, restoring the mill-keeper’s home and carriage house, and repainting the silo’s iconic logos—a giant peach and apple that can be seen for miles.

The mill is open seven days per week (excluding certain holidays) and holds special seasonal events to raise funds for preservation efforts. In the fall, an old-fashioned cider pressing brings families from across Oregon over a span of several weekends.

Make sure to ask the rangers for a tour of the mill while you’re there. That’s the special treat about making this road trip one of the great ones. The tour is free and you’ll get to see the inner working mechanisms—the enormous gears turn to raise a series of dam-gates in the millrace and the conveyor belts stir overhead.

Kids especially will enjoy a demo of the “man-lift,” a single-person, self-propelled elevator that zooms upwards to the top of the mill building. While the public can’t ride the man-lift, park rangers show how Victorian workers rode the lift to clear grain chutes descending to the grinding areas.

Once you’ve climbed the steep stairs from the mill’s bottom floors, you can wander through a number of interpretive exhibits that include original furnishings, grinding stones, gears, flour and feed sacks, and other mill memorabilia. 

Be sure and stop at the gift shop run by the ‘Friends of Thompson’s Mills,’ a non-profit organization that helps fund the mill’s heritage site status. Souvenir T-shirts, feed shopping bags and other gifts can be had for donations that will help keep the mill open to all for many years to come.

What to know if you go

Photo showing wheelchair accessibility at Thompson's MillsAddress: Thompson’s Mills is located in Shedd, Oregon. The easiest (and most delightful) route is to take Hwy. 99E from Albany and travel straight through to Boston Mill Drive. Signs along the highway will direct you to the mill. The address is 32655 Boston Mill Drive.

Hours: Monday though Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Open year-round (except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years Day).

Tours: If your group is under 10 people, no reservation is needed for a guided tour of the site and buildings. Just show up and a ranger or volunteer will escort you around with entertaining and historical facts. If your group has 10 participants or more, telephone the mill to ensure staff is available to meet you. 541-491-3611. All guided tours are free, including larger groups.

Accessibility: Most of the grounds, and the main level of the mill building are accessible. There is a ramp to the mill’s “street” level where the interpretive exhibits are, and two on-site wheelchairs are available for use. Please note the lower levels of the mill building (where the large water-driven gears operate) are not wheelchair accessible. It is possible to access this portion of the building if you ambulate with assistive devices and feel able to climb and descend several narrow steps. There are wide walkways suitable for wheelchair use along the millrace pond and grounds, and accessible restrooms. Those with state-issued placards can park in the closest designated spots.

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Summer fun for kids – 2019 Pioneer Day Camp

Become a pioneer for the day

The Monteith House is hosting  day camp for kids grades K-8, July 15 -17, 2019 – 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. 

Children will learn about pioneer life through stories and hands-on activities at this fun day camp. Kids will participate in living history and explore the responsibilities of pioneer children as they traveled the Oregon Trail and settled into Albany life. Partial costumes and snacks will be provided.

Registration details
The cost of the three day camp is $50 per child. Register by July 9, 2019,  by contacting the Albany Visitors Association at 541-928-0911. Pre-registration required. The Monteith House Museum is located at 518 2nd Ave. S.W., Albany, OR.

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.

Honoring veterans no matter the season

Photo of German Shepherd police dog lying in front of a large howitzer cannon on wheels at the Linn County Veterans Memorial in Albany, Oregon

When you first dive into Albany history, you might think that historic homes and our connections to the Oregon Trail and indigenous peoples are the only roots we value. However, you might be interested to note that we honor our Linn County veteran’s history in a big way—in fact, we have the largest Veterans Day Parade in the state and west of the Mississippi River.  

Photo taken from an airplane of the Linn County Veterans Memorial, showing outline of the state of Oregon In addition to the parade, the Linn County Veterans Memorial (LCVM) is an inspirational example of how selfless volunteers contribute to the region’s historical preservation. AVA met with Randy Martinak, President of the LCVM, and we spoke about how the memorial got its start and what the future holds for it.

AVA: So when was the original Albany veterans memorial built Randy?

Randy M: “Well after the City of Albany moved the airport to the east (as a result of the construction of Interstate 5), Timber Linn Memorial Park was constructed. Conversations started up in the Albany Jaycees about a flagpole already standing at the park that was bare and had no flag flying. So a couple of the group’s young members sent a request to Congress, and asked for a flag that had flown in the nation’s capitol.” 

Once the flag was procured, the Jaycees went on to hammer out a plan with the Albany Police Department to ensure the flag was raised and lowered according to proper etiquette (when there is no illumination) at sunrise and sunset. During this time, plans for a permanent light installation moved forward.

AVA: Wasn’t it in the original plans that the memorial would only be for those who had been killed in action during the Vietnam War?

Randy M: “Yes, and those Missing in Action as well. During subsequent planning sessions, the committee decided with community input, that any Linn County veterans who were killed or missing from all 20th century wars would be included.” 

After several long years of work by the Jaycees, construction provided by numerous volunteer builders, and building material contributions by contractors, the Linn War Memorial was finally dedicated at Timber Linn Memorial Park on May, 30, 1969. 

For nearly 40 years following the dedication, the memorial did not change much. Albany Parks & Recreation Department helped to maintain the memorial with regular landscape and gardening sevices. After a newspaper article about the memorial was published in the Albany Democrat Herald, a local Navy veteran, Garner Pool, visited the site and discovered that his brother’s name, Sylvan B. Pool, was missing. Research to locate his missing records helped unearth other names that should have been included in the original construction. 

Photo of new construction on the Linn County Veterans Memorial in Albany Oregon.During the expansion planning, it became apparent the memorial not only needed to include veterans who had inadvertently been missed from the Vietnam War, but to honor veterans from all wars fought in the 20th century.

Randy M: “Pool was instrumental in forming the Linn County Veterans Memorial Association. He went to the City of Albany and the Parks & Recreation Director, Ed Hodney, for help with the expansion proposal. Loans and grants were needed to start work, and many in the community stepped forward to help fundraise.”

Included were in-kind contributions of materials and labor, including an anonymous donor who offered to lend the group the $21,000 necessary to begin the work.

The expansion included the opportunity to purchase engraved “sentry bricks” at $50 per brick. The bricks would contain the name of any veteran who served honorably, from any part of the state and the US. 

Randy M: “The memorial was designed so that the original walls with the bronze plaques (for the Linn County Vietnam War veterans) faced outwards, while the inscribed sentry bricks faced inwards towards the plaques—a symbolic gesture of support.”

Martinak was responsible for moving the large Howitzer located in an awkward part of the park. He worked with his cousin (who just happened to be an engineer) to safely relocate the cannon. This was no small feat, as the large gun weighed 36,000 pounds! 

With all of the moving parts (and cannon) in place, the refurbished and enlarged memorial was ready to receive visitors and hold gatherings. 

Photo of German Shepherd police dog lying in front of a large howitzer cannon on wheels at the Linn County Veterans Memorial in Albany, OregonThe time has now arrived when the memorial needs to be expanded once more to accommodate requests from veterans’ families.

The Linn County Veterans Memorial Association hopes their state heritage grant application and the sale of new bricks will help fund this current expansion project. 

Randy M: “We have about three or four stages in the planning process, and hope to break ground in 2020, and complete the expansion by Veterans Day 2020.”

We encourage all who would like to visit the memorial to check the Albany Parks & Recreation Department website for park hours and/or closures.

What to know if you go

For visitors: The Linn County Veterans Memorial is located in Timber Linn Memorial Park at 900 Price Rd SE, Albany, Oregon. Besides the veterans memorial, the park encompasses 100 acres with family amenities including basketball courts, disc golf, fishing, lake access, horseshoes, playground and picnic areas with BBQ facilities and tables, restrooms, and day-use shelters. 

A memorial service is held each year on Veterans Day, normally the same day as the Albany Veterans Day Parade. The parade is the largest veterans day event west of the Mississippi River.

School Field Trips: Educational school tours may be set up through the Linn County Veterans Memorial Association by sending requests to LCVMA, P.O. Box 2739, Albany, OR, 97322.

Sentry Brick application

Bricks: For those interested in requesting an engraved brick to honor their loved one who has served in the US Armed Forces, send copies of the service member’s DD Form 214, the application form below, and payment ($50 per brick) to LCVMA, P.O. Box 2739, Albany, OR, 97322.  *Please note that this all-volunteer group only has the capacity to install approximately 65 bricks per year. 

Brick application form PDF

Finding the names of veterans on bricks

Brick location at the memorial: To access a list of the veteran names at the park, view the PDF document below.

SENTRY BRICK DIRECTORY Aug 2019

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

17 ways to celebrate the holidays in Albany

Image of two large draft horses pulling a covered wagon through the snowy streets of Albany, Oregon at night.

Capturing the spirit of giving and sharing is what the holidays are all about. We’d love for you to visit us this season, and hope the following highlights from our best December events will help you plan your trip.

December 1st – 10th Win Free Tickets Facebook Contest – to Christmas Caroling by Horse-Drawn Wagon You have 10 days (starting on December 1st) to enter AVA’s Facebook contest and win a pair of tickets (up to $20 value) to the Christmas Caroling by Horse-Drawn Wagon event on the night of December 21st or 22nd at 8:00 p.m. The rules are easy! (1) Like our AVA Facebook page (not just the contest post), (2) like the contest post dated December 1st, and (3) tag a friend in the post comment section. Winners will be selected from the comments by random drawing and will have until December 14th to pick up their tickets from our office. We will notify the winners on our Facebook page. This is a pretty cool prize because the event is sold out every year. Click here for our Facebook page.

Image of child looking at cute animal figurines dressed in Christmas hats and scarves at Albany Oregon's Christmas Storybook LandDecember 1st through 14th Christmas Storybook Land is Albany’s best family Christmas show. Held at the Linn County Fair & Exposition Center on Knox Butte Rd, this fantasy world is an enormous Christmas forest wonderland with over 110 scenes of characters from nursery rhymes, children’s stories, and family movies, two elaborate model train displays, a Victorian village, plus the North Pole with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Visit the event website for complete hours and more information at www.ChristmasStorybookLand.org

December 1st, 8th, and 15th Pictures with Santa at the Albany Carousel UPDATED, ADDITIONAL DAYS ADDED: Three Sundays, Dec 2nd, 9th, and 16th have been added to this event!! (All times are from 11:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.) On three Saturdays this month, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., bring your own camera and snag a family photo with Santa at this free event. All are invited. Although this event is free, donations to the non-profit carousel are welcome!

December 1st Sick Town Derby This family-friendly event at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center is for all ages. There will be food vendors, a beer garden, Sick Town merchandise, half-time fun and more! Tickets cost $10 in advance or $12 at the door. Doors open at 5 p.m. for Live Roller Derby Action at 6:00 p.m. For more information and tickets, visit the Derby Dames website https://www.sicktownderbydames.com

SOLD OUT!!!! December 2nd Pioneer Children’s Christmas Party at Monteith House Celebrate the Christmas season the way the pioneers would have done in the 1800s by attending this children’s party at the Monteith House. Ages 5 though 16 can make pioneer Christmas crafts, decorate the Christmas tree at the Monteith House, sing carols, eat cookies, and ride on a horse-drawn wagon in the “Twice Around Downtown Christmas Parade” at 5:00 p.m. The cost is $15 per child and $10 for additional siblings. Reserve your child’s spot today by calling the Albany Visitors Association at 541-928-0911. Space is limited.

Photo of horses with carriage and trolley with Christmas decorations.December 2nd Downtown Twice Around Christmas Parade The Downtown Twice Around Christmas Parade winds its way through the streets of Historic Downtown Albany on Sunday at 5 p.m. rain or shine. Santa often arrives on an antique firetruck! The parade starts at the corner of Broadalbin and First, heads west down First to Calapooia, heads south on Calapooia to Second, heads east on Second to Broadalbin, heads north on Broadalbin to First, and then around again—ending up at Two Rivers Market parking lot on the corner of Second and Ferry. Immediately following the parade, the Community Tree is lit. Telephone the Albany Downtown Association at 541-928-2469 for more information.

December 6th Festival of Wreaths and Auction Catch the perfect holiday wreath at the Albany Carousel; this great fundraiser runs from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. This is an adult event. Admission price includes wine, a special carousel wine glass, hors d’oeuvres, and live music; plus silent and live auctions—all part of the $20 package. Tickets available at the Carousel Gift Shop or telephone 541-497-2934.

December 7th First Friday in Downtown Albany  Get your art on and do a little holiday shopping in downtown Albany. Gallery Calapooia will be filled with wonderful gift ideas, plus you can meet the artists and enjoy complimentary wine and appetizers from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 pm. Telephone the gallery at 541-971-5701 for more information. At Urban Ag, shop their extended First Friday hours until 8:00 p.m. They’ll have plenty of tools and other gear waiting to be plucked for your picky gardening friends. Gift cards are available as well. Visit Urban Ag at 124 SW Ellsworth. As you make your way through downtown, be sure to visit other participating shops and restaurants, including The Natty Dresser and Sweet Red Bistro.

December 7th (other dates: 8th, 9th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 20th, 21st, 22nd) The Albany Community Theater presents the live performance of “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.” This new dramatization of C.S. Lewis’ classic, set in the land of Narnia, faithfully recreates the magic and mystery of Aslan, the great lion, his struggle with the White Witch, and the adventures of four children who inadvertently wander from an old wardrobe into the exciting, never-to-be-forgotten Narnia. This story of love, faith, courage and giving, with its triumph of good over evil, is a true celebration of life. Visit ACT’s website for performance times and ticket information at http://www.albanycivic.org/shows/the-lion-the-witch-and-the-wardrobe/

Image of cast from original classic movie, "It's a Wonderful Life."December 8th Free Christmas Movie Albany Downtown Association (ADA) and the Pix Theatre will partner to show a free classic Christmas movie for the whole family. (Movie title will be announced closer to the date.) Doors open at 9:30 a.m. and the movie starts at 10:00 a.m. Come early, especially if you are a large group, as the theater fills up quickly! This is a free event and first come first seated. Please bring a non-perishable food item for donation to the Salvation Army Food Drive if you can. For questions, telephone the ADA at 541-928-2469.

December 9th Annual Christmas Parlour Tour of Historic Homes and Buildings From 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. the 39th year of the tour will feature beautifully decorated historic houses, museums, churches, historic library, and a downtown loft. This is one of only two tours offered per year that include the interiors of historic homes. Father Christmas will be out with an enormous bag of treats and the Monteith House and Museum will be lit by oil lamp and fire-light, warming your spirit. Chafin Farms’ beautiful draft horses will merrily transport you around the historic districts with sleigh bells jingling, and the antique trolley will transport you back to a different era. Tour participants will be encouraged to ring the church bell at Whitespires Church and the fireplace will be crackling at the Carnegie Library. This jolly holiday event includes light refreshments and loads of happiness all for the ticket price of $15. Tickets can be purchased ahead of the tour online or the day of the tour, at Albany Visitors Association. Telephone 541-928-0911 for more information.

Image of two large draft horses pulling a covered wagon through the snowy streets of Albany, Oregon at night.December 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd Christmas Caroling by Horse-Drawn Wagon If you didn’t win tickets during our Facebook contest, don’t worry, you still might be able to snag tickets by calling our office at 541-928-0911. There are several time slots throughout the event evenings to join in this wonderful Albany tradition. The family-friendly event costs $10 for adults and $5 for children under the age of 12. Call soon, as we expect this event to sell out.

December 15th Monster Truck Thunder For the first time ever, the Linn County Fairgrounds will host ground-pounding Monster Trucks. This wild action auto show is perfect for kids (both adult and actual kiddos) who love things that go “zoom-zoom, boom-boom!” Two show-times are available on the 15th: 2:00 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. All advance tickets receive a free Pit Party pass ($10 Value). For tickets visit https://monstertruckthunder.ticketleap.com/.

December 15th Shop ’Til You Drop Still have important Santa duties to attend to? Why not let the kids go to a safe Christmas pajama party with movie, crafts, games and treats while you finish your holiday shopping, wrapping, or enjoy a rare parents’ evening out. The Mid-Willamette Family YMCA is hosting this activity from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The cost is $15 for Y members and $17 for non-members. For information telephone 541-928-0071.

December 22nd (and other dates throughout December and other months) Live Music at Calapooia Brewing Company The guest artist for the 22nd is Mikael.  Born and raised in Oregon, Mikael creates music with hints of soul and blues driven guitar riffs, and adds vivid story telling to create a compelling performance. For more information about other musical guests and dates and times, visit: Calapooia Brewing

Photo of historic Whitespires Church exterior against a blue skyDecember 24th Whitespires Church Christmas Caroling Sing-along Come and celebrate the Christmas Eve spirit with family and friends singing along to classic carols inside historic Whitespires Church. All are welcome to attend. The sing-along starts at 7:00 p.m. and lasts until 8:00 p.m. The church is located at 510 SW 5th Ave in Albany. Telephone 541-928-2469 for more information.

December 31st New Year’s Eve Hoof N’ Holler Bullriding and Dance Wild West Events & Sweeney Promotions invites you to the biggest New Year’s Eve Event of its kind. Come on out to the Linn County Fair & Expo Center to enjoy this fun event. Complete with pyrotechnics, special effects, heated arena, concert sound and lighting. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $29 pre-paid or $35 at the door (cash only at door). Online tickets: http://hoofnholler.com. Stay at one of Albany’s newly remodeled hotel properties nearby, and you won’t have to worry about driving. (See below!)

Bonus: Hotel Special Rate! Get ready for the holidays! The Phoenix Inn Suites is running their “Winter Special” from November 25th through January 10th. Your suite of choice is $79 (plus applicable taxes) per night. Book direct and mention the “Winter Special” to receive these rates: 541-926-5696, or visit AVAs “Sweet Dreams” web page for information about other Albany hotels.

The Thriller Month of October in Albany

20 things to do in and about town

October 5th – First Friday at Gallery Calapooia From 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Gallery Calapooia will hold an artists’ reception for Susan Bourdet (watercolors) and Pat Spark (hand-dyed felt imagery). Come enjoy the evening with refreshments and old and new friends in Downtown Albany. The gallery is located at 222 W 1st.

October 6th – Albany Fire Dept. Treasure Hunt Save the date for a day of family fun at the Albany Fire Department Treasure Hunt. The fun begins on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. and runs until 1:00 p.m. Get in on engine rides, station tours, firefighter challenges, snacks and treats. Visit the AFD Facebook page for more info at Albany Fire Department.

October 6th and 7th – RaSani Body, Mind, and Spirit Fair Tranquil sounds, fragrances and moments are coming via practitioners of the healing and meditative arts at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more info, visit the RaSani Fair Fall Expo Facebook page.

October 10th – History Bites at the Albany Regional Museum Come take a break on Wednesday the 10th at noon at the free monthly History Bites presentation. This month author Jeff Davis, military historian and paranormal researcher will discuss “Haunted Oregon.” Jeff will have copies of his books Ghosts, Critters, and Sacred Places of Washington and Oregon, and A Haunted Tour Guide to the Pacific Northwest available for purchase. Although History Bites is free, donations are greatly appreciated. Refreshments will be served. The museum located at 136 SE Lyon St. If you would like more information on Jeff Davis, visit http://www.ghostsandcritters.com/aboutjeffdavis.html 

October 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, and 18th, 19th, 20th – “Once Upon A Mattress” Check out the new fall community theater production at the Albany Civic Theater This classic musical is an adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea.” Set in a fictional medieval kingdom ruled by the devious Queen Aggravain, a mute king Sexitmus suffers from a curse. Head over to ACT’s website for the full performance schedule and ticket information at http://www.albanycivic.org

October 12th – All Ages Pumpkin Decorating From noon until 5:00 p.m. at the Albany Art Studio. Cider, decorations, and gourds—OH MY! The studio provides the decorations and pumpkins. If you have a special gourd, feel free to bring it along, but don’t worry if you don’t have one, pumpkins will be available for purchase. This event is free (except for pumpkin purchases). Register online at:  https://www.albanyartstudio.com/events/pumpkin-decorating

October 13th – Annual Oregon Mennonite Festival Come see the absolutely drop-dead gorgeous quilt display at this annual festival that benefits the World Relief Fund. Starting at 7:30 a.m., feast on a delicious egg casserole or baked goods. After you shop at the vendor fair featuring books, fair trade gifts, quilt supplies and more, enjoy a taco salad, pulled pork sandwich, sausage dogs and soups for lunch. The fair is held this year at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center on Knox Butte Rd. For more information, visit the festival website .

October 13th and 27th – Cider Pressing at Thompson’s Mills Ready for sweet apple cider? Come squeeze your own on a historic press for a small donation. Thompson’s Mills State Heritage Site brings back their popular fall event from last year. The two Saturday hours run from noon until the apples run out, so come early. Take a short drive from Albany to Shedd, 32655 Boston Mill Dr. For more information, telephone 541-491-3611.

October 18th, 19th, 20th – Oktoberfest at Three Sheets Brewery The brewery and pub will be outfitted in festival decor and boast a new food menu special for this event. There will be raffle drawings with prizes, and for every beer you buy, you’l be entered into the drawing. If you wear lederhosen or dirndl to the festival, you’ll receive an extra raffle ticket and $1 off your first beer. Hours: Thursday, 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.; Friday, 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.; Saturday, 1:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Three Sheets is located at 136 SW 1st Ave in Downtown Albany. For more information telephone 541-791-7311.

October 19th, 20th, 21st, 26th, 27th, 28th, 30th, 31st – Morningstar Grange Haunted House The grange is hosting a fun and spooky fundraiser for the Jefferson Fire Department Christmas Basket Program and the Albany Gleaners. Admission is $5 per person or five cans of non-perishable food. The Haunted House hours are: Oct 19th and 20th: 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.; Oct 21st: 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Oct 26th and 27th: 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.; Oct 28th and 30th: 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.; October 31st: 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Visit the event Facebook page for more info: https://www.facebook.com/hauntedhouseatmorningstargrange/

SOLD OUT!!!  Trolley of Terror Albany’s most popular Halloween activity is fast approaching sold out status! The dates noted are the only nights with time slots still available for the family to enjoy a fun-filled trip on the decorated trolley through historic downtown. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children age 12 and under. Pre-paying is the only way to make sure you are added to the tours. Please call our office to reserve your spot now or stop in to see us at 110 3rd Ave SE; we are open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

SOLD OUT!!!  October 20th and 29th – VIP Ghost Hunt The tickets to this VIP event benefit the non-profit Monteith House Museum. Only 10 brave ghost-busters will be admitted (to the reportedly haunted house) for the nearly three-hour hunt each Saturday, from 10:30 p.m. until 1:00 a.m.—featuring professional paranormal researchers with recording equipment. Tickets to the exclusive hunt are $50 each. Come join this spooky adult only event—tickets are sold entirely online with our new secure ticketing plug-in. 

October 20th – Boo Boogie Bash and Rodeo Get ready to party! Bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, barrel racing, Mexican dancing horses, and mutton busting will all take place at this Halloween-themed rodeo event. Join the party after at Larry’s Lounge. Advance tickets: $13.00/$15.00 at the door. Kids 5 and under FREE. All held at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center on Knox Butte Rd. For more information: http://www.wildwesteventsinc.com

October 21st – Child Halloween Makeup Workshop From 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. bring your friends for a “spooktacular” event at the Albany Art Studio. Materials will be provided. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Cost is $10, register online at: https://www.albanyartstudio.com/events/child-halloween-makeup-workshop  An Adult Halloween Makeup Workshop will take place on the same day at the studio from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and costs $20. Reserve your spot at https://www.albanyartstudio.com/events/adult-makeup-workshop

October 26th and 27th – The Annual Mid-Valley Brewfest is back again, and bigger and better than ever! The new venue at Two Rivers Market in Downtown Albany will feature live bands, food trucks, plus all the locally made micro-brews, ales, hard ciders, wine, mead, and spirits you can imagine. Admission is $20, adults only. The tickets entitle you to 5 drinks of your choice and a great 2018 Brewfest mug. Ticket sales day of event only (no pre-sales). For more info visit the event website at https://midvalleybrewfest.com

PLEASE NOTE EVENT CHANGES – DATES, TIMES, AND LOCATION –  October 26th – 28th, and 31st – Coffin Park Cemetery Haunted Attraction This event will run from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. the 26th and 27th;  the 28th from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.; and on the 31st, 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. It’s guaranteed to thrill the entire family. Costumed actors, refreshments, and a gently spooky atmosphere will “haunt” the space. A suggested donation is a can of food that will be given to FISH of Albany. The attraction is located at 2942 Mount Vernon St SE in Albany.

October 27th – Annual Albany Downtown Trick or Treat Come visit your favorite downtown businesses in disguise! Bring the family and the little “ghouls and boos” for treats and a few surprises. The  free event runs from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and is organized by the Albany Downtown Association. For more information telephone 541-928-2469.

October 27th and 28th – The Pacific Northwest Reptile and Exotic Animal Show is the largest such shown the PNW. Visit with creature vendors and the critters themselves at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center. Admission is $10 adults, $5 kids (6 to 10), and free for tiny tots 5 and under. Saturday hours: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For more information and a full list of participating vendors visit the event Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PACNWRS/

October 31st – The Haunted Carousel Get ready to be spooked at the Albany Historic Carousel & Museum on Halloween Eve from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Gather your trick or treats through the ‘Wizard of Oz’ maze. Admission is $5.00 and includes 2 ride tokens. Appropriate for all ages. The carousel is located at 503 1st Ave SW in Downtown Albany. Telephone 541-497-2934 for more information.

October 31st – Trick or Treat at the Heritage Mall Looking for another safe place to take the littles for trick or treat? Head on over to the Heritage Shopping Mall at 1895 14th Ave SW from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Visit the mall website for more information: https://www.heritagemall.com

The 2018 Albany geocache hunt is on

It’s time once again, to join a fun day of discovery through geocaching. Local geocacher and enthusiast Don Bacher has organized the 2018 Albany Coin Challenge that takes place for one day only, Saturday, August 25th.

This year’s event will start at 10:00 a.m. at Allann Bros warehouse, 1852 Fescue St. SE, Exit 233 going north or south on I-5 (N 44 37.497 W 123 03.645). There is plenty of parking.

A new series of Albany locations—homes from the National Historic Districts—have been added to this year’s challenge. As in previous years, the course has been determined, and each geocaching household will be issued a challenge passport. The course has been carefully laid out so that you will also have the opportunity to find caches in the area.

Completed passports can be brought to Ciddici’s Pizza, 133 SW 5th Street (N 44 38.066 W 123 06.229) between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. the day of the event. One-hundred and fifty coins have been ordered, so everyone who receives a passport is guaranteed a coin.

Along with the hunt, there will be great door prizes handed out during the coin distribution. These prizes are donated by local businesses, and drawings will be held on the half hour.

This is a family event and we encourage you to bring your kids and grandkids. There’s something for all ages.

The 2018 coin was created by Jessica Dilbone, and features a design that includes Mary’s Peak, the Willamette and Calapooia Rivers running through Albany, and the fir tree from Oregon’s license plates. Another one-of-a-kind coin that you will be delighted to add to your collection. 

We hope to see you at Allan Bros. on the 25th. Happy hunting!

10 things to do in Mid-July

Looking for some great things to do following the start of mid-summer? We thought you might like this list of some great Albany and Linn County events coming up this July. Don’t hesitate to contact AVA (541-928-0911) if you need more information about any of the following:

1) Crazy Daze in Downtown Albany – July 12th, 13th, 14th Love to dig around for a bargain? Well how about a downtown-wide sale with many of your favorite stores hosting sidewalk sales! Park your car at one end of First Ave and walk towards the Albany Historic Carousel & Museum, which you can ride after shopping. Unique shops will feature awesome merchandise—including the Natty Dresser, Emma’s Downtown, Urban Ag, Spirit Beads, and many many others. Merchandise changes daily over the three day event, plus Albany restaurants and cafes will feature shopper specials. Tidbit: What’s really cool about this sale is that it is part of Albany’s history—the sale started out as Bargain Days in 1898, then was renamed Crazy Daze following WW2.

2) Coffee, coffee, coffee – Grand Opening of Margin Coffee – July 14th The wait may have been long, but the moment has finally arrived. Albany’s newest gourmet-hip coffee brewery is holding its grand opening celebration at their location (206 2nd Ave SW) in a beautifully restored historic building. Come enjoy specialties of the house made with local roaster Caravan’s beans. Saturday hours on the 14th are from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. so you can shop at Crazy Daze and refuel at Margin! Visit their website at www.margincoffee.com

3) Meet me at the Linn County Fair – July 18th – 21st You know it’s high summer when the fair arrives at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center. There will be rides for kids both big and small, fun food, livestock, quilts, community art and craft, and live entertainment including Jefferson Starship. Family fun areas, a classic car show, the zany Redneck Rodeo, and so much more are scheduled over the four day event. Special military, senior, and family day tickets are available. Check the fair website for the full schedule at https://www.linncountyfair.com/home

4) History Through Headstones Tour – July 25th Come learn about the history of Albany through historic headstones at the Waverly Jewish and Houston Cemeteries. The tour is from 7 p.m. to dusk. The AVA trolley will board passengers at the Albany Regional Museum parking lot (check the museum website for times) and museum docent Bill Maddy will talk about the history of east Albany’s Hackleman District as the trolley wends its way through neighborhoods and along Old Salem Road. Learn about the historic Albany families that will be featured on the Albany Regional Museum website at www.armuseum.com/…/…/history-through-headstones-tour

5) Cellar Cat swings at its new location – July 15th At the end of June, wine-centric bistro Cellar Cat moved to its new location at 155 NW Country Club Lane in Albany. They now feature an all-day kitchen menu serving scratch-made goodies to enjoy on the golf course, patio, dining room, by the pool or take-out. Full-service dinner is Wednesday through Sunday starting at 4:30 p.m. And, on Sundays, live music! On July 15th, the Steve Willis Trio will play instrumental jazz starting at 5:30 p.m. Check out CC’s website for the rest of the Sunday line-ups of music and fantastic menu options. www.cellarcat.com

6) Movies at Monteith Park – July 20th (Fridays through August) Looking for a nostalgic evening after dinner? Plan to bring a blanket and the family to free movies shown outdoors on a big screen under the summer stars. The first movie of the summer, Wonder, starts at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, July 20th. On Friday, July 27th, Jurassic Park hits Monteith Park. For the full schedule, check the Albany Downtown Association website at albanydowntown.com/ada-event/movies-at-monteith/

7) Stand By Me Day – July 23rd Speaking of movies, what could be better than visiting the little town where the cult classic, Stand By Me, was filmed? Head on down to historic Brownsville (about 25 minutes south of Albany) and participate in walking tours, free showings of the movie, and other festivities like a blueberry pie and ice cream social, classic car cruise-in, fan forum, memorabilia, and a 50s costume contest. Check out the full schedule at historicbrownsville.com/what-to-do/attractions/stand-by-me/

8) Cocker Spaniel National Specialty Show – July 26th through 30th Have you ever seen the Walt Disney classic movie “Lady and the Tramp?” The 1950s animated film reflected US mid-century popularity of the Cocker Spaniel, a long-eared, silky-coated, and expressive dog. First mentioned in 14th century writings, the Cocker Spaniel perseveres. Come see these beautiful intelligent dogs at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center over three days of trials and judging. Visit the association club website for show schedule details at www.americanspanielclub.org/events/2018-cocker-spaniel-national/

9) Albany Historic Homes Interior Tour – July 28th Spend a wonderful day in our city exploring some of our most beautiful historic homes and buildings. The tour is “self-guided,” meaning you have a choice about how to tour the sites—you can ride a horse-drawn wagon or antique trolley and go by location-number, or you can opt to drive your own car and visit homes in any order you like. Hosts will be on hand at each site to show guests around and refreshments will be served. Once you’ve purchased your ticket at our office, you might even want to have lunch at one of our great restaurants, ride the carousel, and join the tour afterwards. You’ll receive a wrist band with your paid ticket. Tickets go on sale the day of the tour starting at 10:00 a.m. for $15 each; children under 12 are free. For more information, visit albanyvisitors.com or telephone 541-928-0911.

10) Summer Sounds in the Park – Mondays in July Imagine relaxing outdoors on your own quilt or comfy folding chair and listening to great live music. Sip your own wine or beer, grab soft drinks and food from the vendor court, and take a stroll along the river-front with your sweetheart. The lineup this July runs the gamut from electric string pop to funk, swing, and an Eagles tribute band. The free concerts start at 7:00 pm. on Monday nights. For the full schedule, visit the City of Albany website at www.cityofalbany.net

Bonus) The 2018 -2019 “See Albany” Visitors Guides are here! In addition to a feature article by local journalist Jennifer Moody (about the Albany Historic Carousel’s Neal the Greyhound), you’ll also find information about great restaurants, comfy hotels, outdoor recreation, shopping venues, and Albany’s four National Historic Districts. Stop by the AVA office at 110 3rd St SE in downtown Albany to pick up your free copy or telephone 541-928-0911 and we’ll pop one in the mail for you.