Winners – 2018 holiday light contest

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

Albany Visitors Association is proud to announce the winners of our 2018 Annual Night Time Magic Holiday Light Program. The winning displays can be seen at the following addresses:

“Traditional & Eclectic,” 2110 Geary St SE, Albany, OR 97322 

“Christmas Joy,” 3849 Oakmont Loop NE, Albany, OR 97322 

“Animals’ Christmas Party,” 531 Fairmont Drive NE, Albany, OR 97322 

“Candy Cane Come Back,” 3522 Pacific Blvd SW, Albany, Oregon 97321 

“Holiday Greetings in Historic Albany,” 401 Main St SE, Albany, OR 97321 

“Sharing Holiday Cheer Inside and Out,” 503 West First Ave, Albany OR 97321

“Traditional Christmas,” 222 4th Ave SE

 

Winners receive an awards certificate and a $50 gift card to Albany’s first-run movie house, The Pix Theatre. Photos of the winning homes will also be on display at the Pix. Download a PDF of the locations map or stop by AVA at 110 3rd SE (on the corner of 3rd and Lyon) and ask for a printed copy.

Selected winning entries to the Night Time Magic Program are determined by a panel of judges who conduct drive-by sightings between December 10th and 15th. Homes must have been formally entered into the contest.

This is the 31st year that Albany Visitors Association has helped to make the holidays bright with this community-wide contest. If you are interested in being a part of the 2019 contest next December, contact the Albany Visitors Association, 110 3rd Ave SE, 541-928-0911 or sign up for our e-newsletter to receive future announcements. 

Thank you to all the homeowners who participate in this program, without your efforts, this wonderful community tradition would not be possible.

Don’t forget to visit some of the winners from last year (list below) to see what they might be up to this year. We heard that the Piedmont Avenue cul-de-sac isa study in motion and color!

Holiday Light Award winners 2017

2017 

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

It’s huge – Christmas Storybook Land

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

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

The 42nd Christmas Storybook Land

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Last year, nearly 4,000 children took part.

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

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

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

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

She also reminded families to bring their cameras.

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

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

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

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

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

What to know if you go

CHRISTMAS STORYBOOK LAND

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

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

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

More information: www.christmasstorybookland.org.

Holiday Night Time Magic Light Contest – 2018

photo of Christmas lights outdoors, with yard crammed full of decorations and colors.

Once again, the Albany Visitors Association is helping to make the holiday season bright by sponsoring the 31st Annual Night Time Magic Holiday Light Program. Residents are encouraged to enter this contest for the best home/business light displays.

Three winners will be selected and one group entry will be awarded the “Best Neighborly Effort.”  Winners will be entitled to bragging rights for the entire year, and one of three fabulous prizes as determined by the prize committee. Be a part of Historic Albany’s “Magic!”   

The contest is an annual tradition to help the city celebrate the season and create holiday lights for residents and visitors to enjoy. Participants are encouraged to share the source for their inspiration such as: family tradition; favorite holiday book, movie or special; music, dance or art; special collection; just lights, lights and more lights—the more the merrier!; or your own idea or inspiration for creating the display.

Rules

  1. Entries must be within the city limits of Albany.
  2. Homeowners are encouraged to use lights to illuminate their yard decorations.
  3. Lights need to be on from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. December 1, 2018 – January 1, 2019. (If  entry form submitted after Dec 1st, you have until December 9th to display lights.)
  4. Entries for “Best Neighborly Effort” must have three or more partners in a concentrated area. 
  5. Entry/Nomination Deadline: 5:00 p.m. on December 9, 2018.

Entry forms can be picked up (or requested via e-mail: info@albanyvisitors.com) and returned to Albany Visitors Association at 110 3rd Ave SE, Albany, OR 9732. Or download an entry form and return per instructions above.

Winners will be announced by December 15, 2018 and prize distribution made soon after.

People wishing to drive the route to look at the entries can pick up a list of participants and a map at the Albany Visitors Association beginning December 15, 2018. Lights will be up through January 1, 2019. 

Thank you to all the homeowners who participate in this program, without your efforts this wonderful community tradition would not be possible.

Previous Holiday Light Award Winners

2017 

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

2016

  1. 3849 Oakmont Loop NE, Albany, OR 97322 
  2. 2035 Jefferson St SE, Albany, OR 97321
  3. 255 Country Club Ln NW, Albany OR 97321
  4. 1327 NW North Albany Rd, Albany, Oregon 97321

2015

  1. 222 Fourth Avenue SE, Albany OR 97321
  2. 1000 Lincoln St SW, Albany OR 97321
  3. 2905 Lawnridge St SW, Albany OR 97321
  4. 140 First Avenue West, Albany, Oregon 97321

2014

  1. 627 Broadalbin SW, Albany OR 97321
  2. 4160 Evergreen Street SE, Albany OR 97322
  3. 2110 Geary Street SE, Albany OR 97322
  4. 2670 Kingston Way NW, Albany OR 97321
  5. Washington Street houses, block 600

2013

  1. 514 NE 13th Ave.
  2. Santa on the rooftop view from Bridge & Water Ave.
  3. 5th Avenue SW, block 800
  4. 630 Seventh Avenue SW

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.

History, Holidays, and Horses

Image of large draft horses hitched to wagon and wearing Christmas harnesses in front of the Monteith House Museum in Albany, Oregon. A sunset shines pink behind the silhouette of trees.

Are you a romantic soul yearning for a Victorian Christmas? If so, you really need to know about the Albany Annual Christmas Parlour Tour of Historic Homes and Buildings. Coming up on Sunday, December 9, 2018, from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., the 39th annual 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 interiors of historic homes.

(*Win tickets to this event; see below in the “Win free tickets” section!)

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.

While the tour is considered “self-guided,” you can ride either the trolley or the horse and wagon around to each stop (this is included in the ticket price) or drive your own car, trek by bike or two legs, or any other mode of alternative transportation. A map will be provided the day of the tour.

This jolly holiday event includes 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. 

Win free tickets

We will be giving away three pairs of tickets ($30 value) to the tour! Simply subscribe to our monthly events e-newsletter between November 20th and December 1st to be entered in the drawing. Current subscribers are included. We will contact winners on December 4th.

A Dickens Christmas Dinner Benefit at Sybaris

An antique engraving with hand-colored pencil depicting a scene from the Charles Dickens novel "A Christmas Carol"After the Parlour Tour, you have an opportunity to attend an absolutely divine benefit supper. Sybaris Bistro will host a “historic” dinner at their restaurant on December 9th at 5:00 p.m. This dinner is the fourth “Let Kids be Kids,” event, and will raise funds for local underprivileged children to ride the Albany Historic Carousel.  

The menu includes chilled pheasant pie with wassail jelly, goose “ham,” pease porridge, mock turtle soup, smoked trout kedgeree, roasted pork loin with sugar plum gravy, roasted potatoes, plum pudding with hard sauce, real English Stilton, fruits and nuts, and oat biscuits.

The cost is $50 per person, $75 with wine pairing; gratuity not included.  Please, don’t be a Scrooge, raise your glasses for kids who need passes! Telephone Sybaris for the all important reservation: 541-928-8157.

November in Albany – What you want to do

Photo of stained glass with "Calapooia Brewing Co."

Now that the leaves have turned crimson and auburn, we Valley-folk know that this is a perfect time to wander our local trails for wildlife viewing or settle into a cozy indoor seat at your favorite coffee spot and watch the world go by. 

Invite your friends and family to visit and take advantage of great rates at our local hotels. If you’d like to spend a day or two in historic Albany this month, we have a few suggestions—like 20!

November (various dates and times) Live Music at Calapooia Brewing Company Enjoy artisanal brews and ciders at one of Albany’s first micro-breweries. From blues, folk, rock and jazz, November’s line-up of musical talent is sure to please. Order a gourmet burger and a brew during the show. Visit Calapooia’s Facebook page for more information on the artists, and show dates and times: https://www.facebook.com/calapooiabrewing/

Photo of artists standing inside the Gallery Calapooia where their art is displayed.November 2nd First Friday at Gallery Calapooia, Urban Ag, and other participating businesses Get your art on and do a little early 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. Music will be performed by String Theory. Telephone the gallery at 541-971-5701 for more information or visit their website: GalleryCalapooia. At Urban Ag, shop their extended First Friday hours until 8:00 p.m. This unique shop has 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, bistros and restaurants, including the Albany Regional Museum (ARM). ARM’s November First Friday features local author Jim Lindsay signings book “Swerve.”

Nov 2nd – 4th Blackberry Junction is a vintage boutiquey indoor show that features everything from collectibles to shabby and rustic finds, antiques, seasonal/holiday adornments and much more. It is one of the valley’s largest and original shows of its kind and is sure to inspire you. The show is located at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center, 3700 Knox Butte Rd, Albany. Visit the event page for hours and more information.

November 2nd – 4th The Friends of the Albany Public Library is hosting a Fall Book Sale featuring all kinds of gently-used books, CDs, and DVDs, priced from 50 cents to $3.00. There will also be specially-priced books and jigsaw puzzles. Located in the Meeting Room at the Main Albany Public Library, 2450 14th Ave. SE. See the Facebook event page for hours and contact: https://www.facebook.com/events/2101621123485688/

November 8th The Taste Sample menu bites from the Mid-Willamette Valley’s best restaurants, wineries, and breweries. This annual event is a fundraiser benefiting Albany’s YMCA’s Scholarship Fund. There’s also a silent auction with great items from many local businesses. VIP Tickets are $75 and regular tickets are $50 per person, ages 21 and over. Visit the YMCA Albany on Facebook for ticket information.

November 8th – 10th Time for the annual Albany Downtown Unwrapped and Holiday Open House event. Be sure to come see the surprises downtown at your favorite shops and restaurants. Get a jump on your gift shopping and have dinner at one of our fabulous restaurants. Several participating bistros will be offering “Unwrapped” cocktails and desserts. Christmas Storybook Land’s Mrs Claus will be strolling the sidewalks with candy cane treats. You’ll have an opportunity to vote for your favorite decorated window, ballots will be available at participating merchants. Visit the Albany Downtown Association for more information www.albanydowntown.com

November 10th Albany Veterans Day Memorial Service From 8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. at Timber-Linn Park at the Linn County Veterans Memorial. This service honors our fallen along with recognition for our current troops. Guest speakers, laying of the Gold Star and POW/MIA wreaths, “Oregon’s Own” 234th Band will play a medley of service songs, a 21-round salute and Echo Taps will be preformed. There is no charge for this event and it is open to all. For more information visit the event Facebook page.

November 10th Albany Veterans Day Parade  Be prepared to feel proud of your nation as marching bands, troops, first responders, retired veterans, and a whole host of honorary floats and historical reenactments take place in the largest Veterans Day Parade west of the Mississippi River. This parade is one of the most well-attended Veterans Day events in Oregon. So come on downtown from 11:00 A.M. to 2:00 p.m. and honor our vets. For more information telephone 541-981-2390.

November 10th US Capitol Christmas Tree Visits Albany While you are here for the Veterans Day Parade, be sure to stop by the Linn County Courthouse (and the Albany Visitors Association booth) for a chance to win free rides on the Albany Carousel. The giant Oregon-grown “People’s Christmas Tree” is on its way to Washington DC, and you don’t want to miss a chance to wish it good luck! The tree will be on display in its trailer from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 pm. before setting off on its journey.

November 13th – 15th The Willamette Valley Ag Expo takes place at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Thinking about getting into farming or maybe need some tips and tools for your established operation? Attendees will have the opportunity to work with exhibitors and vendors directly, getting questions answered and forging new relationships. In addition to the wonderful exhibitors and classes, you’ll enjoy other attractions such as “Dine Around Oregon,” an antique farm equipment display, and an educational area from Oregon Women for Agriculture. Admission is $4 per person and parking is free. For information visit the event website  WVAE

November 14th Join the Albany Regional Museum for another fun and informative History Bites at noon on Wednesday the 14th. November’s free presentation will focus on Adair Air Force Station (AFS) and its role in the Cold War defense of the US. Presenter Dennis Emerson, board member of Adair Living History, Inc., is a retired USAF officer who once lived at ASF. Gary Richards another board member from Adair Living History, Inc. (known locally as “The Circuit Rider”) will showcase new projects for those interested in Camp Adair. This event is free but donations are appreciated. Refreshments will be provided. ARM is located at 136 SE Lyon St in Albany. For more information, contact the Albany Regional Museum.

November 17th Calling all antique car lovers! You don’t want to miss the Albany Indoor Automotive Swap Meet at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The meet features antique cars, car parts, reproduction vendors, and memorabilia hosted by the Enduring A’s Chapter, MAFCA. General admission is $5 for 16 and older. For more information, telephone 541-928-1218 or email albanyswapmeet@comcast.net

November 17th Don’t forget that the Albany Farmers’ Market is wrapping up their season with the last market of 2018 on Saturday the 17th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Get those fresh pumpkins and other goodies, including lots of locally made gifts and treats! Enjoy hot coffee by Margin and bakery items from The Warehouse and Natural Sprinkles as you fill your shopping bag with freshly harvested produce and holiday greenery.

Thanksgiving Day, November 22nd If you want to enjoy your turkey day with the family and feel zero guilt about that second piece of pie, how about taking part in the Annual Gobbler’s Revenge. Starting at 7:30 a.m. and “running” until noon, you can choose the Half Marathon, 10K Scenic Challenge Run, 5K To-Hill-and-Back Run, and the 2.5 mile Walk North Albany Middle School. For more information telephone 541-497-1512 or visit the event website to register: www.omroadrace.org/gobbler-s-revenge.html

November 23rd – 25th Enjoy a German harvest celebration at Albany’s Springhill Cellars Winery. The Federweisser Festival at Springhill was first launched in 1990. The three day fest will feature still-fermenting Riesling (the Federweisser) with specially made bratwürst and Zwiebelkuchen, a sweet onion tart. The winery is located at 2920 NW Scenic Drive in North Albany. For information on the festival and the winery, visit Springhill Cellars Winery

November 24th Shop Small Saturday in Downtown Albany 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Downtown Albany is proud of the many local, independent retailers who offer unique products you’ll never find at a big box store. Many items are hand crafted and made in the Northwest. Shop small and local and don’t forget the gift shop at the Carousel! Visit the Albany Downtown Association website for more details.

Ballet dancer in costume with Carousel baby elephant.November 24th – Ballet and Music at the Albany Historic Carousel Enjoy performances by the Willamette Apprentice Ballet and the Corvallis Community Band. For more information as it becomes available, visit the Carousel’s Facebook page  AlbanyHistoricCarousel

November 28th and 29th The Girls and Boys Club of Albany invite you to the annual Celebration of Trees at 1215 Hill St SE. “Community Night” is 11/28, from 2p.m. – 8 p.m. and is free to the public. Auction Night on 11/29 does require paid admission and reservations 541-926-6666, so please contact the club for more information. Enjoy 30 decorated trees and youth choirs. Visit the club on Facebook at  Boys & Girls Club of Albany

November 30th Town & Country Christmas Bazaar This great show features handmade items such as ceramic, jewelry, photo, fiber, metalwork, sculptures, glass, mixed media, wood, graphics, paintings and much more.  For information visit Linn Co Fair & Expo

November 30th (through December 14th) Albany’s best family Christmas show opens on November 30th, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Linn County Fair & Exposition Center on Knox Butte Rd. Christmas Storybook Land is an enormous indoor 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

Bonus! Download the Explore Albany App to your smart phone or tablet and design your own Albany adventure. Available for both Android and Apple. Interactive historic district maps tell the story of our architectural styles and Albany history. Take a day trip through covered bridge territory or plan a hike through one of our many parks. Make a stop at the Albany Historic Carousel & Museum and share a selfie on Instagram or Facebook with us. simply go to Apple’s App Store or Google Play and search for Albany Explorer ,then download the free app.

Veterans Day collectible buttons available

Commemorative 2018 Veterans Day buttons are on sale for $5 and are selling fast, according to Al Severson of the Veterans Commemoration Association in Albany. The theme for this year’s Veterans Day parade in Albany is “A Century of Valor,” celebrating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

“We have 2,000 of them and proceeds will help cover costs of the parade,” Severson said. “I’ve probably sold 40 of them just because people have seen me wearing them.”

The buttons feature artwork of a soldier, flag and poppies inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields.” They read: A Century of Valor, 2018, Albany Veterans Day Parade.” The buttons can be purchased at the Frame House, 434 West First Ave., Albany.

For $20, people can become members of the Veterans Commemoration Association and will receive four buttons, Severson said.

A few of the 2017 buttons are still available for purchase, Severson said. “Last year was the first year for the buttons and we hope to make it an annual thing,” Severson said. “We’d like people to collect them like the old Timber Carnival buttons.”

Severson said he is impressed with the 12 applications that have been received for the Veteran of the Year. “It is the most we’ve had in many years,” Severson said. “They came from Albany, Lebanon, Junction City and more and the veterans had very impressive military records.”

Severson said a committee is reviewing the applications and should be completed by the end of the month. “We have one nominee who is 100 years old,” Severson said. “We have several in their 90s and some in their 80s. They represent World War II, Korea and Vietnam.”

Severson said applications are also coming in for parade entries. The 67th annual Veterans Day Parade will start at 11 a.m. on Nov. 10 and will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I at the “11th hour, on the 11th day, of the 11th month of 1918.”

Parade categories include marching bands, color guards or honor guards, marching units, walking entries, floats, equestrian units, and vehicles.

Entry forms can be picked up at the Frame House or by 541-981-2390 or emailing: albanyveteransdayparade@gmail.com.

The annual Veteran of the Year Banquet will be held Nov. 9. Tickets are $27.50 each or $30 after Nov. 1.

*Original article by Alex Paul, reporter for the Democrat Herald, published Sep 18, 2018

Our top 10 for the Fourth of July and beyond

Photo by Alondra Olivas on Unsplash

Although Albany may not have a fireworks display on Independence Day, we certainly can toast to a variety of Linn County and Albany events that take place in and around the 2018 holiday. We thought you might enjoy the following:

Albany Visitors association Fourth of July, July 4, Independence Day, Tandem bikes. NW Tandem Rally1)  June 29th – July 4th Welcome to the participants of the 2018 NW Tandem Bike Rally! You may notice hundreds of cool looking tandem bicycles along Albany and Linn County roads from June 29th through the Fourth. This is a family-oriented event and cyclists of all ages will be camped out at Timber Ridge School and local hotels. Rally participants will be visiting Albany businesses and restaurants, holiday events in Brownsville, Harrisburg, and Independence, as well as Linn County historic covered bridges and other attractions. Make sure to say “Hi!” and strike up a conversation with these friendly fun-loving folks. For more info on how you can participate in the next rally, visit https://nwtr.org

Albany Visitors Association, 2018 Blacksheep Gathering2)  June 29th – July 1st This is the first year that the immensely popular fiber festival, the Black Sheep Gathering takes place in Albany. For the last 40 years the festival was held in Eugene. However, the venue has been relocated to the Linn County Fair & Expo Center in Albany. Come see the unique breeds of goats and sheep, peruse the fiber arts and yarn show, watch the fleece judging, and participate in workshops. Visit www.blacksheepgathering.org for more information on the festival schedule.

3)  June 22nd and June 29th Celebrate the season by visiting MoonShadow Lavender Farm on the last two Fridays in June. The farm will open to the public on the 22nd and 29th, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. MoonShadow is located at 34556 Mountain View Pl NE. Contact Gale (541.928.5122) to register for lavender workshops, including wreath, wand, and swag-making classes. Their gift shop will be open for picking up fragrant bouquets, sachets, soaps, essential oils and other items. Visit http://www.moonshadowlavender.com for more information.

Albany Visitors Association, East Albany Lions Lumberjack breakfast4)  June 30th – July 4th You won’t want to miss the annual East Albany Lions Lumberjack Breakfast. Sausage, eggs, pancakes, and all the accompaniments will be served up at Timber Linn Park. The breakfast starts each day at 6:00 a.m. and lasts until the last pancake is flipped at 11:00 a.m. Alongside the big breakfast is a great classic car cruise-in. All proceeds from the five day event go to local charities and the Lion’s sight and hearing program. The breakfast is $8 for adults and $4 for children ages 11 and under. For more information visit http://www.facebook.com/eastalbanylions/

5)  July 4th 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/

6)  July 4th 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

7)  July 5th Although it follows on the heels of 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 Blood, Sweat, and Tears will fill the park with 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 Red Robin Children’s Art Area opens at 5:30 p.m. For the full summer schedule visit https://www.cityofalbany.net/departments/parks-and-recreation/events/river-rhythms

Albany Visitors Association Gallery Calpooia, artist Rob R. Robinson collage8)  July 6th Albany’s Gallery Calapooia will be celebrating First Friday at the gallery from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Featured artists in July are Cheryl French and Rob R. Robinson, who will show prints, collage, and paintings. Meet the artists, sip Oregon wine, and peruse the pottery, fiber arts, jewelry, and other hand-crafted art at the gallery during reception hours. It’s a great way to spend a Friday night while enjoying the arts and celebrating with your neighbors. For more information visit https://www.gallerycalapooia.com

Albany Visitors Association blog post about Willamette National Forest 2018 US Capitol Christmas Tree9)  June through October 2nd Christmas arrives in July at the Willamette National Forest in the Sweet Home Ranger District! Not only is there a special contest to find the US Capitol Christmas Tree, but the Willamette Valley Visitors Association has hidden 200 glass ornaments along the forest hiking trails for you to find. If you discover one of the special keepsake ornaments, you can register to win one of over 120 prizes. All entrants who submit their ornament tag ID will also be entered into a sweepstakes with a spectacular grand prize: A round trip for two to Washington DC to attend the US Capitol Christmas Tree lighting and festivities. Visit https://albanyvisitors.com/2018/06/11/unearthing-christmas-in-summer/ for more information.

10)  June through October 31st It’s time for the OSU Master Gardener Demonstration Garden located at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center. Visit the garden for innovative ideas to try at home. Volunteers at the garden grow herbs veggies, flowers, fruit trees, berries and grapes, and sun and shade gardens. They show you how to make compost and share many other home gardening tips. Visit https://www.linnmastergardeners.com/demonstration-garden.html for information on spring and summer hours, and upcoming seasonal events and workshops.

11)  Bonus! Don’t forget to download the free Albany Explorer app, now available on Google Play for Android and Apple for iPhone or iPad. It’s an exciting on-the-go interactive app that features historic covered bridges tours, Albany Historic District architectural tours, top selfie spots, and much much more. It’s a fast and easy way to access event information and to find the perfect place to eat, sleep, and shop. Find out more at https://albanyvisitors.com/2018/05/30/new-albany-mobile-app-launches/

Ride the 2018 NW Tandem Rally

Get your gears spinning for the 2018 Northwest Tandem Rally (NWTR) coming up June 29th through July 4th. Hosted by the Mid Valley Bicycle Club (MVBC), the NWTR has been an annual event since 1986. The MVBC was founded in 1974 and has hosted this family friendly event four times previously.

If you’ve biked the Mid-Willamette Valley before, you’re most likely familiar with our abundance of quiet country roads through farmland and forests and up into the foothills of both the Cascades and Coast Range.

If this will be your first time in the Albany area, you’re in for a real treat. As all of the NWTR routes start in the Valley, there are lots of options for mostly flat rides, as well as hilly rides, and even a short climb or two into the mountains if your legs are up for it!

Albany, Oregon – 2018 rally’s home away from home

The 2018 Northwest Tandem Rally will be centered in the historic town of Albany, the “Gem of the Willamette Valley.” Albany is the eleventh largest city in Oregon and is located at the confluence of the Calapooia and Willamette Rivers. Founded in approximately 1848 the town has the most varied collection of historic buildings in Oregon.

While you are in town, make sure to visit the pioneer-era Monteith House  and regional museums. Take the family to the Historic Albany Carousel & Museum or attend a River Rhythms outdoor concert on a Thursday summer evening.

Surrounding Albany is one of the most diversified agricultural areas of the state, featuring miles of quiet country roads, historic covered bridges, and a burgeoning wine, hops, and spirits industry. Schedule a visit to one of Albany’s incredible restaurants and vibrant coffee houses during your stay.

Stop by the Albany Visitors Association for maps, a visitors guide, and recommendations for family-friendly places to visit while you’re in town for the rally. AVA is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, and on Saturdays (9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) in the summer, and is located at 110 3rd Ave SE. Telephone 541-928-0911 for more information.

Accommodations and registration

Since the Fourth of July falls in the middle of the week this year, an extended rally is possible. You can stay an additional two days beyond the regular four-day schedule, and enjoy six days of riding through the scenic Willamette Valley. There’s even a bonus three or four day tour following the rally if you just can’t stop peddling.

For a full list of the NWTR accommodations, including the campgrounds at South Albany High School and rally hoteliers, and registration information, visit the 2018 NWTR website.

See you in Albany!

The 2017 Night Time Magic Holiday Light Winners

The Albany Visitors Association is proud to announce the winners of  The 2017 Night Time Magic Holiday Light & Decorating Contest

And the winners are …

 

  • Piedmont Christmas Cul-de-sac, 6127 Piedmont Pl SW, Albany, OR 97321

 

 

 

 

  • It’s the Most Magical Time of the Year, 3849 Oakmont Loop NE, Albany, OR 97322

 

 

 

 

  • Let there be light, 797 Fairmont Drive NE, Albany, OR 97322

 

 

 

 

  • Candy Cane Colored Cape Cod Colonial, 1122 11th Ave SW Albany, Oregon 97321

 

 

 

 

  • Holiday Greetings in Downtown Albany, No Dinx Inc., 139 SE 1st Ave, Albany, OR 97321

 

 

 

Winners will receive a Winner Award Certificate and a $50 gift card to Albany’s downtown first-run movie house: The Pix Theatre. Photos of the winning homes will be on display at the Pix Theatre and on the Albany Visitors Association website along with a list of locations to see. Winners will also be entitled to bragging rights for the entire year! Thank you to all the homeowners who participate in this program. Without your efforts, this wonderful community tradition would not be possible.

Get your map

Want to take a drive with the family and see the lights in person? Download the PDF of the winners’ map, or pick one up from our office at Third and Lyon.