Albany’s Night Time Magic Holiday Light Contest 2015

Albany Christmas pix

Once again, the Albany Visitors Association is helping to make the holiday season bright by sponsoring the 28th Annual Night Time Magic Holiday Light Program. Residents are encouraged to enter a contest (or submit your friends and neighbors) for best use of lights in decorating the exterior of their homes.

Three winners will be selected to win great prizes and one 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 theme is “Holiday Night Time Magic.”
Participants are encouraged to share the source for their inspiration such as:

  • A family tradition…
  •  A favorite holiday book, movie or special…
  • Music, dance or art as inspiration…
  • A special collection…
  • Just Lights, Lights and more Lights…
  • Or another favorite idea or inspiration.

Contest Rules:

  1.  Entries must be within the city limits of Albany.
  2. Homeowners are encouraged to use lights to illuminate their decorations.
  3. Lights need to be on from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. December 1 – January 1st
  4. Entries for “Best Neighborly Effort” must have three or more partners in a concentrated area.
  5. Entry/Nomination Deadline: 5:00 pm on December 7, 2015.
  6. Decorations can be any style and lights can be white, clear or colored.

How to enter: Entry forms can be picked up and turned in at the Albany Visitors Association: 110 3rd Ave SE, Albany, OR 97321. You can also click here to request an entry form by e-mail.

Deadlines: Entry/nomination deadline is 5 p.m. Dec. 7, 2015. Winners will be announced by December 15th and presentations made soon after.

Touring Albany’s lights: People wishing to drive or walk through the town to look at the participating locations can pick up a list of participants and a map at the Albany Visitors Association beginning December 15. Lights will be on through January 1, 2015.

A special thanks to Burcham’s Metals for helping to make the season bright. Thank you to all the homeowners who participate in this program, without your efforts this wonderful community tradition would not be possible.

Photo: by Dan Bateman

Giving thanks: Albany’s 2015 Thanksgiving Day meals

Fireside dining at Sybaris by Dennis Rivera

Thanksgiving feasts and where to find them

No Thanksgiving is complete without a tasty meal. If you want a holiday feast but aren’t up to cooking it yourself, here are some Thanksgiving Day 2015 options in Albany, Oregon.


Novak’s Hungarian Restaurant | 208 Second Ave. SW, Albany | Noon, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015 | 541-967-9488 | Price: free. The Novak family is well-known for their belief that no one should go without a meal on Thanskgiving Day. All are welcome to attend their community meal; first-come, first-served, single seating at noon.

Sybaris Bistro 10th Annual ABC House Fundraiser Dinner | 442 First Ave. W, Albany | 1:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015. | 541-928-8157 | Price: $40/adult; children 7-14 $15; kids 6 and under eat free. All sales from this annual event go directly to the ABC House; Sybaris owners and staff donate their time and all gratuities. Call for reservations.

Frankie’s Restaurant | 641 Hickory St. NW, Albany | Two seatings, noon and 3 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015 | 541-248-3671 | Price: $35/adults; kids 7-12 $15; ages 6 and younger free. Special three-course Thanksgiving meal shared with Frankie’s family and friends. The owners at Frankie’s are also seeking two families in need with whom they can share the Thanksgiving meal; e-mail the chef to nominate a family. Call for reservations.

Cascade Grill | 110 Opal Ct. NE, Albany | open from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015 | 541-926-3388. If you’re traveling over Thanksgiving, this restaurant is conveniently located walking distance from hotels and RV parks. Reservations requested for large groups.

Denny’s | 3435 Spicer Rd., Albany | open 24 hours Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015 | 541-791-2091. Denny’s will be open and serving turkey all day long on Thanksgiving.

Elmer’s | 2802 Santiam Hwy. SE, Albany | open 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015 | 541-928-4227. Elmer’s will be open normal hours, with turkey on the menu starting at 11 a.m.

Sizzler | 2148 Santiam Hwy SE, Albany | open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015 | 541-926-6591. Sizzler will have turkey on the menu from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Reservations requested for large groups.


Pre-Thanksgiving Luncheon at Albany Senior Center | 489 Water Ave. NW, Albany | noon, Thursday, Nov. 19 | 541-917-7760. Enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at the Albany Senior Center. Tickets $8 each ($6 if purchased before Nov. 11).


Need a place to stay over the holidays? The Albany area is home to cozy B&Bs, full-service hotels and friendly RV parks and campgrounds. Check out our lodging listings to book a Thanksgiving trip to the Willamette Valley.

 

Celebrating Veterans Day 2015 in Albany

Albany’s annual patriotic extravaganza

When it comes to honoring veterans, Veterans Day Parade by Quincy Caseythe friendly little city of Albany, Oregon goes above and beyond, creating an annual celebration like you wouldn’t believe. More than 40,000 people pack the streets for the Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 11, making it the biggest celebration west of the Mississippi. The parade isn’t the only event in town, though. Keep reading for details on what to do, where to go, and where to stay when you visit Albany for Veteran’s Day 2015.


Oct. 10-Nov. 15, 2015: Heroes Wall of Honor. Tribute to fallen soldiers, on display all month at Heritage Mall, 1895 14th Ave. SE.

Nov. 10-12: Oregon Veterans Traveling Memorial Wall

200-px-The-Wall-by-OJ-AndersonHonor the memories of fallen soldiers from Oregon by paying a visit to the Oregon Veterans Traveling Memorial Wall. This exhibit contains the names of every Oregon soldier killed in action from the Vietnam War through the present day. The wall will be on display at First & Lyon St. the week of Veterans Day.

 

Nov. 7, 2015: Patriotic Concerts

Nov. 10, 2015: Concert and Banquet

Willamette Valley Master Chorus, 3 p.m. Tuesday Nov. 10. Concert of music honoring veterans, from Renaissance through modern eras. Willamette University, Salem.

Veteran of the Year Banquet, 7 p.m., Tuesday Nov. 10. Doors open at 6, program begins at 7 p.m. American Legion Post 51, 480 Main St., Lebanon. Tickets required. 541-918-2390 or albanyveteransdayparade@gmail.com.

Parade Day: Nov. 11, 2015

Optimist Club Annual Pancake Breakfast, 6:30-9:30 a.m., West Albany High School, 1130 SW Queen.

Albany Eagles Club Breakfast, 8 a.m.-11 a.m., Albany Eagles Club, 127 Broadalbin St., Albany.

Veterans Day Memorial Service, 8:30 a.m. Service honoring veterans, Timber Linn Memorial Park, including guest speakers and an army band playing Taps.

Albany Veterans Day Parade Route

Click to view enlarged parade route map.

Mid-morning: Head downtown early to get your spot for the Veterans Day parade! Thousands of visitors line the streets every year for the big parade.

64th Annual Veterans Day Parade, 11 a.m. The event you’ve been waiting for! Oregon’s largest Veterans Day Parade starts on Pacific Boulevard and proceeds down the Lyon/Hwy 20 overpass to historic downtown Albany, going past the Albany Visitors Association office and winding up at the Linn County Courthouse. Stop at the AVA for free coffee and hot chocolate during the parade.

After-parade lunches:

  • Sybaris Bistro, beginning at noon: free lunch for Korean War Veterans and a guest. 442 First Ave. W., Albany.
  • American Legion Post 10, 1-6 p.m.: free spaghetti lunch for any parade participant. 1215 Pacific Blvd. SE., Albany.
  • VFW Post 584, beginning at 1 p.m.: free chili lunch for any parade participant. 1469 Timber St. SE, Albany.

Awards Ceremony, 2:30 p.m. Parade Awards Ceremony immediately after the parade, on the steps of the Linn County Courthouse.

Nov. 14, 2015

Freedom Fest 2015. Free catered dinner and entertainment for all active military personnel, veterans and family, American Legion Post 10, 1215 Pacific Blvd. SE. Dinner 6-8 p.m., Entertainment, 8-11 p.m.


Got questions? For the definitive answer on anything related to Albany’s Veterans Day events, visit www.albanyveteransdayparade.org.

Looking for a place to stay when you come to town for the celebration? Check out Albany hotels and RV parks, many of them located near Timber-Linn Memorial Park, site of the Nov. 11 morning memorial service. 

Photos: Veterans Day Parade 2014 by Quincy Casey; “The Wall” by O.J. Anderson

 

 

Ghost touring in historic Albany

small-Halloween-Faces-by-Kathy-HawthorneLooking for a fun and spooky historical experience? Choose from two options this October: a ride on the Trolley of Terror followed by a candlelit ghost tour of the Monteith House Museum; or a VIP ghost-hunting experience at the Monteith House. Both are sponsored by the Monteith Historical Society.

Trolley of Terror and candlelit ghost tour: The Monteith House is the oldest building in Albany, and was built in 1849. Through the years, ghost stories have been shared about this building, but very few people have had a chance to hear the stories from the inside of its walls, and even fewer have had a chance to seek out the spirits that dwell within. Take a ride on the Trolley of Terror followed by a candlelit ghost tour to hear the ghost stories of downtown Albany and those of the Monteith House that have chilled its inhabitants to the bone.

Ghost hunting: A separate tour — a VIP ghost hunt experience — will take place on Friday, October 30, from 9 p.m. to midnight. The VIP experience is limited to 10 people. VIPs will be joined by experienced paranormal investigators and learn how to use various pieces of ghost hunting equipment. VIPs will then get to help conduct a paranormal investigation of the Monteith House.

Details: The Trolley of Terror will take place on October 23, 24, and 30. Tours on October 23 and 24 will begin at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tours on October 30 will begin at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., with the VIP experience beginning at 9 p.m. and running until midnight.

Tickets: The cost of the Trolley of Terror and candlelit ghost tour is $10 per adult and $5 per child. The VIP experience is $25 per person. Reservations are highly recommended as space is limited. Call the Albany Visitors Association at 541-928-0911 to reserve your seats today.

Photo: “Halloween Faces” by Kathy Hawthorne

Mid-valley 4th of July Celebrations

Photo by Cathy Flowers

Have a fun-filled Fourth of July by attending any of these events being held in Albany and its surrounding areas.

Albany

River Rhythms Concert and Fireworks Show, Thursday, July 2

Start your 4th of July celebrations a little early this year by attending the first River Rhythms Concert of the season.  The concert features the soulful-rock band, Jelly Bread, and is followed by a spectacular fireworks show over the river.  The music starts at 7 p.m., and is free for everyone.

Lumberjack Breakfast, 6-11 a.m., July 2-5

Get ready for your 4th of July festivities with an all-you-can-eat breakfast in Timber-Linn Park, hosted by the East Albany Lions Club. Entry costs $7 per adult, and $4 for children 12 and under.  All proceeds benefit Lions Club charities.

Brownsville

Pancake Breakfast, 7-10 a.m., July 4

Hosted by the Brownsville Chamber of Commerce, the annual Pancake Breakfast is a 4th of July tradition you don’t want to miss. For just $7 per adult, or $4 per child, you can eat as much food as possible, and spend the day exploring historic Brownsville.

BBQ, Beer Garden, and Music, 5:30 p.m., July 4

In the afternoon, head to Randy’s Main Street Coffee for a delicious BBQ and live music.  There will be a beer garden, hosted by Kirk’s Ferry Trading Post, opening at 4 p.m., followed by the BBQ at 5:30.  Music starts at 6 p.m., and is free to all customers.

Fireworks in the Park, after dusk, July 4

Just after sunset, pay a visit to Pioneer Park to watch a spectacular fireworks show over the Calapooia River. The show is one of the best around, and is completely free.

Find details about Brownsville at www.historicbrownsville.com

Corvallis 

Red, White, and Blue Riverfront Festival, all day, July 3-4

This downtown Corvallis festival is a great way to spend Independence Day. With live music, crafts, kids’ activities, great food, and local wine and microbrews, there is something for everyone to take part in as they wait for the sun to set.

Corvallis Jaycees Fireworks Show, after dusk, July 4

Watch beautiful fireworks burst over the Willamette River from your seat at the downtown riverfront.  The show is free for everyone.

Harrisburg

Harrisburg July 4th CelebrationJuly 4

Harrisburg puts on its biggest event of the year on the 4th of July, and this year’s celebration is no exception! Events include food, games, a parade and fireworks over the Willamette River. Parade begins at 11 a.m., and fireworks are at dusk (about 9:30 p.m.) in Riverside Park. (Click the link above for schedule and details).

LebanonFireworks at Cheadle Lake by Nancy Hunt

Star-Spangled Celebration, 6-10:30 p.m., July 4

Pack your picnic basket and pay a visit to Lebanon’s Cheadle Lake Park for a family-friendly 4th of July event. There will be plenty to do, including great food, games, live performances, and more.The firework show starts at 10 p.m., and the entry fee is $10 per carload, or $3 for walk-in groups.

Photos by Cathy Flowers(upper) and Nancy Hunt(lower).

Do you know of any events we haven’t mentioned? Let us know by commenting below! 

 

 

 

 

Albany Christmas Favorites: Week 1

Christmas blog collage

Chances to get into the holiday spirit abound in Albany, Oregon! Here are some of this week’s top holiday events:

Tuesday, Dec. 2:

  • Storytime with Santa: Heritage Mall kicks off December with the first in their series of Storytime with Santa events. Every Tuesday at 10 a.m., from Dec. 2-16, bring kids to Santa’s workshop in Heritage Mall for a chance to meet the big guy in red and hear a holiday story. Storytime is free; photos with Santa are available for purchase.

Thursday, Dec. 4:

  • “Peace and Wonder” Choral Concert: Hear Linn-Benton Community College’s award-winning choirs in concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4 at the Russell Tripp Performance Center. Call 541-917-4531 for tickets and info.

Friday, Dec. 5:

  • Christmas Storybook Land: This annual hand-crafted winter wonderland opens its doors on Friday, Dec. 5. Take the family out to the Linn County Fair & Expo Center to wander past dozens of storybook scenes, detailed doll houses and exquisite model trains. Stop at the end to get a candy cane and visit with Santa. Free. Open Dec. 5-19, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on weeknights and 10-8:30 p.m. on weekends. Don’t miss this classic Albany family tradition.
  • “Trails, Tribulations and Christmas Decorations” at Albany Civic Theater: Go see opening night of this Christmas comedy at the Albany Civic Theater downtown. 541-967-8140 for tickets and info.

Saturday, Dec. 6:

  • Free Family Movie at The Pix: The Albany Downtown Association and the Pix Theatre are teaming up to offer a free holiday movie this Saturday, Dec. 6. Grab your loved ones and some tissues and head downtown to see the classic, heartwarming 1947 version of “Miracle on 34th Street,” about a little girl who doesn’t believe in Santa Claus and the real Kris Kringle who sets out to change her mind. Doors open at 1:30 p.m., showtime is 2 p.m. Free.

Sunday, Dec. 7:

  • Downtown Twice Around Christmas Parade: Bring the whole family to Albany’s fun and quirky downtown Christmas parade this Sunday evening, Dec. 7, at 5 p.m. Anyone who wants to can join in the parade, which loops around Albany’s historic downtown twice. Expect to see drill teams in Santa hats dancing with umbrellas, floats decked out in holiday lights, and Santa himself at the end of the parade.
  • Albany Community Tree Lighting: Immediately after the parade, gather with the community at the corner of Ferry and Second streets, in the parking lot of the Two Rivers Market, for the lighting of the giant fir tree on the corner.

For even more holiday events–yes, there are even more what’s described above!–check out the Albany Visitors Association’s full events calendar. It’s the best place to find out everything happening in our community. Don’t see your favorite holiday event? Comment and let us know! Stay tuned for next week, when we’ll give you a second edition of Albany Christmas Favorites.

The AVA lobby is open 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Masks are required and please maintain at least 6 ft distance from others not from your household. For information regarding COVID-19 or to reach us click here.See updates for AVA, Albany businesses, and local events →
+