Open Season – Albany Farmers’ Market

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

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

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

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

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

Power of Produce Kids’ Club in Albany

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

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

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

What to know if you go

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

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

Join us at The Pix for the 2019 Photo Contest Awards

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

The public is invited to a big party, Saturday, April 20, 2019, for the free AVA Photo Contest Awards at The Albany Pix Theatre, 321 SW 2nd Ave in Downtown Albany.

We can say that quite possibly, “You get a prize, she gets a prize, they get a prize – but not without showing up!” Door prize drawings will be awarded to several lucky attendees. We also hear that snacks will be served – – yum.

AVA received over 200 photos that our esteemed judges selected this year’s winners from. While we can’t reveal who won just yet, come and join us for the party and see all of the entries on the big screen.

Watch this space for an updated video of the winners. In the meanwhile, head on over to our Flickr albums and catch a glimpse at what you’ll see at the party.

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

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.

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

Albany Carousel’s first birthday

It’s hard to believe that one year has passed since the Albany Historic Carousel & Museum opened its doors to happy crowds in August 2017. (See the carnival anniversary event information below the blog post.)

Thousands from across the US have walked into the carousel’s impressive building and experienced its unique brand of enchantment. Visitors often find themselves instantly drawn to a particular animal—be it a giraffe or bulldog, horse or frog—each creature is a work of art and love that resonates. Albany’s carousel creatures are hand carved and hand-painted by community volunteers and individually take several years to complete.

Recently, I took out-of-town family to the carousel and we concluded that you are never too old to soak up magic. The “kids” I brought were in their 40s and as we looked around, we noticed that many riders were twice that age. Smiles were universal as the carousel began to move. Given that carousels were introduced to America in the late 1880s, it’s no surprise that many of us remember “merry-go-rounds” as part of our childhood experience. 

The Gustav Dentzel family is credited with bringing European carousel production to the US during the Victorian era, and it is one of their original antique mechanisms that drives the Albany carousel today. The 100-year old fir and cast iron gears were donated by Dentzel descendants. It took local volunteers and laborers over a decade to rebuild and refurbish the antique motor, readying it for the grand opening. Long-range planning and organizing by community member Wendy Kirby is one reason the carousel project succeeded. Her determination and spirit was the primary driver behind spinning dreams into reality.

What you’ll discover when you go

Entering through the Albany Carousel doors is an act steeped in whimsy. The door handles are carved fantasies—animals spiraling around a branch, entwined with leaves. As your fingers curl about the handles, you’re touching the work of local artisans.

The great carousel room is filled with light from enormous windows and gentle breezes from overhead ceiling fans. The domed interior is bathed in a soft glow from amber-hued and arched wood beams. Starry-eyed riders eagerly wait their turn, peering through the wrought iron gate. 

Smiling volunteers accept your $2 ride token and help you clamber aboard. Everyone can ride this carousel, as it is accessible to both wheelchairs or those needing a bit of assistance. A step stool is readily available for anyone who’d appreciate an extra boost for climbing onto a tall animal.

After you take a ride (or two or three!), make sure to visit the carving and painting room. A number of animals are still in production, and repairs to the current roster take place downstairs. Visit the in-house museum that includes 100-year old animals, signs, and other memorabilia—many donated by the Dentzel family. Don’t forget to visit the carousel gift shop where you can purchase souvenirs, toys, postcards and presents to take back home.

Blog post by Maddie MacGregor

Celebrate the Carousel’s One Year Anniversary

On Saturday, August 18th, the Albany Carousel is hosting a family event—an old-fashioned carnival to celebrate the first birthday of its grand opening. The carnival is a fundraiser and will feature game booths, photo booths, a bounce house, face painting, shaved ice and kettle corn, and other activities and snacks. The event runs from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Albany Carousel & Museum is located at 503 W 1st Ave. For more information, visit www.albanycarousel.com or telephone 541-497-2934. 

10 ways to celebrate August in Linn County

July ends with a bang and August starts with a golden glow as wheat fields are harvested and outdoor fun goes full tilt. The following are 10 ways to celebrate and participate in harvest season with friends and family. We’re pretty sure you’ll find at least one to add to your calendar!

(1) July 28th The Albany Historic Homes Interior Tour  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 homes—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. 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, telephone AVA at 541-928-0911. (You can also purchase tickets on AVA’s secure website at https://albanyvisitors.com/…/2018-albany-historic-interior…/ )

(2) July 29th It’s time for the annual Festival Latino at Monteith River Park in Albany. Spend the afternoon, from Noon to 4:00 p.m., listening to great music, enjoying awesome food, and meeting your neighbors. The festival features a children’s activities area, a health and resources fair, and cultural performances. The festival is free to attend (food is available for purchase).

(3) August 3rd Love Celtic music and local wines? Combine your true loves into a Friday evening out! The Dinna Fash Celtic Trio is performing at Mark’s Ridge Winery on Friday, August 3rd, starting at 7:00 p.m. The winery is located at 29255 Berlin Rd in Sweet Home. Visit the winery website for more info: http://www.marksridge.com

(4) Now Through August 4th Happening now at the Albany Civic Theater: “Bell, Book and Candle.” The classic fairytale about a lovable witch comes to the stage. Tickets are available for upcoming performances on July 27, 28, 29 and August 2, 3, and 4. Visit the ACT website for ticket info: http://www.albanycivic.org

(5) August 3rd through 5th: Sweet Home calls all country music lovers for the Oregon Jamboree. This year’s stars include Clint Black, Brantley Gilbert, and Brett Eldredge. This not-to-be-missed musical event boasts two stages, 25 shows, over three days. The Oregon Jamboree is nestled in the foothills of the scenic Cascade Mountains, on 20-plus acres that includes the historic Weddle Covered Bridge. The Jamboree offers a full festival atmosphere in the main venue and a more intimate concert experience on the second stage in Sankey Park. In addition to featured headline entertainment, this event hosts RV and tent camping, merchandise vendors, food booths, beer and wine gardens, and a variety of other attractions. For ticket and other information, visit: http://oregonjamboree.com

(6) August 4th through 5th Time to mark your calendars and get your tickets: The Mother Earth News Fair is coming up on August 4th and 5th at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center in Albany. Two days of workshops on renewable energy, small-scale farming, homesteading, natural health, organic gardening and more! Come enjoy delicious food, family entertainment and a vast marketplace. Check the fair’s website to purchase tickets in advance, and for more detailed information. https://www.motherearthnews.com/…/mother-ea…/albany-ore-fair

(7) August 8th Do you have ancestors or family that settled in Albany? Would you like some tips on researching your Linn County family tree? Then mark Wednesday, August 8th at noon on your calendar. The Albany Regional Museum will host its monthly “History Bites” series and the Linn Genealogical Society will present. For more info visit https://www.armuseum.com

(8) August 18th Join the Albany Historic Carousel & Museum as they celebrate their one year anniversary with a carousel fundraiser: Carnival at the Carousel. Just as the nostalgia of the carousel lights the faces of those who visit, we hope that the nostalgia of a vintage carnival will do the same. Come see carnival games of the past, old-fashioned carnival characters, a cakewalk, carousel-made photo-boards and kissing booth, Kona Ice, Kettle Korn, and a bounce house. For more information visit www.albanycarousel.com

(9) August 19th The first of Albany’s 2018 Farm to Table Dinners takes place on Saturday, August 19th. Dine al fresco along a shaded historic waterway—the Albany 8th Street Canal. Feast on delectable creations by Chef Matt Bennett of Sybaris Bistro and sip locally-grown and crafted Springhill Cellars Winery selections. The menu is based on Cajun Creole cuisine inspired by Chef Bennett’s recent trip to New Orleans. Seating at the dinner is limited and we encourage you to purchase your tickets early for what will no doubt, be a sold-out event. Dinner proceeds will benefit the Albany Regional Museum (ARM) and enable them to continue to offer free admission to all visitors. Hop on over to ARM’s website and get your tickets now! https://squareup.com/store/albany-regional-museum

(10) Aug 24th through August 26th The NW Art & Air Festival may be the the best little late summer festival around! Watch hot air balloons ascend the night sky during the magical night glow event and early dawn flights. The balloon regatta is a colorful affair and Timber Linn Park will be alive with music, artists, family activities (including Young Eagle Flights) and yummy food from a variety of vendors. Musical artists (featuring this year’s headliner “Goo Goo Dolls”) give evening performances. For the adults, there’s a wine and microbrew garden. The festival is free, but parking is $5. Learn more at: http://nwartandair.org