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

10 things to do in Mid-July

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

Albany wins travel destination award

Congratulations are in order to our fair city! Albany was included in Northwest Travel & Life magazine’s “52 Getaways” issue in January 2018, and has been named one of the publication’s 2018 Top Travel Picks.

Albany Visitors Association contributed to content developed for the feature article, and Albany businesses are highlighted, including The Pix Theater, Sybaris Bistro, and the Albany Historic Carousel & Museum.

Read the article “Dreamers and Doers” in NW Travel & Life’s ’52 Getaways for 2018.’

 

 

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.