Holiday Events & Christmas Dinners | Dec. 21-26, 2015

500 px Santa in downtown

For families with kids at home, it’s officially Christmas vacation! If you’re looking for fun things to do in the final few days before December 25, here are details of holiday events this week in Albany. PLUS: looking for delicious Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners in Albany? Keep reading for details!

Here are our top picks for the fourth week of the holiday season, Dec. 21-26, 2015. For even more things to do in Albany, Oregon, visit our full event calendar.

Calapooia Brewing Holiday Ale Sale | Dec. 18-24, 2015. Calapooia Brewing’s annual Holiday Ale Sale is going on now–pick up a full case of 22-ounce bottles for $20/case, incuding their popular holiday seasonal, Kringle Krack. Details: Calapooia Brewing

Sweet Red Winter Solstice Dinner Party | 4:48 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21 2015. Celebrate the darkest day of the year with a flambe-themed dinner party. Cocktails start at sunset, 4:48 p.m. Details: Sweet Red Bistro

Storytime with Santa | 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015. Visit Heritage Mall and sit with Santa while his helper reads a holiday story to get you in the Christmas spirit. Details: Storytime with Santa

Visits with Santa | daily, until 6 p.m. Dec. 24, 2015. If the little ones in your life haven’t had a chance to meet Santa Claus yet this year, he’ll be at Heritage Mall every day until Christmas Eve for visit and photos. Details: Heritage Mall

Whitespires Christmas Eve Sing-a-Long | 7 p.m. Dec. 24, 2015. Gather at the beautiful, historic Whitespires Church (510 SW 5th Ave.) in downtown Albany to sing all your favorite Christmas carols. Details: Christmas Sing-a-Long

Christmas Meals in Albany

Christmas Eve Dinner at Frankie’s | Dec. 24, 2015. Frankie’s is open and taking reservations for Christmas Eve Dinner. The regular menu will be available, plus the chef is preparing Anderson Valley Rack of Lamb and Roasted Duck. Reservations recommended. Details: Frankie’s Restaurant

Christmas Day Dinner at Cellar Cat | 4-8 p.m., Dec. 25, 2015. Cellar Cat will be open Christmas Day, and offering a special menu that can be enjoyed a la carte or in a four course prix fixe. Optional wine pairings are also available. Reservations recommended. Details: Cellar Cat

Christmas Day Dinner at Elmer’s Restaurant | 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Dec. 25, 2015. Elmer’s is open Christmas Day and will be serving a ham dinner, turkey dinner, or combination ham and turkey plate. Prime Rib dinner will be served starting at 11 a.m. No reservations. Details: Elmer’s Restaurant

Still to come: stay tuned later this week for details of New Year’s Eve celebrations in Albany, Oregon!


Albany’s 2015 Night Time Magic Winners


The Albany Visitors Association is proud to announce the winners of The 2015 Night Time Magic Holiday Light & Decorating Contest! And the winners are …

222 Fourth SEBest Dressed Historic Home: 222 Fourth Avenue SE, Albany OR 97321. The J. Meyers House is a Queen Anne Cottage with East Lake elements (circa 1898). Many white lights highlight the architectural details of this house beautifully and bring a nostalgic feeling with classic red & green trim throughout their decorations.


1000 LincolnMemories of Christmas Past (Candy Cane Comeback): 1000 Lincoln St SW, Albany OR 97321. Remember those glowing candy canes that adorned the poles on Pacific Blvd in Albany? Well, a few of them still shine bright during the holidays, thanks to folks like these who bring them out to share this special time of year. This beautiful light display has been shining each year for the past 15 and we absolutely agree it is award worthy!

2905 LawnridgeFamily Traditions from One Generation to the Next: 2905 Lawnridge St SW, Albany OR 97321. So much to see. There is really no photo that could do this display justice, so you’ll just have to drive by to see for yourself. Every bush, building and pole, lit up to create a bright and awe-inspiring display. So much flair for the younger generation continuing the family tradition. They certainly have the knack for sharing that holiday spirit.

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! –Sid Stevens Jewelers, 140 First Avenue West, Albany, Oregon 97321. We whole-heartedly agree because everything is more magical when it snows! Every year residents and visitors are welcomed into the downtown shopping district by the warm glow of the c. 1925 Bikman Block dressed in style with lights and garland. Sid Steven’s gorgeous windows serve as an enticement to slow down, perhaps even stop and browse for a while in the not-so-hectic pace of Historic Downtown Albany, Oregon. (photo coming soon)


maps for  NTM 2015Map to award winners: click image to the left for a larger view, or click link to download a PDF:  map to 2015 award winners

Even more lights: Check out these past award winners, which are still gorgeously decorated and fun to visit!

Previous Holiday Light Award winners

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

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

1. 1001 Washington SW
2. 1830 12th Avenue SW
3. 3407 Pacific Blvd SW
4. 6127 Piedmont Pl. SW
5. 4295 Clay Place SE

1. 730 Washington SW
2. 425 6th Ave SW
3. 2893 E Mountain View Dr SE
4. 1340 NE Mayview Dr.
Multi-time repeat nominees that are always well worth a drive: Christmas Village at the Piedmont Neighborhood. This neighborhood pulls out all the stops! A delightful way to pass the time while waiting for the big day. Once through is just not enough.

Directions from Albany Visitors Association (110 3rd Avenue SE) to the Piedmont Neighborhood:
1. Head west on SE 3rd Ave. toward Ellsworth St. SW 50 ft.
2. Take second left onto US-20 W/? Ellsworth St. SW 50 ft
3. Turn right onto Pacific Blvd SW 0.5 mi
4. Turn right onto Belmont Ave. SW 2.9mi
5. Turn right onto Piedmont Pl. SW. 0.4mi


Prizes: 2015 Winners will receive a Winner Photo 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!)

Judging: The winners of the Night Time Magic Program are determined by a panel of judges who conduct individual random drive-by sightings between December 7 and 13. Homes must be nominated to win.

History: This is the 28th year that the Albany Visitors Association has been helping to make the holidays bright with the Annual Night Time Magic Holiday Light Program. All nominations receive recognition for participation in Albany’s Night Time Magic program. The reward for participation: Your holiday spirits will be lifted, your home brightened, your neighborhood enlightened and your community enlivened. If you are interested in being a part of Historic Albany’s “Magic,” contact the Albany Visitors Association, 110 3rd Ave SE, or call (541) 928-0911 to receive future announcements. People wishing to look at the participating locations can pick up a list of winners and directions at the Albany Visitors Association or find it online at A special thanks to Burcham’s Metals for helping to make the season bright.


Albany Holiday Events | Dec. 14-Dec. 20, 2015

500 px Christmas Storybookland by Ann Kinkley

Make some holiday memories in Albany, Oregon this week! It’s the final week of Christmas Storybook Land for 2015, plus a visit from Santa’s reindeer, a chance to ride the Candy Cane Express, and still 10 more days of holiday shopping before Christmas. Keep reading to find out what’s happening in Albany this week.

Here are our top picks for the third week of the holiday season, Dec. 14-20, 2015. For even more things to do in Albany, Oregon, visit our full event calendar.

Final week of Christmas Storybook Land 2015 | 5-8:30 p.m. Dec. 14-17, 1-8:30 p.m. Dec. 18, 2015. If you haven’t done it already, this week is the last week of 2015 to take your kids to this magical Albany tradition. Walk through a winter wonderland of storybook scenes, Christmas trees, model trains and dollhouses, including a chance to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Details: Christmas Storybook Land

Storytime with Santa | 9:30 a.m. Dec. 15, 2015. Come visit Santa at Heritage Mall and hear a classic Christmas story. Details: Storytime with Santa

Holiday Light Winners announcement | Dec. 15, 2015. Winners of the 2015 Night Time Magic Holiday Light Contest will be announced this week. Stay tuned for the winners and then plan an evening outing to visit Albany’s favorite Christmas light displays.

Meet Santa’s Reindeer | 3-7 p.m. Dec. 18, 2015. Come see live reindeer at Heritage Mall! Details: Live Reindeer Visit

Hoodoo Ski & Recreation Opens | 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 18, 2015. Hoodoo Ski & Recreation kicks off its 2015/16 season on Friday, Dec. 18, and will remain open until at least 4 p.m. every day through Jan. 4. Check the official website for updates and mountain status: Ski Hoodoo

Holiday Sleigh Rides | 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 19, 2015. Visitors to Heritage Mall can enjoy free sleigh rides around the parking lot in a beautiful horse-drawn carriage. Details: Sleigh Ride

Holiday Nosh Tour | 4-7 p.m. Dec. 19, 2015. Ride on a vintage trolley and taste your way through town, enjoying tasty bites from half-a-dozen chefs at stops along the way. UPDATE: Regular tickets are sold out for this event, but until Dec. 15 new subscribers to Albany Visitors Association’s e-newsletter are entered to win the final pair of tickets. Click to subscribe to the newsletter and be entered to win: E-newsletter sign-up

Willamette Valley Concert Band Christmas Concert | 2-4 p.m. Dec. 19, 2015. Treat your ears to a festive celebration featuring traditional and popular Christmas songs, at the Russell Tripp Performance Center at Linn-Benton Community College. Details: Willamette Valley Concert Band

Christmas Caroling Wagon | 5-8 p.m. Dec. 20, 2015. Ride through Albany’s historic districts in a horse-drawn wagon, singing Christmas carols along the way. Tours every 45 minutes between 5-8 p.m.; by reservation only. UPDATE: Spots on these tours are full; names are being added to a waiting list. 541-928-0911.

Candy Cane Express Train Ride | 1-2 p.m. and 3-4 p.m., Dec. 19 and 20, 2015. Take your kids for a ride on the Candy Cane Express with Santiam Excursion Trains. Details: Candy Cane Express

Shopping: Find unique gifts for the folks on your list when you visit Albany! Browse through charming shops in downtown Albany, and find great seasonal specials at Heritage Mall throughout December.

Still to come: the Whitespires Christmas Eve Sing-a-Long and more! Check back for next week’s events and check our full event calendar for additional holiday happenings.

Photo: Christmas Storybook Land by Ann Kinkley

Need a place to stay in Albany for the holidays? Have friends and family coming to town? Check out Albany’s hotels, B&Bs, and RV Parks for holiday rates.


Albany Holiday Events: Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2015


Albany is the perfect place to celebrate an Oregon Christmas. This friendly little town goes all-out during the holiday season, with historic homes decked in lights, great seasonal boutiques, community parades, and plenty of ways to experience the spirit of an old-fashioned Christmas.

Here are our top picks for the first week of the holiday season, Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2015. For even more things to do in Albany, Oregon, visit our full event calendar.

Holiday Light Contest: Do you go all-out when it comes to Christmas decorating? Do you know someone who does? Nominate yourself (or your friends or neighbors) for a prize in our annual Night-Time Magic Holiday Light Contest. Nomination deadline: Dec. 7, 2015. Details: 2015 Albany Holiday Light Contest.

Christmas Storybook Land opens: This beloved holiday tradition transports visitors to a winter wonderland full of Christmas trees, toy trains, fairy tale scenes, and a chance to visit with Santa Claus himself. Storybook Land runs from Dec. 4-18, 2015.

Pioneer Christmas Party: Bring your kids to the Monteith House and celebrate like it’s 1859. Kids will learn what a pioneer Christmas in Albany would have been like, and will have a chance to ride in a horse-drawn wagon in the Downtown Twice Around Christmas Parade at 5 p.m. Party starts at 3 p.m. and costs $15/child ($10 for additional siblings); call the Albany Visitors Association  at 541-928-0911 to reserve your child’s spot.

Downtown Twice Around Christmas Parade: Anyone can join in this zany Christmas parade, which circles downtown Albany twice. Expect to see horse-drawn wagons, holiday lights, an umbrella-twirling brigade, and more. The only rule: the parade has just one Santa Claus, arriving at the end of the procession! Parade starts at 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015. Details: Downtown Twice Around Christmas Parade.

Albany Community Tree Lighting: Immediately after the Christmas parade, gather in the parking lot at Two Rivers Mall (corner of second and Ferry) to sing carols and light the community Christmas tree. (Approximately 6 p.m., Dec. 6, 2015).

Shopping: Get your holiday shopping off to a good start this week with the Town & Country Christmas Bazaar, Dec. 4-6; Christmas at the Roost, Dec. 4-5 and 11-12, Pumpkin Hollow Christmas at the Mill, weekends through Dec. 20; charming shops in downtown Albany, and great seasonal specials at Heritage Mall throughout December.

Visits with Santa: The big guy in red will be at Heritage Mall every day throughout the holiday season for visits with children and Christmas photos. Special dates this week include kids’ storytimes with Santa Dec. 1 and pet photos with Santa Dec. 6 & 13.

Still to come: 36th Annual Christmas Parlour Tour on Dec. 13, the Holiday Nosh Tour Dec. 19, and more! Check back for next week’s events and check our full event calendar for additional holiday happenings.

Need a place to stay in Albany for the holidays? Have friends and family coming to town? Check out Albany’s hotels, B&Bs, and RV Parks for holiday rates.

Albany’s Night Time Magic Holiday Light Contest 2015

Albany Christmas pix

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

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

The contest theme is “Holiday Night Time Magic.”
Participants are encouraged to share the source for their inspiration such as:

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

Contest Rules:

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: by Dan Bateman

Giving thanks: Albany’s 2015 Thanksgiving Day meals

Fireside dining at Sybaris by Dennis Rivera

Thanksgiving feasts and where to find them

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Celebrating Veterans Day 2015 in Albany

Albany’s annual patriotic extravaganza

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

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

Nov. 10-12: Oregon Veterans Traveling Memorial Wall

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


Nov. 7, 2015: Patriotic Concerts

Nov. 10, 2015: Concert and Banquet

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

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

Parade Day: Nov. 11, 2015

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

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

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

Albany Veterans Day Parade Route

Click to view enlarged parade route map.

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

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

After-parade lunches:

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

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

Nov. 14, 2015

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

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

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

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



Mid-valley 4th of July Celebrations

Photo by Cathy Flowers

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


River Rhythms Concert and Fireworks Show, Thursday, July 2

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Fireworks in the Park, after dusk, July 4

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

Find details about Brownsville at


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

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

Corvallis Jaycees Fireworks Show, after dusk, July 4

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


Harrisburg July 4th CelebrationJuly 4

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

LebanonFireworks at Cheadle Lake by Nancy Hunt

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

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

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

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





Head for the Cascades this summer: Adventure Bus starts June 13

200px-Big-Lake,-Big-Sky,-Mt-Washington-by-Bill-Origer-2015-photo-contestThis summer, let someone else do the driving as you head to the Cascades for a day of adventure. Starting June 13, you can leave your car behind and hop on a bus for a day of hiking or biking in the mountains.

The All-Day Adventure Shuttle departs from the Sweet Home City Hall at 8 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays during its seven weekends of operation, making stops at popular recreation sites and trailheads on its way up into the mountains. It arrives at Clear Lake by 10 a.m. You can return the same day with the shuttle departing Clear Lake at 5 p.m., or you can camp overnight and take the Sunday shuttle back to the valley.

The shuttle is equipped with a bike trailer for travelers who want to bring a bike and ride the trails from Tombstone Pass to Clear Lake. Other Cascade adventures include hiking through stunning wildflower meadows at Iron Mountain, renting a rowboat and paddling the pristine waters of Clear Lake, staying in a rustic cabin at the Clear Lake Resort, or tent camping at dozens of picturesque spots in the Willamette National Forest.

The shuttle is $3 per person for a one-way trip and $5 round-trip. Kids 12 and under ride free with a parent or legal guardian.

The 2015 weekends of operation are:

  • June 13-14
  • June 27-28
  • July 11-12
  • July 25-26
  • August 8-9
  • August 22-23
  • September 5-6

Reservations for the adventure bus are encouraged and will be taken starting June 1st. Call the Linn Shuttle Monday-Friday at 541-367-4775 between 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Need a place to stay overnight before you take off on your mountain adventure? Check out the comfortable hotels in the mid-valley area.

Photo: Big Lake and Mt. Washington in the Cascades of Linn County, by Bill Origer.

The Shuttle is an action of the Sweet Home Federal Lands Livability Initiative to improve the recreational opportunities along HWY 20 and is intended to increase accessibility for hikers and bikers by reducing vehicle pressure at trail heads and access points. Linn Shuttle, Linn County Parks, Anderson Automotive, Friends of Fish Lake, South Santiam All Lands Collaborative, & City of Sweet Home have worked to sponsor this project.

Grow a greener life: National Sustainability Fair comes to Albany

Mother Earth News Fair Albany Oregon

There’ll be a whole lot of sustainable goodness packed into one place next month when the Mother Earth News Fair brings national experts on self-sufficiency to the Linn County Fair & Expo Center. It’s planned for June 6-7, 2015, from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

Interested in organic gardening and farming? They’ve got workshops on everything from suburban farmsteads to backyard bees and chickens.

Love cooking? You can learn to make your own cheese, butter and jams.

Are craft beer and spirits your thing? Take a class on home brewing, distilling, and fermenting.

Got kids? Attend hands-on classes with experts who can show them how to grow garden, churn butter, make bath salts, and more.

Even more workshops include talks on the tiny house movement, making your own biodiesel, poultry-processing, herbal remedies, foraging, and more.

Speakers from around the nation and around the valley include:

  • organic farmer and author Joel Salatin, who will define the characteristics shared by successful farmers, and give attendees a road map to success.
  • Portland forager John Kallas, who will teach how to identify, harvest and prepare wild plants found in your backyard.
  • Stephanie Tourles, licensed holistic aesthetician, certified aromatherapist and author, who will discuss organic body care and how to use natural oils in everyday body and facial products.
  • Portland-based cheesemaker Claudio Lucero, who will demonstrate how to make a simple farmers’ cheese with herbs and edible flowers in 30 minutes.
  • Jean-Martin Fortier, market gardener and author, who shares details, tools and technology he’s used to create a profitable, small-scale market garden.
  • Lyle Estill and Bob Armantrout, co-authors of Backyard Biodiesel, who will show how to make small-scale biodiesel form used fryer oil and how to put it into use in your home or on the farm.

In addition to workshops, you’ll find children’s activities; country skills, livestock and vendor demonstrations; hundreds of vendors; and local and organic food options. Check out the full list of workshops at the Oregon event.

The Oregon fair is the only Mother Earth News Fair in the Western U.S.; the highly popular series continues in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Kansas later this year.

Weekend wristband passes cost $25 in advance, or $30 at the gate. Children 17 and younger get in free. The event also offers a limited number of VIP tickets, which get you priority seating at workshops, catered meals, and other perks.

Need a place to stay while you’re in town for the Mother Earth News Fair? Click here to find a hotel near the fair.

For more info, check out

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