AVA sends out gratitude to Sybaris Restaurant and Springhill Cellars Winery for their gorgeous Farm to Table dinner along Albany’s historic 9th Street Canal. This beautiful evening was a benefit for the Albany Regional Museum, who provides educational and historical presentations, collections, and exhibits for free to the public. We hope you enjoy the slideshow and stay tuned to AVA for the 2019 farm-to-table dinners! (*Images provided by Knoher Photos and Katie Knower.)
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
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.
With summer fast approaching, Christmas arrives early at the Willamette National Forest (WNF) in the Sweet Home Ranger District. Not only is there a special contest to find the US Capitol Christmas Tree (see instructions in the “how to nominate” section below), 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, make sure to 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.
The ornament treasure-hunt runs now through October 2, 2018.
The theme for the 2018 Capitol Christmas Tree is “Find Your Trail!” in recognition of two 2018 anniversaries: the 50th anniversary of the National Trails Systems Act, and the 175th commemoration of the Oregon Trail. For more information on trails where you can find your ornament, visit the WNF website.
Be the one to find the big tree
Do you want to find the 2018 US Capitol Christmas Tree? You still have time to enter the contest, but the deadline is coming up fast on June 30th.
Visit the Willamette National Forest and look for a tree 65 to 85 feet in height with conical shape. The tree must reside on US Forest Service land in the Sweet Home Ranger District, preferably close to a road that will accommodate a semi-truck and cranes necessary for harvest.
The selected tree will be cut in early November and prepared for the 3,000-mile coast-to-coast journey that will trace the Oregon Trail in reverse. The tree’s journey will culminate with its lighting on the west lawn of the US Capitol Building in early December. Seventy smaller companion trees will also be sent from the forest to decorate DC government buildings and public spaces. Additionally, Oregonians will contribute 10,000 handmade ornaments, to be created throughout 2018.
How to nominate your candidate
To nominate a tree, obtain the GPS the location, snap a photo, and send your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org, or deliver the information to the Sweet Home Ranger District Office, 4431 Hwy 20, Sweet Home OR 97386.
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!
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.
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!
A huge shoutout to Mike Krutsinger of MKrutsinger Photography. Mike is our featured AVA photographer for September, and is volunteering with AVA to help give back to his community. His feature gallery reflects Albany Visitors Association’s summer Linn-Benton Farm-to-Table dinner that was held at Weddle Covered Bridge. It will give you a hint of what’s in store for next season!
*If you would like to contact Mike Krutsinger in regards to his commercial photography services, please email us.
Click on any of the images to see better, You can exit the gallery at any time by pressing the escape key.
Earlier this week, Albany Visitors Association took our volunteer staff on a tour of Linn County. What you may not know about AVA volunteers is that they are the unsung ambassadors of many an Albany and Linn County business.
AVA volunteers are many times the first people travelers meet as they drive down the I-5 corridor. When visitors stop at the rest area closest to us (Santiam River), they see a scaled-down replica of one of Albany’s historic Victorian homes. And inside that little blue house? AVA volunteers serve coffee, hot chocolate and cookies, and help travelers find the perfect place to shop, and stay and play.
This year the volunteers toured Linn County and were treated to lunch at the Boulder Falls Resort in Lebanon, at the 1847 Bar & Grill. They also visited the Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary and Roaring River Fish Hatchery in Scio, the Mallard Creek Golf Course in Lebanon, Sankey Park in Sweet Home (the site of the wildly popular Oregon Jamboree), and ended their day at Sweet Home’s Marks Ridge Winery for a bit of wine tasting.
Please join us in thanking our volunteers for their time, energy, and knowledge. We recognize that their contributions help fulfill AVA’s mission to serve Albany’s visitors. If you or someone you know are interested in volunteering for us, contact Don at the Albany Visitors Association in Downtown Albany.
Get ready for an Oregon year to be remembered! Many travelers will visit Oregon for the very first time—particularly in late August when a Total Solar Eclipse will occur on the 21st. Oregon’s Willamette Valley is prime TSE viewing territory, and many locales along the eclipse route will feature special viewing activities, food, celebration, and drink, including Albany.
The new 2017 Oregon Events Calendar, published by Pamplin Media Group, can help you plan your vacation—whether you hail from New York or Newberg. The Albany Visitors Association will have a supply of the publication at their office soon, but until we do, check out the digital edition.
In addition to the eclipse, Oregon is home to numerous annual music festivals, cycling and paddling relays, brew smackdowns, winery and culinary tours, and other venues to taste and experience our state in an entirely new way throughout the year. So come on, join us this year in Albany, Oregon.
*For print copies, please contact AVA at 541-9288-0911. Copies can be mailed, or you can stop by the office at 3rd and Lyon Streets in Downtown Albany, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Right after the holidays pass, Oregonians turn to outdoor activities that lift our spirits and affirm our love for the beauty that surrounds us in the Mid-Willamette Valley. Linn County possesses several gems within a short distance of Albany, Oregon—and this wonderful video by Grant McOmie highlights the astonishing beauty of McDowell Creek Park and its majestic falls. Plan on taking your family out there soon. You won’t be disappointed, and we promise that it will renew your energy level.
Save the date for this year’s press: Brocard’s Antique Apple Orchard will be pressing on October 15th, 2016. They usually start around 9:00 a.m. and press until they run out of apples. You will want to get there early before they run out of cider!
Brocard’s Antique Apple Orchard is located at 28095 Santiam Hwy. (Highway 20) about 25 miles east of I-5. The Brocard’s can be reached at 541-367-4840 to inquire about tours, tastings, and pressing dates.