From art to bicycles – it’s high summer in Albany

Photo of kidds and families biking with helmets on the annual covered bridges tour

Mid-summer is officially upon us in Oregon’s Willamette Valley and Linn County is abuzz with exciting fun things to do. You can start out celebrating First Friday in downtown Albany, then take a short ride to the Linn County Expo Center for the Mother Earth News Fair. If gardening and milking goats isn’t your thing, maybe vintage Chevys are. And, the Albany Historic Carousel & Museum is turning two years old on August 17th with a family carnival fundraiser that’s not to be missed.

Look for whatever gets you out and movin’ in our list of featured August events below:

Month of August Threads In Time Living Rock Studios in Brownsville is hosting a fiber art show Wednesdays through Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be demonstrations of spinning and weaving, hands-on fun for kids, handmade quilts on display, and lots of beautiful handicrafts for sale: yarns, tapestries, scarves, shawls, and woven items. Living Rock is a free museum filled with Oregon history and unique rocks and minerals. Donations are gratefully accepted.

photo of the Albany Regional Museum exterior with blue skies, big white clouds and hanging flower basketsAug 2nd First Friday at the Albany Regional Museum The museum is open late (until 8 p.m.) for your enjoyment. Stop by and enjoy art, refreshments, and learn more about Albany and Linn County history. Admission to ARM is free, but your donations help run the museum for everyone.

Aug 2nd First Friday at Gallery Calapooia So many great First Friday events in downtown Albany, and it all starts with a reception at Gallery Calapooia, on August 2nd, from 6 to 8 pm. This month, Lori Garcy and Cindi Conder are the featured artists. Come meet them and see their latest works.

Aug 3rd Mid-Summer Arts in the Park features performances from local dance, music, and theater companies, and much more, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m on Saturday the 3rd at Monteith Riverpark. This fun and interactive event is all about hands-on ways to get involved, from workshops to arts and crafts activities for kids. This annual festival is definitely a family-oriented affair. For more info visit http://midsummerarts.org

Aug 3rd – 4th Mother Earth News Fair is where the bees, honey, and biscuit lovers gather to learn about homesteading skills such as gardening, food preservation and animal husbandry. Experts in fields such as cheesemaking, mead production and lavender farming will host workshops and participate in demonstrations. Buy your specially discounted weekend pass now online and save $20 (pass is $5 for a limited time).

Photo of a black 1956 Chevrolet pickup truckAug 7th – 10th  48th Annual Vintage Chevy Northwest Meet Hosted by the Columbia River Region VCCA, this year’s theme is “Vistas, Valleys, Vineyards and Vintage Chevrolets.” A full program of events for those with classic cars is planned, including tours, judging, and an awards banquet.

The public can see the cars in one spot on Thursday, August 8th, at Timber Linn Park from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Vintage Chevrolet Car Show. Be sure to look for these amazing vintage cars as they make their way across Albany and Linn County. It’s a great photo opportunity for our local photographers. For more information visit the event website.

Aug 10th Family Bug Crawl From 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. join entomologist Richard Little and hunt for the often overlooked wildlife living along riparian and urban boundaries near trails. Expect to be thrilled and maybe chilled by the creepy crawlers you’ll encounter. You don’t have to be a family to love this event, so come one, come all. If you’d like, bring a magnifying glass and a bug collection box, plus sunscreen and a hat. Meet at Riverview Park, 1025 Mountain River Dr, in Lebanon. For additional information, visit the park’s trails website.

Aug 10th First Annual Car Show at the Mall If you didn’t get to see the cars at the vintage Chevy meet, Heritage Mall is hosting a car show behind the covered mall. There will be lots of hot rods, custom builds and classics, and food vendors. Hours for the free show are from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Aug 11th Covered Bridges Bicycle Tour Get your spokes a’ twirling! The 41st Annual Covered Bridge Bicycle Tour is a premier one-day cycling event sponsored by Mid Valley Bike Club. Rides vary from 40, 68, 85, or 101 miles on quiet country roads and through five well-preserved historic covered bridges. The tour starts and finishes at the Linn County Expo Center. For more information visit the event website.

Photo of people paddling kayaks in the Willamette RiverAug 12th – 16th Paddle Oregon This year’s trip will wind along 85.5 miles of river, beginning at Marshall Island Access in Junction City and end at Wallace Marine Park in Salem. The tour will camp in Bryant Park, August 14th,  so even if you aren’t a participant this year, and you’d like to meet the paddlers or do some colorful photography, come down to the Albany Visitors Association booth at the park.  Follow along with the Willamette River Water Trail maps provided in the “more information” links below. 

For more information visit:  https://paddleoregon.org/

Aug 14th History Bites at the Albany Regional Museum Are martinis shaken or stirred? Well if its the former, you might want to come on down to the noontime presentation at the museum this month—it’s all about how to prepare and stay safe in case the Cascadia Earthquake hits. The presentation starts at noon. You can bring your own lunch and learn tips and scientific facts while you nosh. As always, the presentation is free, but donations to keep the museum open to all are graciously accepted. For more information visit https://www.armuseum.com

Aug 16th (and dates through and beyond August) It’s the ACT Youth Summer Camp presentation of the musical “Seussical Jr.” at the Albany Civic Theater. Horton the Elephant, the Cat in the Hat and all of your favorite Dr. Seuss characters spring to life onstage in this fantastical musical extravaganza from Tony-winners, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty.  For information and tickets visit: albanycivic

Photo of carved wooden carousel animal, a kitty, with a mouse in its mouthAug 17th It’s a second anniversary party at the Albany Historic Carousel & Museum—so you don’t want to miss the “Carnival at the Carousel” celebration. Expect carnival games of the past, old-fashioned carnival characters, a cakewalk, carousel-made photo-boards, kissing booth, and much MUCH more. Free admission and 25 cent game tickets help this fundraiser be accessible for all. For more information visit http://albanycarousel.com

Aug 17th Vets Helping Vets 12th Annual Picnic Bring the family and spend the day at Timber Linn Memorial Park enjoying live entertainment. Hourly raffle drawings for prizes and a silent auction. Enjoy a free lunch featuring hamburgers, hotdogs, chips and soda, but please bring salads or desserts to share. For information telephone 541-791-4357.

Graphic poster that gives information about the Lebanon Downtown Farmers' Market event: Tomato DayAugust 22nd Tomato Day at the Lebanon Downtown Farmers’ Market. Come taste a variety of tomatoes and tasty dishes made starring the humble but glorious tomato. Get tips from OSU Master Gardeners and learn the best preserving methods for this ultimate sunshiny fruit. So many tomatoes, so little time to eat them all!

August 23rd -24th Ninth Annual Albany Coin Challenge Every year for the past eight years, the Albany Visitors Association has sponsored a family Geocaching event over the Northwest Art & Air Festival weekend.  This year’s challenge will begin with a meet and greet on Friday, August 23rd, from 5:00 PM -7:00 PM at Albany Mennonite Church, 3405 Kizer Ave NE, prior to the hot air balloon “night glow” event at Timber Linn Park.  On Saturday, August 24th, the hunt will begin at 10:00 AM at Allan’s Coffee & Tea Wholesale Distribution Warehouse parking lot, 1852 Fescue St SE.  Approximately 175 keepsake coins and passports have been created.  Each passport lists the coordinates for 10 local businesses, five historic homes and five non-business locations, along with a question that needs to be answered at each location. Every person completing the passport is guaranteed a one-of-a-kind trackable geocoin.  The event runs from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM; coins are available for pickup from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM at the Allan’s coffee parking lot.  More information is available on the geocaching website or telephone Don Bacher at 541-974-1068.

Aug 23rd – 24th You’ve waited all year for the hot air balloons and shaved ice to arrive, so mark those calendars for the NW Art & Air Festival! Friday night, the balloon regatta lights up on the grounds under the night sky, creating a magical skyscape. During Friday and Saturday, artists fill the grassy meadows of Timber-Linn Park with booths containing a wide variety of handcraft and artwork. Visit the family zone, food vendors, and live music throughout the day. Rick Springfield performs a free concert at the Timber Linn Ampitheater on Saturday night. Festival parking is $10, admission is free. For more Art & Air information, visit the festival website.

Photo of hot air balloon at the NW Art & Air Festival lit at nighttimeSUNDAY SCHEDULE CHANGE Although the fair schedule does not run through Sunday this year (please note this a change from previous years), on the 25th there will be an early morning balloon launch at 6:45 a.m. and Young Eagles flights at the airport. (Registration for Young Eagles begins at 9:00 a.m.) The airport is hosting all kinds of activities on Sunday, including booths, food and drink. Please check the Infinite Air Center website for Sunday’s schedule.

Aug 24th Head on down the road to historic Brownsville and participate in “Hands On History” at the Linn County Historical Museum. This free family event includes trying out pioneer skills, crafts, and cooking. Listen to tales of long ago, dance in the street, and try on pioneer garb at the museum and Moyer House. For event hours and other information telephone 541-466-3390 or visit https://linnparks.com/museums/linn-county-historical-museum/

Aug 31st It might be the tail end of the month, but you can still find all the delicious things to eat at the Albany Farmers’ Market on Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Stock up on honey, jam, berries, greens, bread, and meats at the market. Enjoy a cup of coffee and a freshly baked gluten-free cupcake with mile-high frosting. So many yummy things, so little time—so bring your grocery bags down to the market early at 4th and Ellsworth, and start exploring!

See you in September

Just so you know, September will be a gorgeous month to visit our fair city as well. Here’s a sneak preview of what’s happenin’ below:

Graphic Logo for the 2019 Festival Latino in Albany, OregonSept 15th Festival Latino 2019  This free event includes cultural performances, children’s activities, delicious food, a fun run, and a community resource fair, including a legal clinic. Hosted by Linn-Benton Hispanic Advisory Committee. The festival is held at Monteith Riverpark, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ¡Venga a celebrar la Cultura Latinoamericana en el Festival Latino de Albany 2019! Evento Gratuito para el público. Habrá comida para comprar, actividades para los niños, espectáculos culturales, carrera/caminata familiar y una feria de recursos comunitarios, incluyendo consultas con abogados legales! No se lo pierda! Se tomarán inscripciones para la feria de recursos, puestos de comida y música entre el 15 de julio al 15 de agosto.

Summer Road Trip – Thompson’s Mills

It is without doubt, the absolute perfect time for a road trip in Linn County. Fields glow golden, swallows dive and swoop, white-tailed deer walk their fawns two by two, and puffy mashed-potato clouds float lazily in the bluest skies. 

Fortunately, we can recommend several summer road trips that lead you from downtown Albany and transport you to more tranquil environs. Let’s start with a visit to one of Linn County’s greatest historic treasures.

The last working water-powered flour mill in Oregon

photo of State National Heritage Site, Thompson's Mills, with silos being paintedTravel to the late Victorian period, when draft horses pulled wagons filled with local wheat to the closest mill. Your trip to a working historic mill is less than a half-hour drive (by car, not horse) from Albany.

Thompson’s Mills State Heritage Site is run by the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD). The land and surrounding mill buildings are all part of living history. Interactive exhibits include feeding the resident flock of chickens and a free interpretive tour of the mill where a water-powered turbine still runs and turns the flour-grinding mechanisms—a demonstration the entire family will enjoy.

When the mill was in Boston

Thompson’s Mills, built in 1858, was originally called Boston Mills, and co-existed with a town of the same name, platted alongside the Calapooia River. Although fire destroyed the mill in 1862, it reopened in 1864 following a complete rebuild. Boston’s population declined after the Oregon and California Railroad (O&C) built its track west of the mill property and Shedd became the primary residence for the area’s inhabitants.

Since O&C’s track crossed through the heart of the Willamette Valley, it was used to transport agricultural goods to Portland and points beyond. Shedd’s station expanded new markets for Thompson’s Mills. Oregon flour was appreciated around the world—and exported to China in the early 20th century and to Belgium during WW1. 

As the US adapted to changing technologies and trade, so did Thompson’s Mills. Americans looked to a brighter future following WW2—and their desire for store-bought bread and gardens with green lawns affected local wheat production. Less wheat meant farmers replaced grain with grass seed for the Baby Boom generation. 

When local flour production decreased, the mill adapted as well, and began producing animal feed. By the 1980s the mill realized the electrical energy it produced could be sold to a local utility, and help sustain mill operations.

In 2004 OPRD bought the mill, its water rights and associated buildings and acreage. In 2007 the department opened the 20 acre site to the public, free of charge. 

Take the tour – it’s for the young and old and in-between

Photo showing large gears and mechanisms that drive the water-powered Thompson's MillsCurrently, OPRD continues its preservation efforts with restoring and refurbishing parts of the mill and grounds. Their work includes planting orchards for cider production, restoring the mill-keeper’s home and carriage house, and repainting the silo’s iconic logos—a giant peach and apple that can be seen for miles.

The mill is open seven days per week (excluding certain holidays) and holds special seasonal events to raise funds for preservation efforts. In the fall, an old-fashioned cider pressing brings families from across Oregon over a span of several weekends.

Make sure to ask the rangers for a tour of the mill while you’re there. That’s the special treat about making this road trip one of the great ones. The tour is free and you’ll get to see the inner working mechanisms—the enormous gears turn to raise a series of dam-gates in the millrace and the conveyor belts stir overhead.

Kids especially will enjoy a demo of the “man-lift,” a single-person, self-propelled elevator that zooms upwards to the top of the mill building. While the public can’t ride the man-lift, park rangers show how Victorian workers rode the lift to clear grain chutes descending to the grinding areas.

Once you’ve climbed the steep stairs from the mill’s bottom floors, you can wander through a number of interpretive exhibits that include original furnishings, grinding stones, gears, flour and feed sacks, and other mill memorabilia. 

Be sure and stop at the gift shop run by the ‘Friends of Thompson’s Mills,’ a non-profit organization that helps fund the mill’s heritage site status. Souvenir T-shirts, feed shopping bags and other gifts can be had for donations that will help keep the mill open to all for many years to come.

What to know if you go

Photo showing wheelchair accessibility at Thompson's MillsAddress: Thompson’s Mills is located in Shedd, Oregon. The easiest (and most delightful) route is to take Hwy. 99E from Albany and travel straight through to Boston Mill Drive. Signs along the highway will direct you to the mill. The address is 32655 Boston Mill Drive.

Hours: Monday though Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Open year-round (except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years Day).

Tours: If your group is under 10 people, no reservation is needed for a guided tour of the site and buildings. Just show up and a ranger or volunteer will escort you around with entertaining and historical facts. If your group has 10 participants or more, telephone the mill to ensure staff is available to meet you. 541-491-3611. All guided tours are free, including larger groups.

Accessibility: Most of the grounds, and the main level of the mill building are accessible. There is a ramp to the mill’s “street” level where the interpretive exhibits are, and two on-site wheelchairs are available for use. Please note the lower levels of the mill building (where the large water-driven gears operate) are not wheelchair accessible. It is possible to access this portion of the building if you ambulate with assistive devices and feel able to climb and descend several narrow steps. There are wide walkways suitable for wheelchair use along the millrace pond and grounds, and accessible restrooms. Those with state-issued placards can park in the closest designated spots.

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A berry delicious July, jam-packed with events

Photo montage of a berry pie with sparklers to celebrate Independence Day

One of the fabulous things Oregon is known for, is our agricultural bounty. And in July, fresh berries are one of the commodities that bring visitors near and far to Albany and Linn County u-pick farms, roadside stands, and farmers’ markets. Several area farms grow blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and (known for its humble Willamette Valley origins), the Marionberry. 

The following farms could be the start of a great weekend itinerary to satisfy the berry lover in your family:

Midway Farms One of Albany’s agricultural gems, Midway is a bucolic organic farm store (and working farm) on Hwy 20. As you drive towards Corvallis, its red barn peeks out from between shade trees and a riot of multi-colored flowers. The store is usually bursting with an eclectic mix of seasonal harvests—from green onions and sweet greens to fall potatoes, tomatoes and garlic. 

Photo of a woman holding out ripe blueberries at a u-pick farmMidway’s crowning glory of summer are their sweet succulent organic strawberries, blueberries and other seasonal fruit. The farm posts frequently on Facebook, so if you’re planning on making fresh jam, follow their page to find out when there are special sales on bulk berries. Depending on the bounty, Kapple may run a spontaneous jam-making sale.

Midway Farms is located at 6980 NW US Highway 20, and the farm store is open daily, including weekends, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. You can also snag their produce, flowers, fruits, eggs and meats at the Albany or Corvallis Farmers’ Market.

Bryant Family Farm A short five minute drive into the Albany countryside and you can load up on the biggest juiciest blueberries in Linn County. This family owned venture features 19 different varieties of “no spray” blueberries. You can opt to pick your own or purchase fresh or frozen berries for all your culinary creations. 

The farm features a family picnic area and restrooms, so you can bring your favorite hamper packed with goodies and rest between picking. The Bryant family purchased the farm about five years ago, carrying on the u-pick tradition of the former owners, Peter and Millie Romans. The Romans planted their first bushes in 1967.

Photo of ripe blueberries in green containers at a local Albany Oregon farmIf you are in hurry and don’t have time to pick yourself, you can order free delivery service of frozen berries (within Albany), any size order over five pounds, at $2.25 per pound. Frozen blueberry still pack a nutritional punch and are delicious in muffins, pancakes, ice cream, smoothies, and jams.

The season at the farm runs from mid-June to the second week in August, from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., dependent on fruit ripening, weather patterns, and crop availability. It’s usually best to check with the farm at 541-704-0677. Bryant Family Farm is located at 35923 Bryant Drive SW, Albany, Oregon.

July’s jam-packed featured events

We’ve lined up a little over 20 of our favorite summer events for you to peruse below. Pick out several, and come play and stay in Albany.

July (and through August) PoP It’s the “Power of Produce” Club (PoP) at the Albany Farmers’ Market. PoP is a free summer program for kids at the farmers’ market. All kids ages 5 – 12 can register and receive $4 in tokens each week they come to the market. Tokens can be used to purchase fruits, vegetables, dried beans, nuts, seeds and plants that grow food. See you at the market, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

July 4th River Rhythms is almost here! The first concert of the summer is scheduled for Thursday, July 4th. Bring your blankets and picnic baskets and spread out under the summer stars. The Baha Men—a Bahamian band playing a modernized style of Bahamian music called junkanoo, are the season openers. They are best known for their Grammy Award winning hit song “Who Let the Dogs Out?” There are children’s activities prior to the concert (come early at 5:30) an adult beer garden, food, a bike valet, and trolley rides around downtown. The concert is from 7 to 9 pm.

Photo of a fireworks display over the Willamette River on the Fourth of July in Albany, OregonJuly 4th Hooray! Fireworks return to Albany on the Fourth of July at Monteith River Park. The big bang display coincides with the opening of River Rhythms, and follows the free concert by The Baha Men. Fireworks are scheduled to begin around 9:00 p.m., but with the concert falling on the Fourth, you’ll want to get to the park early and claim your spot. (Photo copyright by Anthony Shelar, ASHDR Photography)

July 4th – 7th More July holiday fun! Start the Fourth off with a bang and an “all you can eat sausage, eggs, pancakes, milk, and coffee” Lumberjack Breakfast at Timber Linn Memorial Park. Starting at 6 a.m. and running until 11 a.m., July 4th through through the 7th, this fundraiser for the East Albany Lions Club enables their support to community sight and hearing projects. Tickets are $8 adults and $4 children 11 and under.

July 5th – 7th Baa Baa black sheep, it’s aaaalmost here! The Black Sheep Gathering at the Linn County Expo Center starts July 5th. Enjoy three days of competition, displays, workshops and shopping at one of the country’s largest shows of natural colored fiber animals and hand-crafted products made from their wool. Learn how to felt, create mosaic knitting, spin, dye, ply, weave, and shear the fiber from many breeds of animals. Admission and parking are free. For hours, workshop registration, and show schedule visit http://www.blacksheepgathering.org

July 5th So many great First Friday events in downtown Albany, and it all starts with a reception at Gallery Calapooia, on July 5th, from 6 to 8 pm. This month, Rob R Robinson and Cheryl French are the featured artists. Come meet them and see their latest works. *Painting below: Rob R Robinson’s multi-media work entitled “Focus.”

Photo of Albany artist Rob R Robinson's mixed media painting entitled "Focus."July 5th First Friday at the Albany Regional Museum is just around the corner! The exhibits will stay open until 8 p.m. on Friday, July 5th. Stop by and enjoy art, refreshments, and learning more about Albany and Linn County history. Admission to ARM is free, but your donations help run the museum for everyone.

July 8th Time for Summer Sounds at Monteith Park! On Monday, July 8th, the series starts with “The Spirit of Earth, Wind & Fire.” Sip your own wine or beer, purchase soft drinks and food from the vendor court, and take a stroll along the riverfront with your sweetheart. The free concert is from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. This year’s lineup runs the gamut from electric string pop to funk and swing. For the full schedule, visit the City of Albany website at https://www.cityofalbany.net/…/parks-a…/events/summer-sounds

July 10th Feeling itchy to get summer started? Before heading to the woods for a campout, you might want to attend the next “History Bites” at the Albany Regional Museum. On Wednesday, July 10th at noon, the free presentation focuses on the history of Albany’s very own Tec Labs, a pharmaceutical company that produces potions to ease rashes caused by poison oak and ivy. 

Graphic with two goats talking to each other about Crazy Daze event in Albany, OregonJuly 11th Work got your goat? Time for some big fun at Albany’s historic Crazy Daze. This annual event begins Thursday July 11th and runs through the 13th. Originally called Bargain Days in 1898, the name was changed to Crazy Daze after WWII. Merchants will participate in sidewalk sales throughout downtown, offering great items at crazy reduced prices. Merchandise changes daily so you might want to come down all three days. Grab your sunscreen or a hat and stroll our sidewalks for crazy deals and crazy delicious food at our fabulous downtown eateries!

July 11th River Rhythms presents the father of The Twist, Chubby Checker! Seating is available on a first-come, first served basis, beginning at 5:30. The concert begins at 7 p.m.  Learn more about this series.  There are children’s activities prior to the concerts, an adult beer garden, food, a bike valet, and trolley rides around downtown.

July 19th Movies at Monteith Outdoor movies in the park have become today’s version of the drive-in movie experience of the past – only better. Enjoy Movies at Monteith on Friday evenings in late July and early August at Monteith Park in Downtown Albany. Movies start at dusk (around 9:00 pm).

      2019 Schedule

  • July  19 – “Up” starring the voice of Ed Asner 10th Year Anniversary
  • July 26 – “Ghostbusters” starring Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd 30th Year Anniversary
  • August 2 – “Mary Poppins” starring Julie Andrews and Dick Vandyke  55th Year Anniversary
  • August 9 – “The Wizard of Oz” starring Judy Garland  80th Year Anniversary

Cartoon poster for the animated movie UpFood Vendors include: First Burger, Little Wuesten German Foods, Cassetta di Pasta, The Albany Pix Theatre, Scouts. General seating area opens at 8 am, blanket area opens at 5:30 pm.  Please do not put your blankets down earlier, space is needed to put up the gigantic movie screen! Smoking – No smoking at Movies at Monteith. Smoking is allowed only outside of the event area, this also includes vapor devices. Marijuana is NOT ALLOWED in the park for any reason. You will be escorted out of the park if you bring it in. No Pets – Service Dogs are the only dogs allowed in the park.  Companion animals and family pets must stay at home. Alcohol – Beer, wine, and cider are the only alcoholic beverages allowed in the park.  You will be asked to take hard alcohol out of the park.

July 19th (and other dates through July – Aug) The Albany Civic Theater presents “The Unexpected Guest.” Lost in the fog, a stranger seeks refuge in a nearby house only to find a man shot dead and his wife standing over him with a smoking gun. But the woman’s dazed confession is anything but convincing and the unexpected guest decides to help. Remarkably, the police clues point to a man who died two years previously but as the ghosts of a past wrong begin to emerge, a tangled web of lies reveals family secrets and chilling motives, where the real murderer turns out to be the greatest mystery of all. Check ACT’s website for ticket and performance time info: http://www.albanycivic.org/shows/the-unexpected-guest/

Photo of a vintage trailer from circa 1950sJuly 20th Rally on the River – Vintage Trailer Show See inside over 100 vintage trailers from 1938 to 1984 including tear drops, popups, tents and motor homes. This is a free family event in Historic Brownsville’s Pioneer Park on the Calapooia River.  For more information visit the event Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/136046563763686/

July 22nd Time for Summer Sounds at Monteith Park! On Monday, July 22nd, catch the music of artist Tia Brazada. Brazada weaves her lush retro sound with classic jazz, pop, and bossa nova. Sip your own wine or beer, purchase soft drinks and food from the vendor court, and take a stroll along the riverfront. The free concert is from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. This year’s series lineup runs the gamut from electric string pop to funk and swing. Come early and claim your spot. For the full schedule, visit the City of Albany website at https://www.cityofalbany.net/…/parks-a…/events/summer-sounds

July 23rd Stand By Me Day Head out to Historic Brownsville for this annual cult classic movie event. Stephen King’s novel made into an all-time coming of age move was filmed in Brownsville. Get in on the activities: blueberry pie-eating contest, walking tours, hula hoop lessons, sack races, hop-scotch, classic car show, costume contest, musical performances, and of course, a showing of everyone’s favorite film, Stand By Me. This event is organized by the Linn County Historical Museum. For more information, visit: https://linnparks.com/museums/linn-county-historical-museum/

July 24th History Through Headstones Tour Join the Albany Regional Museum for an evening of “History Through Headstones” honoring nine prominent Albany individuals. Hear their stories and learn more about the pioneer Albany Masonic Cemetery. The tour is free to participate in. For more information, visit the museum website at: armuseum.com 

Photogrpah of Beatles Tribute band called the Fab FourJuly 25th Does Albany love me—yeah, yeah, yeah! River Rhythms presents the greatest Beatles tribute band ever—Fab Four. Seating is available on a first-come, first served basis, beginning at 5:30. The concert begins at 7 p.m.  Learn more about this series.  There are children’s activities prior to the concerts, an adult beer garden, food, a bike valet, and trolley rides around downtown.

July 26th – 27th Guitars Under the Stars. Rock on at this guitar and craft beer festival that includes two stages and camping with plenty of shade! All ages are welcome, so bring the family and spend the weekend listening to great music, and enjoying great food and drinks. For information and tickets please visit: http://guitarsunderthestars.net

July 27th The Annual Summer Historic Interior Home Tour offers an opportunity to peek inside some of the city’s finest historic buildings and houses on the National Historic Register. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., homeowners and hosts will be available to answer questions about the history of the dwelling, restoration efforts, historic house maintenance, and other details about Albany’s four historic districts. The tour is self-guided; you can visit the homes in any order by walking, personal vehicle, or horse-drawn wagon and vintage trolley, both of which are included in the $15 price of admission (well-behaved children aged 12 and under are free). For more information telephone Albany Visitors Association at 541-928-0911. Online tickets are available on our website at: https://albanyvisitors.com/2019/06/25/annual-summer-historic-interior-home-tour-online-tickets/

July 29th Summer Sounds presents local Blues legend, Curtis Salgado. Come catch Salgado and friends, as they perform at Monteith Park. Sip your own wine or beer, purchase soft drinks and food from the vendor court, and take a stroll along the riverfront with your sweetheart. The free concert is from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. This year’s concert series lineup runs the gamut from electric string pop to funk and swing. For the full schedule, visit the City of Albany website at https://www.cityofalbany.net/…/parks-a…/events/summer-sounds

Our top list of 4th of July fireworks displays

  1. 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/
  2. 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
  3. On 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 The Baha Men will play 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 Children’s Art Area opens at 5:30 p.m. For the full summer schedule visit the City of Albany website.
  4. Plan ahead for Fourth of July fun: Join old and new friends in Harrisburg, where an “Old Fashioned 4th of July” means activity from morning to night! Food, a parade, games, vendors, free entertainment, and of course, fireworks. You’ll find the celebration happening in several locations throughout the city. For more information, visit the City of Harrisburg website

Have a safe and happy Fourth from all of us at Albany Visitors Association. For more great July activities, read our blog.

 

 

Summer fun for kids – 2019 Pioneer Day Camp

Become a pioneer for the day

The Monteith House is hosting  day camp for kids grades K-8, July 15 -17, 2019 – 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. 

Children will learn about pioneer life through stories and hands-on activities at this fun day camp. Kids will participate in living history and explore the responsibilities of pioneer children as they traveled the Oregon Trail and settled into Albany life. Partial costumes and snacks will be provided.

Registration details
The cost of the three day camp is $50 per child. Register by July 9, 2019,  by contacting the Albany Visitors Association at 541-928-0911. Pre-registration required. The Monteith House Museum is located at 518 2nd Ave. S.W., Albany, OR.

June is busting’ out all over – with events

Photo of two young boys dressed in aprons and strawberry themed hats at the Lebanon Strawberry Festival parade in Linn County, Oregon.

Come gather in Albany and find your perfect comfort zone—whether its sipping wine at nearby Springhill Cellars Winery or a leisurely stroll along the river— June is a transitional month where local events move into high gear as we prep for sunny summer months. Come join us in Albany and Linn And Benton Counties for the following sensational events. (We always add other featured events as we discover them, so check back soon.)

May 30 – June 2nd Wrap up National Historic Preservation Month at the 110th Lebanon Strawberry Festival. This historical Linn County event has something for everyone, from a Saturday night fireworks display and the World’s Largest Strawberry Shortcake to a parade and entertainment. Located at Cheadle Lake Park, 37919 Weirich Dr, Lebanon, OR. lebanonstrawberryfestival.com

Graphic of event information.June 1st What could be better than a new animal on the Albany Carousel? What about TWO new animals?! Come attend the big unveiling party on June 1st, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Albany Historic Carousel & Museum. Welcome “Thunder the Bison” and “Sampson the Rooster” as they join the other animals on the carousel. It’s a wild west themed party, so wear your favorite cowboy boots, hats, and chaps… but please, leave the spurs at home.

June 7th Plan on celebrating First Friday in Downtown Albany with all the usual suspects, including the Albany Regional Museum, Urban Ag Supply, The Natty Dresser, Sweet Red Bistro, Gallery Calapooia and others. Check in on June’s featured artists at the free reception at Gallery Calapooia: Marilyn Lindsley’s polymer clay jewelry and Marjorie Kinch’s watercolors will be on display. Stop in to meet the artists and enjoy light refreshments and live music. The Albany Historic Carousel & Museum will be open for special family activities, from 5:30 to 8:00; a $5 admission gets you unlimited rides. Wander through downtown historic Albany and pop in to shops and restaurants featuring First Friday extended hours and specials.

June 8th The “Albany Passport Program for Kids” is coming! This summer, your children can explore over 30 locations around town to learn more about the history of Albany. Grab your passport starting on June 8th at Albany Fire Station No. 11 (611 Lyon St SE) and start visiting, collecting stamps, and possibly win prizes. The Albany Summer Passport is a free children’s program offered through a partnership of the City of Albany, Albany Visitors Association, Albany Downtown Association, Albany Regional Museum, and the Monteith Historical Society. This project is supported in part by a grant from the Oregon Heritage Commission, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and the Oregon Cultural Trust. For more info, contact AVA at 541.928.0911.

Graphic of map showing display areas at Albany, Oregon Talking Water Gardens June 12th Nothing better than the free lunchtime series at the Albany Regional Museum “History Bites.” Bring your lunch or nosh on light refreshments at the latest in the series, a history of Talking Water Gardens. The demonstration habitat shows how recycled wastewater can be used to create wildlife and botanical preserves—where insects, birds, wetland flora and fauna, are on view seasonally to hikers, photographers, and all who love and appreciate the outdoors. The presentation starts at noon in the community room.

June 13th Another one of our Linn County “food trail” destinations is the Thursday afternoon Brownsville Farmers’ Market. Hunt for sweet strawberries, crisp mesclun salad greens, root veggies, and other late spring selections to create your own perfect “farm to fork” experience. The outdoor market on Main St opens at 3:00 p.m. and runs until 6:00 p.m. Come earlier in the day and forage in unique small shops and have lunch at one of several restaurants and bakeries, or try a little Oregon wine tasting at Harpers Wine House.

June 14th – 21st What exactly is a “flat-coated retriever?” Why not come and find out as you watch this beautiful sporting breed perform in the show ring at Linn County Expo Center. The dog’s field trials will be held in nearby Scio. The 2019 Northwest Flat-Coated Retriever National Specialty will bring canines from across the US to Albany. Get the full schedule of events at https://fcrsa.org/2019specialty/

June 14th ( and various dates throughout June ) The Albany Civic Theater presents the “Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon,” starting the second week in June. Classic fairy tales are turned on their heads as two narrators and several actors attempt to combine all 209 Grimm stories ranging from classics like Snow White, Cinderella, and Hansel and Gretel to more bizarre, obscure stories like The Devil’s Grandmother and The Girl Without Hands. A wild, free-form comedy with lots of audience participation and madcap fun. Written by Don Zolidis and directed by Conner Riley.  For information telephone 541-928-4603 or visit http://www.albanycivic.org

Photo of a 2013 Through the Garden Gate Tour in Albany OregonJune 15th An annual event, the much beloved garden tour “Through the Garden Gate” takes place the Saturday before Father’s Day Sunday. Take your garden-loving dad on this tour featuring OSU Master Gardeners. Tour the private gardens in any order, on your own schedule. Tickets are $15.00 and all funds raised support gardening education for adults and youth in Linn County. Maps and tickets are available at Albany Visitors Association office and other garden centers in the area. Telephone 541-928-0911 for ticketing information.

June 22nd The Third Annual Albany Pride Parade. Albany joins with other communities in strengthening diversity and inclusiveness with this public event. Assemble at the 11:00 a.m. at the Linn County Courthouse, 300 Fourth St. The parade route and more details will be published as we receive more information from the event organizers and sponsors.

For a complete list of Albany area events, visit our monthly events calendar.

Open Season – Albany Farmers’ Market

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

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

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

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

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

Power of Produce Kids’ Club in Albany

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

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

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

What to know if you go

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

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

2018 Albany Farm to Table Benefit

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.)

 

The 2018 Albany geocache hunt is on

It’s time once again, to join a fun day of discovery through geocaching. Local geocacher and enthusiast Don Bacher has organized the 2018 Albany Coin Challenge that takes place for one day only, Saturday, August 25th.

This year’s event will start at 10:00 a.m. at Allann Bros warehouse, 1852 Fescue St. SE, Exit 233 going north or south on I-5 (N 44 37.497 W 123 03.645). There is plenty of parking.

A new series of Albany locations—homes from the National Historic Districts—have been added to this year’s challenge. As in previous years, the course has been determined, and each geocaching household will be issued a challenge passport. The course has been carefully laid out so that you will also have the opportunity to find caches in the area.

Completed passports can be brought to Ciddici’s Pizza, 133 SW 5th Street (N 44 38.066 W 123 06.229) between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. the day of the event. One-hundred and fifty coins have been ordered, so everyone who receives a passport is guaranteed a coin.

Along with the hunt, there will be great door prizes handed out during the coin distribution. These prizes are donated by local businesses, and drawings will be held on the half hour.

This is a family event and we encourage you to bring your kids and grandkids. There’s something for all ages.

The 2018 coin was created by Jessica Dilbone, and features a design that includes Mary’s Peak, the Willamette and Calapooia Rivers running through Albany, and the fir tree from Oregon’s license plates. Another one-of-a-kind coin that you will be delighted to add to your collection. 

We hope to see you at Allan Bros. on the 25th. Happy hunting!

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.