Get into the spirit with Halloween events

Get into the spirit of Halloween in and around Albany with several events planned for this fall with haunted corn mazes, trick or treat activities and other fun, or just enjoy getting out on crisp days to stroll through several farmers’ markets during the month of October.

COVID-19 restrictions may remain in effect for some sites and events, so call ahead when possible, check the Calendar of Events at the Albany Visitors Association website, albanyvisitors.com, or call the AVA at 541-928-0911. Keep an eye on the AVA Calendar of Events for changes and any new events or activities.

Here are a few fun activities you and your family won’t want to miss:

Find your own special pumpkin patch this Halloween season.
Photo by Nancy Hunt

The Albany Downtown Association/Movies at Monteith is sponsoring a Downtown Halloween Character Hunt contest, from Oct. 15 through Oct. 29. A fun activity for the whole family, be on the lookout for your favorite Halloween movie characters displayed on posters throughout downtown for a chance to win a movie night prize basket to the Pix Theater! Watch the ADA website for information about printing out an entry form in early October (forms will be available at the ADA office as well), then head out on your hunt!  When you are done, drop it off at the ADA office, 126 Ferry St. SW, before 5 p.m. on Oct. 29. Happy hunting!

The Trolley of Terror will not be stalking the streets of Albany this year. Instead, the Monteith Historical Society is holding the Monteith Historical Ghost Walk on Oct. 22-23 and Oct. 29-30. Experience the most “spirited” tales told by lanternlight. Cost is $5 per person, and children in strollers will be admitted free. Four tours leave every 15 minutes each night beginning at 7 p.m. from the Monteith House, 518 2nd Ave. W., and are limited to 15 people each. Participants are asked to wear comfortable shoes, dress for the weather, and bring a flashlight. Brave souls can register online at monteithhouse.org, or by calling 541-220-0421. Tours take about 45 minutes.

Get those costumes ready and decorate your vehicle! Join Albany Parks & Recreation for a Trick-or-Treat Cruise-Thru, presented by Pacific Cascade Federal Credit Union. Trick-or-treat from the safety of your car at Timber-Linn Memorial Park, 900 Price Rd. SE. Every child attending must be registered by Oct. 15. A registration receipt will be required to be admitted into the park. You can sign up online at https://www.cityofalbany.net or by calling 541-917-7777.

Here is a list of more places to visit and events to take in during the Halloween season:

Farms and fun

Davis Family Farm: Take hayrides to the pumpkin patch and enjoy cider and donuts throughout October. Open daily 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., 4380 NE Hwy 20, Corvallis. For cost and other details call 541-752-0697.

Midway Farms: Enjoy fresh apple cider and other delicious fare at this dedicated gluten-free family farm at 6980 NW Highway 20 between Albany and Corvallis. Open daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Bose Family Farm Pumpkin Patch & Corn Maze: The name says it all! Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday through Sunday. 35765 Cyrus Road NE, Albany.

The Melon Shack: The Day Corn Maze, beginning Sept. 24 and ongoing daily 10 a.m. top 6 p.m. through Oct. 31, is a highlight, plus pumpkins and fresh donuts! NE Garden Ave. at NE Highway 20, Corvallis. For info go to their Facebook page or call 541-243-4152.

Don’t forget ab out your Albany Farmers’ Market to find your perfect already picked pumpkin with a large variety to carve, cook, or bake it in a pie, along with all the other tasty harvest treats our valley has to offer. The market is open every Saturday from 9a.m. – 1p.m.

Also available are:
Corvallis Farmers Market: open 9 am-1 pm, NW First Street and NW Jackson Avenue
Lebanon Downtown Farmers’ Market: open 2 to 6 p.m. Thursdays through October. Corner of Main and Grant streets.
Sweet Home Farmers’ Market: open 2 to 6 p.m.

Thompson’s Mills cider pressings: Come and help press the apples, then take home some delicious, fresh cider. And while you are there, take some time to tour Thompsons Mills, the last operating water-powered mill in Oregon. Dates are Oct. 9 and Oct. 30. Times are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. Because the uncertainty of Covid restrictions, check the AVA website at albanyvisitors.com as the dates draw near to see if the events will take place.

More Spooky stuff

Tennessee Thunder Railroad: Saturdays and Sundays noon to 4 p.m. in October, 37672 KGAL Drive, Lebanon. Cost is $7 adults, $6 kids 2-12, and under 2 admitted free. Masks are required. Admission also gets you access to the pumpkin patch, fall themed photo backdrops and 4 acres to roam. For information, 458-223-0258.

Talking Water Gardens is waiting for you

By Molly Miller

Would you like to stretch your legs, inhale fresh air and walk in solitude as lush greenery and fall colors surround you?

I have the spot for you.

Talking Water Gardens offers solitude on warm fall days. Most of the vegetation is comprised of native plants. Photo by Molly Miller

Late summer and early fall is a great time to get outside and enjoy all of those things, and what better place to experience them than Talking Water Gardens in Albany.

Social distancing? Two miles of soft bark and light gravel footpaths offer plenty of room to safely stroll amid rainbow colors of seasonal foliage and the peaceful sound of cascading waterfalls.

Talking Water Gardens is a manufactured wetland that uses a natural process to cool treated wastewater before releasing it into the Willamette River. The water flows through a series of ponds and waterfalls, creating a wonderfully lush environment. Families come. Singles or couples wander. Birders stroll, stop, stroll. Actually “stroll and stop” is the most observed way of exploring in the park.

Most of the trails are wheelchair accessible. Pets are allowed on leashes.

While salmon and steelhead benefit from the cooler water that the wetland provides, people and wildlife find other rewards. Walk through the gates and you find that electronics do not hold sway. In their place are birds calling, water rushing and cattails whispering with the wind.

This is where you can turn your face to the sky and your feet to the gentle path and take in some of the unusual details of the area. The path leads walkers to one such detail alongside a canal that follows the length of the Weeping Wall, the former loading dock of the Simpson plywood mill that previously occupied this land. During warmer months when the area is running at full capacity, water cascades over the wall into the canal.

The Weeping Wall, exposed during a low-water cycle, and canal.
Photo by Molly Miller

The summer season, with its higher temperatures, requires cooler water be delivered to the Willamette, so the ponds will be full.

Winter allows time for maintenance, cleaning, repair and replanting of vegetation. At this time a visitor will often see some drained ponds or waterways, and the Weeping Wall might be dry, revealing the old mill’s loading dock.

Beaver, mink, turtles, frogs, migrating ducks and hundreds of species of birds of different colors join the mostly native plant species inside the wetland.

“We work to ensure that as many plants native to Oregon are used in our natural treatment systems,” said Joe Deardorff, the Natural Treatment Systems Specialist for the City of Albany Public Works.

While Deardorff’s current focus is ensuring native vegetation renewal, his work includes an understanding of both plants and wildlife and how they interact in the environment. He is familiar with the inhabitants that make their home within the wetland.

“Beavers do live in the park,” says Deardorff, who added that although beaver dams are not easily visible to visitors, gnawing marks on trees give clues of beaver being present.

Gnawed tree stumps are a beaver’s calling card.
Photo by Molly Miller

Although beavers, being more nocturnal, are elusive, plenty of sunning turtles and jumping frogs are viewable in the summer and early fall. Repeat visitors can watch baby ducks grow in increments over the spring and summer. Bird calls, which can be identified by apps, are heard on the trails at all times of the year.

Adventurers of all ages – whether they be locals or people from around the state, the country or the world – are drawn to this area, including tech professionals from other countries who want to replicate a similar model.

Roughly 60,000 visitors visit Talking Water Garden yearly. It is open daily, sunrise to sunset, so please come and add your footprint to this path of nature and sustainability!

If You Go

For more about Talking Water Gardens, located at 577 Waverly Dr. NE, in Albany, click here. It is free and open to the public 7 days a week, sunrise to sunset. To get there, follow Front Avenue east past the Albany Millersburg Water Reclamation Facility until it turns into Waverly Drive, which dead ends at Talking Water.

Molly Miller is a freelance writer who loves to share travel and history adventures in Oregon.

Harvest time is a great time to have fun

Fall is just around the corner and harvest activities will be ripe for the picking for those with plans for fun and adventure.

Photo by Dan Bateman

COVID-19 restrictions may remain in effect for some sites and events, so call ahead where possible, check the Calendar of Events at the Albany Visitors Association website, albanyvisitors.com, or call the AVA at 541-928-0911. Keep an eye on the AVA Calendar of Events for changes and any new events or activities.

Here are a few harvest events and places to visit you can enjoy with your family this fall:

Thompson’s Mills cider pressings
The mill, located in Shedd, will hold its cider pressing events after a year off due to COVID-19 restrictions. Come and help press the apples, then take home some delicious, fresh cider. And while you are there, take some time to tour Thompsons Mills, the last operating water-powered mill in Oregon. Dates are Sept. 18, Oct. 9 and Oct. 30. Times are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.

Farmers Markets
Fresh produce, fish, meat, and other tasty fare are available at several Farmers’ Market locations around the mid-valley. Albany’s is the oldest continuous market in Oregon and is open 9 am to 1 p.m. Saturdays through November. It is located at Fourth Avenue and Ellsworth Street next to City Hall. Visit the website here.

Also available are:
Corvallis Farmers Market: open 9 am-1 pm, NW First Street and NW Jackson Avenue
Lebanon Downtown Farmers’ Market: open 2 to 6 p.m. Thursdays through October. Corner of Main and Grant streets.
Sweet Home Farmers’ Market: open 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through September; corner of 12th Avenue and Kalmia Street.

Bridges, Bikes & Brews
This first-ever event, set in Scio on Saturday, Sept. 18, will include self-guided covered-bridge biking tours, guided van tours, live music, food trucks, local breweries and more. Proceeds will go toward new Fairgrounds Event Center, to be built in or near Scio. Check-in for the bike event will be 7:30 to 9 a.m., and fairgrounds activities begin at 10 a.m. Go here for more information.

Albany Scottish Festival & Highland Games
Don’t miss the first annual Albany Scottish Festival & Highland Games for a day of food, music, and heavy-throwing events on Saturday, Sept. 18, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Timber-Linn Memorial Park. For information visit Facebook Albany Scottish Festival.

Mid-Willamette Valley Food Trail

Find a bounty of businesses with harvest ideas for the fall in the Mid-Willamette Valley Food Trail brochure, which is available at the Albany Visitors Association, or on its website at albanyvisitors.com. Find restaurants featuring locally sourced food – such as Sybaris or Frankies – or visit a farm to take advantage of seasonal produce, fun activities or even stay the night. And don’t forget to peruse our long list of vineyards for an afternoon of tasting in the beautiful countryside or locate a cozy brewpub to enjoy finely crafted beers and the tasty menu items many of them have to offer. Can’t decide what to do? Then use one of three itineraries provided in the brochure to get a few interesting ideas on how to spend the day around our little corner of the Willamette Valley.


An inside look at some houses on the 2021 Summer Historic Homes tour

Scroll down to see a few images from homes on the 2021 Summer Historic Homes Tour, held Saturday, July 31, in Albany.

THE CONNER HOUSE

THE BLAIN HOUSE

The comfortable front porch of the Blain House.

THE JERRY ANDRUS HOUSE

The Jerry Andrus House, also known as The Keyhole House.
The stairwell of the Jerry Andrus House.
From left, Jerry & George Andrus work on an illusion.

THE HULIN HOUSE

Enjoy family friendly fun as activities return

Activities abound through August and into September in and around Albany, with plenty of family friendly fun to be enjoyed – from concerts to carnivals to antiques in the streets.

Since Covid restrictions have eased, many of our favorite events have returned. But be aware that some social distancing protocols may still apply. Before attending an event, call ahead or check websites and Facebook pages for up-to-date information.

Here are a few outstanding activities to experience:

Summer Sounds: Monday concert series at Monteith Riverpark in Albany, 7 p.m. $1 suggested donation. Aug. 2 – Arietta Ward; Aug. 9 – The Coats; Aug. 16 – Stone in Love. Information: cityofalbany.net/parks/events/summer-sounds

River Rhythms: Albany’s popular Thursday evening concert series at Monteith Riverpark, 7 p.m. $1 suggested donation. Aug. 5 – Smash Mouth; Aug. 12 – John Michael Montgomery. Information: riverrhythms.org

Movies at Monteith: Friday night flicks at Monteith Riverpark, sponsored by the Albany Downtown Association, Albany Parks and Rec and The Pix Theatre. Movies start at dusk (around 9 p.m.). Cost: Free. Dates are Aug. 6 and Aug. 13. Featured movies TBA. https:// Information: Go to Movies at Monteith Facebook page.

The Great Platypus Drop: 3 p.m., Aug. 21. A fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity, 10,000 rubber “platypuses” will be dropped from the sky onto a large target at Swanson Park. The platypus landing closest to the bullseye will win the grand prize (or any one of 14 other prizes)! Adopt a platypus for $5. Tickets may be purchased online or in person at the Habitat office (call 541-967-4030) and the day of the event. Information: thegreatplatypusdrop.com/

Carnival at the Carousel: Have some old-fashioned fun 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 21 at the Historic Carousel & Museum. There will be carousel rides, carnival games, a cake walk, face painting, balloon art and much, much more. Admission is free, but carnival game tickets are 25 cents each. Information: albanycarousel.com/event

Thompson’s Mills Cider Pressing: The friendly people out at Thompson’s Mills State Heritage Site near Shedd have set four dates for pressing apples: Sept. 18, Oct. 9 and Oct. 30. Come and join the fun and take home some delicious, fresh apple cider.

Antiques in the Streets & Classic Car Show: Come browse for antique treasure among more than 50 vendors through the streets of Downtown Albany, then check out some outstanding automobiles at the Classic Car Show. Sponsored by the Albany Antique Mall. Admission is free. Proceeds from vendor fees benefit a local non-profit. Information: albanyantiquemall.com

Other ideas: Albany Beer Run (Sept. 11); Albany Scottish Festival (Sept. 18).

These are just a few of the great events happening in the Albany area into September. For more, check out the Calendar of Events at albanyvisitors.com.

2021 Albany Summer Historic Homes Exterior Tour

(Scroll down for ticket and scavenger hunt form downloads, and other information.)

The 2021 Summer Homes Tour is set for July 31, and because of lingering Covid-19 precautions we will once again be staying outside for an exterior view of some Albany’s beautiful homes, their porches and yards.

And, like the previous summer, the tour will be free. But don’t let that stop you from opening your pocketbooks to lend a hand. In past years, proceeds from ticket sales went to upkeep and administration of the Monteith House Museum, Albany’s first frame house built in 1849. Since the pandemic started, this will be the third tour offered free of charge. In order to give the Monteith House a boost, please consider giving a donation. Normally the price of a ticket is $15, but any amount will be greatly appreciated.

The Monteith House. Photo by Oliver J. Anderson

Donation

Contact-free donations can be made with your credit or debit card using our online payment option here:
( Please note: you don’t have to have your own Paypal account to use this)

Enter the dollar amount you wish to donate:

If you prefer donations can also be made at the Albany Visitors Association office, 110 3rd Ave. SE, or on the day of the tour at the ticket table in front of the AVA. Checks can be made payable to the “Monteith Historical Society” and mailed to the AVA, PO Box 965, Albany, Oregon 97321, or  other donation arrangements can be made by emailing us at info@albanyvisitors.com.

The tour will consist of a self-guided event that will feature a walk-by of 6 homes (and a few yards will be open as well) and other historic buildings with the help of a ticket with a map. The publication Seems Like Old Times and/or the Albany Explorer app, which is sponsored by Hospitality Vision and the Albany Visitors Association, are nice companion pieces for your walk around town.

Getting Tickets

Here’s how it works. The tour is scheduled for Saturday, July 31, 2021, and will run 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors can download a ticket and map (see image and link below) or pick them up on the day of the tour, beginning at 10 a.m. outside the front door of the AVA, along with a copy of Seems Like Old Times, which provides self-guided tours, details about the homes and some fun and interesting information about Albany and its historic districts.

For photos from the inside of a few of the homes, click here.

https://albanyvisitors.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/2021-Summer-Tour-Ticket-final-QRCodes-1.pdf

Scavenger Hunt (To download or print a form, go to end of this story)

In addition, while taking the tour visitors can be on the lookout for architectural details that will be included in a scavenger hunt. Find the required items, such as beautiful woodwork detail or an interesting door, and mark it on the ballot. Return the completed ballot to the AVA at the end of the day (either to the volunteers or into the mail slot) and be entered in a drawing for prizes.

Albany Explorer App

For the tech savvy, the Albany Explorer app is available to download free at Google Play for Android and iStore for Apple. It includes maps to three of Albany’s historic districts, where to dine, spend the night and other details about Albany and the surrounding area. And since visitors won’t be allowed inside the houses, a few homeowners have provided images of the inside of their homes for people to enjoy. They will be available the day of the tour on albanyvisitors.com

More details about what will be available on the tour will be announced as the tour date approaches. Check the website for updates. albanyvisitors.com.

4th of July Weekend

The Covid-19 pandemic and high fire danger continue to put a crimp in some traditional 4th of July celebrations, but there are many interesting and fun activities for you and your family to enjoy over the holiday.

Due to fire concerns and budget constraints, Albany will not be holding a fireworks display this holiday.

Two events that are open to the general public are the Fabulous, Fantastic, All-American, Everyone-Can-Join Fourth of July Parade in Corvallis and Fireworks Night. Parade participants are asked to assemble July 4th at 9:30 a.m. on Eighth Street Between Monroe and Madison Avenues. The event kicks off at 10 a.m. with the Star-Spangled Banner, sung by a community member. Dress up or come as you are. It takes about a half hour to walk.

Saturday, July 3, 7:15 p.m., the Oregon State Credit Union presents Fireworks Night at  Goss Stadium at Coleman Field, 430 Southwest Langton Place, Corvallis, OR 97331. For information go here.

Some of our small neighboring communities are holding Independence Day celebrations but they are asking to keep them local this year. Please respect their wishes and honor our country in a respectful way. We look forward to celebrating together in the future in a big way.

Harrisburg still honors our nation’s birthday today much the way it was done a hundred years ago. They are making this celebration with fireworks even more local this year, due to restrictions. Go here for more information.

Lebanon is also hosting fireworks and community members are encouraged to enjoy the fireworks from the safety of their homes. No parking or gathering will be allowed at Cheadle Lake Park, on the trails throughout Cheadle Lake, or the surrounding areas. Go here for more information.

Here are some other ideas for you and your family to consider:

Photo by Christine Withers

Picnic – Grab some favorite to-go fare or make that chicken and potato salad yourself. Then fill the cooler and head out to your favorite spot. Bring your favorite game and make an afternoon of it. Maybe drive out to one of Linn County’s majestic Covered Bridges and find a nice location. Larwood Bridge is next to Roaring River Park where you can cool off in Crabtree Creek, or head up to McDowell Creek Park just northeast of Lebanon and enjoy the waterfalls.

Fishing – Albany has three good lakes to explore, and area rivers and streams are just waiting for you to try your luck. Click here here for more information.

Paddle Boats – The Waverly Lake Paddle Boats are a great way to enjoy a sunny day on the water and get a little exercise at the same time. Schmooze with Albany’s unofficial ambassador, Waverly Duck, or just get in a few laps for fun. Go here for more information

Cool! Pool – The Cool! Pool is open! But reserve your spot soon as only 50 people per time slot are allowed. To register and set reservations, go here.

Hiking and Biking – Albany has several miles of walking and biking paths. Come to the AVA for a map or go online here to plot your course.

Personal fireworks and safety

At the center of all 4th of July celebrations is the use of personal fireworks, and this year will be no different. But because of heightened concerns over fire danger people are asked to take great care when using them. And, please, use legal fireworks only. Oregon law prohibits the possession, use, or sale of any firework that flies more than six feet into the air, explodes, or travels more than 12 feet horizontally on the ground.  Bottle rockets, Roman candles and firecrackers are illegal in Oregon.

For a list of safety tips from the Albany Fire Department, click here.

Camping safety

If you plan to go camping or get out for the day on state or federal lands, please leave the fireworks at home. The use of fireworks is prohibited in national parks and forests, on Bureau of Land Management lands, U.S. Fish and Wildlife properties, state beaches, in state parks and in state campgrounds.

Authentically Albany Rewards Giveaway

There are so many great reasons to support local businesses. And while you’re at it, enter the Authentically Albany Rewards Giveaway. There might just be a $100 reward for you!

You can support Albany business owners by shopping in their stores, eating in their restaurants and using their services. Show us who you shop with!

Short on cash? You can help in other ways without spending money.

  • If you’re on social media, like their Facebook and Instagram pages, share their posts. Comment on things you like.
  • When you find something you like at a specific store or a favorite new menu item or beverage – tell someone about it! Word of mouth goes a long way!
  • Enter our #AuthenticallyAlbany Rewards Giveaway. Take a photo of your favorite store, purchase or proprietor in Albany. Tell us about it and tag us on Facebook or Instagram with #AuthenticallyAlbany. You will be entered to win a $100 gift card from one of our Albany businesses. Not on social media? No problem, send us an email photo or drop it by the AVA office with your comments and we will enter for you.

3 WAYS TO ENTER EACH WEEK!

Respond to social media posts by AVA. Follow us on all our social platforms and watch for our giveaway posts.

1. When you see a giveaway post, Like the post, tag a friend and answer the question in the comments.

2. Shop or dine and email your receipts to giveaway@AlbanyVisitors.com.

3. Share your own Albany adventure or outing. Shop, dine, gather, or explore any of Albany’s unique experiences. Share a photo and a caption, tag a friend and use the hashtags #authenticallyAlbany and #myAlbanystory

Bonus entry: ENTER TO WIN HERE

4. Subscribe to our free monthly e-newsletter. Not only will you be entered in the Authentically Albany Rewards Giveaway, you will get fun travel ideas delivered to your inbox each month.

Each week, we’ll pick a winner at random to win a $100 gift card courtesy of The Albany Visitors Association. You can enter in any or all of the ways above and there’s a new chance to win every week.

Many local shops are still offering online options and can ship directly to your house, so you can still support local with the convenience and safety of online shopping.

The AVA is supporting local businesses by purchasing gift certificates and will choose a winner each

week for 14 weeks.

Questions? Reach out and connect (541) 928-0911 or stop by 110 3rd Ave SE, Albany Oregon 97321.

Celebrate Albany history during Preservation Month

White hisstoric house with red flowers, Albany, OR Photo by Camron Settlemier
Photo by Camron Settlemier

History buffs will enjoy several treats in May during National Preservation Month, with a host of events planned to celebrate Albany history and the efforts to keep and maintain our historic treasures.

And one event that anyone can take part in: the Memorial Day Porch Tour.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, nearly all events were canceled for 2020. This year, hopes are high that most, if not all, will be held. As of this writing some events are finalizing details, and more events could be added before May 1, so stay tuned. And, because of the nature of the pandemic, any surge in cases could cause some events to be changed or canceled, so keep an eye on this blog and the AVA Calendar of Events for any new developments.

For now, get ready to have some fun with friends and enjoy diverse ways to celebrate our wonderful bounty of history.

Memorial Day Porch Tour As a tribute to the men and women who gave their lives serving our country, some Albany residents are paying their respects by adorning their porches for Memorial Day weekend — May 29-31 — as part of activities in May during National Preservation Month.

People can start touring them on Saturday, May 29, through Memorial Day. The event is sponsored by the Albany Landmarks Commission, Albany Downtown Association, and the Albany Visitors Association.

Here are addresses to participating sites: 821 7th Ave. SW; 821 12th Ave. SE; 220 7th Ave. SE; 900 Price Rd. SE; 914 5th Ave. SW; 700 Broadway SW.

View and Download map of participating locations here or see the Albany Explorer app on Google Play and Apple App Store

Basket Drawing A random drawing was held for a gift basket among the participants and the winner is 821 7th Ave. SW. Thanks to all who participated! Thanks also to all who helped sponsor the drawing and provided the contents of the basket: Albany Downtown Association, Albany Visitors Association, Brick Circuit, City Delivery Service, Jim Janson, Landmark Commission, Lux + Lu Boutique, Natural Sprinkles, Sybaris Bistro, and Town & Country Reality – Jessica Pankratz.

Here are photos of the participating houses.

Albany has a long history of supporting veterans, and participants are encouraged to illustrate that dedication by decking out their porches with patriotic colors, flags, signs, flowers, balloons, lights or whatever they feel inspired to use to create a Memorial Day theme.

Once finished, participants are asked to take a picture of their porch and send it to the AVA so they can be posted online for all to enjoy. After Memorial Day, participants are encouraged to keep their porches trimmed through the Fourth of July to honor all veterans and those currently serving.

Participants are asked to email their name and address to info@albanyvisitors.com by Friday, May 21, 3:00 p.m. Once the porch is finished, they can email the photo to the AVA, or post it on Facebook at #authenticallyalbany. As a small token of appreciation, anyone taking part will be entered in a drawing for a gift basket. Names will not be posted online, just the addresses for the tour.

For more information, contact the AVA at 541-928-0911, or info@albanyvisitors.com.

May 1 through May 31, 2021

City of Albany Hashtag Mini-Tour Are you a fan of historic buildings? Please join Historic Landmarks on Facebook and Instagram for a series of mini tours as historic district residents and fans showcase one small feature of their favorite historic building. For residents, there’s no deep cleaning involved: just snap a photo or take a video of the building and/or the feature you love, inside or out and tell us something about it. Fans, snap your photo or video from the sidewalk or public right of way. Next, share it on your own Facebook or Instagram (make sure your Facebook post or your Instagram account is public) and be sure to type the hashtags #authenticallyalbany and #oregonheritage in your description or in the comment section. Simple as that! Historic property fans and tour hosts can then use the search bar in Facebook or Instagram to search for the hashtags and see all the mini-tours folks have hosted.

Hidden History Scavenger Hunt Keep a sharp eye out as you tour Albany’s Historic Downtown and spot the wonderful details on this list of architectural elements. Pick up an entry form at The Natty Dresser, 124 Broadalbin St. SW., or download one here and return them to the shop by 5. p.m., May 31.

Kids Downtown Scavenger Hunt The Albany Downtown Association invites families to stroll downtown and peek in store windows on a hunt to find mini-posters featuring items from days gone by. Learn a little about how things used to be and enter your findings on the entry form. Get the form and details HERE

Albany Farmers’ Market is the oldest outdoor farmers’ market in Oregon. Open every Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Purchase hand-picked produce, fresh flowers, baked bread, local eggs, meats and more. The market is located at 4th and Ellsworth in the City Hall parking lot. Be sure to follow the physical distancing rules for a safe and healthy market experience. For more about what the market has to offer, including online pre-visit order forms to make your visit even safer, be sure to check their website at LocallyGrown.org.

Sunday, May 2

Cumberland Church Open House Tour the former Cumberland Church, built in 1892, and learn about plans to relocate and renovate the building to create a community events center. Volunteers will be available to answer any questions and solicit input from the community. Tours will be available Sundays 1 to 5 p.m. Reservations are required. To reserve your place, call the Albany Visitors Association, 541-928-0911 by noon the preceding Thursday. Visitors are required to wear face masks.

Friday, May 7

1st Friday & Wine Tastings sponsored by The Natty Dresser: 4 to 9 p.m., Downtown Albany. For information go to the 1st Friday Downtown Albany Facebook page.

Saturday, May 8

Tweed Ride Cruise along on bikes and look great doing it on Albany’s annual Tween Ride. The event takes place on the Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend and is part of the Historic Preservation Month activities. Participants don their finest tweed attire (or any period clothing) and take a bicycle tour of Albany’s historic districts. The event begins at 10:30 a.m. and is hosted by The Natty Dresser, 124 Broadalbin St. SW, a full-service menswear shop in the heart of Historic Downtown Albany. The tour will be stopping on occasion to talk about historic buildings and sights along the way. The ride begins at The Natty Dresser and ends at the Deluxe Brewery, where they will be hosting their annual Vintage Bicycle Show and Swap Meet (see the next entry). Food and drink will be available for purchase at the brewery. You are welcome to bring a picnic lunch on the ride, as the brewery allows outside food. Bring a cup if it looks like it is going to be a warm day for wearing tweed; there will be a water break along the way.

Vintage Bicycle Show & Swap Enjoy more than 75 vintage bicycles from 1 to 5 p.m. at this annual event, sponsored by the Deluxe Brewing Company, 635 Water Ave NE. Admission is free and socially distancing rules will apply. Most of the bike show will be outside.

Takenah Walking Tour The Albany Regional Museum is holding two walking tours, at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., beginning at the museum, 136 Lyon St. S. For a short time in its history, Albany was called Takenah. The tours, narrated by Bill Maddy, will focus on the people, places and politics of the Hackleman District, their role in the name change, and in the overall history of Albany. The tour will be on city sidewalks and not always wheelchair friendly, Covid regulations for safe distancing will be required. Space is limited and registration is required by calling the museum at 541-967-7122. Fee for the tour is $5 per party (maximum six persons per party). Registration deadline is May 3.

Sunday, May 9

Cumberland Church Open House Tour the former Cumberland Church, built in 1892, and learn about plans to relocate and renovate the building to create a community events center. Volunteers will be available to answer any questions and solicit input from the community. Tours will be available Sundays 1 to 5 p.m. Reservations are required. To reserve your place, call the Albany Visitors Association, 541-928-0911 by noon the preceding Thursday. Visitors are required to wear face masks.

Wednesday, May 12

1st Avenue History Tour Meet at Burkhart Square, at the corner of 1st Ave. and Lyon Street, at 6 p.m. and take an informative tour of 1st Avenue. Sponsored by The Natty Dresser.

History Bites: Albany’s Cast Iron Bernadette Niederer will present a virtual program, from noon to 1 p.m., highlighting Albany’s history cast iron works and where some of those architectural details might be seen. Albany Regional Museum

Thursday, May 13

2nd Avenue History Tour Meet at Burkhart Square, at the corner of 1st Ave. and Lyon Street, next to the Lyon Street Bridge at 6 p.m. and enjoy stories about the history of 2nd Avenue in Historic Downtown Albany. Sponsored by The Natty Dresser.

Saturday, May 15

Water Avenue Tour Sponsored by the Friends of Historic Albany, learn about businesses that used to line Albany’s waterfront. Stay tuned for details.

Sunday, May 16

Cumberland Church Open House Tour the former Cumberland Church, built in 1892, and learn about plans to relocate and renovate the building to create a community events center. Volunteers will be available to answer any questions and solicit input from the community. Tours will be available Sundays 1 to 5 p.m. Reservations are required. To reserve your place, call the Albany Visitors Association, 541-928-0911 by noon the preceding Thursday. Visitors are required to wear face masks.

Wednesday, May 19

Friends of Historic Albany Annual Meeting All are invited to attend this Zoom meeting, particularly anyone interested in joining the group. On tap will be an update on the year’s activities and election of officers. FOHA

Sunday, May 23

Cumberland Church Open House Tour the former Cumberland Church, built in 1892, and learn about plans to relocate and renovate the building to create a community events center. Volunteers will be available to answer any questions and solicit input from the community. Tours will be available Sundays 1 to 5 p.m. Reservations are required. To reserve your place, call the Albany Visitors Association, 541-928-0911 by noon the preceding Thursday. Visitors are required to wear face masks.

Monday, May 24

S.E. Young Building Tours: Noon and 4 p.m. RSVP request by calling 541-248-3561. Meet at the Broadalbin Street entrance to The Natty Dresser, 124 Broadalbin St. SW, five minutes prior to the tour.

Saturday, May 29

Memorial Day Porch Tour In tribute to the men and women who gave their lives in defense of our country, and to those who have served and continue to serve in the military, several porches will be adorned in their honor. Beginning May 28, photos of the participating porches and a map of where to find them will be available to view. Stay tuned for where to find that as the date approaches.

Sunday, May 30

Cumberland Church Open House Tour the former Cumberland Church, built in 1892, and learn about plans to relocate and renovate the building to create a community events center. Volunteers will be available to answer any questions and solicit input from the community. Tours will be available Sundays 1 to 5 p.m. Reservations are required. To reserve your place, call the Albany Visitors Association, 541-928-0911 by noon the preceding Thursday. Visitors are required to wear face masks.

Year-Round Opportunities

We will be updating this post regularly throughout Historic Preservation Month, so check back frequently for new activities, Other ideas for you include:

  • Albany Explorer App or download a tour and use your car or bike to travel the various routes from “Seems Like Old Times.”
  • Stop by the new Fire Station 11 and get peek at the 1927 American LaFrance fire engine and other items of interest on display in the lobby. The station is at 611 Lyon St. SE.
  • Albany’s Historic Carousel & Museum Take a ride on one of the whimsical critters that grace the historic 1909 Dentzel mechanism, tour the new museum or catch one of the carvers creating yet another masterpiece. Don’t forget to check out the gift shop, then have a treat at the snack bar for the road. Operating hours are TBA depending on Covid restrictions.
  • Get an up-close look at some of Albany’s past through interesting exhibits at the Albany Regional Museum. Visit the ARM website for current operating hours.
  • Mark your calendar for Albany’s two historic homes tours, the Summer Historic Home Tour on July 31 and the Christmas Tour on Dec. 12. Traditionally the tours were of the inside of the homes. Since Covid, the tours have been restricted to the exteriors with activities planned around the event. Stay tuned for more information about each.

Albany Farmers’ Market offers fresh food and fun

Get ready for fresh local produce and fun as the Albany Farmers’ Market opens Saturday, April 17, in Historic downtown Albany.

Photo by Camron Settlemier

Hours for the Albany market will be 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays for 32 weeks through Nov. 24, and will set up in its usual spot at Fourth Avenue and Ellsworth Street next to Albany City Hall.

Open air and wide aisles are two factors that local farmers’ markets have going in their favor. But the market and farmers and producers need full cooperation from everyone to stay open and keep the community safe.

This is the second season under Covid-19 restrictions and customers are asked to continue exercising safe distancing and to please wear a mask.

Organizers are also asking patrons to observe these protocols:

  • Stay at home if you are not feeling well
  • Consider ordering and prepaying for items
  • Send one person per household
  • Bring cash when possible
  • Use hand washing stations at the market
  • Comply with rules and methods at each booth
  • Don’t eat while at the market
  • Purchase items and then promptly exit

Several vendors have registered and are ready to sell their delicious fare, including fresh fish and meat, pastries and lots of early season produce. Market shoppers can go here to search for particular vendors and view interactive maps showing the approximate location of vendors on each market day.

According to information from market organizers, some vendors who did not participate in 2020 will return thanks to the availability of vaccines, while others will be back or come more frequently after securing services at USDA-inspected meat processing plants that were affected in 2020 both by COVID and by wildfires.

New Albany vendors this season include well-known Corvallis vendors Brandywine Fisheries and The Naked Crepe, and new faces All Tucked Inn and Woolly Oak Farm.

A few vendors who did not participate in 2020 will be returning to markets thanks to the availability of vaccines.  Some vendors will return or come more often because they have secured services at USDA-inspected meat processing plants that were affected in 2020 both by COVID and by wildfires.

The market will continue its partnership with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) redemptions, and will match the first $10 of every SNAP purchase with Double Up Food Bucks.

Live music and most educational events remain on hold, with the exception of the Power of Produce (PoP) Club, which in 2020 found a COVID-safe way to provide fruits and vegetables to kids ages 5 to 12. This year, beginning July 3, parents can pick up one free produce item for each eligible child.

If shopping in person is a concern, patrons can get a head start by placing an online order. To get started, head here to the marketplace homepage, where shoppers can register, shop, see schedules for ordering periods and learn other helpful tips. For patrons who used the service last season, their password is still valid.

For more information about the market and pre-order options, visit locallygrown.org, and its Facebook page.

For a list of more markets around the mid-valley, click here to go to our Farms and Farmers Markets page.

The Albany Farmers’ Market is thought to be the oldest continuously operating open-air farmers’ market in Oregon. It began on the riverfront and moved in 2007 to its current location.

Please observe all safe distancing and other safety protocols, and together we can help keep alive this great tradition of shopping fresh and local.

Travel Advisory for Albany and Linn County
- COVID-19 Updates
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