17 ways to celebrate the holidays in Albany

Image of two large draft horses pulling a covered wagon through the snowy streets of Albany, Oregon at night.

Capturing the spirit of giving and sharing is what the holidays are all about. We’d love for you to visit us this season, and hope the following highlights from our best December events will help you plan your trip.

December 1st – 10th Win Free Tickets Facebook Contest – to Christmas Caroling by Horse-Drawn Wagon You have 10 days (starting on December 1st) to enter AVA’s Facebook contest and win a pair of tickets (up to $20 value) to the Christmas Caroling by Horse-Drawn Wagon event on the night of December 21st or 22nd at 8:00 p.m. The rules are easy! (1) Like our AVA Facebook page (not just the contest post), (2) like the contest post dated December 1st, and (3) tag a friend in the post comment section. Winners will be selected from the comments by random drawing and will have until December 14th to pick up their tickets from our office. We will notify the winners on our Facebook page. This is a pretty cool prize because the event is sold out every year. Click here for our Facebook page.

Image of child looking at cute animal figurines dressed in Christmas hats and scarves at Albany Oregon's Christmas Storybook LandDecember 1st through 14th Christmas Storybook Land is Albany’s best family Christmas show. Held at the Linn County Fair & Exposition Center on Knox Butte Rd, this fantasy world is an enormous Christmas forest wonderland with over 110 scenes of characters from nursery rhymes, children’s stories, and family movies, two elaborate model train displays, a Victorian village, plus the North Pole with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Visit the event website for complete hours and more information at www.ChristmasStorybookLand.org

December 1st, 8th, and 15th Pictures with Santa at the Albany Carousel UPDATED, ADDITIONAL DAYS ADDED: Three Sundays, Dec 2nd, 9th, and 16th have been added to this event!! (All times are from 11:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.) On three Saturdays this month, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., bring your own camera and snag a family photo with Santa at this free event. All are invited. Although this event is free, donations to the non-profit carousel are welcome!

December 1st Sick Town Derby This family-friendly event at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center is for all ages. There will be food vendors, a beer garden, Sick Town merchandise, half-time fun and more! Tickets cost $10 in advance or $12 at the door. Doors open at 5 p.m. for Live Roller Derby Action at 6:00 p.m. For more information and tickets, visit the Derby Dames website https://www.sicktownderbydames.com

SOLD OUT!!!! December 2nd Pioneer Children’s Christmas Party at Monteith House Celebrate the Christmas season the way the pioneers would have done in the 1800s by attending this children’s party at the Monteith House. Ages 5 though 16 can make pioneer Christmas crafts, decorate the Christmas tree at the Monteith House, sing carols, eat cookies, and ride on a horse-drawn wagon in the “Twice Around Downtown Christmas Parade” at 5:00 p.m. The cost is $15 per child and $10 for additional siblings. Reserve your child’s spot today by calling the Albany Visitors Association at 541-928-0911. Space is limited.

Photo of horses with carriage and trolley with Christmas decorations.December 2nd Downtown Twice Around Christmas Parade The Downtown Twice Around Christmas Parade winds its way through the streets of Historic Downtown Albany on Sunday at 5 p.m. rain or shine. Santa often arrives on an antique firetruck! The parade starts at the corner of Broadalbin and First, heads west down First to Calapooia, heads south on Calapooia to Second, heads east on Second to Broadalbin, heads north on Broadalbin to First, and then around again—ending up at Two Rivers Market parking lot on the corner of Second and Ferry. Immediately following the parade, the Community Tree is lit. Telephone the Albany Downtown Association at 541-928-2469 for more information.

December 6th Festival of Wreaths and Auction Catch the perfect holiday wreath at the Albany Carousel; this great fundraiser runs from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. This is an adult event. Admission price includes wine, a special carousel wine glass, hors d’oeuvres, and live music; plus silent and live auctions—all part of the $20 package. Tickets available at the Carousel Gift Shop or telephone 541-497-2934.

December 7th First Friday in Downtown Albany  Get your art on and do a little holiday shopping in downtown Albany. Gallery Calapooia will be filled with wonderful gift ideas, plus you can meet the artists and enjoy complimentary wine and appetizers from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 pm. Telephone the gallery at 541-971-5701 for more information. At Urban Ag, shop their extended First Friday hours until 8:00 p.m. They’ll have plenty of tools and other gear waiting to be plucked for your picky gardening friends. Gift cards are available as well. Visit Urban Ag at 124 SW Ellsworth. As you make your way through downtown, be sure to visit other participating shops and restaurants, including The Natty Dresser and Sweet Red Bistro.

December 7th (other dates: 8th, 9th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 20th, 21st, 22nd) The Albany Community Theater presents the live performance of “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.” This new dramatization of C.S. Lewis’ classic, set in the land of Narnia, faithfully recreates the magic and mystery of Aslan, the great lion, his struggle with the White Witch, and the adventures of four children who inadvertently wander from an old wardrobe into the exciting, never-to-be-forgotten Narnia. This story of love, faith, courage and giving, with its triumph of good over evil, is a true celebration of life. Visit ACT’s website for performance times and ticket information at http://www.albanycivic.org/shows/the-lion-the-witch-and-the-wardrobe/

Image of cast from original classic movie, "It's a Wonderful Life."December 8th Free Christmas Movie Albany Downtown Association (ADA) and the Pix Theatre will partner to show a free classic Christmas movie for the whole family. (Movie title will be announced closer to the date.) Doors open at 9:30 a.m. and the movie starts at 10:00 a.m. Come early, especially if you are a large group, as the theater fills up quickly! This is a free event and first come first seated. Please bring a non-perishable food item for donation to the Salvation Army Food Drive if you can. For questions, telephone the ADA at 541-928-2469.

December 9th Annual Christmas Parlour Tour of Historic Homes and Buildings From 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. the 39th year of the tour will feature beautifully decorated historic houses, museums, churches, historic library, and a downtown loft. This is one of only two tours offered per year that include the interiors of historic homes. Father Christmas will be out with an enormous bag of treats and the Monteith House and Museum will be lit by oil lamp and fire-light, warming your spirit. Chafin Farms’ beautiful draft horses will merrily transport you around the historic districts with sleigh bells jingling, and the antique trolley will transport you back to a different era. Tour participants will be encouraged to ring the church bell at Whitespires Church and the fireplace will be crackling at the Carnegie Library. This jolly holiday event includes light refreshments and loads of happiness all for the ticket price of $15. Tickets can be purchased ahead of the tour online or the day of the tour, at Albany Visitors Association. Telephone 541-928-0911 for more information.

Image of two large draft horses pulling a covered wagon through the snowy streets of Albany, Oregon at night.December 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd Christmas Caroling by Horse-Drawn Wagon If you didn’t win tickets during our Facebook contest, don’t worry, you still might be able to snag tickets by calling our office at 541-928-0911. There are several time slots throughout the event evenings to join in this wonderful Albany tradition. The family-friendly event costs $10 for adults and $5 for children under the age of 12. Call soon, as we expect this event to sell out.

December 15th Monster Truck Thunder For the first time ever, the Linn County Fairgrounds will host ground-pounding Monster Trucks. This wild action auto show is perfect for kids (both adult and actual kiddos) who love things that go “zoom-zoom, boom-boom!” Two show-times are available on the 15th: 2:00 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. All advance tickets receive a free Pit Party pass ($10 Value). For tickets visit https://monstertruckthunder.ticketleap.com/.

December 15th Shop ’Til You Drop Still have important Santa duties to attend to? Why not let the kids go to a safe Christmas pajama party with movie, crafts, games and treats while you finish your holiday shopping, wrapping, or enjoy a rare parents’ evening out. The Mid-Willamette Family YMCA is hosting this activity from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The cost is $15 for Y members and $17 for non-members. For information telephone 541-928-0071.

December 22nd (and other dates throughout December and other months) Live Music at Calapooia Brewing Company The guest artist for the 22nd is Mikael.  Born and raised in Oregon, Mikael creates music with hints of soul and blues driven guitar riffs, and adds vivid story telling to create a compelling performance. For more information about other musical guests and dates and times, visit: Calapooia Brewing

Photo of historic Whitespires Church exterior against a blue skyDecember 24th Whitespires Church Christmas Caroling Sing-along Come and celebrate the Christmas Eve spirit with family and friends singing along to classic carols inside historic Whitespires Church. All are welcome to attend. The sing-along starts at 7:00 p.m. and lasts until 8:00 p.m. The church is located at 510 SW 5th Ave in Albany. Telephone 541-928-2469 for more information.

December 31st New Year’s Eve Hoof N’ Holler Bullriding and Dance Wild West Events & Sweeney Promotions invites you to the biggest New Year’s Eve Event of its kind. Come on out to the Linn County Fair & Expo Center to enjoy this fun event. Complete with pyrotechnics, special effects, heated arena, concert sound and lighting. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $29 pre-paid or $35 at the door (cash only at door). Online tickets: http://hoofnholler.com. Stay at one of Albany’s newly remodeled hotel properties nearby, and you won’t have to worry about driving. (See below!)

Bonus: Hotel Special Rate! Get ready for the holidays! The Phoenix Inn Suites is running their “Winter Special” from November 25th through January 10th. Your suite of choice is $79 (plus applicable taxes) per night. Book direct and mention the “Winter Special” to receive these rates: 541-926-5696, or visit AVAs “Sweet Dreams” web page for information about other Albany hotels.

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.)


2018 Albany Historic Interior Home Tour

Spend a wonderful day on Saturday, July 28th, exploring some of Albany’s most beautiful historic homes and buildings. The tour is “self-guided,” meaning you have a choice about how to tour the sites—you can ride a horse-drawn wagon or antique trolley and go in map order, or you can opt to drive your own car and visit homes and buildings in any order you like. 

Greeters will be on hand at each site to show guests around and refreshments will be served. Once you’ve secured your ticket at our office, you might want to have lunch at one of our great restaurants, ride the carousel and join the tour afterwards. 

Tickets are on sale the day of the tour (at AVA’s office) starting at 10:00 a.m. for $15 each; children under 12 are free. We are located on the corner of Lyon and 3rd Ave SE (110 3rd Ave, SE). You can also prepay for your ticket on our secure-certificate ticketing plug-in below. (Some fields are required so that we may confirm your purchase.) Telephone our office at 541-928-0911 if you have any questions.


Tickets are no longer available.

Celebrate National Historic Preservation Month

Why history and heritage?

Albany was founded in 1848 and was an agricultural mecca for many an Oregon Trail pioneer. These early roots are still cherished in Albany—and today, history and heritage are alive and flourishing.

More than 700 historic buildings dating from the 1840s to the 1920s are nestled in four historic districts. Albany Visitors Association publishes a free guide to help you plan your own walking or driving tours through these charming neighborhoods, so during National Preservation Month, stop by and pick one up from our office.

What is National Historic Preservation Month?

National Historic Preservation Month is an opportunity to celebrate Albany history with events (most of them free) throughout May. The National Trust for Historic Preservation encourages cities across the nation to raise awareness about the month-long event, and states that “Preservation Month was designed to raise awareness about the power historic preservation has to protect and enhance our homes, neighborhoods and communities – the places that really matter to us. It provides an opportunity to celebrate the diverse and unique heritage of our country’s cities and towns, and enables all of us to become involved in the growing preservation movement.”

Month long events and recognition opportunities

If you’d like to view our guide to Preservation Month, view it online or Print the PDF.

The following events are planned to show-off Albany’s historical attractions, instill community pride, promote heritage tourism, and showcase the social and economic benefits of historic preservation:

May 1st – May 31st

Hidden History Scavenger Hunt Photo Tour (sponsored by the Natty Dresser). Information and entry forms are available at the Albany Downtown Association, 126 SW Ferry St, Albany. Return your entries to the ADA by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 31, to be eligible to win a prize. The grand prize winner will be announced on June 1st. For more information contact the Albany Downtown Association at 541-928-2469.

A Historic Albany Display will be open at the Albany City Hall. The display is presented by the City of Albany Landmarks Commission. The display show-case will be viewable during regular business hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., 333 Broadalbin SW. (Free admission.)

Albany’s Old Fashioned Farmers’ Market is open every Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Purchase hand-picked produce, fresh flowers, baked bread, local eggs and meats, and many other wonderful items. Located at 4th and Ellsworth, City Hall parking lot. Admission is free. The market is open through November, so not just during Historic Preservation Month. For more information, visit www.locallygrown.org.

May 4th (Friday)

Come participate in the Friday Wine Walk in Historic Downtown Albany from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Over 20 wineries are featured. Sponsored by the Albany Rotary Club. For more information, telephone 541-928-0911, or stop by the Albany Visitors Association on Third and Lyon for ticket purchases. Adults over over 21 please.

Gallery Calapooia’s First Friday will be held from 6:00 p.m. to -8:00 p.m. Gallery Calapooia is located in the historic Flinn Block, an 1887 French Second Empire style on 1st Avenue in Albany. The building has a beautiful cast iron facade and a spacious interior with old brick walls, making it a wonderful setting to view fine art. 222 W. 1st Ave. 541-971-5701. Regular gallery hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11am–6pm. Free.

Albany Regional Museum First Friday kick-off 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The museum will be open late the first Friday of each month (starting in May) to make it easier to appreciate Albany history, heritage, and culture. Regular museum hours are Tuesday through Friday, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. 136 Lyon Street S. More info at: armuseum.com, 541-967-7122. Free admission.

May 4th through May 26th

Albany Civic Theater presents ACT is an all-volunteer, nonprofit community theater that takes pride in producing a year-round season of top-quality comedies, dramas and musicals chosen to appeal to a wide range of audience tastes. May’s ACT performance is Annie the Musical, by Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, Directed by Christi E. Sears. 111 First Avenue West. Check ACT’s website for ticket information: albanycivic.org ACTS is one of the oldest, best-known community theaters in Oregon.

May 5th (Saturday)

City of Albany Landmarks Commission presents: Albany Unseen Guided Walking Tour 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Meet at the Albany Regional Museum (136 Lyon St S) for an insider’s tour of the 1887 Commercial Italianate Building. Walk to the 1914 American Renaissance US Post Office building for an in-depth tour and then to the 1912 St. Francis Hotel designed by Charles Burggraf for discussion and consider the potential of these iconic Albany buildings. Space is limited, reservations required. Laura LaRoque (541) 917-7640 or email: laura.laroque@cityofalbany.net Free.

May 9th (Wednesday)

The Preservation Awards Presentation will take place during the Albany City Council meeting at 7:15 p.m., at the Albany City Hall, 333 Broadalbin Street SW. Telephone 541-917-7640 or email laura.laroque@cityofalbany.net for more information. The event is free.

The Albany Regional Museum presents its brown bag lunch series History Bites. This ongoing series is being offered the second Wednesday of each month at noon. Bring your own lunch. Beverages and light snacks provided. Regular museum hours are Tuesday – Friday, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., and Saturdays 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. The museum is located at 136 Lyon Street S. Visit their website at www.armuseum.com or telephone 541-967-7122 for more information. Admission to both History Bites and the museum is free.

May 12th (Saturday)

Monteith Historical Society’s Historic Interior Home Tour Committee presents preservation FAQs during the Albany Farmers’ Market, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Purchase hand-picked produce, fresh flowers, baked bread, local eggs/meats and more at Albany’s old fashioned farmers’ market. Saturdays, 4th & Ellsworth, City Hall parking lot. More info at locallygrown.org.

Monteith House Museum Pre-Season Clean-up 9:00 a.m. to noon, 518 2nd Ave SW. The Monteith Society will lead volunteers in clean-up and light maintenance of Albany’s oldest home. Following the morning’s work, there will be an Open House from noon to 3:00 p.m. Telephone 541-928-0911 for more information.

The Masonic Cemetery Clean-up  will take place from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Please bring gloves, kneepads (if needed), and other cleaning implements—snacks will be provided. Volunteer work by the Friends of the Albany Masonic Cemetery is made possible by a grant from the Oregon Heritage Cemetery Grant Program. Assemble at 700 Broadway Street SW (west end of 6th & 7th Ave SW). If you would like to learn more about volunteer opportunities at the Albany Masonic Cemetery, telephone Kathy Griffiths at 541-967-1941.

The Albany Regional Museum presents the Albany Streetcar History Tour, at three times on Saturday: 10:00 a.m.,11:00 a.m., and 1:00 p.m. Assemble at 136 Lyon St S, and hop aboard Albany’s vintage streetcar with Bill Maddy (Albany Regional Museum docent and railroad historian) for a narrated ride on historic Albany streetcar routes. Guests are also invited to step inside the museum to see the expanded train station display. The story of the 1870 arrival of the railroad in Albany is instrumental to the growth of our town. Streetcar seeing is limited and reservations are required, so please reserve your ticket to board: 541- 967-7122. The tour is free.

Albany Tweed Ride Don your best tweed cycling attire and join us for a leisurely ride through the Albany Historic Districts. Meet in front of the Natty Dresser at 12:15 (ride starts at 12:30 p.m.) for an hour-long tour of historic Albany. Prizes will be given for the Best Dressed Participants (male and female) as well as a prize for the favorite bicycle. Ride past many lovely historic homes and stop for refreshments at the Monteith House Museum before cycling on to the Deluxe Brewing Company’s Vintage Bicycle Show. Enjoy a cool libation at the no-host bar, explore the bicycle parts swap meet and see the winners of the bike show. This is a FREE event, let the Natty Dresser know if you plan to attend and they’ll have the right amount of refreshments on hand. Telephone 541-248-3561 and RSVP. Vintage attire is encouraged. For more information, visit the event Facebook page.

The 5th Annual Albany Vintage Bicycle Show is presented by Deluxe Brewing Co. and runs from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at 635 NE Water Ave. Register online at www.deluxebrewing.com. View a collection of interesting, rare, and memorable vintage bicycles, and vote for your favorite to win the People’s Choice Award. 2018. Categories: Best Original Condition, Best Restored Condition, Best Custom Build, Best BMX (Freestyle or Race), Most Unique/Rare Bicycle. All ages welcome in the main brewery area. Tasting room open to ages 21 and over. Non-alcoholic drinks are available for purchase and there will be a local food truck on site. For more information email: albanybikeshow@gmail.com. Free Admission.

City of Albany Landmarks Commission presents: Window Repair Workshop with Chris Gustafson of Vintage Window 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This comprehensive class will include how vintage windows work, basic window repair techniques and simple maintenance techniques for homeowners.  Space is limited, reservations required. Laura LaRoque (541) 917-7640 or e-mail: laura.laroque@cityofalbany.net Free.

May 16th (Wednesday)

Historic Downtown Walking Tour of 1st Ave. The event starts at 7:30 p.m. Meet at Burkhart Square (Lyon and First Ave). Learn about Albany’s historic architecture and history. Sponsored by the Natty Dresser. Telephone 541-979-9108 or visit www.monteithhouse.org for more information. Admission is free and donations can be made to the Monteith Historical Society.

May 17th (Thursday)

The Historic Downtown Walking Tour of 2nd Ave will start at 7:30 p.m. Assemble at Burkhart Square (Lyon and First Ave). Learn about Albany’s historic architecture and history. Sponsored by the Natty Dresser, telephone 541-979-9108 or visit  www.monteithhouse.org for more information. Admission is free, however, donations can be made to the Monteith Historical Society.

May 19th (Saturday)

City of Albany Landmarks Commission presents: Historic Building and Maintenance Contractor Fair 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Meet at Calapooia Brewing Company (140 Hill Street NE). Contractors and vendors with historic building and maintenance expertise will be available to share their knowledge and answer questions about restoring and renovating historic houses and porches. Free. Pre-registration is not required.

City of Albany Landmarks Commission presents: Porch Talk & Guided Walking Tour 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Meet at City Hall (333 Broadalbin Street SW) for an informative tour the porches of several historic Albany homes. Porches vary significantly from one house style to the next.  Tour guides will give an overview, answer questions, and touch on the styles and materials that are appropriate for the timeframe and architectural style of house. Space is limited, reservations required. Laura LaRoque (541) 917-7640 or e-mail: laura.laroque@cityofalbany.net Free.

May 20th (Sunday)

Linn County Historical Society Presents “Jennie Parrish: Early Oregon Healer.” At 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 20, Jane Kirkpatrick, historian and author, will present at the Lakeside Center, located at the Mennonite Village at 2180 54th Avenue SE in Albany. All programs sponsored by the Linn County Historical Society are free and open to the public. Telephone 541-926-4680. The presentation is free.

May 28th (Sunday) – May 29th (Monday)

Albany Masonic Cemetery Memorial Weekend Recognition Take a self-guided cemetery walking tour. Start at the location, 700 Broadway Street SW, Information will be on hand regarding the grant, work and tours. Questions? Contact jkgrif@comcast.net 541-967-1941 Free.

Year Round Preservation Opportunities

Sad that you couldn’t fit all of preservation month activities in during May? We will keep adding chances to visit or tour historic displays and events as we get the chance. Starting off with a few listed below:

Albany Fire Station 11 Historic Display Stop in at the new fire station downtown and get a close-up look at the 1927 American LaFrance fire engine and other items of interest on display on the front lobby. Located at 611 Lyon St SE. Free display open during usual public business hours.