A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Downtown streets: The party had just begun

Written September 2nd, 2023 by Hasso Hering

Looking west on Second Avenue from Ellsworth Street on Saturday afternoon.

It’s not often you see downtown Albany streets so full of people as Second Avenue was on Saturday afternoon.

With the help of several other businesses as sponsors, a couple of downtown taverns were putting on a block party. It was a repeat of a similar event on Labor Day weekend last year.

On a bike ride, I passed Second Avenue on Ellsworth Street at 5:40 p.m. Saturday, which is when I stopped and took the snapshot above.

It was still early in the event, and on the stage you see in the background the scheduled bands had not yet started to perform.

I had other places to be and couldn’t hang around. But I’m told that lots more people showed up to take part in the festivities later on Saturday night. (hh)

16 responses to “Downtown streets: The party had just begun”

  1. Cap B. says:

    Oh, I see it is busy within the high walls of the tenting. I didn’t realize a couple of downtown taverns were involved, so, of course, it is busy.

  2. Hartman says:

    Apparently the Downtown Taverns know something neither the Chamber or the City Mothers/Fathers do. How to attract folks to gather together. More saloons may be the answer.

    • Jeff B. Senders says:

      They needed a Permit, so the City Mothers and Fathers knew about it well in advance. Security too. It was just a mini version of River Rhythms that moved East for the year, so excellent compensatory advertising and sales for the downtown merchants. Plus the many food carts brought in for culinary bonus points. No gunshots either. Looks like more saloons IS the answer. Well done to all.

  3. JustAGuy says:

    You don’t need to post this.

    I always appreciate your journalism, your effort, and your prose. But, wow, that’s a beautiful photo. 1000 words, right? One of my favorite pics you’ve ever posted. Thanks.

  4. Carla A Mundt says:

    Parking for Saturday market was a pain. I wonder if they lost business because of street closures.

  5. rick barros says:

    I’m New Too This State Came From The Eastcoast, My Opinion, More Saloons, With Happy Hour & Dancing, Karaoke, Games & Good Food & Parking. This 2023 Not 1950, Just a Opinion Of a person Who’s Worked In Saloons, Bars Clubs Whatever U Wish Too Call Them. Adults Need a Place Too Go. Thx

  6. Susan says:

    Booze and drugs (Mary jane PLUS) oh, yes, that’s right, we do need more ‘medicate & relax’ stations all around town and COUNTRY

  7. LL says:

    So happy I didn’t go down to Farmer’s Market after all. This would have been a nightmare for me. I’m sure no accessible parking anywhere to be had. I had no clue this was happening. Of course not a mask in sight as Covid hospitalizations are on the rise…..gonna be another rough Winter

    • Hasso Hering says:

      This started hours after the farmers’ market closed.

      • Deb says:

        Roads were all closed off by at least 10am. I went at 10 and had to go down to 5th just to get back to Two Rivers.

        • Ray Kopczynski says:

          All depends on “what roads” you’re talking about. I was volunteering at the Carousel from 11:00am-4:00pm and left the building ~4:15pm. There was very ample parking near the Carousel at that point — just 2 blocks from the party…

    • sonamata says:

      This is why it’s so difficult for Albany to build community and actually revitalize downtown. I’ve been staying in a Rust Belt city that’s done a phenomenal job at rebuilding a vibrant community. Business is booming, multiple events and markets every weekend, and housing is still affordable. I never hear people kvetching about the lost parking opportunities. Too many negative misanthropes in Albany petrified of their own shadows and any change to realize its potential. It’s a shame.

  8. Jeff Simpson says:

    It was so much fun!! It wasn’t unlike River Rhythms for parking but seriously and again it was FREE! I’ve been to dozens of festivals and this one was well managed in a family-friendly way, you bar haters. The bands all sounded great, especially the headliner. There were delicious libations, security was friendly and visible and come on who can draw what I estimate 3000+ people to stand for 5 hours on Labor Day weekend. Well done

  9. Katherine says:

    Why doesn’t the city KEEP the old Well Fargo site and make a 2 level parking structure.
    ALSO…next Saturday is “Antiques in the Street” for you all that don’t drink. It draws a big crowd many from out of town.
    When I moved here decades ago Downtown was a ghost town. Now there is life and don’t forget “First Fridays” Downtown.
    Love it All!!

  10. K R says:

    I would love more events!!!


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