Seasonal events highlights Corvallis’ culture

Jaycee Kalama, News Contributor

Corvallis is a small town with big events coming up throughout November and December. Some of these events are related to upcoming holidays, while others are simply  engaging community events. 

Whether people are looking for volunteering opportunities or just want to get out and explore Corvallis, the Benton County and Corvallis events calendar is a great place to start. There are plenty of events happening in and around Corvallis and Benton County, from live music to art shows, cycling events, parades, festivals and more.

At 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving day, the Osborn Aquatic Center is hosting the family-friendly annual Turkey Trot. The 5K and 10K courses start at the Osborn Aquatic Center, go through the beautiful neighborhoods surrounding Northwest Corvallis and finish  leading back at the start.

Joe Andrews, race director of the Turkey Trot, said, “This event helps support our Corvallis Parks and Recreation Family Assistance Fund. The family assistance programs help provide low and middle income families access to our programs. This includes swim passes at the Osborn Aquatic Center, swimming lessons, therapy classes and recreation classes such as cooking classes or day camps.”

Admission is between 12 and 45 dollars for runners, walkers, kids in strollers and dogs on leashes. With an average of 1,000 people coming to the event every year, individuals of all ages are encouraged to participate in the race, volunteer or simply come and support the racers. 

“This is a great event for the community to come out to, even if somebody does not want to participate or help out, they can go to our website to find the route so they can cheer people on. We would love to have more community support out there, any way possible,” Andrews said.

Starting Nov. 23 through Jan. 1, community members can enjoy the Pastega Christmas Light Display, a Corvallis holiday and community tradition since 1981, at the Benton County Fairgrounds. Visitors can drive through the Pastega Christmas Light Display from 5 – 10 p.m. daily. Admission is a canned food item for donation.

Volunteers help outfit the fairgrounds in holiday lights and displays, with more than 250 figures and mechanized scenes on display.

The annual Corvallis Community Christmas Parade is another holiday tradition in Corvallis, complete with music, floats, hot chocolate and more. It’s scheduled for 7 p.m. on Nov. 24. The admission free parade will travel north on Fourth Street from Washington and end at Jackson. A celebration of songs and lights will follow the parade at the Benton County Courthouse.

The parade is sponsored by the Corvallis Lions club. One of the members, Marc Vomocil, says, “It’s a home-grown parade with plenty of floats, walking entries and colorful lights. At the end of the parade, the courthouse lights up and is covered in decorations for the Holiday season. The parade is not a fundraiser at all, it is just a community service project to provide fun and entertainment as well as a beginning  to the holiday season in Corvallis.”

Another fun community attraction is the holiday drive through display at the Benton County Fairgrounds called the Pastega Christmas Lights, according to Vomocil. 

The Teal Art Gallery, located on Southwest Third Street, is a great place to shop for hand-crafted gifts that are made by local artists. Teal is only open during the winter months, making it a great place to find affordable, unique holiday gifts while supporting artists in the Corvallis community.

“Each November, their team of dedicated Oregon artists transform an otherwise vacant and lifeless storefront into a world of color, light and beauty, open for business during the months of November and December. On display are some of the finest works in fiber, leather, pottery, jewelry, glass, metal, mixed media, paper and soap that the central Willamette Valley has to offer,” The Teal Art Gallery website said.

The Teal Co-operative Gallery has free admission and will be open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m., from Oct. 29 through Dec. 28. 

One of the 22 artists that will be featured Deb Curtis, says, “This may be the only opportunity to meet local artists and shop their work. Also, we have affordable items as well as very unique items that you won’t find elsewhere in Corvallis.”

With finals coming up and winter break just around the corner, many will be taking time to check out the events Corvallis has to offer in the next couple of months.

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