Mt Angel students doing a weaving dance ? Image by Trude from stampwithtrude.blogspot.com
Tucked away in Oregon?s Willamette Valley is the peaceful town of Mt. Angel. Founded in the late 1800s by Swiss and German settlers, Mt. Angel is a town full of charm and tradition. Where the locals greet you with a warm smile and pleasant hospitality. You can find something to see and do almost year round with festivals and events that celebrate the rich culture and history of the area. Here are the top 10 reasons you should visit Mt. Angel in 2019.
Festivities at the Mt. Angel Oktoberfest ? Image by Doug Kerr
1. Mt. Angel Volksfest (formerly Wurstfest) (March 1st ? 3rd 2019)
If you love brats and beer, you?ll want to point yourself towards the small village atmosphere of Mt. Angel for the 11th annual Volksfest. That is where you are going to find 19 different handcrafted sausages, live music, dancing, games and thirst quenching brews. You road warriors can sign up for the 5K and 10K Wurst Run and the Artisan Market with primarily locally made foods, clothing, and baked goods. This family-friendly event also has rides and games for the kiddos.
Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in nearby Woodburn, Oregon ? Image by Kirt Edblom
2. Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival (March 23rd ? April 29th, 2019)
Technically, this next event is in Woodburn, OR but is worth mentioning because of its proximity to Mt. Angel. Get ready to welcome the rain and the sun as winter fades and springtime cheer approaches. Bring your camera and celebrate Spring with a trip to the 35th annual Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival. With around 40 acres and nearly 120 varieties of tulips and daffodils, you will find yourself surrounded by a stunning and vibrant sea of color. You will find plenty to do here. Pack a picnic or enjoy food from one of the vendors. Then enjoy a hayride, or hot air balloons, and take a walk through the crafter?s market. The festival is a family friendly event with activities for the kiddos like a bungee jumper and a zip line. You can also bring your fur babies, but they must be on a leash.
Oktoberfest in Mt. Angel, Oregon ? Image by Doug Kerr
3. Mt. Angel Oktoberfest (September 12th -15th 2019)
You can celebrate the harvest in German style at the 54th annual Oktoberfest in Mt. Angel, OR. The largest folk festive in the Pacific Northwest, you will have no shortage of fun and entertaining activities to keep the whole family smiling. For starters, you can catch the car show, the wiener dog race or street dance. How about watch the pedal tractor race or perhaps you?ve registered for the Oktoberfest 5 and 10K run. Did you bring the kiddos? Then the Kindergarten awaits with fun games and activities. Of course, don?t forget to visit the Biergarten and enjoy delicious German food, beer, and live music. Mt. Angel?s Oktoberfest is the largest volunteer event and has raised over $3,300,000 for charities since it began in 1971.
Celebrate the Hazelnut at the Hazelnut Festival in Mt. Angel, Oregon ? Image by Chad
4. Mt. Angel ? Silverton Hazelnut Festival (Typically held in the first weekend in December)
Are you ready for a great family-friendly event to kick of the holiday festivities and celebrate Oregon?s state nut? Then you?ll want to head to Mt. Angel for the 8th annual Mt. Angel ? Silverton Hazelnut Festival. Enjoy live entertainment and regional arts and crafts at the German holiday market. Try local wines and beer while tasting foods featuring the hazelnut. Santa Claus will be there for pictures and to hand out treats in the kindergarten. The family can follow Santa as he leads the glow walk parade to the Tree of Trades in downtown Mt. Angel for the tree lighting ceremony. Other fun events are the 5k Hazelnut run/walk and a fun cookie crawl where you can visit all the cookie vendors and collect stamps.
Mt. Angel Abbey in St.Benedict, Oregon ? Image by Edmund Garman
5. Mt. Angel Abbey & Museum
Nestled atop Mt. Angel in St. Benedict, OR is a place for peaceful reflection and quiet meditation. Here you will find the calming grounds of Mt. Angel Monastery and seminary school. Established by Benedictine monks from Engelberg, Switzerland in 1882, the monastery grounds are open to all and is a wonderful place to walk, think and nourish the soul. While you are here, check out the book store and coffee shop. You are welcome to visit the library where you can find rare medieval books and manuscripts. Also, view art displays and take the hilltop walking tour. You have to visit the Mt. Angel Abbey Museum before you leave. Described as an ?eclectic collection of artifacts?, you will find some rare and unusual items on display. Including the world?s largest pig hairball and mounted animal dioramas.
6. Benedictine Brewery
For a unique craft beer experience you will want to head to the Benedictine Brewery and St. Michael Taproom in Mt. Angel, OR. Here is where the monks of Mt. Angel Monastery have brought the nearly 1000-year-old tradition of monks brewing beer to the Pacific Northwest. The tap room opened September 2018 and has 6 brews on tap and one already bottled. The Benedictine Brewery is one of three breweries in the U.S. that is operated by Monks. The Monks use well water and hops that are grown on the 350-acre property to make their brews. Their best-seller is called Black Habit, a Belgian-style Dark Ale.
The Glockenspiel in Mt. Angel, Oregon ? Image by Edmund Garmon
7. The Glockenspiel
At 49 ft tall, the Mt. Angel Glockenspiel is touted as the largest in the United States. The Glockenspiel sits at the heart on Mt. Angel?s downtown district and tells the story of the community?s rich past, present, and future. Construction was completed in 2006 and is part of the Edelweiss Village which houses the Glockenspiel Restaurant. The beautiful life-sized wooden figures were hand carved by local craftsmen and are a showcase to the towns proud Swiss and German heritage. The Glockenspiel is a real traffic stopper and you can catch the show each day at 11 am, 1 pm, 4 pm, and 7 pm.
St. Mary?s Catholic Church in At. Angel, Oregon is over 100 years old ? Image by Rich Conklin
8. St. Mary?s Catholic Church
The 200-foot tall bell tower stands majestic and is visible from miles away. This is your first impression of St. Mary Catholic Church in Mt. Angel, OR. This Gothic revival style church and beautiful stained-glass will make you want to take a closer look and it?s no surprise. The Parrish of St. Mary?s beckons and is one of the most beautiful and oldest in the state. Construction was completed on this iconic Gothic revival style church in of 1912. Inside, you?ll take in the stunning multi-angled vaulted ceilings, 22 beautiful stained-glass windows, stenciling, and art. The detail is breathtaking and humbling. For some history and a virtual tour, click here.
9. Mt. Angel Heritage Trail
You know that when a town dates back to the 1800s, you are going to find a lot of history and interesting facts to be discovered. In Mt. Angel, OR, one of the best ways to take in some of the history and ambiance it through the Mt. Angel Heritage Trail. Being a self-guided walking tour, the Mt. Angel Heritage trail is the perfect way you can explore the town?s rich and fascinating history while walking or even biking the trail route. The 5-mile loop will take you through town and highlights local points of interest. Each spot along the trail has a historical marker with laser etched images and text that tells about the history of the place. There are 10 markers on the trail that showcase Mt. Angel?s historic and significant places. A few of the places include the Southern Pacific Railroad Depot, the Glockenspiel, Mt. Angel Abbey and the Queen of Angels Monastery. Maps may be available at the Mt. Angel Chamber of Commerce.
The Blackbird Granary and Curiosities ? Image by Timothy P. Schilling
10. Blackbird Granary Antiques and Curiosities
If you are looking for a fun and eclectic antique shop, look no further than the Blackbird Granary Antiques and Curiosities. This family owned and operated shop is conveniently located right in the center of Mt. Angel. The family is friendly and everything is fairly priced. With more than 45 vendors, you will have no shortage of amazing and unique finds. You will find treasures in every nook and cranny. If you are the inquisitive type or a fan of the physical sciences, the curiosities will not disappoint. You will find a wide variety of things in jars preserved in formaldehyde, skeletons of different creatures and pinned insect collections. Why not make it a weekend and visit nearby Silverton, The Oregon Garden, and Silver Falls State Park?
As you can imagine, you will find quite a lot to see and do in Mt. Angel. You should know about one more place that is well worth mentioning and that is the Southern Pacific Railroad Depot. Built-in 1882 and once an active passenger train depot, this 137-year-old structure once owned by the Southern Pacific Railroad was restored and is now operated as a hobby store and model train museum by owner Al Ketchum. Located near the center of town, it is a very charming building and is definitely worth stopping by to see the displays, buy a model, talk to the owner and learn a little railroad history. The Depot is open most Fridays. If the American flag by the entrance is up, the store is open.
For more information on Mt. Angel, Oregon, visit the Mt. Angel Chamber of Commerce website.
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