Yesterday, we had the pleasure of stepping into a magical realm at the Linn County Fairgrounds in Albany, Oregon – the Christmas Storybook Land as part of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce Greeters. This year, celebrating its 47th presentation, the event unfolded a tapestry of fairy tales and childhood fantasies, all woven together by the hands of dedicated volunteers.
The event is open for two more days:
Friday, Dec 15: 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Saturday, Dec 16: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Two Weeks of Transformation: In just two weeks, a team of committed individuals transforms the fairgrounds into a festive wonderland. Walking through the gates, it’s hard to believe the speed at which this metamorphosis occurs. Each scene, meticulously assembled, reflects not just the spirit of the holidays but the heart of a community coming together.
A Walk Through Childhood Dreams: Each step through Christmas Storybook Land was a stroll down memory lane, with over 130 scenes capturing the essence of beloved nursery rhymes, fairy tales, and family movies. The attention to detail in each display was astounding, from the twinkling lights to the vibrant colors that brought each story to life. This year’s additions, including the Jetsons and the Flintstones, were particularly delightful, offering something new for returning visitors.
Also new this year is another model train set, provided by John & Francey Hood-Fysh. It is one of several train sets on site.
The Warmth of Community: What truly set this experience apart was the warmth and welcoming spirit of the volunteers. Their passion and dedication were palpable, making each visitor feel like a part of the Christmas Storybook Land family. It’s a testament to the event’s ethos, highlighting how a community can band together to create something extraordinary. It was very evident that many volunteers and sponsors were in the room as part of the Greeters group.
We had a chance to talk with Joyce Mereira, one of the key volunteers, and asked her what her favorite part of the event is. “The people, the smiles, and the feeling it gives you that we’re doing something special”.
Giving Back: Aligning with the spirit of giving, the event encourages visitors to bring food donations for the local food bank, Fish of Albany. This initiative exemplifies the true meaning of the holiday season – sharing and caring for those around us.
Special Events and Activities: The event calendar is filled with special days, including a day dedicated to seniors, special needs individuals, and veterans, as well as exciting visits like the Star Wars Day. New events like the Magical Friends Visit add an extra layer of enchantment, ensuring that each visit is unique and memorable.
Accessibility and Inclusivity: Notably, the event is accessible to all, with wheelchairs available for those in need and strollers allowed for families with young ones. Santa and Mrs. Claus, handing out candy canes, add to the joyous atmosphere. The organizers have thoughtfully considered the needs of all visitors, making the event a welcoming space for everyone.
Keep in mind, however, that the venue is not heated, so be sure and dress warmly.
Christmas Storybook Land is more than just an event; it’s a celebration of community, creativity, and the holiday spirit. As we walked through the myriad of scenes, the sense of unity and joy was overwhelming. This is not just an exhibition; it’s a community’s heartbeat, pulsating with the joy, generosity, and warmth of Albany’s residents. If you haven’t experienced it yet, make sure to visit – it’s a spectacle that truly captures the essence of Christmas.
Well done, Albany. Well done!