Overcast, light rain, 8 °C / 46.4 °F
This tour will roam the historic downtowns of Monmouth and Independence, stop at the state-of-the-art Independence Civic Center, visit the Rogue Farms Micro Hopyard for beer tasting, see the sights of Western Oregon University and conclude with wine tasting at Left Coast Cellars courtesy of the Mid-Valley Wine Trail wineries.
The bus will leave the Salem Grand Hotel at approximately 12:00 pm and head to Independence. On the way, Independence City Councilor Marilyn Morton will describe the history of Independence and offer anecdotes and spooky stories gleaned from her decade of experience as a "ghost host" during Independence's annual downtown Ghost Walk.
Stop 1: Downtown Independence
The bus will do a slow roll through downtown Independence so participants can get a good look at the 19th Century architecture, performing arts amphitheater, and streetscape enhancements. Mrs. Morton will briefly describe the community's efforts at revitalizing the downtown using community planning processes, facade improvement grants, revolving loans and establishment of an Urban Renewal District.
Stop 2: Independence Civic Center
Stop 3: Chatoe Rogue Hopyard
Stop 4: Downtown Monmouth
Stop 5: Western Oregon University
Stop 6: Left Coast Cellars
Last Stop: Back to Salem
The fun has to end eventually, but this trip will be a great way to get to know a beautiful but lesser-known part of the Willamette Valley and a good warm-up for the rest of the evening's activities.