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Chambers of Commerce from two cities to hold festival and German Holiday Market

FILE PHOTO - The Hazelnut Fest will once again feature the German Market, with authentic crafts from German and local artisans.The Mt. Angel and Silverton Chambers of Commerce will provide a nutty experience for visitors on Dec. 1-2 at the Bavarian Villages Festhalle at 500 Wilco Highway. The nuts are hazelnuts one of the Willamette Valley's largest agricultural crops.

The German Holiday Market will provide a range of goodies from regional arts and crafts to authentic and traditional German Christmas decorations and crafts. It also will feature potential Christmas presents from Oregon wineries and breweries and foods highlighting delicious hazelnuts.

Besides live entertainment and afternoon visits from Santa to the children, there will be a Run for your Nuts 5K road race/walk on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 9 a.m. Those wishing to run or walk can register at www.racenorthwest.com.

The history of hazelnuts in the Willamette Valley goes back to early French settlers. Today there are more than 650 hazelnut growers in Oregon, the prime growing region for the nut in the United States.

The town of Mt. Angel is nestled between farmland and foothills 18 miles northeast of Salem. Founded in the late 1800s by German settlers, its old world flavor is amplified by many Bavarian style storefronts and signage. It also celebrates Oktoberfest with more than 350,000 people attending the four-day celebration that was first held 49 years ago. The town has a population of 4,000 people.

For more information, visit hazelnutfest.com.

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