Being in a small university town (that is, a small city where the population of the local university competes with that of the population of the rest of the city) has some interesting features.
Also consider that Oregon State University has an extensive engineering program.
Considering these things, it should not be too surprising that there are some eccentric and unusual items that happen from time to time.
Those eccentric and unusual items sometimes manifest themselves as tangible objects rather than events: witness this 5 person amphibious paddle boat car, powered by those inside by cranking the pedals.
Sometimes these eccentric and unusual objects come to Corvallis and just stop by for a visit, or sometimes they are actual products of those who live, work, or (most of the time) study in Corvallis.
If you're in the area around Independence Day, it's well worth staying for the riverfront fireworks display. If you bring a camera, though, bring a tripod. A chair is a good idea too.
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