Christmas comes to Keizer in a big way this weekend with the Festival of Lights Holiday Parade on Saturday.

For the second year the parade will proceed down River Road. And for the second year we can expect huge crowds lining the route. Keizer validated the parade organizers’ decision to move the parade to our city.

Despite a cold drizzle last year, tens of thousands of people from throughout the region enjoyed one of the area’s grand holiday traditions. Those people added to the city’s economy that night as many restaurants and coffee shops were sold out.

Keizer has become Christmas Central. For years thousands of people have come into Keizer to enjoy the Miracle of Christmas lighting display in the Gubser neighborhood. Recently the Keizer Chamber of Commerce added the Jingle Dash Walk/Run.

Santa Claus is getting quite the workout this year. He was at the Holiday Tree Lighting; he flew into Volcanoes Stadium in a helicopter. He’ll be hosting breakfast at the Keizer Fire Hall this Sunday, then he’ll be back a week later to hand out candy canes throughout Keizer. with the help of the Keizer Fire District, and in the Clear Lake neighborhood, with the help of the Marion County Fire District.

While we are all enjoying these many holiday events we must not forget those who are less fortunate. Keizer is a generous community and there are many ways to help others including donating time or money to the Keizer Community Bank, helping the Keizer Network of Women with their Christmas Giving Basket program, or giving to any of the toy drives in our community.

For a fan of Christmas there are few places that take it to heart as well as Keizer.