The Keizer Miracle of Christmas Lights Display will feature a return of the caroling tent and contests launched through the display’s Facebook page this year.
The display begins at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5, and cars will be roaming the neighborhood from 6 to 10 p.m. through Dec. 26. The route is about 3.5 miles long, and can take several hours to complete on busy weekends. Snow-Cop barricades will lead drivers through the neighborhood.
The tradition, which raises money and food for the Marion Polk Food Share, draws eyes from around the region. It’s expected that nearly 20,000 vehicles will pass through the neighborhood.
There’s no admission fee, but the event is a fundraiser for hungry families in the mid-Willamette Valley, and donations are always welcome.
“Our goal this year is 22,000 pounds of food and $20,000 in monetary donation,” said Brigette Eisele, one of the coordinators this season. Last year, volunteers collected $19,297 and 21,272 pounds of food.
Cans and non-perishable food donations along with cash are welcomed. A donation site will be set up on Mistwood Drive Northeast.
In addition to route changes, local businesses are sponsoring some nights of the event.
“We are working with a couple local businesses to provide coupons for things such as a free ice cream, or free hot drink for donations of 10 cans of food or more,” Eisele said.
Businesses interested in participating can send an e-mail to MckinleyLandscapeLLC@gmail.com addressed to the attention of Gerald Nichols for more information.
Younger visitors are encouraged to keep an eye out for the Gubser Gatore, who will be moved to a new house about once a week. The intent is to supply younger visitors with a Where’s Waldo-ish game and provide incentive to drive through more than once.
Additional contests will be launched each week on the Gubser Miracle of Christmas Lights Display facebook page.
A caroling tent will return for the second year, but is being moved to Mistwood Drive for more visibilit. Many slots have already been filled for the month, but those interested in the few that remain can contact Eisele at Keizerxmas@gmail.com.
Organizers remind attendees that there are no public restrooms available, and visitors should keep their headlights on at all times while driving through. It is a residential neighborhood, so please be aware and courteous to pedestrians and residents trying to get in and out of driveways.
Visitors wishing to take photos in front of the displays are encouraged to stay on sidewalks and out of yards.
The display is also walkable, with sidewalks throughout the Gubser neighborhood. If you choose to walk it, please park at either Whiteaker Middle School, 1605 Lockhaven Drive NE, or at Gubser Elementary School, 6610 14th Avenue NE.